“A large scale catastrophe is occurring across the planet. Ability users are discovered after the appearance of a mysterious fog, apparently having committed suicide, so the Armed Detective Agency sets out to investigate these mysterious deaths. The case seems to involve an unknown ability user referred to as “Collector,” a man who could be the mastermind behind the incident.
Trust and courage are put to the test in order to save the city of Yokohama and ability users across the world from the grip of Collector where the Armed Detective Agency forms an unlikely partnership with the dangerous Port Mafia” – MAL Synopsis
Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple is the third installment of the franchise and the bridge between season 2 and season 3. And uh this movie was alright. I didn’t have too high expectations for this movie, but the intrigue was thereafter the foreshadowing at the end of season 2 about events yet to come. Well, this movie doesn’t deal with those events but still had a concept that interested me enough. Sadly this movie just alright.
Season 2 left off with the Guild being defeated and Dazai foreshadowing a new enemy Dostoevsky. Which he’s in this movie and has a lot of moments of dialogue and he does some stuff. But it’s made pretty clear early on that he isn’t the main antagonist for this movie, that’ll be saved for season 3. This movie is all about this mysterious mist created by the real big bad Shibusawa that separates gifted users’ abilities from their owners and forces them to fight. There are really two stories going on throughout the movie. The main story is Atkutagawa, Atsushi, and Kyouka fending off their abilities and trying to stop Shibusawa. Then the B plot is Shibusawa, Dostoevsky, and Dazai plotting and probing each other. There’s this whole sort of mystery about whether or not Dazai has betrayed his friends or not. It kept me interested. It was really the main interesting thing about this movie. That trio’s conversations were great. They stole the show whenever they were on screen. Even though by himself the Shibusawa was really uninteresting.
The main plot was just okay. I think my problem with it and with the movie as a whole. Is that it feels really fast-paced. There’s a little build-up to the mist flooding through the town but I could’ve done with a little more. Once things get rolling all it is is Atsushi, Kyouka, and Akutagawa going from point a to b fighting their abilities along the way. That goes on for over an hour with the scenes of the b plot spliced in-between and some scenes with other gifted users fighting their abilities in between. It dragged on for too long.
The only character worth talking about in this movie is Atsushi. It’s Bungou Stray Dogs so you know we’re gonna see some orphanage flashbacks. This time around they are really interesting. In the previous season, especially season 1, a lot of the flashbacks would be the exact same. this time around they change and progress throughout the movie. There’s also some mystery that’s built up between Atsushi and the main villain early on which has great payoff when mixed with the flashbacks. The highlight of this movie is the development of Atsushi’s character. It feels like we see the full progression of his character and finally coming to understand and not only himself but his place in the world and his ability. It was great and it added a lot to the series as a whole.
As to be expected from an anime movie, the animation is great throughout. I’ve said this in my previous reviews of this series, but yet again the English voice actors kill it. The fight scenes were fun and well done. But what really caught my eye (or you could say my ear) is the soundtrack. In the first two seasons it was good, nothing crazy but good. This movie has an extravagant soundtrack that dabbles in a few different genres. It shocked me just how good it was.
Overall I have pretty mixed feelings about this movie. While Atsushi’s development was great, the animation was stellar, and the soundtrack was amazing. The movie felt like it could have been shorter. The whole journey to find Shibusawa really dragged on and got uninteresting quick (outside of Atsushi’s flashbacks). The actual main villain was not only uninteresting but got outshined by who is going to become the next antagonist for season 3. If anything though, Dostoyevsky’s involvement got me hyped for season 3. This movie would have faired better if it was shorter but even then some of the shortcomings would still be prevalent. And sadly this movie bored me more times than it didn’t.
Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple – 6/10