Released Date: 03/03/18
Run time: 1h40
I liked the 1st season, I enjoyed the 2nd season, so of course, I was really looking forward the movie when it was announced hoping I will get the chance to watch it in theater.
My hopes were answered and I got the chance to see it on big screen, even if I had to travel downtown Montreal to see Dazai and Chuuya beautifulness.
Was it worth it? I would say yes, and you know what I would even buy the physical copy of it when it will be out. But was it super amazing? No, like every movie it as its flaws, but I still really enjoyed it enough to own it.
First it have an interesting story, I like the idea behind the movie, the idea of an ability that can steal the other gifted ability and the way it happen make this even more interesting. The Ability get stolen once the owner is dead and in order to spice it up a little, the Gifted have to fight against their own ability. So we have Atsushi fighting the Tiger and Kyouka fighting Snow Demon.
Once the Ability owner is death, the Ability get collected and it is turn into a beautiful crimson crystal.
** Little warning, this post will certainly contains spoilers **
The movie open on events that happened six years prior the movie story, which technically means Dazai and Chuuya are both 16 years old… but they look like their 22 years old self… I know, I know anime doesn’t tend to care about look and age but still, coming from Bones I would have expected a slight difference between the two. If they could to it with Ed in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, 15 years old Ed is difference from 18 years old Ed, they could have done it with Dazai and Chuuya. I know their age appearance doesn’t affect the movie at all, but it’s the type of thing that can bother me a little (unless it’s the opposite, I have no problem with 16 years old-looking like 20 years old…don’t question my logic)
Other than the age thing, I quite appreciate the movie opening, it have just enough action scene to tell the viewer “this is an animated action movie” but it wasn’t packed so with had time to breathe. My favorite moment from the it was certainly when Chuuya appeared on the screen, he look so hot and cool on the motorcycle, I just loved that ride on the buildings wall.
Oh we also have our potential villain, Shibusawa Tatsuhiko, from the beginning, so we don’t have to pass half the movie wondering who it might be, it gave us some solid clue about it. It’s sometimes nice not nothing how is the villain, but other time I rather know from the beginning, like this I know what to expect from the character.
After this pretty good beginning, that set the movie, that give up something like a direction without selling the ultimate goal of the villain(s), we meet Dazai at the cemetery, the back resting against a tombstone, even if we haven’t seen the name written on it yet, we all have a little idea about whose laying there (ok even if I knew soon as I saw Odasaku name’s written on that tombstone I felt like crying, I know is death was necessary for Dazai to switch on the side of the of those that save people but still…). Atsushi arrive, he was sent by Kunikida, he have to drag Dazai ass back to the agency they have to attend to a meeting, Dazai being Dazai he say nope, he have to find a new way to commit suicide.
The meeting topic is about a mysterious wave of suicide committed by Gifted, they used their own ability to kill themselves. More mysterious than this suicide wave, a strange mist appearing, according to the investigation, the suicide happen at the same time than the mist, the Gifted was surrounded by that mysterious purple mist when they died. It’s only once the mist disappear their body was found.
After further investigation, it appear Shibusawa might have something to do with that and Sakagushi Ango from the Special Ability Department request the Agency to find Shibusawa (of course Fukuzawa accept there wouldn’t have a movie without that)
Meanwhile Dazai is drinking at Lupin reminiscing the past, when he leave the bar he leave a red apple with a knife stuck in it (a dead apple)
After that everything is kind of predictable, the strange purple mist surround Yokohama and we finally discover what happen to the Gifted whom died. They were attacked and killed by their own ability. Atsushi is attacked by the White Tiger, Kyouka by Snow Demon and Kunikida by Doppo Poet. After managing escaping their bloodthirsty ability, thank to a 14 years old who can’t see pass the wheels, driving skill (there is time I really need to stop trying to understand anime logic, the same way you shouldn’t question mine), they made contact with Sakaguchi, the latter tell them Dazai is missing and that he might be with Shibusawa. Atsushi panicked and set his mind on saving Dazai.
– As viewer we know what happen, we know Dazai willingly followed Shibusawa, we just don’t know why. Dazai is not the type of character you can read easily but again unless they planning to get rid of him (I mean the studio) we can easily guess Dazai is not a bad guy and have probably a really good reason to join the bad guy side. –
I like Atsushi, he is a sweet kid who always try his best, my only problem with him is his tendency to always doubt of himself.
The first season what only about that, about his right of being alive, about the value he has, same with a good part of the second season. We could have expect that by then Atsushi will be at peace with himself and just accept who he is and his ability, however it’s not the case. He rely a lot on Dazai and he doesn’t believe he can achieve anything by himself which did annoyed me a little. Like Irina (I drink and watch anime) told me after watching the movie, cause yes I did go watch it with the awesome Irina, his existential crisis might become what define him, like the suicidal tendency Dazai have. It will be something recuring that we will see in each season, and between you and me, I really don’t want that. I get he is the foil of Atukagawa, but it’s not because Rashomon user is sure of himself and know what he want that Atsushi need to remains his opposite.
As you can probably guess the resolution of the movie happen once Atsushi come in peace with himself (once again) and accept the White Tiger within him (once again poor kitty constantly rejected by his master).
That movie could have resolve earlier with Chuuya really cool fight against the big bad dragon, but Chuuya is not the main start of that series so he can’t be the hero here, even if he was ready to sacrifice himself for the sake of humanity.
This made me realized that no matter what Chuuya say about Dazai, how much he can hate him for leaving the Port Mafia he still trust him, he know that Dazai will be there to stop him when he use Corruption. Of course the scene of Chuuya and Dazai reuniting is fan fiction material and just solidify the Dazai/Chuuya OTP (AWWWW could be heard clearly in the theater)
The movie could have ended on Chuuya saving the Earth, but as I said he is not the main focus of the series, so he can’t have the final word… sad cause he was way more cool than Atsushi (yes I’m totally biased toward that little pumpkin and I don’t care) so we can say it kind of have a double resolution.
The movie have a large interesting cast, however most of the character wasn’t used as their fullest, some was even used only cause they needed them to be there like in Mori’s case who appear only toward the end of the movie along Fukazawa. Mori was only needed to win over Fukazawa ability. The Port Marfia boss is the agency post counterpart, in a sense it’s logical to have them fight the other ability, however Mori has a lot of potential as character and I feel like he could have been use better.
Same with the other villain of the movie Dostoyevsky Fyodor who seems to be the real mastermind behind all this, I certainly want to know more about him.
Regarding the animation, I’m not someone who tend to notice when the animation seems off, I liked the fighting scene the way they were. My only problem was the number of time their face seemed to disappear. I know that on a production level, less there is detail easier the animation is, but the character where walking not far enough to completely erased their eyes, nose and mouth….okay maybe they could have remove the eyes but at least leave some facial figure. Faceless character can be really scary sometimes.
An other thing that bugged me was some of the scene/location transition, it wasn’t always fluid and sometimes we had a very black screen. Do you have any idea how annoying it can be when you have a black screen and right after a very bright scene…my eyes was already adapting to the darkness, that bright light was more painfully annoying than anything else. I wish they would have made the transition between gradually instead of that damn black screen. Not only we had a complete black screen but no sound no nothing…ugh was my general feeling about that.
Talking about sound, I was really proud of myself when I realized that I guessed right the band who made the opening and the one who made the ending.
The opening “Deadly Drive” is performed by Granrodeo who did the opening of the first season “Trash Candy” and the ending “Bokura” is performed by Luck Life who did the ending of both season. Talking about ending “Kaze ga Fuku Machi” can be heard as insert song during the final fight, but the one insert song I really need to have on my Ipod in the one that can be heard during Chuuya fight against that big bad dragon. Overall the BMG was really great and I will have to get my hand on it when it will be released.
In general, Bungou Stray Dogs: Dead Apple, was a good movie. It as everything we could expect from a movie produced by Bones. A nice story with a good animation. I feel like it have a darker tone that the two first season (minus Dark Era arc) even if it was enough humor in it to not become too heavy and I will certainly look for ordering it when it will be available in home video.
To those who had the chance to watch it, what did you think of it?
Let me know in the comment below!
PS: Make sure to read Irina post !!
~ Thank you for reading ~