‘Bungou Stray Dogs’ Season 4, Episode 1: Recap And Ending, Explained: How Do Fukuzawa And Ranpo Meet?

One of the most popular fantasy detective anime series, “Bungou Stray Dogs,” is finally back with a new season after a long wait. Season four of “Bungou Stray Dogs” premiered on January 4, 2023. The new season brings back our favorite characters on screen, with the introduction of a few new ones as well. Episode one of “Bungou Stray Dogs” Season 4 promises a peek into the past lives of the characters of the Armed Detective Agency and Port Mafia, whom we have come to love in the previous seasons. The story goes back a few years to the time when Fukuzawa and Ranpo met. Edogawa Ranpo was only fourteen years old when he met Yukichi Fukuzawa for the first time. The first episode of season four narrates the comical encounter between the two, in addition to dropping several hints about Fukuzawa’s past.


Spoilers Ahead

What Happens In Episode 1 Of ‘Bungou Stray Dogs’ Season 4?

The first episode of season four of “Bungou Stray Dogs” is titled “The Lone Swordsman and the Famous Detective.” The episode opens with Yukichi Fukuzawa getting a phone call from a man who persuades him to join the military police because they are the only ones who can make use of his powers. Fukuzawa sternly replies that he works alone and then he goes to a crime scene where a person has been pushed out of the window. He goes up to the room where the person was pushed out of, and he finds the secretary arranging papers to find the motive behind the murder. The secretary mentions that it was the president who was killed, and that the assassin was caught as well. When Fukuzawa sees the assassin, he finds that it is Oda Sakunosuke, the infamous underground child assassin. There are two pistols lying on the table. These two pistols are the signature weapons of Oda Sakunosuke for carrying out any job.


Shortly after, Edogawa Ranpo makes an appearance. He was there for an interview, but with the untimely death of the president, his plans seem to have taken a pause. Ranpo is a child, but he has exceptional perception and sees the details that others often miss. He goes about stating facts about the president’s death like he’s reading lines from a play, and it turns out that it was the secretary who actually killed the president. During all this time, Sakunosuke manages to break the chair he is tied to and free himself. He picks up the two pistols, kills the secretary and flees the scene. The matter is handed over to the police at the scene. 

Fukuzawa and Ranpo go to a restaurant, where Ranpo indulges in bowls and bowls of red bean soup. They discuss Ranpo’s past, and Fukuzawa learns that Ranpo has a knack for minute observation. Ranpo discards the rice cakes that come along with the red bean soup because they are not sweet. Fukuzawa is reluctant but offers help to Ranpo. Ranpo immediately takes him up on the offer and asks him to arrange for a job or a place to stay. Fukuzawa mentions a job opening at a theater and takes him along. At the theater, the manager mentions they have been getting threats. Fukuzawa promises not to let anyone get in the harm’s way. He also tells the lady that Ranpo is here for a job, to which she replies that she will evaluate him along with other applicants. Ranpo makes a quick deduction that she won’t give him the job. He also mentions that the lady does not allow the police and Fukuzawa to work together because she wants both parties to keep an eye on each other since she does not trust anyone. Fukuzawa makes a request to talk to the cast of “The Day is a Dream, the Night is Real,” who are receiving death threats. The cast is a different set of oddballs themselves, and their information is barely helpful.


When Fukuzawa and Ranpo are alone on the balcony, Ranpo says that the letters are not threats but warnings. Fukuzawa finds something interesting about the kid and decides to keep him around longer. He offers to let Ranpo stay the night at his place. He also asks Ranpo to guess what kind of person Fukuzawa is. Rampo gets all the points right, including why Fukuzawa does not use his katana (sword) anymore, and he touches upon the sensitive topic of Fukuzawa’s last job and almost gets to the details when Fukuzawa shouts at him to be quiet. Fukuzawa is clearly still affected by his past, especially his last job, where he slayed several aristocrats with his katana. 

Season 4, Episode 1: Ending Explained – How Does Fukuzawa Take Ranpo Under His Wing?

Throughout the episode, we see that Edogawa Ranpo, despite being just a fourteen-year-old teenager, has the ability to see the details that others often miss. He also solves two of Fukuzawa’s cases in minutes and stuns the older guy with his observation skills. The two make an unlikely pair, being polar opposites of each other, but they get along just fine by the end of the episode. Fukuzawa is a very stern-looking gentleman who employs himself as a bodyguard these days for whoever needs him. He carries with him an unsettling secret that plagues him almost every waking moment. At the end of the episode, we see that Fukuzawa asks Ranpo to deduce what kind of person he is. Ranpo does so and gets the right answers. Fukuzawa offers to let Ranpo stay at his place for the night. But if the first episode is anything to go by, then we will get to see a lot of Fukuzawa and Ranpo’s interaction. Ranpo’s quirks complement Fukuzawa’s straight-laced mannerisms. This episode also reveals that Ranpo has had a liking for everything sweet right from his childhood. We were also introduced to the younger self of Oda Sakunosuke, even if it was only for a few minutes. In the previous seasons, we met the older self of Oda Sakunosuke, who works for the Port Mafia. He is a well-trained assassin, and his ability is to be able to see in the future but only for 5 to 6 seconds.


The first episode of “Bungou Stray Dogs” Season 4 was entirely colored in black, white, and grayscale with an occasional splash of the color red to show blood, blue silhouetted lines when Ranpo and Fukuzawa are outside the theater, and a short-colored screen when Fukuzawa is mulling over Ranpo’s deduction. There are also deep red hues when there is a mention of Fukuzawa’s last stint with his katana, symbolizing the regret and anger he feels towards it. Going by the route the makers are taking for season four; it can be said that this season would focus on the past lives of the Armed Detective Agency and perhaps how eventually they banded together to form the Armed Detective Agency or got into Port Mafia, like Oda Sakunosuke did. Perhaps the grayscale coloring will lessen, and the color palette will slowly make its way onto the screen as the story moves forward.

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Nandini Iyengar
Nandini Iyengar
Nandini has grown up on a healthy diet of books, movies and shows. Hailing from a multicultural background, Nandini has tried indulging in art from different corners of India that came naturally to her. Taking the influence further, she delved into foreign languages and indulged in content from across the globe. When she is not watching anything on her laptop, she can be found daydreaming or picking her pen to write a few words of fiction.

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