Bungo Stray Dogs Vol. 8 Review

Title: Bungo Stray Dogs Vol. 8
Author: Kafka Asagiri (Story), Sango Harukawa (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Publication Date: September 18, 2018

The Story

Volume eight of Bungo Stray Dogs picks up after Atsushi recommends that the ADA and the Port Mafia team up. Dazai sets up a secret meeting between the two organizations but a deal cannot be reached. Instead, the ADA makes their intent to retrieve Q known and asks that the Port Mafia doesn’t interfere. Despite this, Chuuya shows and teams back up with Dazai for the first time since Dazai left the mafia. Together, the two of them battle Lovecraft and Steinbeck from the Guild and successfully rescue Q.

We then switch gears to Ranpo as he meets The Guild’s Edgar Allen Poe who traps him inside of a murder mystery novel. If Ranpo can solve the mystery, Poe will give him crucial information on how to infiltrate the Guild’s flying fortress, the Moby Dick. Ranpo ends up solving the mystery and gaining the information needed to launch an operation, nominating Atsushi for the job. However, the Mafia breaks the word and interferes by sending Akutagawa onto the Moby Dick. Atsushi sneaks on board and he learns that part two of the Guild’s plan was to crash the Moby Dick into the city, burning it to ash. Atsushi can stop it if he gets to the controls but Akutagawa stands in his way!

This was an interesting volume of Bungo Stray Dogs. I didn’t think that the partnership between the Port Mafia and the ADA would work but it still nice to see Dazai and Chuuya team up. Chuuya’s disdain for Dazai is quite strong; however, they showed that they are a very formidable team! Also, Chuuya’s true power was quite fearsome and it shows why the two of them were known as Twin Dark back in Dazai’s mafia days! Still, I had a great laugh when Chuuya asks Dazai to carry him back, Dazai agrees and then just leaves him there and heads back by himself.

I swear… Dazai continues to be my favorite character, bar none!

Of course, Poe telling Ranpo the information about Moby Dick was a trap. What’s odd is that Ranpo could solve the mystery but couldn’t tell that this was a trap laid out for the ADA? Sure, he may not be a skill user and his powers of deduction are just a natural occurrence but to not see this coming is a bit out of character for him, is it not? Oh well, I digress.

The Characters

Dazai and Chuuya took center stage here as far as development is concerned. Dazai is still as carefree as ever but to see Chuuya put aside his differences and (reluctantly) work with Dazai was a nice moment to see. We got to know more about the two of them back in their Mafia days and then we got to see all of that backstory implemented when Chuuya activated Corruption. Still, it was within Dazai’s character to leave Chuuya in that state for a little while after Lovecraft has been dealt with. Of course, Chuuya scolded him for it but I wouldn’t expect anything less from someone like Dazai. Their interactions were pure entertainment and even though they are on opposite sides of the fence, I would not object to seeing the two of them team up again. Both of their characters had amazing chemistry with each other! That must have been really fun to write/draw!

Speaking of pairs of characters, Fukuzawa and Mori’s history was teased a little bit. The two, obviously, have known each other for quite a while. Mori was surprised that Fukuzawa still wielded a katana which didn’t really get much explanation but it leaves a nice breadcrumb for some future backstory with him. Mori, on the other hand, got some nice development when we saw how he became the new boss of the Port Mafia and how it all tied into Dazai leaving the organization. It was a double-edged sword of a decision on Mori’s part to do what he did to gain control. It was like a necessary evil but it also seemed like it was done for personal gain. It was like a right moment, right time type of scenario and that provided a nice and unique spin on a classic scenario where one would assume control under questionable means. I really like it as it adds to Mori’s character nicely.

Final Thoughts

Another fantastic volume of Bungo Stray Dogs! Akutagawa showing up at the end will be interesting. They’re teasing a fight between Akutagawa and Atsushi but we must remember that there is a “cease fire” in play between the ADA and the Port Mafia. Even though Mori mentioned that they are breaking their truce, that was only in reference to him not interfering. Mori never said he would break the truce and attack the ADA. This leads me to believe that there won’t be a fight next volume as the two of them are on the Moby Dick for the greater good. This was even foreshadowed when Fukuzawa told Mori that the ADA and the Port Mafia had one thing in common and that is they both love this city.

Also.. we got a glimpse of Kyouka this volume! You know I can’t do a Bungo Stray Dogs review without mentioning my favorite character Kyouka! But I said that Dazai was my favorite character. Am I a liar? When it involves Kyouka, I just may be!

On a serious note, Dazai did try to negotiate her release but it doesn’t look like it’s going to be easy. They tried to make it difficult by saying she can’t be pardoned for her crimes because she’s not an official member of the ADA. I have a feeling that a special permission will be granted and she’ll show up to save the day. I just don’t know how they’re going to explain it but I feel that saying it may be difficult to release her is just a simple misdirection. Guess we’ll have to wait and see!

I’m really enjoying this series! Can’t wait to see what happens with the airship come volume nine. Perhaps I should watch the anime but, then again, I may just end up spoiling myself!

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This item was provided for review by Yen Press

About The Author

Josh Piedra

Josh (or J.J. as some have come to call him), is a long-time geek culture enthusiast with a deep passion for anime, manga and Japanese culture. Josh also has a Bachelor of Arts in Game Design and is a creative writer who has created original content for over 20 years! He is also the author of the original English light novel Final Hope.