So many ships, so little time!
Bungou Stray Dogs is a supernatural, seinen anime centered on a group of individuals with special abilities, based on and named after literature greats and their famous literary works. The Port Mafia rules the city of Yokohama. Because of their gifted members, the normal police are helpless in fighting against them. Instead, the Armed Detective Agency, filled with their own gifted elite, take on the Port Mafia’s heavy hitters in this tale of organized crime and supernatural battles.
Bungou Stray Dogs will start its second season this fall, but the fandom is already full of ships, with more ships to come! Most of the ship engines are fueled by the eccentric bidanshi Dazai Osamu, as you’ll soon see in this list. Dazai is kind of a main character that isn’t the MC, but his connections with nearly all the characters in the series has had quite the impact on the fandom. Today we’ll go through five of the most popular Bungou Stray Dogs ships that were expounded upon in the first season of the anime.
5. Dazai Osamu x Kunikida Doppo (DaKuni)
Dazai and Kunikida are shown as a classic odd-couple pairing in the anime. Dazai’s laid-back but suicidal character clashes with Kunikida’s ideal-driven and serious nature. The duo gains attention from fans for having entertaining interactions that are usually the comic relief in the series. Dazai will often poke fun at Kunikida, who is obsessed with ideals, keeping an ideal schedule, and generally living life ideally. Fully aware of how inherently different they are, Dazai will mess with Kunikida on purpose, giving him false information or purposefully withholding important details just to get a rise out of Kunikida-kun. This pairing is never lacking in angst fuel with Dazai always testing Kunikida’s adherence to his ideals while keeping his dark past a secret from his squeaky clean partner.
The anime went above and beyond its manga predecessor by including material from the manga’s light novel series to better showcase the DaKuni pair in Kunikida-focused Episodes 6 and 7. Although they are always fighting and bickering, when things get serious, so does this duo. In Episode 7, the two split up during a sting, only to find they are poorly matched with their respective opponents. With just a simple glance, the two seamlessly switch places and quickly end the battle and the situation. That glance is forever imprinted on fujoshi hearts worldwide. Atsushi confirms what we’re all thinking, saying, “Their partnership is amazing.” Amazing!
4. Fukuzawa Yukichi x Edogawa Ranpo (FukuRan)
As one of most popular side characters in Bungou Stray Dogs, Edogawa Ranpo’s childlike personality but impressive skills of deduction are well-loved in the fandom, so we just cannot overlook the serious “notice me senpai” sickness he has for the Armed Detective Agency boss, Fukuzawa Yukichi. Edogawa has a general disdain for working, but the Agency relies heavily on his Super Deduction, his special ability, which isn’t actually a supernatural ability. Instead, he is just a normal person with amazing powers of deduction, which help him solve numerous of cases.
In Episode 9, Edogawa is reluctant to help in the search for Atsushi, who has been kidnapped by Akutagawa of the Port Mafia. Fukuzawa implores his cooperation, but Edogawa is remains stubborn even in the face of monetary bonuses. Then, Fukuzawa tells him, “I will give you praise.” In two seconds flat, the glasses are on and Edogawa has ascertained Atsushi’s location. All he wants is a little of senpai’s attention, much like one of the main men in our next pairing. Someday, Edogawa, someday he will notice you again.
3. Nakajima Atsushi x Akutagawa Ryunosuke (AtsuAku, Shin Soukoku)
Although not necessarily a member of this pairing, but definitely a part of the triangle relationship, Dazai Osamu is once again a key player. If Akutagawa Ryunosuke is Dazai’s past, then Nakajima Atsushi is his present. Atsushi is brought into the Armed Detective Agency on Dazai’s recommendation. Atsushi looks up to Dazai as the person who saved him from the streets and his own ability. (More on this later.) Akutagawa was also saved by Dazai, but in this case, Dazai brought him into the Port Mafia.
Still holding on to his connection with his first mentor, Akutagawa has a huge “senpai notice me” hold up for Dazai, which is also another popular pairing, though not as popular as Dazai x Atsushi. Akutagawa looks at Atsushi with jealousy and hatred, partially fueled by Dazai’s comments, “My new subordinate is far superior to you,” in the tumultuous Episode 9. Atsushi has his own issues with Akutagawa, who mercilessly used a young girl, Izumi Kyouka, as a tool of destruction.
Who says enemies can’t be the perfect pair? It’s exactly this kind of heated relationship of jealousy and misunderstandings that can turn in a beautiful and heated romance. Beyond the connection through Dazai, the parallels in these characters are astounding. Both have experienced troubled childhoods, in which Dazai became their first authority figure. Both have powerful and overwhelmingly violent abilities that “devour” everything in their path. The series sets them up on opposite sides as a yin-yang interaction, with Atsushi’s white tiger and Akutagawa’s black Rashoumon. Atsushi’s healing ability makes him a particularly tricky opponent for Akutagawa, culminating into a glorious fight between the two on the Port Mafia’s freighter ship in Episode 10.
Atsushi x Akutagawa are also affectionately called “Shin Soukoku” or “New Double Black.” Who is the “old” Double Black? Well, look no further than our #2.
2. Dazai Osamu x Nakahara Chuuya (DaChuu, Soukoku)
Dazai Osamu and Nakahara Chuuya, as a pair, are often called “Soukoku,” or “Double Black,” by the fandom. This nickname comes from their time together in the Port Mafia, (mild spoilers) in which the two made a formidable but antagonistic pair, much like the aforementioned Atsushi x Akutagawa. Dazai tends to keep his true motives hidden underneath layers and layers of eccentric behavior, suicidal tendencies, and antagonistic playfulness. His complete opposite, Chuuya is much more simple and honest in character and tends to act as he thinks. This separation in personalities results in some of the more interesting character interactions in the manga as well as in the anime’s Episodes 9 and 10.
We will resist giving too many manga details, as the anime has yet to fully address the depth of this relationship, but rest assured! The second season is guaranteed to make this pairing even more popular, as we will learn more about Chuuya’s ability and the their shared past in the Port Mafia. From the glimpse we got in Season 1, there is a lot of hate but also a lot of love in Soukoku.
Becoming a Soukoku fan is not hard at all. Much like Edogawa Ranpo, Nakahara Chuuya is an overwhelming popular side character with an equally popular voice actor, Taniyama Kishou. If, however, you find yourself leaning towards becoming a Soukoku fan, be prepared for your heart to explode multiple times throughout this series. This is an Oikawa x Iwaizumi (Haikyuu!!) relationship on heartbreaking steroids. You have been properly warned/encouraged.
1. Dazai Osamu x Nakajima Atsushi (Datsushi, Dazushi)
Congratulations, Dazushi, you two are just too cute. No matter how quickly Dazai shuts us down in the first episode that he “isn’t interested in men,” we cannot be swayed. From the very beginning of the series, Atsushi is in denial of his ability and his self-worth. Dazai saves him from a life on the streets, feeling sorry for Atsushi, who ponders if the orphanage that kicked him out was right, that we was better off dead. Dazai introduces him to the Armed Detective Agency, giving Atsushi a place to work and a roof over his head. Atsushi has a lot of respect and appreciation for Dazai for saving him. When faced with the dilemma of turning Izumi Kyouka over to the police, Atsushi immediately thinks of Dazai and wants to save someone like Dazai saved him.
As with everyone, Dazai likes to mess with Atsushi, whose naiveté makes the young man especially prone to his antics. The fandom was first introduced to this pairing from the very first scenes of the anime, when Atsushi saves Dazai during one of his many suicide attempts. Dazai has a caring way of talking to Atsushi, calling him “boy,” and Atsushi is initially wary of Dazai’s strangeness. Food solves all of Atsushi’s misgivings. From then on, we have a lot of funny scenes between the two with Dazai being his normal carefree jokester and Atsushi being his normal cute cinnamon roll self. The personalities are matched wonderfully throughout the series.
In relation to Dazai, Akutagawa is a more of puppy, and Atsushi is of course a kitty. Maybe the fandom is full of more cat people than dog people, but Akutagawa shows a fierce loyalty to Dazai and then an even fiercer jealousy of the new cat in town. Atsushi shows less outward attachment to Dazai, but we know how he feels on the inside. We can’t help but love this cute cinnamon roll kitten and the man who openly teases him while not-so-openly protecting him.
There you have it: all the reasons why Bungou Stray Dogs has become the latest fujoshi paradise. While these are the pairs that fujoshi fans have come to love after a very short Season 1, there are even more great characters and great relationships to come in Season 2 this fall! So little time to prepare our hearts! We know, but until then, let us know which pairing you are particularly fond of in the comments!