Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 2 Recap – “The Day is a Dream, the Night is Real”

By Nubia Brice
Published: January 11, 2023 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
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In a series where nothing is ever what it seems, somehow, this episode still manages to surprise viewers and keep them on their toes until the very last second.

We recap the Crunchyroll anime series Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 2, “The Day is a Dream, the Nigh is Real,” which contains spoilers. 

After a solid premiere last week, fans are eager to see just where Bungo Stray Dogs would go in this episode, continuing with the flashback or moving forward to the current timeline. The choice to continue Ranpo (Hiroshi Kamiya) and Yukichi’s (Rikiya Koyama) backstory paid off well this week, as viewers get to see even more of how the infamous Armed Detective Agency came to be. When we left off, Ranpo and Yukichi had just been brought in to work on a threat at the local theater, hoping to stop a murder before it could occur. However, this week’s mystery proves there’s always more to the story, and even the greatest of detectives can miss things, apparently.

Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 2 Recap

The episode opens with Yukichi and Ranpo at the theater, watching the play where someone is allegedly going to be murdered. The play focuses on the idea of angels and the “gifted”. When Ranpo asks Yukichi what that means, he says the term will make sense later, as he scopes the audience for potential suspects, noticing a man with a cane near him. The longer they watch the show, the more irritated Ranpo begins to grow, having already figured out the ending to the play early on. He attempts to reveal it to the audience, but Yukichi holds him back, scolding him. However, Ranpo can’t seem to understand the lack of outrage and instead concludes that everyone else must recognize something he doesn’t, or else why would they sit through a mystery they already know the ending to? The thought of being left out begins to drive him into a panic.

At intermission, Yukichi asks Ranpo if his parents ever spoke to him about his “talents”, to which Ranpo claims he has none. Yukichi finds that hard to believe, revealing to Ranpo that everything the boy knew about him earlier was spot on. He goes on to explain that while most people probably are not as bright as Ranpo in general, Ranpo’s ability is still unique. Yukichi concludes that Ranpo must have the ability to immediately discern the truth, a power that would make him one of society’s “gifted”, or people with extraordinary talents or skills. He says that abilities must be controlled and even offers to help Ranpo learn to use his at will by wearing a special pair of glasses he received from an old colleague.

Most viewers already know that Ranpo is one of the few characters on the show who isn’t actually gifted, aside from his genius-level intelligence and perception. It is soon revealed that the glasses are merely a rouse that Yukichi is using to calm Ranpo down and focus his abilities. He tricks Ranpo into thinking that when the glasses are on, the ability is working, and when they are off, Ranpo should at least be able to move through life unbothered by the foolishness of others from now on. It’s not that anyone is trying to deceive Ranpo or hurt him on purpose, explains Yukichi, just that most people are too stupid to notice the same things he did. This seems to be everything Ranpo needs to revive his confidence, with the episode shifts from black and white to full color as he embraces his new role as the world’s greatest detective.

Able to focus now, Ranpo turns his attention back to the case at hand, saying the murderer will still attempt to commit an attack during the show tonight. Since he’s already deduced precisely how everything will play out, Ranpo asks Yukichi to keep an eye on the audience for him. Almost immediately after the show started, an actor collapsed on stage in a pool of blood. Having already read the script, Yukichi runs to the stage and calls for an ambulance, realizing this is not a part of the show. As he searches for the murder weapon, the audience and other cast members slowly begin to realize the body on stage is real. He encourages the audience not to leave, assuming from Ranpo’s earlier request, that whoever tries to flee first is likely the culprit.

As the police show up and begin their investigation, Yukichi overhears them, saying that an audience member has disappeared. When he asks for details, he recognizes the description to fit that of a man he was seated near earlier that night and immediately runs off to lead a search of his own. He knows that if the murderer finds Ranpo before he does, Ranpo won’t be able to hold his own.

During his search, Yukichi runs into Egawa, the theater owner, who says she has a message from Ranpo. She reveals to him that Ranpo had deduced there were actually two culprits and that the first murder would essentially be used as bait for one criminal to drag out the other. She begins singing Ranpo’s praises as a detective, telling Yukichi he’s the only one who sees the whole picture, before sending him back to his seat so that Ranpo can officially solve the case.

Ending Explained

Just as Yukichi returns to his seat, Ranpo appears on stage behind the police and the body. He announces that he is a gifted and brilliant detective here to solve the case, before explaining how he deduced what happened. He reveals that much like the play they were watching, this murder revolves heavily around the turning of tides. The man Yukichi thought was the culprit, is actually a victim, Ranpo says as a curtain is drawn, revealing the audience member who disappeared earlier tied up on stage.

From there, we learn that the actor who was thought the die on stage earlier, is actually not dead. He faked his death on stage, using real blood and theater props to frame the audience member. Now exposed, the actor, Murakami, begins to explain his motivation, wanting his viewers to witness the pinnacle of acting. Ranpo wonders if it was worth it, considering Murakami had to traumatize an audience full of people to achieve his goal, causing the man to realize how selfish he’d been finally.

With the case solved, Ranpo happily declares to anyone who will listen that he is a gifted detective, much to Yukichi’s dismay. As Ranpo leaves to speak with the police, Yukichi heads over to clear up something with Egawa and Murakami as he is arrested. He asks who the man from the audience tied up on stage was, but Murakami says he only knows the man as the other aim of this project. Murakami planned the murder with the stagewright, Kurahashi, and it seems capturing the man from the audience was also one of the writer’s objectives. Just before the episode ends, a man runs up, telling Yukichi that the stagewright has been found murdered in a locked room, as we see that the officer who took Ranpo to the station may not be who he seems after all.

Continuing with the same energy from last week, this episode did not disappoint. The dynamic between young Ranpo and Yukichi is so fun that, at times, you almost forget you’re watching a show about superpowered individuals, gangs, and murder. Sometimes extended flashbacks can feel boring or leave fans wishing they had just been given a full prequel instead. Still, Bungo Stray Dogs has a way of seamlessly incorporating backstory into the fold in such a way that it’s almost more compelling than the current timeline.

Although intricate, the mysteries and storylines are never too hard to follow, making this an easy series to find yourself invested in even after waiting several years for a fourth season. The plot is really starting to pick up, and it feels like I’m halfway through a season instead of just starting one. I’m fully invested, and with the way things are going, it will be interesting to see just how the anime continues to top itself week after week.

What did you think of the Anime Series Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 2? Comment below.

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