Bungo Stray Dogs – Season 5 Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Time And Space Sword

Episode 3 of Bungo Stray Dogs season 5 titled ‘Hero vs Criminal’ begins 2 weeks before the Decay of Angels incident. Dazai meets Akutagawa and asks him to be his ears but to never interfere to stay undetected. He explains Fyodor’s plan to destroy the world and asks for help in saving it, the Agency and Atsushi. Akutagawa refuses, especially upon hearing about Atsushi. Dazai simply smiles as he hints that Akutagawa will help. 

It cuts to the present with Fukuchi threatening Atsushi. Akutagawa steps in and comments that he better not hurt Atsushi as the weretiger just gets more and more annoying every time he is injured. Of course, Atsushi is indignant but shocked to see him. Akutagawa reveals that as per Dazai’s instructions, he is to stay behind the scenes unless he sees a smoke signal. Turns out Ranpo suspected this and ignited the flare to signal him.

All this while, Fukuchi laments at the fact that another annoying and gifted user has appeared. He is further annoyed that Akutagawa doesn’t seem to be respecting him as a senior. As for the Port Mafia member, he simply destroys the engine room so that no backup can arrive from the harbour as he plans to kill Fukuchi then and there.

He then recalls meeting Dazai in the same forest when he was a kid. Dazai explains that he invited Akutagawa to join Port Mafia and to also work with Atsushi to develop a new weapon against the demon Fyodor — Dazai dreams of making a new generation of Double Black.

And so Akutagawa is ready to help, even if it means rescuing Atsushi. He attacks confidently but Fukuchi weaponizes a simple railing which splits the ship in two. Akutagawa is able to dodge it with his determination to help Dazai, but Fukuchi overpowers him. Before he can administer the killing blow, Atsushi pulls Akutagawa and runs. 

Inside the ship, Akutagawa is angry that they ran as his mission is to kill Fukuchi and Atsushi cannot understand why. The Mafia member states that it is because otherwise, he won’t be useful to Dazai. He has already been replaced by Atsushi but maybe he is a trial that Akutagawa needs to overcome to get Dazai’s approval.

They are suddenly interrupted by one of the UN officials who pretends to surrender before shooting them which they easily dodge. Akutagawa chokes him and Atsushi tries to stop him from killing the official. The man falls, alive but unconscious and Atsushi is touched that Akutagawa kept his promise – not to kill anyone for the next 6 months.

As they run, Atsushi wonders about their next plan of action. Akutagawa, however, has already predicted Dazai’s strategy as he declares they need to fuse their powers to unleash Kokko Zessou – the same way they fought Fyodor. However, if Fukuchi strikes before they do, Akutagawa will be the first to die followed by Atsushi. They come up with a plan to have Fukuchi follow an unmanned submarine as Kokko Zessou’s range is larger underwater.

However, they are unable to reach the submarine as Fukuchi is smoking in front of it. Trying to goad him, Atsushi wonders if he wants to destroy the world because of what he saw on the battlefield. Fukuchi says yes as he questions justice itself. He suffered a lot but a lack of recognition is what is fuelling his anger.

He easily takes down Akutagawa and Atsushi as they attack together and boasts that he defeated 100 gifted users singlehandedly. Akutagawa refuses to back down as he forces his broken bones in place. This just spurs Atsushi who doesn’t want to show his weakness to his nemesis. 

However, Fukuchi is ready as he draws the 1500-year-old sword Amenogozen which has the power to send its blade to a different place and time through a portal. Without moving, he stabs Akutagawa and Atsushi from behind. As they fall, he reveals that the two could have indeed defeated him with an offensive tiger attack and Akutagawa’s Rashomon attack from behind.

Atsushi hesitated and he regrets as he needed to trust that Akutagawa would have come through with the ambush. Meanwhile, an injured Akutagawa laughs at Fukuchi as he tries to attack again. Fukuchi steps on him as he cannot fathom why the Port Mafia member cannot accept defeat. However, this impresses him and he offers a proposal – kill Atsushi in exchange for being mentored by Fukuchi.

He will then return Akutagawa to Dazai as the most powerful gifted user. Atsushi tries to reason with him but Fukuchi points out that Akutagawa’s motivations are linked to Dazai, not saving the world, hence he has no reason to kill him. Akutagawa also reveals that he has a lung disease and he doesn’t have a lot of time left to get Dazai’s approval.

He charges and suddenly Atsushi has an epiphany. He deduces that if Dazai finds out that Akutagawa has betrayed Atsushi, he will never give his approval hence Akutagawa will never betray him. Atsushi charges as well, but they fuse and unleash the Kokko Zessou attack. They swiftly kill Fukuchi and take the reality-altering page.

But something feels off as Atsushi notices that the blade is broken in two and the second half is missing. Suddenly, the clock rewinds and at the moment Kokko Zessou is unleashed, Fukuchi sends his blade to the past and splits the two. The future changes and they never killed Fukuchi!

Fukuchi asks if they have any last words and Akutagawa says he only needs action. He manipulates his shirt to cut through the floor and get a fire extinguisher. He unleashes it, and in the fog, he and Atsushi disappear. However, Fukuchi just turns back time with the blade and cuts the fire extinguisher into two. He then mocks Akutagawa’s last words and slits his throat while Atsushi screams.

The Episode Review

Woah, this episode is everything! It not only has one, not two but three iconic moments. Fukuchi’s proposal to Akutagawa is totally the first highlight of episode 3 of Bungo Stray Dogs season 5. The jaw-dropping moment makes sense to the extent that we almost trust Akutagawa to take up his proposal since it does seem reasonable.

And while the Kokko Zessou attack is kind of expected, no one can predict Fukuchi turning back time (unless you are a manga reader). If that isn’t enough, even though we now know he can turn back time, you’d hope the duo is able to get away but nope. Fukuchi stops their escape in the worst way possible. Hopefully, it will take more than some neck-slicing to kill Akutagawa.

And please, despite Fukuchi being the big bad guy, he is so hilarious. He’s like the Scooby Doo villains who are annoyed that their plan has been thwarted by a bunch of kids. But unlike the Cartoon Network villains, Fukuchi is actually powerful.

Meanwhile, Akutagawa is 100% gloating that Atsushi needs his help. Their interactions are always so charged yet funny. It is kind of sad that Akutagawa thinks that Dazai replaced him with Atsushi. But the way he handles it and is always antagonizing Atsushi while also listening to him is endearing.

It is so cool to see Dazai work behind the scenes. He is possibly the only one who can rival Ranpo in terms of planning. However, we do wish he can finally come to the frontlines; enough of messing around in the Mersault prison! He would definitely know how to deal with Fukuchi and his never-ending changing the past strategy.

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You can read our season 5 review of Bungo Stray Dogs here!

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