Maybe it’s just me. But I feel like Bungo Stray Dogs is the first one who started this literary figure character trend.
Because not long after that, we have many anime, manga, and video games with a similar concept. Kitsutsuki Tantei Dokoro comes to mind when it comes to the anime that is using this kind of style.
Of course, the characters in these anime, manga, and video games may not necessarily have any supernatural power. Some of them may only be your typical guy like the one in Kitsutsuki Tantei Dokoro.
But suffice for me to say that we have Bungo Stray Dogs to thank for this trend. I doubt that this kind of concept will even take off if it’s not because of Bungo Stray Dogs.
If you feel like Bungo Stray Dogs isn’t the first one that popularizes this concept, feel free to let me know in the comment below.
What Bungo Stray Dogs is all about
Here’s the book description that I got from Bookwalker.
Having been kicked out of the orphanage, a despairing young man by the name of Atsushi Nakajima rescues a strange man from a suicide attempt–Osamu Dazai. Turns out that Dazai is part of an armed-detective agency staffed by individuals whose supernatural powers take on a literary bent!
What got me to read this manga
Well, I do find that the literary figure character concept to be rather fascinating despite not knowing most of them. Sure, they do feature quite many famous literary figures from the West. But most of the characters are from the Japanese literary figures.
The only person that I’m familiar with is Edogawa Ranpo since ANN made an extensive list of his work when the anime Ranpo Kitan came out.
What can I say? As much as I would love to give their work a try, I doubt that most of their works are available in English. And let’s not forget that their work may not be in a genre I enjoy reading.
Okay, maybe for Edogawa Ranpo since I have a penchant for a story that gives me a chill down my spine.
Putting that aside, I also love any story with a supernatural element. So, it makes sense for me to give this manga a try not long after I watched the first and the second season of the anime.
What makes Bungo Stray dogs worth reading
Remember when I said that these characters have supernatural power? Well, the name of their power is rather interesting since the name of their power is derived from their popular work.
For one, Herman Melville who is the author of Moby Dick. In Bungo Stray Dogs, his power is called…Moby Dick, of course. His power allows him to control an airship that resembles a giant whale.
Yes, I know. A giant whale up in the air.
Apart from Herman Melville, we also have Margaret Mitchell who is the author of Gone With The Wind. As you can expect, her power is the same as the title of her book.
And we also have F. Scott Fitzgerald who is the author of The Great Gatsby. Unlike the others, the name of his power isn’t the same as the name of his book. Rather, his power is called The Great Fitzgerald which allows him to inflict tons of damages on his enemy based on the amount of money he spends. The more money he spends, the greater the damage will be.
Same goes for Lucy Montgomery too who is the author of Anne of Green Gable. Just like Fitzgerald, the name of her power isn’t the same as the title of her book. Her power is called Anne of Red Abyssal which allows her to transport the victims into another dimension.
Of course, this isn’t the only thing that is fascinating about the manga. Their backstory is also based on the literary figures’ true story too, which I find interesting.
While all of the literary figures have their own unique superpower, there’s only one literary figure that doesn’t even have any special power at all. But the armed-detective agency needs him because his skill is legit. The agency will go nowhere without him.
I won’t tell you which literary figure who doesn’t have any supernatural power. You need to read the manga if you want to know which one of them is the normal one.
What I didn’t expect when I read the manga
As you can see here, I watched the anime first before I read the manga. Even though I read the manga way much later after the anime ended, I’m sure that some part of the anime isn’t the same as the one in the manga.
It’s nothing unusual for the anime version to be slightly different than the manga version. In fact, it’s not unusual for the manga version not to include any of the minor details from the light novel version either.
But in Bungo Stray Dogs’ case, I can’t help but feel that some part of the story in the anime is a filler episode.
Which part of it that I feel like it must be a filler episode? It’s a story about Nakahara Chuuya before he joined Port Mafia and his meeting with Dazai.
Well, I could be wrong about it since I have yet to read Vol. 16 and Vol. 17 as I write this. Maybe there is a side story about him in the later volume.
Or it could be a side story from the light novel. Heck, it could be from a spin-off light novel or something.
Just to let you know that Bungo Stray Dogs has a light novel version too. I think that the light novel version comes first before the manga version comes out.
Who should give this manga a try
If you love the idea of seeing literary figures having a supernatural power that derives from their popular work, then you may find the manga to be rather fascinating.
Just to let you know that you don’t need to have expert knowledge on these literary figures if you want to read this manga.
The reason for that is because the manga does provide you with a brief bio about these literary figures at the end of the book. You can read this final section of the manga if you’re interested in knowing more about these literary figures.
Thanks to these sections of the manga, I learned a lot about their history and their works.
Where to buy Bungo Stray Dogs manga
As always, you can buy Bungo Stray Dogs manga in digital or in print on Amazon. You can buy the manga right here:
Can’t buy the manga on Amazon? You can also buy the digital version of the manga on Bookwalker instead. You can buy the manga right here:
Just to let you know that you can’t buy the manga on Bookwalker if you live in Malaysia and Singapore. The reason for that may have something to do with the manga being licensed under Kadokawa Gempak Starz. If you live in Malaysia and Singapore, then you can buy the manga in Malay or English on Kadokawa Gempak Starz online store or at Kinokuniya.
I never bought any of the manga and the light novels from the Kadokawa Gempak Starz online store. But I got mine from the newsstand, MPH, and also from Kinokuniya instead.
Prefer to read the manga in print? You can also buy the manga on Wordery too. I highly recommend everyone to get their books on Wordery because they offer free shipping worldwide.
You can buy the book right here:
Want to read the manga in Japanese instead? You can buy the Japanese version of the manga at CDJapan. You can buy the manga right here:
Over to you
What do you think about Bungo Stray Dogs? Are you interested in giving the manga a try after reading about it on my blog? Let me know in the comment below.
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