I was initially planning to head to New York next month to go see this movie BUT to my surprise, they premiered it at Anime Boston! I’ve been waiting for this movie for a whole year. I’ve grown to love this series more and more as time passes and hoped the movie would live up to the hype. I’m here to tell you if this movie is worth your time and whether or not you should get into the series. Let’s jump right in!
One thing I want to say before the start of this is when I went to go watch this movie, I brought my friend who knew absolutely nothing about the series. I gave him the quickest of rundowns before the movie started but not enough to truly know what was happening. Never expected someone like him who isn’t a big fan of this genre to actually enjoy it but he did. So I do want to say that this movie is a great gateway to the series altogether. As much as I love the first season introductions, maybe a perspective from the middle of the series would be more enticing.
So quick rundown of the plot for those who are familiar with the Bungo Stray Dogs series but doesn’t know what the movie is about: Power users or “gifted” around the world are committing suicide one after another, just before they commited suicide a strange fog appears. At a request from Ango Sakaguchi, the Armed Detective Agency head out to investigate Tatsuhiko Shibusawa, a gifted who calls himself “collector.” Upon further investigation, the Armed Detective Agency discover that the gifted weren’t committing suicide but instead being murder by their own abilities.
Going into this film, I had no idea what the movie was about. I’m a big advocator for going into films blind. Trailers can show too much which then ruins a bit of my experience as the audience. Boy, was I happy I did that. I feel that the synopsis I just provided was too much mostly because this premise is somewhat familiar. I’m referring to the Zanpakuto Rebellion filler arc from Bleach. For those who don’t know what that is, the Zanpakuto Rebellion is when the spirits of the Zanpakuto(Shinigami’s weapons) are taken from them and Shinigami go to war with their own abilities essentially.
I’m not much of a big fan of stories like this but It just works with Dead Apple. I feel like everything was completely fleshed out. If I didn’t go in blind with this movie, I may have decided against watching it because I would’ve seen it as weak plot or rip off of Bleach. Who knows.
As we all know, the production quality is very important and high production value is usually expected from a film. Well, you have nothing to fear with this film because they bring it as expected! I remember how annoyed I was with Season 2 of Bungo Stray Dogs since they had full scenes of dialog where they would animate with blank faces. No eyes, mouths, lips nothing. That was beyond frustrating but I saw no sign of that issue here. I believe they did that maybe once but it was completely understandable within the scene itself. Animation great. Sound quality was perfect. OST was exactly what I wanted. Like I seriously couldn’t ask for more.
I would love to see more anime series continue through films. I think this should be looked at on a case by case basis but there are some arcs that just work better for film than they would for an anime season. Bungo Stray Dogs Dead Apple is a good example. I can’t really think of any arcs that I’ve seen in manga that would be handled better in an anime film but I feel like it can help greatly.
So what would I give this film out of 10? I would give it a sold 9. I believe it is everything I wanted and more. For someone that is a little more nitpicky than I am, they may find things that would make it less enjoyable. Don’t be that guy. Just enjoy the damn movie! I’m very happy that we have another anime film like this coming to the west. We should all appreciate the opportunity that companies like Crunchyroll have provided for his. Anime Movie Night is just dope.
Well, thank you so much for taking the time to read this. If you have not watched any of Bungo Stray Dogs, you really should. It’s an interesting series and when you did in a bit more about who these characters ACTUALLY ARE, it makes it much more enjoyable. Alright, I’m off to PAX so I will see you guys next time! Have a good weekend!