Introduction

Elise (エリス, Erisu?) is the manifestation of Mori's ability, Vita Sexualis.

Appearance

Elise appears as a young, short girl with pale skin and bright blue eyes.  She has long, blonde hair, styled with straight, blunt bangs across her forehead and long, thick ringlets that curled past her waist.  She wears a large red bow on the right side of her head.

She wears a red dress with short, puffy sleeves and a frilled, white hem at the bottom.  Around the waist is a thin white band.  Her collar is white and buttoned, fastened by a pink ribbon. Below, she wears black and grey stockings with red Mary Janes.

When her abilities are activated, Elise's eyes become reptilian in nature. In combat, Elise wears a pink, elaborate, frilly "nurse" uniform. It is the same length as her typical dress, with long sleeves and plain white socks and black Mary Janes. The collar is fastened with a black bow, and she wears a nurse's hat, adorned with a bow in the upper left corner. Around her waist, she wears a black corset tied with a large black bow in the back. While the skirt is mainly pink, the middle is white, with two tiers of ruffles.

Personality

On the surface, Elise is little more than a spoiled child. She's quick to throw fits when she doesn't get her way and has no regard for authority, let alone her elders. If something doesn't directly involve her, Elise approaches situations with a pointed nonchalance, almost always seen smiling or disinterested. The main way Mori can persuade her is by offering her sweets, as Elise has a large sweet tooth. She also enjoys drawing, appearing to do so often in her spare time.

At her core, Elise has a short temper and rather sadistic tendencies. Oftentimes Elise goes out of her way to inconvenience Mori for fun, such as sneaking off and hiding to make him worry about her. Despite spending her time playing with them, she exhibits little concern for the well-being of the Port Mafia's Mafiosi, even casually eating sweets and drawing when Mori confronts Higuchi over Akutagawa's failure and near-fatal condition. Nonetheless, she enjoys making them take her shopping or putting their hair up in different hairstyles, antics that even prominent members like Hirotsu and Chūya tolerate.

The truth is that her nature stems from Mori's own desires, being the manifestation of his ability, Vita Sexualis. This includes her preferences and resentment towards being ultimately subservient to Mori as his ability.

In the past, Elise acted with complete, almost robotic compliance for Mori, going as far as calling him "master", overall acting much less "human" than she does in the present. Her present personality now greatly resembles Yosano from her youth, indicating that at some point after Yosano's mental breakdown, Mori manipulated Elise into acting more like the younger Yosano. This explains her intense disobedience to him in the present. Despite being his ability, Elise is particularly difficult with Mori, as she's quick to tire of his obsessive nature towards her and unappreciative of his "doting" personality and the excessive amount of tailors and dresses he's bought her. Elise goes as far as admitting that she hates being made to save Mori when he's in danger. She's quick to insult and demean him, without any remorse.

Any trace of Elise's personality appears to vanish when Mori summons her for combat. During combat, Elise appears unblinking and vicious, emotionless against her opponents, a befitting nature for Mori's ability. Only after her defeat by Fukuzawa does Elise show any hint of fondness towards Mori.

Ability

Elise is the manifestation of Vita Sexualis, Mori's ability. As such, Mori's moods and desires largely affect Elise's nature as a "human", which becomes particularly evident when observing her past nature to her current. Furthermore, given Mori's "preferences", Elise does not age past the appearance of a young girl.

When Mori activates her powers, Elise can fly at high speeds. She summons a giant syringe, harkening to Mori's background as a military and underground surgeon, and fights with superhuman strength. When defeated, Elise does not "die", she disappears. Mori can resummon her, however, it's unknown if there's a specific amount of time he must wait before he can do so.

Background

Elise's past nature, subservient to Mori.

Although it is unknown when Mori manifested Vita Sexualis, Elise has been active since the Great War, acting as Mori's assistant. When asked to give a list of injured soldiers, Elise obediently agrees, showing that she wasn't always a headstrong, lively girl. However, at some point, Mori changed Elise's personality to be more like Yosano's. This likely occurred after Yosano's mental breakdown left her catatonic, with Mori changing Elise to "replace" Yosano, hence her difficult and stubborn nature towards Mori in the present.

Elise fights against Fukuzawa after the latter learns of Mori's attempts of manipulating Yosano even after she's mentally broken under his thumb. The results of the battle are unknown, but it's likely she was defeated by him. [1]

During Mori's recruitment of Dazai and Chūya, Elise is absent.

Dark Era Arc

Although largely uninvolved during the Port Mafia's feud against Mimic, Elise sees Oda when he's summoned by Mori. She's seen vehemently refusing to continue playing dress-up, dozens of dresses strewn about the office. Here, Elise comments that she detests Mori's desperate and needy behavior, harshly refusing any of the dresses offered.

Plot

Armed Detective Agency vs. Port Mafia Arc

Elise's first appearance.

Elise first appears during Mori and Higuchi's meeting after Akutagawa's defeat against Atsushi. Elise is seen drawing on the floor later showing it as a drawing of Akutagawa decapitated. Elise then goes up to the table and absently listens to their conversation, smiling and seeming disinterested, even yawning despite the weight of the situation. She doesn't say a word, merely watching Higuchi with noted amusement. [2]

The Guild Arc

Elise walking up to Mori.

Although largely absent during the events, Elise goes "missing" just a bit before Lucy captures Mori, Atsushi, and Tanizaki. Mori approaches Atsushi, asking if he's seen his daughter, which he hasn't. After Lucy's defeat, Elise approaches Mori herself, happily telling him she intentionally went missing to make him cry. Elise and Mori walk down an alley together, where Mori says he wishes he was younger and could defeat his foes with ease. With a taunting smile, Elise calls him "Mr Midlife Crisis". Soon after their light-hearted banter, the two approach the grisly scene of prominent Port Mafia mafiosi surrounding a corpse, an assassin from the Guild.[3]

Later on after the Guild attacks both Port Mafia and Armed Detective Agency members, the latter taking Kōyō under their watch, Elise is seen eating a plethora of desserts without a care in the world. Mori attempts to curb her appetite, but Elise refuses, calling sweetness "true justice". She's quick to manipulate Mori by telling him she'll try on one of the many dresses he bought her if he lets her eat to her heart's content. She continues her feast, unfazed by Mori's seemingly drastic decision to kill Yukichi Fukuzawa. Chūya Nakahara laters informs Mori the assassination attempt failed, as Mori expected. Off to the side, Elise reads by herself in Mori's office chair, wearing the dress as promised. [4]

Elise drawing.

Elise later plays around, drawing on the floor with crayons and humming to herself. Her carefree antics add to Mori's disturbing excitement in strategising a counterattack against the Guild, which Elise calls lame. Mori suddenly takes one of her crayons, angering Elise. The whole time Mori writes a letter addressed to the Guild's Margaret Mitchell and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Elise yells at Mori to give her crayon back and take her outside to play. As the battle rages on, Mori plays chess by himself, and Elise amuses herself by drawing on the office walls. [5]

Afterwards, Elise remains largely inactive, absent when Mori faces Fukuzawa to arrange the ceasefire and the victory party between Mori, Chūya, and Kōyō.

DEAD APPLE

As Mori's ability, Elise is affected by Shibusawa's fog, going berserk in attempts to kill Mori. She's shown easily overpowering him, as he can't bring himself to harm her. However, she meets her defeat against Fukuzawa after the two switch battles. After turning back to normal, she yells at Mori for trying to "leave her behind".

Cannibalism Arc

Elise saves Mori from the car explosion.

During an excessive shopping trip with Mori, Elise snaps, asking why they haven't reached a dessert shop yet. To her chagrin, Mori tries to get her to go to a tailor's shop - the fifteenth one of the day. Mori tries convincing her to play along, saying he might die seeing her in something new, and Elise encourages him to die whenever he's ready. She storms off to their car, which explodes the second they get in. Mori activates Elise as Vita Sexualis, and she grabs him by the collar, flying him over the explosion, both unharmed, and her strength increased so much she ripped the door off when flying away. Despite being safe, Elise feels nothing but contempt for saving Mori, dropping him without hesitation when he comments his neck hurts. She dismisses his gratitude, unhappy about saving him since, as his ability, she's forced to upon his whim. Mori tries to calm her, but she points out she hates the arrangement as he's always the one that gets to "set the scene".

Elise (Vita Sexualis) looking for Fyodor in the crowd.

With a crowd gathering at the explosion, both attempt to leave going unnoticed, however, a police officer stops to check on them. Trying to deescalate the situation, Mori lies and claims Elise poured orange juice into the gas tank because the "car seemed thirsty". This only angers Elise, feeling she's being made a fool of. Mori assures the officer they're both fine, and the officer suddenly stabs him in the abdomen. His police hat falls off, revealing Fyodor Dostoevsky. Mori orders Elise to pursue him, and her speed and flight increase, but she loses sight of him in the crowd. Infected by Alexander Pushkin's virus, Mori becomes too weak to keep Elise around and she disappears. [6]

Elise instructed to take down Fukuzawa,

Once the Cannibalism operation forces the Port Mafia and Agency to try and kill each others' leaders, Mori leaves the mafia's protection to face Fukuzawa one-on-one and minimise the damage their organisations suffer. Although weak, he's capable of summoning Elise for combat. In this stage, Elise arrives in a nurse's dress, armed with a giant syringe to fight. She and Fukuzawa engage in a fierce battle, however, Fukuzawa defeats her and cuts her body into many pieces. Soon just a floating head and detached arms, Elise apologises to Mori, promising to see him next time before disappearing. She is not seen again until after Pushkin's defeat, alongside the rest of the Port Mafia and Agency. [7]


Appearances

Manga Appearances
Chapters in order of appearance
Anime Appearances
Episodes in order of appearance


Trivia

  • Despite being part of Vita Sexulis, Elise's name, appearance, and relationship with Mori stem directly from Ōgai Mori's short story The Dancing Girl. The latter is depicted as Mori's obsessive affection towards Elise, echoing The Dancing Girl's focus on the protagonist's relationship with Elise, whose mental well-being ends up intensely affected by the protagonist's own actions.
  • One of Elise's many drawings.

    The anime depicts Elise drawing grotesque imagery of Akutagawa decapitated during Mori and Higuchi's meeting, however, the manga shows her drawing animals and people typical of a girl "her age". She even draws the Port Mafia, calling it her "family".
  • Dazai details an event where he drew a ghastly self-portrait during his time in the mafia. After seeing it, Elise cried and called it cursed. [8]
  • Elise calls Mori "Rintarō", referencing the real author's birth name.
  • In celebration of volume 16 and Gaiden: Yukito Ayatsuji VS. Natsuhiko Kyogoku's manga publications, Sango Harukawa illustrated Elise in her former uniform during the Great War.  She holds Ayatsuji's iconic doll of Mei Misaki, and her shadow is in Yosano's shape, further establishing her current behavior mimicking Yosano's.[9]
  • Elise is one of two abilities shown to speak during the Dead Apple incident, the other being All Men Are Equal.
  • Elise appears as a grown woman in the alternate world.

References

  1. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 66.
  2. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 14.
  3. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 16.
  4. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 19.
  5. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 20.
  6. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 46.
  7. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 51.
  8. Bungo Stray Dogs Manga: Chapter 37.
  9. Harukawa's Official Twitter


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