As I’ve indicated before, I am relatively new to anime. Being new often causes me to miss out on seasonal anime releases that are already beyond their first season. One of these from the 2019 Spring collection, is the third season of Bungo Stray Dogs. As one of the recommendations from Fruitcake, I decided to catch up, and I started watching the first season. I recently finished it, and thus here is my Bungo Stray Dogs Season 1 Review.
I had a positive impression of the show from the first episode. I immediately got intrigued, and honestly, I liked the anime already at that point. The anime opened strong with just the right amount of humor and mystery to keep me entertained and at the same time interested. Such is why I feel slightly disappointed with the whole anime overall. Now I did like the show, it was entertaining, and not once did I feel the urge to drop it. Still, there are some factors that I thought the show lacked in.
Animation and Art
First off, while the overall animation and art style were both aesthetically pleasing, I felt that at some points of the anime, it fell off a bit. Now, this doesn’t necessarily take away from the overall experience, and frankly, it’s a minor thing. As a casual anime viewer, this doesn’t bother me at all, but it’s noticeable. Yet again, this might be me being picky. The anime I’ve watched before it was Kimetsu no Yaiba, which I think has the best art and animation I’ve seen so far in anime. So my judgment on the art and animation of Bungo Stray Dogs may be quite clouded.
The next point, however, is what bothered me the most. I felt like there was no proper direction at all with the storyline. Now while of course, it had a plot, I think the plot just wasn’t explored enough. I felt like most of the episodes were filler, and for a 13 episode anime, I don’t think that’s a good thing. Many of the episodes revolved around character introduction, and I get the point in doing so. The show involves a team of characters, and thus, of course, it would be essential to understand those characters. But even then I feel like the character development aspect was lacking, which leads me to my third point.
I’ve mentioned in my previous review on Kono Oto Tomare!, how the story made me invested in the growth of the characters. Bungo Stray Dogs lacks that, even for the main character. The most we get for his backstory is a repetitive flashback, which even then was surface level at best. Other than that, I don’t think the story explored much about his growth as well. Come to think about it; there was no point in the story that highlighted his growth at all. We do find him getting stronger throughout the anime, but I don’t recall an instance in the story, that attributes to him getting stronger. I don’t even know how he got to control his ability.
Again, these didn’t necessarily make the anime less enjoyable in my opinion. But I do think these points should have had better execution. Also, I won’t act as an authority of the subject matter, so there may be instances where my analysis is off. There may be things about the anime I don’t fully understand. I don’t know how everything relates to the second season, so maybe the structure of season one was intended as groundwork for the future seasons, so do take this at face value. I do recommend the anime, and I am excited to proceed to the second season.
So that’s my Bungo Stray Dogs Season 1 Review. It probably turned out to be another rant more so than a review, but it’s cool. Do tell me what you think. If you don’t agree with the points I’ve stated, do help me understand the anime more.
If you haven’t watched Bungo Stray Dogs, and you’re interested in reading about it more, here’s a link to the Bungo Stray Dogs page on MAL. Keep exploring.