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Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4
Episode 50

by Rebecca Silverman,

How would you rate episode 50 of
Bungo Stray Dogs (TV 4) ?
Community score: 4.5

©Kafka ASAGIRI, Sango HARUKAWA/KADOKAWA/Bungo Stray Dogs Partners

Belief is a tricky thing. As we've seen all too often, “truth” is a somewhat malleable concept, and in the world of Bungo Stray Dogs, that turns out to be a very important detail. Tachihara is the living embodiment of it. We first met him as a mafioso, then learned he was a plant and actually a Hunting Dog with ties to Yosano's past, and then at the end of this episode he goes back to the Mafia…with the implication that perhaps he never truly left. That consistently fluctuating identity proves the lie in Dostoyevsky's assumption that the Page can overcome everything. He can write that no one will believe any evidence they stumble across that pushes the fact that the Agency has been framed, but that doesn't mean that people will believe it. And as we see with Tachihara, if it directly contradicts their own experience, they're much less likely to buy into something that they're told is “true.”

Simply put, human nature stands to triumph over anything attempting to push a different narrative. Reality is much more subjective than you'd think because it comes down to perspective. Tachihara's realization at the end of the episode, that he can't kill Yosano and that he can't believe the story he's been Page-fed, literally shatters the version of “real” that Dostoyevsky created to ensure his success. This is particularly important when it comes to The Book because it negates the theory that its abilities are concrete and 100% perfect. And when it pertains to Sigma, that's doubtless a good thing, because the reason why he can't remember his past is that he doesn't have one: he simply dropped into being when he was written, nameless, on its pages. It served Dostoyevsky's purposes to not give him a backstory, and that hampered Sigma's life, making him think that the casino is the only thing that gives him purpose. But if the Book isn't all-powerful, that means that Sigma can really write his own story, and that's something he very much deserves to do. It's too bad Nikolai appears to be part of it, but you can't win them all.

It's a good thing that we're getting another season in July because this arc is clearly far from over. (In fact, it's ongoing as of the most recently released English volume, twenty-two. Let's just say you ought to remember that coffin from the opening theme.) I do think that this was a good place to end things, though – we know Sigma's origin, Tachihara has gone through a solid arc, we know the powers of most of the gang, and we had the cathartic scene of Lucy grabbing Hawthorne and shoving him in a closet. Dazai is also smoothly outsmarting Dostoyevsky, and I like the understated way he's going about it. He's right – people are the chaos factor, and horrible ironies abound. It always does come back to Odasaku for him, and that's a parallel for Tachihara's brother. The dead inform the living in this story, and we'll see how that continues to unfold this summer.


Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

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