Bungo Stray Dogs Vol. 13 Review

Title: Bungo Stray Dogs Vol. 13
Author: Kafka Asagiri (Story), Sango Harukawa (Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action
Publication Date: December 24, 2019

The Story

Volume thirteen of Bungo Stray Dogs wraps up the arc involving the virus skill-user and the hunt for Dostoyevsky. This volume is pretty entertaining in the fact that Dazai forces Akutagawa and Atsushi to team up together in order to infiltrate the base. Like always, the two of them play off of each other amazingly well. The hatred for each other hasn’t dissipated by any means but the willingness to work together in order to get the job done remains intact. This gave us flashbacks to the battle against Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald atop of the Moby Dick. It was pretty well done and ends with a declaration between the two of them, setting up a future plot point that I’m sure many have been waiting for!

The final chapter shows that Kunikida has been captured and Ranpo is off to unravel the mystery behind his detention and false accusation of a crime he didn’t commit. While I won’t spoil anything about what is discovered, I will say that Dostoyevsky’s capture doesn’t exactly mean the end of his plan. With this new development, it makes you wonder what the grand plan was all along as this new spin really takes what we have seen so far and twists it on its head!

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I will say that I didn’t really expect that ending but this arc just got a bit more interesting. While this volume felt like the conclusion to a story arc, it serves up a bit of misdirection and continues it. As the final chapter is titled, this felt like the end of part one of this arc and the beginning of part two!

The Characters

The biggest development here came from Akutagawa and Atsushi’s working together to try and capture the virus skill-user. While nothing has really changed between them, per se, they still make a great team but it seems like this occasional teaming up needs to end and both of our characters realize that. It’s also going to invoke Atsushi to undergo some training which will help power him up even further which is also some nice indirect development on Akutagawa’s part. It’s fun watching these two grow as they make each other out to be amazing rivals!

While not much is revealed about Dostoyevsky, he is turning into a mastermind of a main villain. The plan to capture him was pretty devious; however, it seemed like everyone played into his hands once again. It was nice seeing Fitzgerald again but with the ending to the volume, it seems that Dostoyevsky’s motives run deeper than what is on the surface which just adds more mystery and mystique to his character. I’m sure we will get his true plan unveiled in due time but for now, we’ll just have to enjoy watching his plan unfold.

Speaking of Fitzgerald… nice to see a little tidbit with him to set up another future story plot!

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And lastly, it wasn’t development but to see Kyouka do that apology was cuteness overload!

Final Thoughts

Really interesting developments were had in this volume of Bungo Stray Dogs. I loved the misdirection at the end and I’m glad that we’re going to get more of this story arc. While the arc continues, the focus and direction have changed just a bit which is helping to keep things fresh. One of the things this volume did well to set up was two future plot points. The only qualm about those future plot points is that they are rehashes of things we have already seen. Despite that, they still feel fresh because we know that things will be different the next time around. That is all thanks to the way Akutagawa and Fitzgerald have progressed as characters over the past two volumes.

With Akutagawa, they give you a time frame where you know both of them will end up powering up, making their upcoming skirmish something to look forward to. As with Fitzgerald, his build-up was already done with his reformation of The Guild. We already have an established force. Both known and unknown information leads up into two future story arcs that are familiar yet fresh at the same time. Just another testament to how well this series builds up its story and its plots!

Lots of exciting things are to come in this series but, for now, we will entertain ourselves with the second half of the Dostoyevsky arc!

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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.

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