So, I just watched the end of Bungou Stray Dogs'
flashback arc. While definitely a tragedy, it ultimately ended on a rather upbeat note.
's story may've ended, but at least he inspired Dazai to quit the Port Mafia life and try to be a good person. It makes Dazai come off as a intriguing anti-nihilistic type character, who recognizes that his life is ultimately meaningless but thinks for that very reason, he might as well try to be heroic and help people if nothing else. While I can kind of admire that ethos, it is very tragic and I hope that someday Dazai can find what he's seeking, even if he's given up on it...
I wonder, would that make him a Knight Of Infinite Resignation in the Kierkegaardian sense or am I misusing that term? Essentially, Dazai's somebody who's resigned to his life being meaningless, has apparently given up on any possibility that he could
find any meaning, and so just decides to live the best life he can anyways, acting cheerfully since, in a universe utterly devoid of purpose, there's no reason not
to try and be cheerful. In that way, he's fundamentally different then Gide since the latter tried to give his life meaning through dying against a worthy opponent, whereas Dazai seems to have given up on finding a meaning altogether, ultimately just shrugging and deciding to keep living on anyways. (Hence why Odasaku said they weren't alike at the end)
Makes me wonder just what got Dazai into his existential rut in the first place. We got his backstory to explain why he left the Port Mafia, but nothing to explain why he was the way he was to begin with. The most obvious possibility would be the death of a lover or something, but that could easily come off as awfully cliché after all this mystery surrounding his character...
On a more technical level, the climactic gunfight between Odasaku and Gide was definitely jaw-dropping. The part where Port Mafia and Mimic reinforcements appeared on either side and Odasaku and Gide just danced around each other, shooting at the opposing forces and each other at the same time while moving together in perfect, deadly harmony was outright breathtaking. Really shows how, while they were mortal enemies, the two definitely came to understand each other in that moment on a very deep level.
I can't really describe it very well since it's so intricate and complicated that you really just have to see the scene for yourself to know what I mean. Overall, I'd rate this flashback arc as pretty good. While the somber elements were a little too touch for me at times, the glimpse into Dazai's past definitely helped me get a better idea of who he is as a character and the way the arc wrapped up managed to find a glimmer of optimism (or at least, perseverance) in what was otherwise a tragic tale. Lit-crit mode aside, just having that awesome gun-kata showdown at the end easily justified this arc's existence, IMO. Best fight of this show by far, I'd reckon. (Just hope the rest can live up to it...)
Looking forward to seeing Atsushi and the others again finally! Even this week, we got a brief cameo from a certain loveable detective...
--------------------Evil flower of Pure Illusion... we're going to pluck you out!