Project #306: Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple

(Shizuku): Yo, it’s the Queen of Bare-Knuckles Shizuku along with the Empress of the Stars Mira and welcome to Project Nitsuj.

(Mira): Nitsuj is on vacation this week so he asked us to step in for him and when we’re together there’s only one anime we can talk about, Bungou Stray Dogs. We’ve talked about this anime a number times but me and Shizuku really do enjoy this anime quite a bit. The story, the concept, the characters, and the powers presented in this series are all just enjoyable to watch.

(Shizuku): And apparently the series was a hit in Japan as Bones announced a third season set to come out next year, and before the third season a movie called Dead Apple. Released earlier this year, Dead Apple is an original movie that got the entire cast to come back and everything.

(Mira): Originally, we were going to review the movie during the sequel arc but due to time constraints and the sub version not being available, we were forced to delay the review until today.

(Shizuku): The movie received a number of mixed reviews. Longtime fans of the series liked it while newer fans either thought it was alright or didn’t like it at all. What are our thoughts on this series? Well grab a lively apple and let’s take a look at Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple.

(Mira): The movie starts off in the past (back in Dazai’s mafia days) where an all-out battle has broken out on the streets of Yokohama and dead bodies are everywhere. We see Chuuya ride a motorcycle through the city to rescue Dazai from these cloaked figures (whether or not they’re part of the KKK I cannot say. Either way, they need to die) and then go inside a building and a find a man who shows Chuuya the dead bodies of his comrades and he goes berserk destroying the building and probably the surrounding area with it. After the opening credits (Shizuku: Performed by Granrodeo! So glad these guys came back) we fast forward 6 years later to the present where Atsushi is in a cemetery looking for Dazai who is visiting the grave of Oda (Shizuku: Come on Mira too soon. (Mira): It’s been a year. (Shizuku): It still hurts). Atsushi was told to bring Dazai back to the office for an important meeting, but he decides to pass in order to practice a new suicide technique (that and he’s lazy). Atsushi goes to the meeting where they talk about a mysterious fog that’s been killing gifted individuals all over the world with their own powers (Shizuku: So, is this what they call irony? (Mira): Yes, and lots of it). The Armed Detective Agency has been called in to investigate these strange occurrences as the government believes that the person behind them is in Yokohama right now. The man they’re looking for is a man named, Shibusawa aka The Collector, not much is known about him except his appearance and the fact that he has a gift that nobody knows what it does. We then cut to Dazai at the bar known as Lupin where he, Oda, and Ango use to have a drink. Once he leaves, he gets approached by government officials and Ango who have come to arrest him but the fog comes in and surrounds the whole city (and they said the forecast was going to be sunny today).

(Shizuku): Atsushi and Kyouka (who live together) go out into the fog where they find that the city has been completely abandoned. As they walk through the empty city they run into Kunikida who was wounded and attacked by his own ability. Yeah, turns out the fog was created by Shibusawa and in that fog the powers of the gifted take on their own form and fight their masters (Mira: And that explains the suicides). The only way to get their powers back is to defeat them in combat and Shibusawa is doing all of this because he’s looking for a particular gift (one that can’t be bought or sold in stores or online). Atsushi, Kyouka, and Kunikida make it back to the office where Ango tells them that Dazai is with Shibusawa along with some other guy named Fyodor (sounds Russian. (Mira): It is). Ango instructs them to make it to the center of the fog where they’ll find Shibusawa and eliminate him. The office gets attacked by Kunikida’s power and he decides to stay behind and fight it while Atsushi and Kyouka make their way to Shibusawa. As they make their way their they run into Akutagawa and reluctantly team up with him to get to the center of the fog (these guys are no strangers to teaming up with each other). Using a Port Mafia’s underground passageway, they arrive at the center of the fog and discover a giant tower where Dazai, Shibusawa and Fyodor are but before they can enter the tower they must first fight their own powers. Each one manages to defeat their own powers with my favorite being Akutagawa who fights his power over a pool of magma and throws it in where not even that destroys his power. He finally manages to beat the power by setting off a grenade within its stomach and somehow it didn’t blow off half his arm in the process (Mira: He defies physics). Atsushi figures out that the key to defeating their powers is to destroy the crystal on their body and he manages to help Kyouka destroy her power and then defeats his tiger to regain his powers but for some reason they won’t activate and heal him (Mira: It’s because he still hasn’t accepted his powers. He’s still afraid of them).

(Mira): Back with Dazai and Fyodor, they double cross Shibusawa and Fyodor double crosses Dazai by teaming up with Shibusawa who stabs Dazai with a poisonous knife and kills him to get his power which fuses all of the powers together to create one powerful dragon just like Fyodor planned (Shizuku: There is a lot of double crossing going on here. Who’s on who’s side here? (Mira): At this point I don’t know anymore). Fyodor than double crosses Shibusawa and kills him only to reveal that Shibusawa died along time ago at the hands of Atsushi ( When Atsushi was back at the orphanage, Shibusawa was called in to study his powers and draw them out. What he discovered was an amazing power that he wanted. So, he tortured Atsushi to the brink of death until Atsushi finally fought back and used his powers to kill Shibusawa (Shizuku: Bitch slash! Instant death). Atsushi hid this event in the dark reaches of his mind which is why his powers won’t activate. Atsushi still hasn’t fully accepted his powers and until he does they will never be his (Shizuku: Blah, blah, blah. Let’s see some action).

(Shizuku): In order to take care of the dragon, Chuuya has been called in where he single-handedly takes down the dragon and even saves Dazai’s life who predicted all of this would happen and took the necessary steps to save his life, keep Chuuya from going berserk, and save the city (Mira: Which wouldn’t need to be saved if you hadn’t endangered it in the first place. (Shizuku): Gotta find something to do on Saturday night). With the dragon gone, Fyodor brings back Shibusawa as the singularity of the fog and now plans to cover the world in his fog so that he can have all the gifts he wants. Akutagawa and Kyouka go to face Shibusawa but they’re not strong enough (plus it’s difficult to kill a man who’s already dead) until Atsushi shows up now fully embracing his powers and has become a weretiger (I strangely find him hot now. (Mira): Furry. (Shizuku): Shut up). As you would expect Atsushi takes on Shibusawa and defeats him which stops the fog from spreading, eliminating it, and saving Yokohama from certain destruction at the hands of Europe (oh yeah, the European version of the Armed Defense Agency was going to send someone to burn Yokohama to the ground in order to stop the fog. Hello WW3 waiting to happen). After that, everything wraps up nicely and we get our satisfying end with a song sung by Luck Life.

Final Thoughts

(Mira): So that was Dead Apple and as a fan of the show I have to say the movie is average. While the movie does a good job keeping your attention and keeping your focus on the main characters, the story just feels a little empty and rushed. There are some good moments such as Atsuhi coming to terms with his powers, Chuuya fighting that dragon was cool, the animation and soundtrack are spectacular and seeing everyone fight against their own powers leaves plenty to be interpret, but the real meat of the story falls flat. What do you think Shizuku?

(Shizuku): I didn’t really like the movie all that much. Like you said there are some good moments and scenes but the story just falls flat because we really don’t get a chance to know who Shibusawa is or his past. We have no idea what he’s hoping to accomplish by collecting all of these powers and I’m confused on why Dazai teamed up with him at first and what Fyodor was plotting. I also was hoping the other characters would have more attention put on them during this crisis. Hell, they could have even dived a little into the powers and where they come from. I guess for me, the villains and the rushed through story are the weakest part of the movie and the things that disappointed me the most.

Final Score

(Mira): I give the movie a 7/10. It’s an average and straight forward movie with some problems here and there but as a fan I enjoyed it.

(Shizuku): I give it a 4/10. I wanted something more from the movie but just wasn’t getting it. I admit there are some good things in it but it’s not enough to earn my seal of approval.

(Mira): So, the average score for this movie is a 5.5/10. As you can see we’re torn down the middle with this movie as well. The movie is a mixture of good and bad. If you’re fan of the series, check it out for yourself and come up with your own conclusion on what you think of the movie.

(Shizuku): Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj when the third season rolls around.

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