This week we focus on one of favorite supernatural “crushes”. (Sorry Mel, you didn’t get this one right). The most current favorite supernatural guy goes to Osamu Dazai from Bungou Stray Dogs.
Dazai is a bit of an enigma in Bungou Stray Dogs. He plays an aloof character for most of season 1, poking fun at his partner Kunikida half the time, and is often depicted to be obsessed with suicide.1 Dazai isn’t shown to really take anything too serious, while providing comic relief for the show. His co-workers and subordinates also don’t know what his previous job was prior to the Armed Detective Agency, and there’s an ongoing reward to anyone who can guess it. That is, until it’s revealed halfway through season 1 that he actually was a high-ranking executive of the Port Mafia; a gang that rules the underworld of the Port of Yokohama.
I find Dazai to be fascinating because of his enigmatic nature, but it’s not till Season 2 that I really grew to like him more when we learn about his backstory and what drove him to leave the Port Mafia and become a part Armed Detective Agency member. Dazai’s aloofness allows for him to have this facade on, as he never truly shows his true intentions unless he wants his intentions to be known. During his time in the Port Mafia had had only friend and ally, Sakunosuke Oda (Odasaku), whom became the sole reasons Dazai left. He is also the one person that get’s close enough to really knows Dazai’s true personality. Upon his death, he told Dazai that if he had to choose a side, he should choose the side that saved people. He took Odasaku’s words to heart and left the Port Mafia with the help of Taneda Santouka, the head of the Japanese Ministry’s Specail Abilities Division.
“I know it makes no difference to you, but please become a good human being. Save the weak, protect the orphaned. I suppose you don’t care for either justice or evil…but striving to be a better person is a wonderful thing” – Odasaku
Honestly, between Dazai and Odasaku2, I had a tough time choosing one over the other because I liked Odasaku’s character because of his ideals and beliefs and his bad ass ability, “flawless“,of seeing in the future for 3-5 seconds at a time. Odasaku really is my runner-up to Dazai. It was really unfortunate to have his story cut so short, but his death was the catalyst for the change in Dazai.
Dazai’s ability is probably a bit overpowered of all the characters on the show. His ability “No Longer Human”3 allows him to nullify any ability upon skin contact. The moment he touches someone, they’re powers deactivate, and his power is constantly on and as natural to him as breathing air is.
Dazai stood out to me the most on Bungou Stray Dogs, and when I saw the preview for this anime, was actually one of the reasons I was drawn to start watching it to begin with; but again it wasn’t till season 2 that he really made a huge impact as a character to take seriously.
That about wraps up this MCM. Do you guys have any particular favorites when it comes to Supernatural abilities? Let me know in the comments below!
A few sidenotes:
- *Trigger Warning: Talks of self-harm and suicide below*
It’s probably good to note that Dazai, like many other of the characters on this show, are based on real life literary authors. The real Dazai had made several attempts at suicide, as well as a double suicide wih this wife at the time. The failed attempt at the double suicide caused them to separate and Dazai actually re-married and had kids with this second wife. At some point he abandoned his wife and children and moved in with another woman whom he spent the rest of his life with; as they eventually commited a double suicide by drowning themselves in the river. *end trigger section*
- In real life, the authors Dazai and Sakunosuke were actually really good friends, and Sakunousuke had died an untimely death before Dazai did. These two including Sakaguchi Ango (another character feature in Bungou Stray Dogs) were part of a literary group called the Buraiha or Decadent School in which a group of writers expressed their identity crisis of post-World War II Japan. Although they were not a legimate school of thought, they were linked together because of the similar ways in which they expressed their approach to a subject matter and their literary style.
- This ability “No Longer Human” is also the name of Dazi’s most famous novel’s as it is a semi-autobiography of his life and is considered to be a classic in Japanese literature. (I actually picked up a copy of the book to read myself.)