#bungou stray dogs
AKUTAGAWA RYUUNOSUKE ― BUNGOU STRAY DOGS
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Dazai’s morality and what makes him different from other “morally gray” characters
Everyone knows that Dazai is morally gray - but I only recently realized how he’s different from other “morally gray” characters we often see in fiction.
Most of the time, those characters we conveniently label “morally gray” don’t even deserve the title - they’re just good people who had done a few bad things, or bad people who had done a few good things. But Dazai is truly in the middle - he has done too many bad things to be good, but too many good things to be bad.
He’s abusive, manipulative, ruthless, and made life a living hell for Akutagawa. And yet-
He was Atsushi’s savior - giving him a home when nobody else would accept him. Although this still isn’t enough to forgive him for what he did to Akutagawa, it still proves that he isn’t fully a bad person.
Now, here’s when things start to get more interesting. Most morally gray characters tend to switch back and forth between two sides, right? Lots of writers depict them doing kind things more often while on the “good side”, and doing cruel actions more often while on the “bad side”.
But that's not the case with Dazai.
Dark Era Dazai was terrifying - he shot innocent people, manipulated his subordinates, abused people, and many more. But he was still good, in his own way. He helped Chuuya cut ties with the Sheep, who were obviously using him for his powerful ability, despite having only met him for a day. He genuinely cared for Odasaku, willing to risk his own life to save his friend.
In the ADA, he seemed more compassionate. He gave Atsushi a home and cared for all the members of the ADA. But although it’s subtle, he was still evil. It’s more obvious in the manga - since the anime tends to focus on his humor and suicidal tendencies more. Take a look at this manga panel :
Although it’s implied, it’s clear what he did - he slept with the nurse only to obtain information. He manipulated an innocent woman without hesitation, as if it’s a daily habit. No other ADA member would have the heart to do this, even if it meant saving the world or whatsoever. And let’s not forget this anime moment that made all Aku stans’ blood boil :
Yes, Dazai didn’t directly abuse Aku anymore after being in the ADA. But if he was truly a good person, he wouldn’t have taken advantage of Aku’s emotions, thinking that he had every right to control him. He would have acknowledged Aku and sincerely apologized for abusing him.
No matter what your argument is, you can’t deny that Dazai doesn’t have a trace of his PM tendencies left in him even after transferring into the ADA. That’s the depth about Dazai’s gray morality - no matter which side he’s on, he'd always do an equal amount of good and bad things.
Alright, last point, I promise. I’ve seen lots of people think that Dazai underwent his "redemption arc” in the Dark Era, when Oda died, just because Dark Era and ADA him are opposites. But now that I think of it, his moralities never even changed. He never had a redemption arc. His way of viewing people and the world are still more or less the same. The only reason Dark Era and ADA Dazai are different is because he changed his mannerisms, and obtained more will to live.
“Oh, then why did he join the agency?”
Because he wanted to honor his best friend’s dying wish. He still doesn’t care about “good” or “bad”. Even Oda knew this - that’s why he said this line to Dazai:
I’d like to believe that a part of Dazai's kind actions are genuine, but you cannot tell me that this man, who didn’t give a f*ck about shooting innocent people, is unconditionally kind all the time. We can never guess what’s going on in his head, but I’m sure that he sometimes puts up a facade of being kind, in hopes that one day, it’ll become real.
Now, you’ll notice that most morally gray characters undergo a meaningful redemption arc before joining the good guys - which implies that the writers think only post-redemption them belonged in the good side - that pre-redemption them will never be able to become “good”.
He joined the agency without undergoing a redemption arc and still passed the entrance exam.
You see what this means?
From the start, Dazai already had the potential of becoming both "good" and "evil". He would have fit in either organizations perfectly. Mori just happened to find him first. It’s just the matter of timing.
Dazai’s morality is truly in the middle.
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I honestly don't know which is the real me. If I had no books to read and couldn't find any models to imitate, what in the world would I do? I wouldn't be able to do anything, just shrink in a corner crying and blowing my nose like mad.
Dazai Osamu, Schoolgirl
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idk if there was a demand for it, but my friend convinced me to do a pt. 2 so here you go!
bsd characters react to the dumbassery pt. 2 :D
poe (IM SORRY I COULDNT BE MEAN TO POE)
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"your stupidity is astounding." it tumbles out of your mouth. glancing back out the window, you notice the morning light pouring in from the floor-to-ceiling windows of the detective agency. the quintessence of autumn is well in full swing, and yet the sun kisses you with the tenderness of an august sky.
"hm." dazai notes, lowering the coffee cup from his upper lip, "there's at least one positive adjective in that sentence."
it's hard to imagine working without dazai, these morning conversations wake you up more than the mediocre joe they serve in the break room, and lord knows ranpo's sharp whine is anything but pleasant any hour of the day. still, sometimes the things he suggests are absolutely appalling.
yet, you can't help but go along with every single one of them, because he makes entertaining his spontaneity sound much too appealing compared to the foreseeable consequences.
this morning, the two of you are leaning against his desk for a change. it's closer to the window, and there’s less papers on it today than there are on yours—though you're convinced he snuck some of his work onto your pile when you weren't looking.
a way's away stands atsushi, hunched over slightly as he explains something insufferably simple to kenji, who always has that dumbfounded look on his face (though, you'd be a liar if you said it wasn't adorning). dazai is staring him down like prey, about to hunted by a fairly lanky bobcat.
both of you are nursing your coffee in the same way, at a similar pace, yet he drinks his relatively faster than you do. it's not a race, but at the same time it may as well be—everything is a silent tournament with him.
perhaps that's why you tend to trail after his unfinished thoughts like the cat to his mouse—nevermind, that sounds much too unappealing and prompts a scowl somewhere on your face.
"he's not going to listen," you taunt, "atsushi's all the way over there—and besides, he's not as naive as he seems to be."
dazai shrugs halfheartedly, glancing at his shoes and rubbing the tips against one another, "maybe, but I think wild animals do as they please." he then looks up at you, teasingly, "or do we need to have another national geographic viewing?"
this time you laugh with your chest, thinking back to when he badgered you to watch a nature documentary, only to fall asleep on your couch minutes after it started. that was the last time dazai stayed over your house, and you have a feeling it wasn’t the last—so you blacklist the channel until further notice.
"you didn't retain a single thing from that program, and don't try to use our newest member—who you recruited, might i add—for your sick little animal experiment."
"maybe they should put you in a zoo." you conclude, smirk ever present in your voice.
dazai joins you in laughing this time, and you can hear kunikida clearing his throat in your general direction down to your left, following the column of desks and spinning chairs. you quiet down, dazai reluctantly follows.
a moment of silent, and then a newfound determination fizzles off his speech like overflowing soda pop, "i'm gonna do it." he whispers, leaning over to reach the shell of your ear.
in an attempt to sound indifferent, you barely acknowledge him—yet subconsciously you lean in.
craning his neck forward, dazai cups the side of his mouth with a free hand. with the roof of his mouth, he whispers rather loudly, and you wonder if such an approach defeats the purpose or not, "psst psst psst!"
following the expected silence, you remind him that his apprentice is indeed more human than feline, "it's not going to work—,"
"hello?" atsushi is speaking in dazai's direction, but not looking directly at him—yet even from a distance, you can see his pupils continue to widen as his flicks his gaze every which way. only when kenji taps his forearm lightly does he blink back into the conversation.
in utter disbelief, you stare. there's no possible way he could've heard the borderline degrading cat-call, and yet it seems atsushi’s sense’s had gone into overdrive. staring straight ahead, you can feel dazai's self-satisfied energy radiating off of him. still, you refuse to give him the gratification of your gaze as you process the fact that (once again) he won.
"looks like i'm a cat-whisperer after all!" he remarks with glee, only to shift to a state of convoluted deviousness the next, "now pay up."
✿ TETSUSTATION — 2021 ; do not repost, translate, share without permission, or recycle my writing & layouts. this blog does not hesitate to hardblock in that instance!
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Hi hi!! I was wondering if you could write a fem reader x dazai and/or Chuuya (up to you!) where the reader amplifies abilities via touch and someone tries to kidnap her to use for their ability?
Totally cool if not!!!!
Pairing: Reader x Chuuya Nakahara
There was no way in hell he was letting anyone lay their grimy fingers on his girlfriend. Not on his watch.
She looks around with a frown on her face. This...wasn't right. She wasn't supposed to end up near a sketchy alleyway at night, this was supposed to be a park...?
She hears footsteps behind her, sudden and quick. "Chuuya?" She turns around, but sees no one. Her boyfriend and Y/N were supposed to team up for a joint mission, but either he was late, or she was in the wrong place.
She goes to call his name again, but is stopped when a hand grips her forearm in an iron grip.
He whips around and is met with a man, around twice her size. His hand is clamped around her right arm, but instead of skin, it's cool, hard metal.
An ability user.
"The fuck are you-"
The man scowls and attempts to pick her up. Y/N thrashes and manages to kick the guys knee, sending him tumbling to the floor. Unfortunately, the grip on his arm is relentless, and she goes crashing down with him.
On instinct, her ability activates as the wind is knocked out of her. She finds herself immobile, as her ability amplifies the man's making his grip practically unbreakable. He manages to wrestle her onto her back, and he pins her down, drawing out a small syringe from his pocket. It's filled with an ominous green liquid and Y/N knows immediately that she doesn't want whatever the hell that was in her bloodstream.
"Get the hell off me!" She screams furiously, angry at herself for getting herself into this situation. She was mafia, for gods sake, a damn good one at that.
"I'm afraid you'll be working with us, for a long long time." The man grins, spinning the syringe in his hand once, before bringing to down toward her neck.
It never reaches her.
Instead, the weight on top of her vanishes completely and Y/N quickly sits up, coughing and catching her breath.
"What the hell do you think you're doing with my partner, huh?" A familiar, comforting voice. Even laced with rage, it's comforting to her.
Chuuya glares at the man currently pinned to the ground, a reddish glow surrounding him. It's the merciless glare that would have any enemy quacking. Ignoring the guys spluttering and cursing, his eyes flicker over to where Y/N sits, on the ground. He feels enraged when he sees the bruises around her arm.
"I'm impressed you managed to sabotage the information leak we got." He says, turning back around, narrowing his eyes. He walks over to the man and places a foot on the middle of his chest, pressing down hard. The man cries out, but is unable to move, the weight of gravity keeping him down.
"Though the one mistake you made, was thinking you could mess with my girlfriend and live to see tomorrow." He smirks, pressing down harder, a sickening series of cracks and snaps filling the air, accompanied with screams of pain.
Y/N watches impassively. The scene doesn't phase her at all, after all, she's witnessed one too many interrogations before. The mafia were ruthless when it came to prisoners, of course. Her mind wanders as she watches the scene, not really focusing on it.
What would have happened if Chuuya hadn't gotten here? Would she have died? Been used as a tool for her ability? It wouldn't be the first time someone had tried to control her like that before. She's lost in though, and doesn't notice when the screams stop.
A hand grabs her shoulder and she flinches away on instinct, her own hand shooting up to grab the wrist.
Chuuya doesn't speak, only waits for her to catch her bearings. Once she realises it's Chuuya, and not a threat, she relaxes, her grips going loose.
"You startled me."
"I could tell. Are you hurt anywhere else?" He pulls her up to her feet, but doesn't let go of her, brushing a hand over her already bruising arm. He clenches his jaw when she winces.
"I don't think so?" She says closing her eyes and tipping her head forward, resting it on his shoulder. He lets her, his other arm coming up behind her to wrap her into a loose hug. He's not one to express his love so blatantly, but there's no one around, and he can feel her trembling slightly, so who is he to deny her comfort.
He can't lie and say he wasn't worried when she hadn't showed up. He had a bad feeling about this already. The information had been leaked too easily, and a lot of details didn't add up.
"I'll rip apart anyone who touches you, you know?" He says finally, and it doesn't come out as reassuring as he'd have liked it too, but Chuuya has always been brash. It's what made him more genuine.
"I know. You kinda just proved it."
"You really thought I'd let him live after he tried to...to kidnap you?" He poses it as a question, going off an assumption.
She nods, pulling back to meet his gaze. She recounts the event and Chuuya listens intently, occasionally letting out an angry exclamation.
"Thank you." She sighs in the end, grabbing his hand and pulling it up towards her mouth. She presses a kiss on top of the fabric of his gloves. She can feel his eyes on him, watching her intently, and she's sure there's a faint red tint to his face by now.
"I-...yeah, of course." He mumbles and Y/N smiles against his hand.
It's reassuring to know he'd be there to save her when needed.
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So, you see, your rehabilitation depends entirely on yourself. If you mend your ways and bring me your problems—seriously, I mean—I will certainly see what I can do to help you.
Dazai Osamu, No Longer Human pg. 101
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Summary: Usually when Dazai finds himself sinking into the depths of his thoughts once again, he opts to putting on his clown mask. But this time, Dazai finds himself being emotionally vulnerable in front of you... for the first time, from Dazai’s POV.
A/N: This is just a little something I wrote on the plane, I hope it’s good :’) And this is inspired by a few quotes from Dazai-sensei and also a scenario @jadegreenimmortality wrote for me before 🤭
Pairing: Dazai x reader
An aching feeling of nothingness…
Utterly numbed to the core with an almost painstakingly overwhelming feeling of everything and nothing simultaneously. It is almost as if a void had overtaken and swept away all emotions in a whirlwind of a storm, scattering all sensations known to man in a field of wheat, as they sink into its crevices and are set amiss for one to wander and find them once again, like needles in a haystack… In a field of nothing and everything.
Lost, that is perhaps the closest word to being able to describe this inexpressible sensation. This deep and innate sensation and knowledge that you are supposed to feel something deeply, yet only to find an almost hollow feeling of emptiness in its stead instead. To many, this feeling perhaps may signal nothing but a tragedy; but to someone such as myself this state of being has long become an old friend, and feels almost strangely comforting…
Maybe it is the sensation one would feel when one reaches the sheer depths of despair, or those that have reached beyond that point, I mused to myself. Yet, at the thought of this I could do nothing but allow myself to feel the achingly familiar twitch of the muscles near my mouth move in the act of a probably crooked smile. And for what felt like a minute, it was as if I could see myself through other’s eyes smile almost hauntingly normally as my chest continues to feel like it was clenching painfully in on itself, like a clown preforming on a stage with no audience.
And it is at times such as these, of which I find myself buried in these dark thoughts that I am once again drawn to the sentiments of existentialism as I question my reason for being. And there were times of which I wondered myself if I were good enough for such a thing as living, after all the blood I have shed and crimes I have committed. Or if there were something wrong with me for being unable to find such a will or simple reason when it seems to come almost naturally to others to the point where they do not even have the need to question such a thing.
At this thought, I felt the familiar sensation of your breath against my neck as you inched closer to me in the embrace we were in. Remembering this, I could only smile gently at your small ministrations that allowed my heart for a second to feel like a feather in stark contrast to the heavy feelings of earlier. And in this sudden state of hopelessness and aimlessness I found myself in, I allowed myself, even for a second to indulge in your warmth. Clinging to your form, I buried myself closer into your hair, breathing in the comforting smell of your shampoo to ground myself in reality… in a place of warmth, with you -- away from my thoughts.
Yet even with you and your soothing presence, I found it impossible to shut out all thoughts, no matter how hard I try. And I find myself wondering woefully if I should even be worthy of all the love and care you have given me, have the privilege of experiencing first-hand your gentle nature and kindness? Or perhaps whether or not I am worthy or your tender love… or should even have the claim of being at your side, and being able to call you mine?
Feeling you draw back slightly from the comfortable position we shared, there was, there was a momentary drop of disappointment in my heart. But not more than that, for I knew I was not worthy of such warmth in the first place, and I knew I could never be mad at you if you were to slowly draw away from me… But, instead, to be able to meet your eyes to see you looking at mine so endearingly and affectionately, I felt as if I could melt into a puddle under your gaze.
“Dazai,” I could feel your hand reaching up to cup my cheek softly. “I wish I could see you smile like that more often.” At your unexpected words, I could feel the warmth rush up to my cheeks for a mere second at your subtle hint of concern for my wellbeing. Per usual, your frankness was something that has always caught me off guard, that continued to display your gentleness which I lack, for your ability to face others without the need for pretence, which I cannot…
“But my love,” the whirlwind within my being spilling almost instantly at your gentle words as I finally found it in myself to speak. Perhaps this time, the winds have finally gotten ahold of me before my mind could put a stop to it. Or perhaps it was simply your doing, and the feelings of warmth your presence brings me is getting to my head. “What of such a tree? Whose leaves are green until they fall. As their undersides slowly wither away and are eaten by insects, but shyly hides this with their green coat they wear in front until they fall… Do you think they deserve to wear the smile of which you described?” After fooling the world with a false mask, hiding their true rotten nature beneath, do such horrid beings, horrid beings such as myself deserve your so-called happiness? And with that, I could physically feel the genuine smile that I had worn upon my face sour as I found myself once again sinking into my thoughts.
“Wouldn’t you think those leaves are most deserving of such, Dazai?” Your answer only served to surprise me once again. “Always putting on a smile even as they are suffering underneath, and dealing with it alone so as to not worry its onlookers, is there a gentler leaf than that? And having experienced such a lonely existence of underlying pain, why shouldn’t they be deserving of displaying such a smile?” Meeting your gaze, I could physically feel the pain they hold as they met mine at such a question which I could only respond with a bittersweet smile.
“I wish I could be able to help them to smile…” I could hear you softly mumble. And at this, for tonight, the nerves and thoughts that had settled within me untangled at your sweet sincerity and love for myself as I feel as if I am slowly being reduced to honey.
“Trust me, you already have, my love,” I reached up to cover the hand you placed on my cheek and plant a soft kiss in your hair, hoping that you understood just how thankful I am to you.
Drawing you even closer to myself in the desire to express how much I treasure you being by my side, for being a light in my darkness. In this tender state, with the gentle touches of hand against my skin, so soft and delicate, yet undeniably intimate, as you trace shapes with the tips of your fingers on my arm, has me feel as if I were melting into a sensation of blissful serenity that almost drowns out the feelings of emptiness I had been trapped in previously. Bringing me to a peaceful state which I could not even recognize being in before, I couldn’t stop myself from spilling just a little bit more of my sentiments.
“I love you so much, Y/N, thank you..”
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hello there, ranpo stans~ <<333
hope you are all having a great day!!
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Bungo Stray Dogs Wan! Episode 7
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BSD Chapter 94 Cover Art Analysis!
~hello! mandatory spoiler warnings for the bsd manga so far + the beast au. credits for cover art and manga panel: @chazukekani + beast au official art @aoinakahara
Let's start off with the colour scheme. We can see the red/orange background - it creates a sense of doom, death, and destruction - which is true since it's obvious that the final confrontation between the ADA and DoA is close. But something about this cover art reminded me a lot of was this official beast artwork:
Red background? Check. Monochromatic scheme for the characters? Check. Similar to the events in the DoA Arc - beast has a lot of similar elements- the theme and tone of beast has always been darker than canon, and maybe it's a little clue to the events to come.
Another possible analysis is that this is taking place during a 'blood moon' or an eclipse - y'all remember where else that was used :D
Next is something that GENUINELY threw me off - their red eyes. Eye symbolism is a huge thing in bsd, but red eyes are usually associated with characters who are descending into darkness/in a dark place (like Dazai's eyes in the Beast AU) so why are the eyes of predominantly 'good' characters (minus Bram Stoker) red? (Most probably, it was just for contrast against the grey figures, but :D)
What if the red is meant to show that these characters are the only ones 'seeing' clearly, and 'seeing' the reality of the situation? It's very likely that Ranpo, Atsushi, and Kunikida will be the centre of focus for the next few chapters for the presumably 'first' aspect of Ranpo's strategy, of course, Aya and Bram will have their own altercation. Let's hope this is indeed true and they all aren't gonna turn into vamps or something. In essence, all the characters present know the truth of the situation (i.e the ada are not terrorists) while the rest of the world believes them to be criminals, which is something echoed in the last panel of the chapter:
Needless to say, I'm excited to see where this goes.
The next thing is the presence of these lines in the background of the sky behind Aya:
I can't say for sure that I know what they are - but I'm guessing at constellations! Constellations often symbolize 'finding your way' or navigation - that is what our ancestors originally used it for. Maybe it's an allusion to how the ada are following these 'constellations' to finally 'find their way' out of this mess and save the world.
Lastly, I wanted to talk about how Bram is seperated from the rest of the characters.
Clearly, he's situated in some kind of 'darkness' with very little light. It can possibly show how even within the Decay Of Angels, Bram is separate from the rest. He has no personal freedom of his own, and he is entirely victim to Fukuchi's whims. The darkness that surrounds him can be interpreted as the darkness of his coffin and how truly alone he presumably is, treated as an 'object' rather than as a person. Maybe he's going to betray the DoA-?
And finally - on the top right, above Atsushi, we can see the print of a paw, a bone, and a bat (possibly?) It's likely our hunting dogs and stray dogs are going to have a fight soon :D
Overall, it's a really beautiful cover art, and thank you for surviving through my rambles!
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Tachihara: Do you take constructive criticism?
Y/N: I only take cash or credit.
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In addition to eugenics, Ogiru touched upon issues such as theory of hereditary criminality and predeterminist theories on the relationship between physical and psychological aspects of human existence in the 1930s. In his stories and essays, nothing points to him being pro-eugenicist: the writer who chose a life of poverty over material wealth is too much of a lone wolf to be lured into believing totalitarianism.
Sari Kawana, Murder Most Modern: Detective Fiction and Japanese Culture (pg. 138)
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(𖦹__ 𖦹! %★ dazai osamu layouts 𓂃 🍾🥂🔪🗯️🧠
like or reblog, ty! don't repost without cr
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this idea feels like a fckin fever dream but pls enjoy my stupidity
**also for the sake of the joke the characters are bisexual including y/n okay thanks**
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Another Simple comic soukoku 🤣❤️✨
I can't stop laughing when I made this 💀
Thank you for @incorrect_straydogs for this masterpiece 🤣 pls support their works on Instagram...
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Giving my kins my color palette!
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The Six Realms
Okay, so I was pretty close to giving up on writing analyses but I'm back LMFAO plus I see we're close to 100 followers and I just want to thank you guys for being so very supportive <3
Alright, I'm not sure if anyone's ever written about this, but if an analysis like this exists, please do let me know because I'm kind of curious as to what other people think about this, too!
Remember that time Fukuchi spoke about bringing "about the five signs of an angel's death"?
I read a little bit more about it, and as a minor content warning: this analysis will focus on a few religious aspects (Buddhism + Hinduism). So if I get any of the facts wrong, firstly: I do not mean any disrespect to either religion, and secondly: please do correct me if I interpret anything in the wrong way.
Spoilers for BSD chapter 90 onwards + BEAST!AU under the cut!
So I'll start by talking about the Decay of Angels. As we all know, the members include Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nikolai Gogol, Sigma, and Bram Stoker, and their leader, Fukuchi Ochi. After Fyodor's arrest, the Decay of Angels came into light with Nikolai murdering four government officials in a week. These murders symbolise the Buddhist cycle of existence, or otherwise known as samsara: the cycle of life, death, and rebirth.
"We are the Decay of Angels—hiding here as terrorists, a 'murder association', five people who will announce the demise of the celestial world."
Nikolai Gogol, chapter 57
Samsara is described to be a concept beyond human understanding. According to Hinduism, samsara is the physical world where every being has its soul trapped into a physical vessel. The Hindus believe that everything has a soul, and due to a soul's attachment to desire, it is forced into a deathless cycle of being born, dying, and reincarnating into a different body. In Buddhism, the ultimate way to break free from this cycle is by obtaining nirvana.
Nirvana is a Sanskrit word for the goal of the Buddhist path: enlightenment or awakening. In Pali, the language of some of the earliest Buddhist texts, the word is nibbana; in both languages it means "extinction" (like a lamp or flame) or "cessation." It refers to the extinction of greed, ill will, and delusion in the mind, the three poisons that perpetuate suffering. Nirvana is what the Buddha achieved on the night of his enlightenment: he became completely free from the three poisons. Everything he taught for the rest of his life was aimed at helping others to arrive at that same freedom.
- TRICYCLE'S definition of nirvana
As Fukuchi mentions in the panel above, there are six different realms of existence. These realms represent every possible state of existence, but one cannot live in a specific realm forever. Depending on whether or not one's past actions were morally good or bad, an individual is born into one of these realms. Basically, the controlling factor of which realm a person is born into is dependent on their respective karma. The realms are separated into two categories: the hellish ones and the heavenly ones.
The Deva Realm: where beings are rewarded for the good deeds they have done. This realm is void of anything unpleasant. It is basically paradise— empty of unfulfilled desires, any form of suffering, and fears of every kind. Religious individuals, however, do not seek to be born into this realm since its attitude is more or less carefree.
The Asura Realm: where demigods are admitted. Asuras are driven by greed and envy, and may come in conflict with human beings since they are quite similar. They are powerful beings, but quarrel with each other quite a bit, making this realm quite undesirable to be reborn into.
The Animal Realm: where beings are given the form of an animal (you probably guessed that lol). Individuals here don't actually have good karma to take pride in, but rather, they are born into this realm to work off their bad karma (by being slaughtered, hunted, or forced to work, etc). Being born into this realm forces one to atone for their past sins by living out their life as an animal.
The Hell Realm: where one is punished for their evil actions. The most merciless of realms, where one pays for their transgressions through pure suffering, methods of which include: dismemberment, starvation, and psychological/physical torture. However, once a person's term is fulfilled in this realm, they are presumably promised to be reborn into a higher state.
The Preta Realm: similar to the hell realm, in which beings pay for their past sins (specifically: greed and stinginess) by having to survive through hunger and thirst. This realm is also known as the 'ghost realm,' because some pretas are psychologically tortured by being forced to live in places their past selves have lived in. They are invisible to human beings living at that time, which pushes them to face the depths of despair and loneliness. Your typical horror movie, really.
The Human Realm: the only realm where one's actions determine their future. The status (social ranking, physical wellbeing, and so on) of a human being in this realm is determined by their past actions, but due to the fact that a person has their own conscience to differentiate good morals from bad, the actions they commit in this realm have the power to determine which realm they are sent to next.
Okay, so now that I've got that out of the way, let's shift our focus to the Book. Very little is known about the Book, but the basic fundamentals of how it works is that whatever is written in the book will come into existence only if its contents follow the rules of karma. In addition to that, only a few sentences can be written into a single page of the Book, and it must follow the current narrative of the story.
If I'm not wrong, the first time the Book was mentioned was by Fitzgerald, who wanted it to resurrect his deceased daughter in hopes of restoring his wife's mental health. The next time the Book is brought up is when Fyodor's intentions to possess it are divulged; his goal was to decimate the global population of ability-users. And now, the current arc has the Book as its central focus, with a single page in Fukuchi's possession.
[ BEAST!AU spoilers ]
The Book acts as the central point of multiverses, with each character's lives differing from universe to universe.
Dazai committing suicide in this alternate universe stands in sharp contrast with how he decided to start up a new life in the main universe.
Oda staying alive to act as a mentor to Akutagawa in the ADA differs from how Oda uses his death to prompt Dazai to "be on the side that saves people."
And of course, the way Atsushi and Akutagawa have their positions switched in the two universes depicts how different their lives would be if they were given the chance to be mentored by different people— these are just a few examples of how the Book houses an endless amount of possibilities.
[ end of BEAST!AU spoilers ]
Hypothetically speaking, this kind of reminds me of the differing realms I mentioned before, where suffering is promised in some realms, and better things are granted in the rest, depending on one's karma, or the deeds they've done in their past lives. In this scenario, perhaps one's past life can be understood as one's current life in a different universe. That's just a personal opinion though. Take it as you will.
side note: Keep in mind that the person who is more or less impervious to the Book's effect is Dazai, with his nullification ability. I wouldn't want to propose any theories in this aspect (I don't believe I'm fully fact-checked ;_;), but I could use Dazai as a raw example of how your choices affect your future. If Dazai had decided to stay in the Port Mafia after Oda's death, or if he even decided to go through with his suicidal fixations, life would've been different for him in the root universe (obviously, ryley) I mean, you could basically understand that from how he ended up in the BEAST au, but imagine if he really did slip up in his decision-making in any of the universes.
Many analysts have proposed that he went MIA (early in his life) from the main universe for a while to figure out how the BEAST universe worked, whilst having the Book to his advantage. Perhaps his actions were guided? I'm not saying he's all-knowing, but he's sure as hell smart. I'm not sure if Kafka was trying to highlight the concept of karma when it comes to Dazai, but if he is, then I suppose you could say that Dazai is pretty much unaffected by the rules of karma, existing as the centerpiece of all the multiverses. No Longer Human is the namesake of his ability, but the book talks about disqualification from societal norms and generally, the world. I was talking about it with a friend, and they reminded me that Yozo (the main protagonist) was pretty strong in his views against society. Like he didn't speak out of total defeat, he spoke out of defense. If there was anything Dazai actually lost to, it was his guilt— "Living itself is a source of sin."
Then again, that's my personal interpretation since everyone has their unique perspective of his writings. In terms of the actual adaptation, you could translate the word 'disqualification' to 'insusceptibilty' when if it came to the Book's effects on Dazai? This side note is becoming really long lmao anyways I'll link a few theories which afflicted me with brainrot down below.
Another thing before I wrap up, the name 'Decay of Angels' stemmed from Yukio Mishima's book entitled 'The Decay of An Angel.' This is the final novel to the author's tetralogy: 'The Sea of Fertility.' The main protagonist, Honda, meets a person he believes to be a reincarnation of his friend, Kiyoaki, who takes the form of a young teenage boy named Tōru. The last novel of this series enhances Mishima's dominant themes of the series as a whole:
the decay of courtly tradition in Japan
the essence and value of Buddhist philosophy and aesthetics
Mishima’s apocalyptic vision of the modern era
Again, this could be referred to what Fukuchi goes on to say:
Some people view the concept of samsara optimistically, justifying it by saying that perhaps each individual is given a second (third, fourth, fifth, who knows) chance to refine their actions in order to be birthed into a better realm, with their karma being the independent variable.
On the other hand, other people, specifically the Hindus, view the cycle of existence as some sort of plague. To them, the flow of life and being forced to endure the suffering of mere existence in any form was somewhat frowned down upon. Some Hindus viewed samsara as a trap. Besides, having one's soul being limited to a physical body for the rest of eternity was not very appealing, especially since where they ended up at depended on the karmic value their past actions surmounted.
Even so, particular types of Buddhists don't seek nirvana, but instead, like the Hindus, they make an effort to be good people of society, building up their good deeds to increase the likelihood of being reborn into one of the better realms.
As mentioned before, the Deva Realm was the home of angels, the most carefree, gratified beings to exist. Fukuchi describes these angels as the people who don't get their hands dirty, the people who act as the puppeteers of society: politicians.
In terms of parallels, angels were the most fortunate and powerful, but they didn't have anyone ruling over them. A lack of supervision would lead to the abuse of power, which is what I believe Fukuchi was referring to. Deeming himself the Decay of Angels, he sought to prove himself as the 'sign of death that falls on the nation's greed.'
A few fun facts (okay, not really) about Yukio Mishima: he committed seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) on the day he held a speech to voice out his unpopular political beliefs to the public. Mishima deeply treasured traditions and opposed the modern mindset the nation was advancing forward to adapt eventually. In his last book, The Decay of an Angel, he spoke about the five signs which complete the death of an angel:
Here are the five greater signs: the once-immaculate robes are soiled, the flowers in the flowery crown fade and fall, sweat pours from the armpits, a fetid stench envelops the body, the angel is no longer happy in its proper place.
The Decay of an Angel, p.53
The reviews about this series I've read so far describe Mishima's works to be quite complex; his writings demanded a lot of time to deconstruct and understand. They were highly symbolic, and he was pretty obsessed with death and the 'spiritual barrenness of the modern world.' I think you could attach a few strings from here to the mindsets of the DOA members. Of course, this parallel is completely abstract, but I'll go on rambling anyway:
He should have armed them with the foreknowledge that would keep them from flinging themselves after their destinies, take away their wings, keep them from soaring, make them march in step with the crowd. The world does not approve of flying. Wings are dangerous weapons. They invite self-destruction before they can be used. If he had brought Isao to terms with the fools, then he could have pretended that he knew nothing of wings.
The Decay of an Angel, p.113
I suppose you could resonate Nikolai with that excerpt. As much as Fukuchi takes the lead in this whole murder association, I'd like to believe that each member of the DOA plays an equally interesting part in whatever movement they're trying to execute. Fyodor feels it is his god-sent purpose to cleanse the world of its sins, his motto being, "Let the hand of God guide you." Sigma doesn't know where he belongs, since his origination comes from a page in the Book, and is fueled by the desperation to find a reason to live. Bram holds one of the most powerful abilities which is counted to be one of the "Top Ten Calamities to Destroy the World."
What I mean to say is that the DOA members are incredibly powerful, and they're not your ordinary antagonists (or I'm just biased). It's not just overthrowing authorities, mass genocide, and world domination— you could say that each individual is trying to utilize their purposes to their fullest expenditures, and the way they're trying to assert their plan into action is a little more passive-aggressive (framing the Agency, having a convo with a suicidal dude in jail, etc). They're the gray area between evil and good. As they framed the good guys for their own crimes, they're trying to conquer the bad guys for exploiting the innocent as they please.
This post would definitely age well if all hell breaks loose in the current arc (as if it didn't) and Kafka doesn't give us a happy ending.
That's all I have to say for now I guess! Thank you for reading, and once again, if anyone else something they wanna share, feel free to do so <3
sources (tryna follow Q's example ^_^) :
the six realms
the decay of angels
the sea of fertility
theory: dazai’s emotional/mental state in beast!au
q’s theory: dazai being the protector of the book
theory: beast!dazai and the book
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