Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 1 Recap – “The Lone Swordsman and the Famous Detective”

By Nubia Brice
Published: January 4, 2023 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
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This is a compelling introduction to the new season that leaves viewers entertained and intrigued about what’s coming.

We recap the Crunchyroll anime series Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 1, “The Lone Swordsman and the Famous Detective,” which contains spoilers.

Season 3 of Bungo Stray Dogs almost saw the elimination of the leaders of the Port Mafia and Armed Detective Agency. Now that the first episode of season 4 is here, we see that it follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, giving viewers a look into the past that will likely have a significant influence in the present as well. This season it seems we’ll get a look at how exactly the Armed Detective Agency came to be, which is sure to be an exciting ride, but knowing this series, is also only the tip of the iceberg.

Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 1 Recap

The episode opens with what seems to be a flashback to a time before Fukuzawa Yukichi was president of the Armed Detective Agency. He receives a call from a mysterious acquaintance requesting that he finally come to work for the Military Police, as they are the only ones who “can make use” of his powers. Yukichi, however, declines the offer.

On his way to his next job, Yukichi passes the crime scene. The victim was the president of a company who was murdered, having been pushed out of a window by an assassin. Inside the office, the president’s secretary arranges piles of documents all across the floor. He thought the assassin may have been after one of them as is looking for a pattern. He hopes to solve the president’s murder as one last favor to him but then mentions that the person responsible was already apprehended by the police earlier with fingerprint evidence. Yukichi finds out the assassin is still being held in the room next door and requests to see them. The moment he sees the red-haired teenager with two pistols, he recognizes him as the son of one of the most famous underground assassins ever. However, if this kid is truly the Sakunosuke Oda he’s heard of, Yukichi can’t understand how mere security guards could capture him. 

Just as the secretary explains that Oda refuses to talk, a young man pops into the doorway. The viewers will recognize him as a 14-year-old version of Armed Agency Detective Edogawa Ranpo. As usual, he makes several ridiculous demands before finally requesting to see a copy of the working permit he was supposed to receive at his interview today. The secretary refuses, saying it would be too hard, which Ranpo calls a lie before saying he’ll find the permit himself. He knows it will be easy to find because it is printed on heavier paper than the other documents. After opening the window, causing the other pages to blow around, his permit remains stuck to the ground, making it stand out. 

The secretary scolds Ranpo for ruining his organization, saying he only has so much time to figure out which documents are missing. Ranpo wonders why he would waste his time when it’s evident not a single document has been stolen. He then declares that the assassin couldn’t have killed the president because the secretary was guilty and obviously using this time to build his alibi. As everyone watches in shock, Ranpo explains how he knows this to be true, relaying evidence he considers to be obvious.

Ranpo accuses Yukichi of slacking on his job as the secretary requests that Ranpo be thrown out. Before making a move, he asks Ranpo to explain the fingerprint evidence further, slowly realizing the kid might be right. As Ranpo reveals the secretary hired the assassin just to frame him, Oda breaks free. He engages Yukichi in a fight to escape, managing to slip past him and murder the secretary while still having his hands tied behind his back.

Sometime later, Yukichi takes Ranpo out to eat to ask just when and how he solved that case so quickly. Ranpo says he knew immediately after laying eyes on the secretary that he was guilty, explaining the little things he noticed that gave it away. Yukichi asks him about school, but Ranpo was recently kicked out of the Police Academy after exposing their secrets. With his parents dead, Ranpo is alone with nowhere to go. He seems to be looking for someone to help him, but as a mere security police worker, all Yukichi can offer him at the time is his business card to call if he needs something.

Almost immediately after Ranpo leaves, Yukichi receives a call requesting help. It is Ranpo who called him from the phone in the restaurant. Yukichi is heading to work but invites Ranpo to come along, thinking maybe if he helps, it might lead to landing Ranpo a job.

Yukichi takes them to a theater, where his latest job is. It seems they’ve been having a problem retaining employees because of a threatening note they received. Ranpo asks a question, prompting the theater manager to wonder who he is. When they explain he’s looking to apply for open work, she says she will consider his resume, but Ranpo immediately calls her out on lying, not only to him but to Yukichi as well. It seems she’s using him to keep an eye on the municipal police and vice versa. Despite her intentions, Yukichi says he is just here to do his job and requests to speak with the actors.

Ending Explained

Yukichi and Ranpo speak with the lead actor, Murakami Tokio, first. He explains that as the lead, he does spend quite a few minutes alone on stage, which could make him vulnerable. They then speak with other actors, who seem to think either nothing terrible will happen or it will happen to Murakami. 

While unsuccessfully trying to convince Yukichi to buy him snacks, Ranpo comments that the theater will close soon once someone is murdered anyway. Seeing that no other police seem to take the threat seriously, Yukichi vows to prevent something bad from happening based on a threat. That’s when Ranpo corrects him, saying the note from earlier does not fit the criteria of a threat and is instead a warning or declaration.

Yukichi wonders if Ranpo has the ability to see the truth before asking him why he didn’t say anything sooner. It’s clear that Ranpo doesn’t realize that the people around him aren’t as keen on details as he is. In his adolescent view of the world, everyone knows as much as he does and is just pretending they don’t. After offering him a place to stay, Yukichi tests Ranpo by asking what he can about Yukichi just by looking. Ranpo begins relaying standard facts like age and marital status before revealing he can tell that Yukichi is a swordsman who likely gave up that side of himself when one of his previous jobs went wrong.

By Yukichi’s reaction, it’s evident that Ranpo has hit his analysis right on the nose. As Ranpo begins to tie even more pieces of Yukichi’s tragic past together, the older man grows tense, finally creaming at Ranpo so loudly that he flies backward, shaking him up. After making sure Ranpo’s okay, Yukichi requests his help on this job, promising to get him more jobs if they succeed, despite having already planned to work alone from now on.

Although it took a moment for me to grasp where the episode was going at first, especially since the episode was a flashback, once it picked up, it turned out to be a very satisfying episode. Ranpo has always been a fun, interesting character, especially since he’s one of the few with no actual powers or abilities. Getting his backstory almost feels too long overdue, but it’s clear now that this season will likely incorporate The Untold Origins of the Detective Agency light novel plot. Whether it will tell it all at once or split it into flashback sequences will remain to be seen. However, I love the idea of seeing how the Armed Detective Agency came to be.

Overall, this was a solid premiere. It’s one that can get viewers excited and curious about what’s to come. Bungo Stray Dogs is always a bit of a crazy ride, especially when you remember that almost everyone has a unique, almost superhero-like ability at their disposal. I’m curious to see how it all plays out and what Ranpo’s part in the overall season will be.

What did you think of the Anime Series Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 1? Comment below.

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