Bungo Stray Dogs 4×03 Review: “The Secret Founding of the Detective Agency”

The standard Bungo Stray Dogs flashback arc comes to a close in “The Secret Founding of the Detective Agency”, wherein Ranpo is smarter than literally everyone, and one or two familiar faces make an appearance.

First off, it makes me feel better that the stagewright was killed before the play even started. While Ranpo is absolutely the kind of person who would consider one death acceptable if it helped stop the greater enemy, he still feels bad that he wasn’t able to save the stagewright. And the only reason he couldn’t was because the stagewright was already dead before Ranpo even knew what was going on.

I speculated in last week’s review that Ranpo already knew that the policeman was the culprit and willingly went with him. That turned out to be true, because Ranpo is smarter than literally everyone. Even his knocking over the sign outside the theater (which was a hilarious moment from the previous episode) was a cover for him leaving a clue for Fukuzawa.

Honestly, I would love to see how Ranpo figures these things out. He just rattles off what happened without even dropping the details most of the time. I always liked him, but I have a whole new appreciation for his character now.

But with all of that intelligence, and his newly acquired arrogance about his intelligence, it’s hard to remember that he’s just a kid. He’s only 15 at this point in time, and he’s willingly putting himself in danger in order to bring in the bad guy. And this is something Fukuzawa refuses to allow.

I was stunned when Fukuzawa slapped him, because I was wondering what exactly Ranpo had done to deserve that. But it’s because Ranpo was so cavalier with his own safety, and Fukuzawa was worried. Ranpo breaking down after that was hard to watch. It’s probably the first time in his entire life anyone has ever expressed a modicum of concern for him. Apparently, there was a lot more about his parents in the light novel that didn’t make it into the anime, which is disappointing. But I enjoyed the parental nature of his interactions with Fukuzawa.

It was also amazing to see Fukuzawa in action. That scene where he busted into the warehouse and rescued Ranpo was fantastic. I don’t think we’ve ever really gotten to see him like that before. The others in the Agency have usually done the work. Given that the main arc of this season is likely tied into the flashback arc (that’s usually how it works), I’m hoping that we’ll get to see more of him in action later this season.

Young Oda, delivering the hard truths. If you’re killing for “the greater good”, it’s all too easy to lose sight of what the good is, and to start justifying every death as being for the right reasons. Eventually, the lines will blur. (I miss Oda so much, y’all, I really wish that he could come back.) It makes you wonder how and why he ended up in the Port Mafia, but it absolutely explains why he wanted to leave it.

Fyodor sighting! Jeez, how old is Fyodor? How old are the other characters? Oda looks legitimately 10 years old. Fukuzawa looks the same as he does now, and so does Fyodor. But also, this means that Fyodor has been in Yokohama longer than we originally thought. Not only that, he’s been meddling in things since before the Armed Detective Agency was even founded.

But his method of operation is largely the same. He assembles a group of like-minded individuals to take out as many Gifted as he can, even abducting powerful Gifted like Atsushi and Natsume. Then when they are inevitably discovered, he fades into the background and begins from the beginning.

We’re back to the present starting with next week’s episode. I’m excited to see Dazai and the others back again. I’m also extremely eager to see how the events of “The Secret Founding of the Detective Agency” tie into the rest of the season.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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