I barely watched any anime this two month.
As you might have known, I spent 40 days in Japan. So even though I barely watched any anime, I was surrounded by anime-related stuff: I went to J-World Tokyo, an indoor theme park for Shounen Jump mangas and animes, I went to 2 anime cafes, I went to countless anime goods stores in Ikebukuro and Akihabara and spent tonnes of money on stuff I probably don’t really need, I went to the Ghibli Museum and went to nearly every single Ghibli stores I came across. My otaku needs are satisfied even though I didn’t watch a lot of anime.
But I did make the time watch one anime.
I picked this up because I kept seeing the matches in anime goods stores throughout Japan. It first grabbed my attention when I saw this:
You can read all about my crazy Japanese book-buying here.
Anyways, I was looking for the book 人間失格 (Ningen Shikkaku) by 太宰治 (Dazai Osamu), which is considered as a classic masterpiece in Japanese literature. I was drawn in by the cover (who wouldn’t) and realised the promotion for the anime on the (removable) tag below.
I bought this book and then seen realised that the anime is popular in Japan, and I’ve never heard of it! This is one of those animes that are extremely popular in Japan but not so much in the west, another popular series that is underrated in the west is Gintama.
Bungou Stray Dog’s characters are all modelled after famous authors in Japan, such as Dazai Osamu, Nakajima Atsushi, Edogawa Rampo etc. While the story is more sci-fi and has absolutely nothing to do with writing or literature, the characters bear the same name as the author they are based on, and their personality, backstories and abilities draw reference to the author’s life and works. For example, Miyazawa Kenji, who in real-life is an author famous for his work in fairy tales, appears as a young boy; Edogawa Ramp, who is the father of Japanese mystery fiction, is a detective.
This anime takes the two things I love most: anime and books, and combined them into something never seen before. Imagine if there is an anime that puts William Shakespear, Arthur Conan Doyle, J.K Rowling, George Orwell, Jane Austen etc. all appear in the same anime/movie / TV show where they all have superpowers and fights each other. Wouldn’t that be awesome?