A Certain Explosive (或る爆弾, Aru Bakudan?) is the 2nd chapter of the Bungo Stray Dogs manga.

Synopsis

Atsushi and Dazai head on over to the Armed Detective Agency to stop a bomber that had holed himself up in their office. It's revealed in the end to be staged for Atsushi's entrance exam into the Agency.

Summary

Atsushi wakes up at a dorm.

Dazai suggests allowing Atsushi to join the agency to the other members, immediately Kunikida explodes with a "WHAAAAAAT?!". The scene cuts to Atsushi waking up on a floor bed in an unfamiliar room, confused about where he is and why the wake-up bell of the orphanage hasn't gone off, or why morning roll call hasn't taken place. Suddenly, a flip phone beside the bed begins to ring and Atsushi flinches, struggling to work the phone until he picks up. Dazai asks Atsushi how his new dorm is and if he slept well, Atsushi remembers the events that happened yesterday and thanks Dazai for the spacious place to live. Dazai is glad and asks Atsushi a favor, "Help, I'm dying.".

Dazai tries a suicide method.

Atsushi finds Dazai wedged in an old oil bucket, Atsushi shows visible confusion. Dazai causally asks Atsushi to save him quickly, and Atsushi asks him what's going on, Dazai asks what he think is going on. Atsushi says he thinks he is hallucinating. Dazai explains that he's trying a method of suicide, but says it's not fatal, just extremely painful. Atsushi doesn't see why Dazai is complaining and Dazai cringes, saying he doesn't want suicide to hurt so much. Atsushi pretends to understand Dazai's reasoning and lays the oil drum to its side, helping Dazai out of it. As Dazai and Atsushi begin to walk, Atsushi asks if Dazai asks his colleagues for help. Dazai says he did, telling them "I'm dying", to which they replied "Hurry up and die" or "Good for you" before hanging up. Atsushi asks Dazai where they are going and Dazai says he's assigning something to him, explaining that the agency has new leads for their case and they need to drop by there.

Dazai proudly tells Atsushi to leave everything to him, as he is a man trusted and revered by the agency and people. Suddenly, Kunikida yells to Dazai. Insulting him and calling him a "bandage wasting device", Dazai acts slightly hurt and says he's being too harsh. Kunikida retaliates and tells him the agency is in the middle of a crisis and he shouldn't be fooling around, Dazai tells Kunikida yelling will cause his body to secrete bad substances, resulting in hemorrhoid, and he'd better write it in his notebook. Kunikida is surprised, and quickly begins writing down Dazai's words when he reveals that he's joking. Atsushi seems unimpressed as Kunikida abuses Dazai, Kunikida quickly remembers the crisis the agency is in, letting go of Dazai and telling the 2 that they are short-handed and need assistance. Dazai asks what the situation is and Kunikida explains a bomber has taken a hostage and barricaded himself in the agency.

The bomber threatens everyone.

The scene cuts to the bomber sitting on a desk with a girl kneeling in front of him, the bomber holds a detonator. He yells about how he's had enough and it's all the agency's fault, yelling for the director to show himself or he'll blow everyone up with the bomb. Dazai, Kunikida, and Atsushi take cover behind a wall and a short brush, Dazai stating the bomber has a grudge against the agency, saying how the agency does make a lot of enemies. Dazai says the bombs are high explosives, and they'll blow up the entire room if activated, but if they cover the bomb with something, it could dampen the blast. Dazai suggests to let him meet the director, to which Kunikida replies he'd kill him for sure, and the director is on a business trip anyways. Dazai thinks for a moment, deciding they'll have to rescue the hostage. Dazai and Kunikida glance over to each other until playing a round of rock, paper, scissors, only to have Dazai win.

Kunikida clicks his tongue and goes over to confront the bomber, telling him to calm down. The bomber tells him to stay back or he'll blow him up, Kunikida raises his arms and the bomber recognizes him, asks if he also has a disgusting ability. Dazai tells Atsushi that the situation is difficult because the bomber has researched the agency members' names and faces, saying if he went out to help Kunikida, it would only enrage him even more. Dazai glances to Atsushi and smirks.

Atsushi talks to the bomber.

Atsushi yells through a rolled-up newspaper, stammering a beg to the bomber, pleading for him to stop because the bomber's parents would surely cry if they saw him like that. The bomber asks what the heck Atsushi is doing and he gets a flashback of Dazai telling Atsushi he must confront the bomber because he wouldn't be recognized as an agency member. Telling him to distract the bomber and Dazai'll take care of the rest. Dazai suggests Atsushi pose as a dropout, telling him to trust him and that the agency deals with much more dangerous things. Atsushi tells the bomber that he is just an ordinary citizen and those good things will happen as long as you're alive. The bomber swears at Atsushi, saying they all should go to hell when Atsushi says he is an orphan with no family or friends, having gotten kicked out of an orphanage with no one to rely on.

Kunikida activates Doppo Poet.

The bomber flinches and shows visible discomfort, Atsushi continues his story by adding how he transforms into a monster and would be killed with the police caught him, and that everyone would agree he is trash to society but he hasn't been bothered by that. Dazai seems amused by Atsushi's act. Atsushi begs the bomber to rid get of the bomb, and they'll go find jobs together. The bomber flinches and Dazai signals to Kunikida. Kunikida uses his ability, Lone Poet, and summons a wire gun. Shooting the detonator out of the bomber's hand and kicks him in the jaw then pinning him into the ground. Everyone is relieved and Dazai gives a thumbs up to Atsushi, suddenly, a hand behind Atsushi shoves him forward. Atsushi falls over and his hand falls onto the button of the detonator, giving 5 seconds before the bomb explodes.

Atsushi covering the bomb with his body.

Everyone begins panicking and Atsushi thinks of something to cover the bomb with, Dazai flinches as Atsushi hugs the bomb. Atsushi asks himself what he is doing as Dazai yells at him, calling him an idiot. The bombs go to 0 but nothing happens, Atsushi slowly opens his eyes to see Kunikida, Dazai, and the bomber standing calmly next to each other as they looked over Atsushi. Kunikida says how much of an idiot Atsushi is while Dazai laughs at how good of a suicidal maniac Atsushi would make. Atsushi lets out a confused "Eh? Huh?" when the hostage tackles the bomber into a hug. Kunikida tells Atsushi he should blame Dazai or himself for asking Dazai to help him find a job. Dazai reveals that the entire situation was an entrance exam.

Fukuzawa appears.

Suddenly, a male enters the room, Fukuzawa Yukichi, the director of the Armed Detective Agency. Kunikida bows to him. Fukuzawa recalls how Dazai recommended Atsushi but was apprehensive because of his reputation as a dangerous wild beast. Kunikida asks what his decision is and he leaves it to Dazai to decide. Dazai tells Atsushi that he's passed the exam, welcoming him to the agency. Atsushi is still stunned, and the bomber and hostage introduce themselves as Tanizaki Junichirou and his little sister Naomi as she hugs Tanizaki suggestively. Atsushi says that the agency is much too reckless for him, Dazai says it's fine if Atsushi doesn't join. But he would have to vacate his staff dormitory, pay for the food and phone charges. Atsushi gives him a blank stare of defeat and says he really doesn't have a choice.

Chapter Notes

Abilities

Characters in Order of Appearance

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