BSD Incorrect Quotes No. 2
Dazai: Poison is a magic transmutation potion that turns people into corpses.
Yosano: This scalpel is actually a magic wand.
Ranpo: Meet me in the Denny's parking lot for a wizard duel.
Kenji: *cocks gun* Magic missile.
Kunikida: What the fuck is wrong with you people.
The husbands yessssss
Pretty hands Cinnamon rolls
bsd but it's stuff that's happened while babysitting:
kunikida: why are you sitting like that
atsushi, doing a wall sit on the side of the couch: i'm a MAN
won’t you miss me? won’t you miss me? won’t you miss me?
BSD meme dump part 3!
Because Kunikida is our King!
So! Even if I probably don't fit a single one of Kuni's ideal partner requisites, I felt like writing a character analysis that's pretty much a love letter to him. What can I say, he's one of my favorites.
It has to be said: the first impression is not the best. He acts rather callous, especially in comparison to the friendly Dazai, towards our destitute hero; even if he is the one who actually pays for his lunch. But he is very professional: he is there to capture a tiger, and if he meets someone who has seen it, he will be very serious with the interrogation and annoyed about Atsushi's terrified behavior.
Sure, he soon gets his comical side exposed as a natural result of being stuck working with Dazai; but of all the Agency, he is the one who give the cold shoulder to Atsushi the most, lacking the friendly demeanor the others have.
But that is not to say he's completely indifferent: he dedicates himself to a mentor role in a way different from Dazai, warning him about Akutagawa, getting him to work with Ranpo and Kenji to expose him to different working styles.
Despite this, he appears to be one of the most willing to leave Atsushi and Kyouka to their fates during the Mafia arc. At first, it seems to be because he doesn't care: the reason he gives for not saving Atsushi is that the Agency already has its hands full, and looks rather shocked when Fukuzawa gives the order to drop everything and save their newest member.
But it's not quite like that. When he finally finds Atsushi, and hears that the kid wants to throw away his chance to saving himself to protect someone else, he loses it: he yells that he can't save everybody, it's an unrealistic ideal, and he knows this because he too failed many times and is still haunted by regrets.
This is where his main character conflict first comes to light. Insofar, his 'ideals' were little more than a comic relief, something to underline his stringiness. From here on, we'll start to see how important they are to him and for his character arc.
We see at the end of the Guild arc that he isn't completely inflexible and stern. He complains about Atsushi's solo operation, but he is still more than willing to recognize that the kid really managed to save the situation.
But then chapter 40 rolls in, and that's practically a character study of him.
He starts the day by preparing a schedule in which he calculated how to fit all of his activities down to the very second. He valiantly ignores all temptations of trasgression (Dazai was doing all he could to plague his existence, and this included calling everyone Kuni admired to call them at the Agency and distract him) ... and then he sees a little girl getting handed a bomb.
He demonstrates that he's not a monster to drop the schedule and rush defusing the bomb; as a reward, he's stuck with the little girl, who insist to look for the criminal alongside him and keeps criticizing him right on his weak spots (cioè che una donna non la vede manco col binocolo). He's saved by the retrieval of more bombs, on a railroad this time.
The situation degenerates shortly afterwards. Another bomb gets strapped on the girl, he gets took out and bound. The culprit is some guy who Kunikida had arrested in an earlier case: he had tried to encourage him to rebuild his life, but the guy wasn't encouraged; rather, he developed a grudge towards Kunikida, and decided to do something that would have destroyed his ideals.
And this is where we find about his core belief: not let anyone die in front of his. I admit,I'm extremely curious about his backstory and how he developed this line of thinking. In the early chapters, it is said that he worked as an algebra instructor while attending university: a rather 'safe' occupation, I doubt that exposed him to people dying in front of him, so did he develope these ideals after he joined the Agency? But if it is so, why did he join such a dangerous occupation in the first place?
Anyways, the bomber's plan is to stick him in a situation where he will have no choice but to see someome die in front of him. He even gets to choose who, in a variation on the trolley dilemma: the switch to deactivate the bomb on the girl activates the bomb on the rails, so it's either the little girl in front of him or a multitude of strangers. Kunikida takes it with a rather grim attitude: he is the first to admit that his ideals are bound to clash against realities.
Nevertheless, he'll follow them as best as he can: he'll sacrifice the lesser number of people possible, the girl and himself, for not having been able to prevent this.
Except that nobody dies, because in all of this chaos, he had managed to sneak a distress signal to Yosano, who in turn called the police and rushed to heal everyone.
The chapter concludes with the reveal that Kunikida is the successor for the role of director of the Agency: Ranpo and Dazai have more brainpower, but to lead others, to inspire them to be their better self, this is something only Kunikida can do in there.
But is Kunikida confident in this? As we'll see in the Cannibalism arc, the answer is a sound no.
When Fukuzawa is taken down and the building is surrounded by the Port Mafia, he goes into a panic. He has troubles coming up with a plan that will result in no casualties, and as a result, Ranpo makes a schism, bringing most of the Agency save Atsushi with him. Kunikida finds himself alone, and here starts the collective kink of BSD's villains for torturing him.
Fyodor is the biggest offender: he starts by killing Katai, one of Kunikida's oldest friends, even if that had more strategic reasons than a personal attack. But what follows is something very personal: he finds some idiot willing to give weapons to children to defend him while he runs away, and has the Agency mistake him for the Pushkin they are pursuing. Kuni already is forced to harm the kids, if he doesn't want himself and Atsushi killed. But the real deal is the little girl with the granate.
Fyodor literally instructed her to kill herself if Kunikida showed her the notebook - exactly what he did, thinking of doing a funny trick to calm her down. He becomes unwittingly responsible for the death of the little girl, right in front of his eyes.
Kunikida is crushed by this. He works tirelessly until the end of the arc so that the girl's death will not be in vain; after that, he lets himself be accused and arrested for it, without protesting his innocence, because he doesn't believe it himself. As Ranpo says, this is part of the enemy's plan: Kunikida is the moral pillar of the Agency, the one they would have target first to discourage the others and leave them without support.
After this, he is released to go straight into the Decay of Angels case. Where his ideals are challenged once again: right at the start of the arc, when they were trying to save those politicians, he was the one to come up with the plan of beheading the criminals from behind with Kyouka's Ability. He clearly is not happy about this, saying that otherwise the ostages will be killed: yet another case in which his ideals clash with reality.
And this is only the beginning. The Book works its magic, turning the ADA into terrorists; they are forced to flee from the police, and Kunikida finds himself called a traitor and nearly shot by a policeman. The way he reacts is very interesting: he becomes very aggressive in the first moment, and later on he realizes that it's because that personwas clearly someone righteous, who lived for justice just like he did. Does this, and his reaction, mean that Kunikida is already a monster?
He is snapped out of this way of thinking by Kenji, and later goes to give an informative example of ethical car stealth.
The 'let's use Kunikida's ideals to torture him' trend continues; this time the offender is Jouno, who manages a similar effect to what Fyodor did with just a few words.
Or rather, even better. Because Jouno doesn't make him question his ability to stand by his ideals, he gets him to doubt the ideals themselves and his relationship to them. He has failed, and this means can accept he's a failure and live without the weight of them. Even if this means that the rest of the Agency will die.
This mere insinuation is enough to shake Kunikida to the core. Is it possible that he can feel any relief from the death of his friends? This question would horrify anyone, let alone someone like him. To stave it off, he literally jumps at the chance to sacrifice himself, with a nice heroic moment that would shut down his existential crisis along with his life. Dazai would be proud! (jk)
And he fails. His failure is on all fronts: he doesn't manage to prevent the ADA members from being captured (at least in the mid-run), he lost his hands that were necessary for the use of his Ability, and he didn't even manage to die. And his crisis is still there, worse than before, because now the scenario proposed by Jouno is real.
And well, it doesn't really receive an answer. He tells Jouno to leave, and has a complete breakdown, after which he is saved by Ranpo and reunited with the rest of the Agency, miraculously safe and sound, with no other words on the subject.
Well, kinda. Did he cry out of relief at being with his colleagues again, or out of stress and guilt at what he found himself thinking?
So, what can be said about all that?
Kunikida's Ideals are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they easily make him one of the most moral people in the manga. And they don't give him a simplified, black-and white view of morality: see how he encouraged Rokuro, a criminal, to turn his life around; see how he is willing to kill criminals, but only in situation that give him no other resort, with a grim acceptation. His ideals are positive: to save and protect others.
The negative aspect of them is not an hypocrital harm to other people in their name: it’s that they harm Kunikida himself. As Jouno put best, his Ideals are as high and lofty as a balloon: too much for a simple human being, such as Kunikida is, to follow them. No matter how he tries, no matter how he does everything in his power to follow them, sooner or later he will fail, and when this happens he is unable to get back on his own. Remember how he had to be taken from his self-loathing spiral by Ranpo in both cases? He has had other things to concentrate on since, and he hasn’t had actual time to elaborate on what his failures actually means.
And this is actually after some character development: do you remember when he didn’t try to save Kyouka, already prepping Atsushi to failure before he even tried? His ideals can have another downside: they can lead him to a defeatist attitude, giving up before even trying to avoid confronting failure.
Kunikida is probably the most genuinely heroic character in the series, one whose greatest desire is to help others; but he still has quite some road to do before he can truly be the new leader of the Agency.
Thanks to anyone who bothered to read my ramblings!
tanizaki bc he is my fav <3
the fact that aya got called "a failure of a woman" by her caretaker makes her crush on kunikida "i have bullet points listing the necessary traits for a woman to be my ideal wife" doppo even more tragic
Can we PLEASE talk about the imagery of serious/angry blondes with TATTOOS, canon or headcanon. I love to imagine the ESPECIALLY uptight characters, the ones you’d never think, with huge hidden tattoos like Nanami or Kunikida. That’s very sexy of them
bungo stray dogs guys who are just dads.. are absolutely my favorites so far
A coloring of the Best boy in the world
im just so happy that ayas getting her moment
Kunikida: *takes off his glasses*
Atsushi: I thought he couldn’t see without his glasses on.
Kenji: He can’t. But he told Dazai he doesn’t want to see him right now and took them off.
(seriously wtf is the actual chapter number—)
I swear every post I’ll make in this blog will now be just about the new chapters I’m sorry