Three different abilities activated.

Ability (異能力, Inōryoku?) is a special force possessed by many individuals throughout the world. A person who possesses an ability is called an ability user (能力者, nōryoku-sha?).[1]

History

The Great War

Main article: The Great War

Before the Great War, samurai were once unable to adapt to the rise in guns and rifles, which led them to perish. Following such defeat, a Great War emerged, during which tanks and gun turrets were proven ineffective. Instead, entire forces of countries stampeding through enemy countries ultimately crushed opponents. Moreover, naval battles were lost against advanced aircraft weapons that ultimately destroyed nautical forces. After this war, the Great War surfaced, which acknowledged ability users as the main forces of destruction and weapons in battles.[2]

European powers recognized the efficiency of ability users in the fight and deployed them to the main battlefield. A group of highly skilled ability users known as the Transcendents were dispatched, but they soon clashed and produced even more casualties and war damages. Furthermore, sometime during the end of the war, an extinction weapon known as the Shell was developed by English engineers including H. G. Wells by intentionally creating a singularity and weaponize it.[3]

Mori's "Immortal Regiment" required Yosano's ability in healing war soldiers.

Concomitantly, the Japanese military likewise saw ability users' importance and power during the war. As a result, military physician Ōgai Mori submitted the "Immortal Regiment" (不死聯隊, Fushi Rentai?) plan to the Emperor, which focused on creating an infantry that could survive countless injuries throughout the war. This scheme primarily used the healing ability of Akiko Yosano, who was enlisted by Mori. It came to fruition in Tokoyami Island located in the Pacific Ocean, where close and physical combats were mainly fought due to electromagnetic interference of northern lights that rendered electronic devices useless. Initially successful, Yosano later stopped using her ability after becoming distraught with the inhumane events unfolding during the war, more so because the troops blamed her for dragging the war and prolonging their agony in fighting only to be constantly attacked and injured by enemy forces.[4][2] Sometime during the war, upon the Japanese government's orders, Ōchi Fukuchi entered the battlefield, who was known for his outstanding power due to his ability. As such, he engaged in brutal battles and tortured soldiers and civilians alike, among others.[5]

Post-War

The Great War later ended partly due to the efforts of ability users. However, as a result, a great number of ability users who were engaged in legal professions had decreased. Majority of them either secluded themselves from society or affiliated themselves with underworld organizations. During such period, the Japanese government refused to admit the existence of ability users to the public, regarded by society as mere rumors or lores. Though it was not forbidden at the time to expose the reality of such entities, there was a dark shadow cast over their existence.[6]

Nonetheless, upon being discovered that a proportion of ability users possessed highly lethal powers, the government created the Special Division for Unusual Powers, a department comprising of ability users responsible for secretly monitoring dangerous ability users throughout the country.[7] Moreover, there was a certain group of special ability users regarded as the most important individuals in Yokohama who received the government's secret protection referred to as the Witness Protection Program. Such figures were believed to have possessed certain secrets that had to do with the foundation of the country. As such, they were targeted by countless enemies, including foreign military parties, local criminal organizations, and the like.

Among the aforementioned organization is Sōseki Natsume,[6] who devised the Tripartite Framework. In this framework that aimed to preserve the balance of peace and order in Yokohama, the Special Division and the military police would oversee and handle ability-related affairs during the daytime, the Port Mafia at night, and the Armed Detective Agency in the twilight. When this plan was finally realized, Natsume retired shortly after.[8]

In the present era, ability users are not unknown in the society, though not entirely recognized mostly due to the intervention of the Special Division and other government departments. Moreover, albeit majority of ability-related cases are monitored to be criminal in nature, there are also organizations allowed by the government in utilizing abilities legally, such as the Yokohama-based Armed Detective Agency comprised of gifted detectives who take on dangerous cases that are too much for the military and the police to handle.[1][9]

Information

It is said that a person can have no more than one ability. An ability user may be conscious of and can control their ability, though in some cases, an ability may be uncontrollable and activated automatically. Moreover, a person may be an ability user since birth or could manifest such power in later life. In some cases, it is said that abilities are considered as a curse rather than a blessing to their users.[6]

Singularity

Oda and Gide in a singularity sphere.

Singularity (特異点, Tokui-ten?) occurs when two abilities cancel each other out and create something different from either skill.[3] As studied by the Special Division, the singularity phenomenon develops into an unpredictable direction due to a resultant loss of control over abilities. In most cases, one of the abilities is expected to win over the other. It is also possible albeit rarely where neither party wins,[7] or, as researched by England, where two abilities cause a reciprocal reaction and generate a greater effect in scope compared to when activated individually.[3]

Named Abilities

Ability Image User(s)
A Feast in Time of Plague Cannibalism virus activates on Fukuzawa.png Alexander Pushkin
All Men Are Equal Yukichi Fukuzawa
And Then There Were None Dame Agatha Christie
An Inherent Drop Natsuhiko Kyōgoku
Anne of Abyssal Red Lucy's introductory appearance.png Lucy Maud Montgomery
Another The criminal dies (Gaiden manga).png Yukito Ayatsuji
Beast Beneath the Moonlight Beast Beneath the Moonlight Transformation.gif Atsushi Nakajima
Black Cat in the Rue Morgue Ranpo and Yosano being tranported into Poe's novel.gif Edgar Allan Poe
Crime and Punishment Crime and Punishment.png Fyodor Dostoevsky
Demon Snow Demon Snow.png Kyōka Izumi, Kyōka's Mother
Discourse on Decadence Ango Sakaguchi
Dogra Magra Q activates their ability.png Kyūsaku Yumeno
Draconia Shibusawa tries to collect Dazai's ability.png Tatsuhiko Shibusawa
Falling Camellia Falling Camelia.gif Ryūrō Hirotsu
Flawless Flawless.gif Sakunosuke Oda
Futon Futon.gif Katai Tayama
Gasp of the Soul Teruko ages the guard (manga).png Teruko Okura
Golden Demon Golden Demon.png Kōyō Ozaki
Gone With the Wind Gone With the Wind.gif Margaret Mitchell
Hail in the Begging Bowl Santōka Taneda
Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer Twain suprised when Atsushi survided the fall.png Mark Twain
I am a Cat I am a Cat.gif Sōseki Natsume
Illuminations Illuminations.png Arthur Rimbaud
Lemonade Motojiro uninjured after the explosion.png Motojirō Kajii
Light Snow Higuchi shoots Tanizaki's projection.gif Jun'ichirō Tanizaki
Little Women Little Women.gif Louisa May Alcott
Midwinter Memento Tachihara finds a hidden safe (manga).png Michizō Tachihara
Mirror Lion Fukuchi breaks the ship's handrail (manga).png Ōchi Fukuchi
Moby Dick Moby Dick.png Herman Melville
No Longer Human No Longer Human.gif Osamu Dazai
Plum Blossoms in Snow Plum Blossoms in Snow (manga).png Tetchō Suehiro
Priceless Tears Saigiku Jōno
Rashomon Rashomon 1.gif Ryunosuke Akutagawa
Strait is the Gate Strait is the Gate.gif André Gide
The Grapes of Wrath The Grapes of Wrath.gif John Steinbeck
The Great Fitzgerald Fitzgerald's ability activated.png Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald
The Madness of the Jewel King The Madness of the Jewel King.gif Ace
The Matchless Poet Lone Poet 1.gif Doppo Kunikida
The Mysterious Island Jules Gabriel Verne
The Overcoat The Overcoat.png Nikolai Gogol
The Perfect Crime The Perfect Crime (manga).png Mushitaro Oguri
The Precipice Akutagawa and Atsushi vs. Goncharov.png Ivan Goncharov
The Scarlet Letter Hawthorne uses his ability.png Nathaniel Hawthorne
Thou Shalt Not Die Akiko Yosano
Time Machine Herbert George Wells
Undefeated by the Rain Kenji lifting up a whole car.png Kenji Miyazawa
Upon the Tainted Sorrow Chūya Nakahara
Vita Sexualis Vita Sexualis.gif Ōgai Mori
Yesterday's Shadow Tag Mizuki Tsujimura

Unnamed Abilities

Ability Image User(s)
Body Possession Ability Body possession ability.gif Unknown
Card ability Hafis bin Wan
Creature ability Unknown
Electrokinetic ability Unknown
Fire ability Zhang Jianlin
Ice ability Emily Jane Smith
Incineration ability Order of the Clock Tower agent
Information exchange ability Sigma
Intangibility Ability Nemo
Number Ability Kunikida given a number using the number ability.png Unnamed Blonde Guy

Non-abilities

These are special powers possessed by individuals but are not considered abilities.

Power Image User(s)
Great Old One The Great Old Ones.gif Howard Phillips Lovecraft
Super Deduction Ranpo uses his ability to find the culprit.png Ranpo Edogawa

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 66.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Bungo Stray Dogs: 55 Minutes.
  4. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 65.
  5. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 83.5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Untold Origins of the Detective Agency.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Osamu Dazai and the Dark Era.
  8. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 50.
  9. Ayatsuji Yukito VS. Kyōgoku Natsuhiko.
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