Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 4 Recap

By Nubia Brice
Published: January 25, 2023 (Last updated: January 25, 2024)
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While this fast-forward to the present almost felt like another season premiere, it was clear this episode is meant to prepare us for the rest of the season. It does a good job of reminding us of breadcrumbs from the first three episodes while still creating interest for the viewer.

We recap the Crunchyroll anime series Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 4, “A Perfect Murder and Murderer (Part 1),” which contains spoilers.

With this season’s initial flash to the past over, fans once again find themselves back in the present times in episode 4 of Bungo Stray Dogs. It’s only fitting that Ranpo (Hiroshi Kamiya) feels like the focus here, considering that he and Yukichi (Rikiya Koyama) were the main focus of the first few episodes as well. It’s clear those were meant to lay the foundation for what is to come now, and seeing how the past affects the present will surely be fascinating to watch.

Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 4 recap

The episode opens with a mysterious man dragging a body on top of a building. He then attacks the body with a shovel.

Why is Doppo Kunikida in prison?

While dressed in a bear costume, Ranpo visits Kunikida in prison. Kunikida’s there, accused of murdering a young girl that he swears detonated the bomb in question herself. Ranpo believes he is being framed by Fyodor and vows to get him out. When Kunikida, Ranpo explains that he blames himself for not seeing through Fyodor’s plan sooner.

Ranpo Runs into Edgar Allan Poe

On his way back, Ranpo runs into Poe, who is waiting to pick something up. After explaining that he’s in a bear costume for disobeying orders, Ranpo tells him he thinks the Rats (short for the Rats in the House of the Dead organization run by Fyodor) have a “Cleaner,” or someone capable of tampering with police evidence. Since the Cleaner knows Ranpo’s face, Poe is on the lookout for him instead, using a picture Ranpo gave him.

To kill time, Poe begins telling Ranpo about a mystery he’s been working on. Although uninterested at first, Ranpo becomes intrigued as Poe explains the premise of the novel about a writer who’s killed in the same manner as one of his stories. After completing the first three chapters of their newest mystery novel, the author character, Kindaichi, is murdered, and the murderer steals the final chapter of his manuscript.

After meeting him face to face, Ranpo solves the mystery of the murder by relaying the murderer’s motives. As Ranpo explains the solution in detail, we learn that Poe bought this mysterious 4th chapter, and the manuscript is supposed to be delivered to him in a red envelope. Suddenly, while in an observation tower, Ranpo and Poe see a large red envelope leaning on the window. When they grab it, they see a red arrow facing up painted underneath. Just then, a body falls from the top of the building onto the street. Ranpo and Poe recognize him as the Cleaner.

Why did the Rat’s kill the Cleaner?

At first, Poe and Ranpo wonder if the Rat’s killed the Cleaner to silence him. However, when the police arrive on the scene almost instantly, Ranpo realizes the murderer must’ve called the police themselves to throw him off. However, after observing the scene and deducing several elaborate ruses, Ranpo realizes this was all actually the Cleaner’s doing by the shoes the victim has on. The Cleaner killed someone to try and throw them off his tracks.

In the crowd, we see the Cleaner, who reveals that everything is going according to plan before activating his ability: The Perfect Crime. The ability instantly erases all evidence and traces of a crime so well that even Ranpo is devastated when he realizes he is unable to figure out the rest of the clues. The Cleaner relishes that Ranpo will never be able to free Kunikida or reveal why Fyodor surrendered.

What happened two months ago?

In prison, Fyodor approaches the Cleaner, Oguri Mushitaro. Fyodor tells Mushitaro that he has freed him from his captors on the condition that the man use his ability for his organization once. Mushitaro agrees, but not before listing several conditions and demands, including being evacuated from the country exactly one week after committing another murder.

Bungo Stray Dogs Season 4 Episode 4 Ending Explained

Mushitaro calmly flees the scene, knowing that the detectives will never find him, especially since he’s had surgery since they last got a hold of his picture. While walking, he runs into Ranpo, who asks where to catch a taxi. Mushitaro says there are none close, but when Ranpo says he’ll wait there, he begins to panic, not wanting the detective to see what car he is going to be picked up in.

He tries to convince Ranpo to find other means of transportation, but he refuses. Instead, when the car arrives, Ranpo hops in and demands a ride to the Armed Detective Agency, but they agree to take him to the station instead. In the car, Ranpo explains that he’s a detective looking for a culprit whose shoes would currently be too small for him. Internally Mushitaro is panicking, but he’s trying his best to play it cool in front of the detective.

How does Ranpo solve the crime?

After realizing the murderer must have some sort of reality-altering ability, Ranpo reveals that the real key to the mystery is the red envelope. In an effort to make the detective believe he was dead, the Cleaner created this rouse using his friend Poe and the author. Ranpo realized the Cleaner and the murderer of the author were one and the same, as killing the author was the only way to acquire both the envelope and the manuscript to sell to Poe in the first place.

While the flashback episodes were fun, there’s something nostalgic and special about seeing the Ranpo we already know and love work as an established detective. This episode seemed to take place not long after the end of the events of season three, and it’s nice to see we’re going to finish up the last few ends of that arc instead of moving on to something else entirely.

Now that we’re back in the present, it almost feels a bit like starting the season over. This episode was clearly laying the foundation for the rest of the season, and while it was exciting, it definitely felt like a premiere all over again. Still, it was engaging and left me curious for what is to come.

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