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Bungo Stray Dogs: Osamu Dazai and the Dark Era

Osamu Dazai and the Dark Era

US Osamu Dazai and the Dark Era

Information
Kanji 文豪ストレイドッグス 太宰治の入社試験
Rōmaji Bungō Sutorei Doggusu Dazai Osamu no Nyūsha Shiken
Author Kafka Asagiri
Illustration Sango Harukawa
Published By Kadokawa Shoten (Japanese)

Yen Press (English)

Release Date August 1, 2014 (JP)

October 29, 2019 (US)

ISBN-10 4041017130 (JP)

1975303245 (US)

ISBN-13 978-4-04-101713-5 (JP)

978-1-97-530324-2 (US)

No. of Pages 244 (JP)

176 (US)

Volumes 1 (Finished)
Genre Action, Mystery, Supernatural


Bungo Stray Dogs: Osamu Dazai and the Dark Era (文豪ストレイドッグス 太宰治と黒の時代, Bungō Sutorei Doggusu Dazai Osamu to Kuro no Jidai) is the 2nd light novel of the series, mainly focusing on Osamu Dazai's past in Port Mafia and telling the reason behind him leaving the organization. Like the 1st light novel, Dark Era was adapted into the Bungo Stray Dogs (Anime), filling in Episode 13 to Episode 16 of the series.

It consists of six chapters in total.

Summary

Before joining the Armed Detective Agency, Osamu Dazai was the youngest executive with the Port Mafia, the most notorious underground crime syndicate in all of Yokohama. When one of their colleagues suddenly goes missing, Dazai and fellow Port Mafia member Sakunosuke Oda are tasked with conducting an investigation...and at last, the reason why Dazai parted ways with the Port Mafia is revealed!

Plot

List of Chapters

  • Prologue
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Epilogue

Involved Parties

Author's Afterword

Good evening. Asagiri here.

I ordered the late Sakunosuke Oda’s favorite Osaka-style curry online and tried it. It was extremely spicy, but good. But also extremely spicy. My hand was basically glued to my water glass. The moment I finished, I started planning when I would eat it next. It was that kind of curry. I apologize to anyone reading this in the middle of the night.

Anyway, this is the second Bungo Stray Dogs novel: Osamu Dazai and the Dark Era. While Osamu Dazai’s Entrance Exam took place two years before the comics, this novel takes place four years earlier and is about Dazai’s life as a Mafia executive. The title inspiration came from the artist Pablo Picasso’s first works (as a young man) known as the Blue Period. The author Osamu Dazai was rather wild in his younger years, but the Dazai in Bungo Stray Dogs had his own dark days as a youth, too.

Now, if I may digress.

The substance of this novel came to life because of a certain photograph. Authors Osamu Dazai, Sakunosuke Oda, and Ango Sakaguchi were part of a school of writers known as the Buraiha, or libertines. They would gather at a bar in Ginza, drink, and talk about the literary world, novels, their family, and everything in between.

There’s actually a photo of them talking and having a good time that you can find at the Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature (taken by the photographer Tadahiko Hayashi). Osamu Dazai is trying to act all cool with his legs on the stool, Sakunosuke Oda is facing the camera and smiling, and Ango Sakaguchi has a hand on his glass while listening to Dazai’s story. They’re so relaxed that it’s hard to believe they’re in front of a camera (especially when you consider that cameras back then were huge and the flashbulbs had to be changed with every shot). You can really tell they got along. Not only are these three authors pillars of the literary world, but they seemed to be really close as well. I guess you could even call them “friends.” Such wonderful, sympathetic relationships aren’t easy to come by, and youcan’t simply take them back if you lose them. That’s something even normal people like us can understand.

Then, only nine days after the picture was taken, Sakunosuke Oda passed away from a lung hemorrhage due to tuberculosis.

Osamu Dazai wrote “Oda! You did well” in his eulogy for the funeral. Not too long after that, he and Ango Sakaguchi also departed from this world, and now all that’s left is this picture of them. The starting point of this story came from what will never again return, something forever sealed within a strip of film.

As you know, the characters in Bungo Stray Dogs don’t share everything in common with their real-life counterparts. There are a number of discrepancies in the series’s setting that contradict historical fact (for example, it was actually Osamu Dazai who looked up to Ryuunosuke Akutagawa). I have no qualms with readers treating these as entities independent from the actual history.

However, my belief is that the faint glimmers these individuals left behind for future generations (such as the lines written in their stories, or that something within the aforementioned photo) are the very nature of a great author. So to stretch the point a bit, I feel as though this series wouldn’t be able to live up to its name—Bungo—without these glimmers.

Enough serious talk. I just wanted to express my gratitude to everyone for their support and love for the series. Thanks to you all, we are planning on a third novel. I’m going to be extremely busy releasing four comics and three novels within a year, but I really hope you look forward to the continuation of the Bungo Stray Dogs universe.

Last but not least, I would like to thank my amazing partner Sango Harukawa for yet again drawing such beautiful illustrations and cool characters. I’d also like to thank the editors, advertisers, agencies, bookstores, and you, the reader! Thank you all so much.

Let us meet again in the next volume.

KAFKA ASAGIRI

Gallery

Trivia

  • The story became an collaboration event of Bungo Stray Dogs with Love Heaven (its developer is the same as the one who created Bungo Mayoi)
  • It also became a collaboration event of Eighteen : Dream World.

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