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It sure has been a while, but it seems like we’re back with another prequel arc. I suppose that’s just the typical pattern for this series. I’m sure I’ve forgotten nearly everything from the first two seasons, but this arc still seems interesting. It seems to introduce the Port Mafia’s boss while focusing on the feud between Dazai and Chuuya.
I want to make a quick note about episode 25 (the one called “Dead Apple”), since it came out as well. It’s technically an OVA that’s meant to follow the second season, so I didn’t think it was appropriate to split it off into a separate post. It’s a story that focuses more on Kunikida in the present, pitting him against a serial bomber with a grudge against him.
It was a fun episode, especially with its literal reference to the trolley problem (a well-known moral test). I don’t remember whether Aya is a character that’s been introduced before, but it would be cool to see her play more of a role whenever the third season returns to the present day.
As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t remember how much of this stuff has been said before, but I do like how this episode goes into Port Mafia boss’s past. It explains why Dazai was so surprisingly influential within the organization, since he knows the secret of the boss’s rise to power. Additionally, I liked that Dazai pointed out how advantageous he was as a witness given his suicidal tendencies. He could be easily silenced without drawing suspicion, because people are used to him trying to die.
I also think it’s cool to see how Chuuya and Dazai are portrayed in this episode. The previous prequel arc explored the reason Dazai chose to leave the Port Mafia, so he was clearly a more seasoned fighter at that time. In this arc, he seems more fresh-faced, and the fight in this episode demonstrates it. Dazai has the forethought to hide his power until he finds an opening, but his surprise at Chuuya’s reaction ultimately forces him to waste his chance.
The fact that Hirotsu is also an old man made the revelation about the old boss a little hard for me in this episode. When the old boss appears, I just assumed that Hirotsu was unleashing some kind of additional power. Maybe he’s still a part of this, but it definitely took me some time to understand that the old boss truly had come back. I was under the impression that Dazai was squashing out some sympathizers for the old boss or something.
I think it’s a bit funny that the episode puts a lot of effort into explaining why the old boss’s death was a secret, and yet the secret seems to get revealed fairly easily. I don’t know how to feel. I liked how the episode portrayed the disconnect between Chuuya and Dazai, though. They clearly see themselves as polar opposites, but they complement each other well.