I’ll be the first to admit I’m a sucker for a quality mafia anime. One of my favorite anime of all time is Gungrave, and not because of the gun-slinging action, but the rich and well-executed story surrounding two thugs who fought their way to the top of a powerful crime organization. Bungo Stray Dogs features its own powerful mafia organization, the Port Mafia, as a central part of its story…but season one had less to do with the organization itself and more about introducing the members of the Armed Detective Agency. Rather than picking up from where season 1 left off, which was the dramatic reveal of another powerful organization in case you had forgotten, Bungo Stray Dogs 2 gets off the ground with a flashback and backstory arc on everyone’s favorite suicidal maniac: Osamu Dazai.
The opening episode revolves around Dazai and two of his close friends from the Port Mafia: Odasaku and Ango. Odasaku is the mafia’s “handyman” – the lowest ranking member of the mafia that often gets called in for the worst jobs. He wears a unique pistol that he’s never used to kill anyone, though no one knows why. Ango is an intelligence officer for the Port Mafia, harboring numerous pieces of critical and secret information for the organization. Needless to say, he’s an essential member of the mafia. That makes his disappearance all the more worrying.
Odasaku is tasked with finding Ango due to his personal affiliation with him, and the search begins. Did he take off on his own? Has he been kidnapped or killed? Odasaku is eager to find out as he pursues every possible lead. Things come to a head near the end of the episode, but will they find the answers they’re looking for?
One of the strongest elements of the first season of Bungo Stray Dogs was the strong cast – and its a running theme at this point. I’m very interested to see how the relationship between Odasaku and Dazai evolves over the course of their search for Ango. Dazai can be a joker, but he also is a skilled mafia executive and has a brilliant deductive mind. Odasaku seems to be distant and uncaring, but also has something bubbling just beneath the surface that makes you intrigued and wanting to know more.
I’m really digging the mafia focus, and with solid animation and compelling characters, the second season of Bungo Stray Dogs is off to a great start. Looking forward to more!