‘Bungou Stray Dogs’ Season 4, Episode 4: Recap And Ending, Explained: How Are Things In The Present?

Last week, “Bungou Stray Dogs” promised to take us back to the present. After showing us how Ranpo and Fukuzawa got together to form the Armed Detective Agency, the anime picked up from where it left off in season 3. We were introduced to the antagonists, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Anton Pushkin. The Armed Detective Agency was racing against time and in a dilemma over their morals while fighting the common enemy. It was an unnerving experience nonetheless, and it set a new course for the future of the Armed Detective Agency and its members. Season four of “Bungou Stray Dogs” focuses more on Ranpo and the rivals he is up against, but it does not forget the other main characters in the anime. The opening theme sequence saw a change in this episode, and we saw glimpses of Kunikida, Akatsushi, Dazai, and the other members. Let’s take a look at how the episode unfolds.

Spoilers Ahead

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

Episode 4 of “Bungou Stray Dogs” Season 4 opens with a montage of a man murdering another unknown man on the roof. The episode is titled “The Perfect Murder and Murderer (Part 1),” and we will soon find out why. Then we see Ranpo visiting Kunikida in prison. He is dressed in a teddy bear costume and speaks to Kunikida in reference to the events that happened in the underground tunnel. Kunikida, who holds his morals and values in high regard, has resigned himself to his fate and is ready to accept the punishment. Ranpo, on the other hand, wants to bring their enemies to justice. He blames himself over not having figured out Dostoyevsky and Pushkin’s plans in time and also regrets the consequences.

A while later, we see Poe at an auction, where he is reading a murder mystery. Ranpo crosses paths with him there while still dressed in the teddy bear costume. Poe asks the reason for his getup, and Ranpo says that he is being punished for the cannibal accident. He is the mascot of a restaurant, but he wants to roam free nonetheless. Ranpo enlists Poe’s help in finding the person aka the specialist who framed Kunikida on false murder charges. Since Ranpo’s face is known to everyone, he asks for Poe’s help to carry out the task undetected.

Poe is busy at the auction, but he decides to help Ranpo nonetheless. Poe and Ranpo engage in banter while waiting for the person. Poe, who is still reading the murder mystery novel, quizzes Ranpo over the same. He fawns over the brilliance of the story, and Ranpo gives in to his curiosity. He ends up meeting Poe, and the two discuss the novel. The writer of the novel was murdered in the same fashion as mentioned in the book. No one knows who carried out the murder, but it has increased the curiosity in the story nonetheless. Ranpo quickly figures out that the killer must be someone close to the writer and that they killed the writer so that they could increase the demand for the novel once it is published. Just as they are progressing in their conversation, they find a red envelope on the window. This envelope was supposed to be given by the murderer to Poe. As soon as Poe and Ranpo pick up the envelope, they see a man falling to his death.

They believe that he is the specialist who was supposed to meet Poe and that Fyodor’s rats killed him to silence the matter. Upon inspection, Ranpo figures out the man is not the person they are supposed to meet. He was made to look like him to sway the investigation. The person is very much alive and overhears the deduction. He is none other than Mushitaro Oguri, who was hired by Dostoyevsky two months ago. His ability is “The Perfect Crime.” He unleashes his ability, and all signs of the crime promptly vanish from the scene.

In the short flashback, we see that Mushitaro tells Dostoyevsky that he will never work on the front lines and that he will leave one week after helping out with Dostoyevsky’s plans. He asks for one week because he plans to kill someone then. He also suggests his arrest to Dostoyevsky, and the Armed Detective Agency is left clueless about the same.

Back in the present, Ranpo is suddenly left clueless. Poe is worried about Ranpo’s condition, despite them being work rivals. Ranpo just gives up and leaves the scene. Mushitaro is still basking in the glory of his flawless work while Ranpo approaches him, asking for a taxi. He mentions that the main street was cordoned off due to the murder. Mushitaro finds it funny that Ranpo is talking to the culprit but is clueless. Ranpo does not leave, much to Mushitaro’s chagrin. Mushitaro offers alternatives like going by bus or train, but Ranpo being Ranpo, is stubborn about hailing a taxi only. Mushitaro’s car arrives soon, and Ranpo barges in as well. Reluctantly so, Mushitaro tells the driver to drop Ranpo at his destination. During their ride, Ranpo divulges all that he deduced about the murder.

Season 4, Episode 4: Ending Explained – How Are Things In The Present?

Episode 4 brings us up to speed after the events of “Bungou Stray Dogs” Season 3. Kunikida is in prison, serving a sentence after being falsely accused of a young girl’s murder. The Armed Detective Agency is finding its way to stability once again after being defeated by Dostoyevsky and his rats. Just when things were looking to settle down, this new murder case and Mushitaro’s appearance shook things up. Since the episode followed up after the incidents of season 3 and Dostoyevsky was promptly mentioned several times, one can assume that he would be making a comeback sooner or later. The characters we met in the first three episodes of the anime would also make a comeback later in the story. Soseki, who has his feelers spread out, would definitely prove useful in the story in finding out about Dostoyevsky and his rats.

Ranpo and Poe’s banter is fun to watch. Their banter is a great comic relief amidst the rising tensions in the story. Towards the end of the episode, when Ranpo mentions his deduction to Mushitaro, one can safely say that Ranpo has already figured out or will soon figure out Mushitaro’s real identity. In the episode, Ranpo mentions that the main street was blocked due to the murder there, and the back alley has no available transport. Mushitaro’s presence there would raise at least a little bit of suspicion there. Ranpo is a smart sleuth, and he would have picked up on this. The street is relatively empty, and there’s not much happening around either.

All in all, for those who have not caught up with the manga, the wait is going to be a long one. “Bungou Stray Dogs” has a tendency of revealing tiny slivers of information in the episodes, leading to a stunning conclusion that shakes the viewers who have grown accustomed to the slow pacing.

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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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