What They Say:
“Will of Tycoon”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I don’t remember seeing his name or ability listed prior to or during this episode, but there may be nothing more obvious than that the young Guild member who attacks Naomi and Haruno alongside Lovecraft has to be John Steinbeck, because his ability is so very clearly the Bungou Stray Dogs interpretation of The Grapes of Wrath. It’s an absurd expression of the literary classic, this villain who will sacrifice anyone to feed his family stabbing himself in the neck and popping seeds into the wound to instantaneously grow an abundance of prehensile grape vines to attack his enemies at a distance and control surrounding tree roots. And although the theory isn’t tested in the midst of this war, the grapes on them look like they’re probably quite good. His partner Lovecraft needs no introduction, and begins his onslaught of dark powers with a technique that shares many similarities to those grape vines, but of course they’re actual tentacles. If you’re going to have Lovecraft in your story, it’s only natural. There’s probably no name in this series more celebrated among American nerds than his, so hopefully he has a great variety to his abilities that can do the breadth of his namesake’s oeuvre justice. For now, it’s them or two fairly helpless members of the Armed Detective Agency, so naturally they’re not getting out of this one without a solid truck to the face, but there’s definitely room to see more of what they have to offer.
That’s the scene that gets the most time in the episode, after which the scenes jump around between various battles featuring the two leads in one way or another. It seems a bit sporadic, giving the impression that perhaps spending the first third of the season on a flashback before actually getting to this grand war at all didn’t leave quite enough time to fully flesh it out while giving each conflict sufficient time to be explored. However, these incidents each look to set up larger stories to come, so on their own they wouldn’t be the most engaging if too much time was spent on them. They may not have struck the most ideal balance, but given the time available in the season, it was almost certainly worth spending as much time on the flashback as they did.
Speaking of which, that comes into play for the first time since the return to the main plot, in the form of Dazai’s old friend Ango. Odasaku was of course the star of that story, but he only got to burn so brilliantly because he would be gone by its end, so at least seeing the two remaining members of that group reunited under very different circumstances is especially rewarding after having seen what brought them both to their current place. Of course, even without that very direct callback to the focus of the flashback, the connections have been relevant since it ended, with the Port Mafia and Ougai in general, but especially with their relationship to Dazai. Ango had been a government agent infiltrating both the Port Mafia and Mimic, so now seeing him cooperate with Dazai at his new home of the Armed Detective Agency and discuss how his government associates dealt with (or didn’t deal with) the new threat of the Guild really brings it all full circle.
The Armed Detective Agency are tasked with rescuing two of their noncombatants from a pair of evil Americans wielding tentacles and tentacle-like grape vines, followed by Atsushi and Dazai bouncing between interactions with a number of different opponents and prospective allies on all sides. Some of it comes across as a bit of a jumble given how quickly different scenes transition into each other, but the reintroduction of one of the stars of the flashback is an exciting element.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.