Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 5/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 3.5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 11 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
After years of radio silence, anime fans of Bungo Stray Dogs are in for a treat and some tears. We got 2 new seasons in 2023 itself but now are in a dilemma as this means the anime has caught up with the manga it has been adapted from. Remember those weird filler episodes in Naruto for the anime to buy time as new manga chapters were released, yep, Bungo almost stepped into that territory. However, it faces this hurdle with much finesse as evident with that explosive season 5 finale.
Bungo Stray Dogs is based on the manga of the same name in which the weretiger Atsushi finds a home with the Armed Detective Agency as he realises he is not the only one in the world with a strange ability. They go about solving crimes and saving the world but meet their greatest foe in season 5.
A continuation of season 4, Fyodor’s terror organization, Decay of the Angel frames the Agency for their terror attacks and has the whole world against them. The Agency races against time to save the world and also clear their name while dodging the government’s all-powerful Hunting Dogs, led by Fukuzawa’s childhood friend, the mysterious Fukuchi.
Bungo Stray Dogs Season 5 also gives us different dynamics by pairing up characters who have never interacted before, adding more spice to the mix. We also get more backstories for the rest of the side characters like Kenji, Jonno, Fukuchi and Fukuzawa.
The season’s plot as a whole has great pacing, it is crisp but not too quick as it jumps between different subplots which all tie up with the main plot of the terror attack. All the characters have an important role instead of just being a prop. Though, we could do with more Kyoka and Kunikida. But maybe since they have gotten their storyline in the previous seasons, it is alright, as season 5 gives space for the rest.
There are fun action sequences that showcase the different fighting styles and also take advantage of their abilities. Especially the time-space sword, watch out for that one! Right before it can get boring, the anime gives us a plot twist or insider info like Tachihara unravelling the mystery or Kenji’s backstory.
The stakes are higher than ever and the atmosphere is extremely gloomy. However, despite this change, the comedy is still top-tier and meshes well with the action of the anime. Sigma and Dazai is one hilarious duo no one could have predicted while Aya and Bram is the best addition to Bungo Stray Dogs season 5.
The writers give us plot twist after plot twist, just like the previous seasons of the anime. But somehow it is not tiring or predictable. In fact, each twist and turn is written with a master stroke that makes it exciting to follow, wondering what will happen next. It is not too implausible or convenient that may have you scoff, but has just enough bit of incredulity to enjoy the comedy thriller.
The anime catches up with the manga right at the penultimate episode, however, they make it work with the author helming the finale’s script and surprising fans of both mediums.
However, the ending leaves us with a lot of questions about Sigma, Jono, Tachihara, the Masked Man, Fyodor (is he really…?), the vampires and more. Pretty surprising how they solve every loophole and yet leave us with more with just the final 2 minutes of the finale. Way to keep us hooked even if it takes a year or two for season 6.
Verdict - 9/10