heyy dont mind me just requesting something since you’re writing is soo AMAZING i literally binge read your work.
i was wondering how would kunikida, chuuya and dazai would be like with a s/o that isnt from Japan- from another country. s/o can speak japanese but it isnt their first language so there may be some stuff that they have problems with. I also wondered how they would react with the difference in culture (eg. Japanese and UK culture?? is that even a good example?? i hope you know what i mean) between the characters and s/o but if you dont really wanna include that, i dont mind
if you cant do this its okay i know youre busy or you may be going through something (if you are you are not alone and we all care about you❤️❤️). if you do doe THANK YOU SO MUCH. have a great day!!💖
❥ BSD Characters with a non-Japanese s/o
Includes Dazai, Chuuya and Kunikida
ᴀ/ɴ: i am honored that you think my work is binge worthy and thank you so much for you kind words; I hope you like this as well and have a wonderful day sweetheart and sorry for being late 💕 also this is pretty long so I put a readmore 👩🦲 I AM SO HAPPY I POSTED THO SO HELL YEAH; unedited btw so if you find any mistakes then ignore them <333
I think Dazai would be really intrigued by a foreigner
Cause like new ideas and he could widen his view and perspectives as well as gain knowledge
So he would be the first one to greet you
Would probably ask you lots of questions after flirting a little ;)
“I never knew foreigners could look so beautiful, you look very mesmerizing, belladonna.”
Cue him being brought back to earth by a smack on the head from you know who
He would think that the times when you make mistakes while talking are adorable
But will also keep them as blackmail
Cause like you know how one word in Japanese could mean gazillion other things and one letter pronunciation being off could give off another meaning
Examples such as kawai which means cute and kowai which means scary
So he would be laughing his ass off when you do mix things up
I think he would also love to know lots about your culture
So everyday is a new topic started by a question from him
“How do you say “will you commit double suicide with me” in your language?”
That’s the first question, later on he asks about more things
Now, like I said before, one Japanese word can mean a gazillion other
An example how mushi could mean bug or ignore
In a sentence, for example when a creep is trying to hit on you and you ignore him
You are basically mushing the mushi
MUSHING IS NOT A WORD BTW cause I don’t wanna spread false information 🚶♀️
anyhow, dazai cackles whenever you mess up
Especially when you are interacting with another person
You wanted to call a kid cute once but instead called him scary (kawai and kowai)
And dazai was just there laughing his ass off
While the kid was just :(
If you speak Japanese with a somewhat accent then he thinks it’s quite adorable
Teaches you about the Japanese culture ever so enthusiastically
“AND THIS IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO WEAR FOR OUR DATE TONIGHT, A KIMONO! :D”
“How about you taste this?”
“I GOT KIKUFUKU FROM A DEAR FRIEND OF MINE! He recommended the zunda and cream mochi.”
I didn’t mention this, but mans learns how to say “I like you.” In your language and confessed to you like that
He noticed that you were silent for some time so he asked “Did…I not say it correctly?”
Nah you were just going to get tackled osa’
Dazai also goes by “I am the only one who can tease you about your accent”
He knows you are trying your hardest and won’t let anyone make you think otherwise 😤
That’s why he compliments you a lot about your speech
Is MESMERISED when he hears you speak your first language the first time
“You sound wonderful speaking in your mother tongue, belladonna.”
If you are normal like me and your personality changes depending on the language you are speaking then he will be surprised by the range
MORE DATES IN THE POPULAR PLACES THAT SHOW YOU MORE OF THE JAPANESE CULTURE
He shows you off and keeps boasting about how you are a beautiful foreigner and a proof he can get even the most attractive person to have his eyes laid on
“Dazai, shut up and continue working, and stop teaching y/n filthy words in Japanese.”
Staying away from your country and family is very hard
So dazai being the expert in reading people knows that you are feeling down and homesick
So what does he do?
Easy; take you out for a stroll and acts twice as energetic and dramatic than usual, also with a side of getting himself in more funny situations just so you can smile
(Such a pretty hat on such a pretty man)
Anywho this is how y’all meet because mafia life is dope
“A new person will be joining the port mafia.”
“They are foreigners, so please respect that they might or might not struggle with some things; Chuuya, I want you to show them around.”
And that’s how a cliche love story began
While you guys were walking the halls of the mafia silently he asked “So, how’s your country like?”
Cue you describing how it’s there and the things you love there
And him being intrigued by everything you say, so naturally more questions follow
He also tells you about Japan and the culture in return and adores how you seemed so genuinely interested in what he is saying
And it’s never an awkward conversation with his ginger self
He confessed through a letter in your language pls
Now you know why was he asking you about the meaning of random words
Though you sensed the usage of google translate 🙊
It was really sweet nevertheless <3
Chuuya malfunctions when he hears you speak your mother language the first time
“God that sounded heavenly…do it again.”
Obviously gets caught off guard when you change personality when you switch languages like damn duality is hot
He teaches you useful words
He also teaches you cuss words to freely insult anyone because he ain’t letting you get insulted without knowing so and not having a comeback >:(
G L A R E S at anyone who makes fun of you while you talk
Like that he never wants you to feel cast out so he brings in anything that will stop that feeling
Though he might chuckle at your mistakes and accent because he thinks they are cute af
And corrects you gently while NOT making you feel like a dumb idiot
I think Chuuya has the tendency to try including you to conversations
Someone could be talking about something they like and he would just go “Oh! Y/N likes that too, don’t you, dove?”
HIS SMILE IS SO SWEET AND HANDSOME YOU CANT FIND IT IN YOURSELF TO REJECT THE IDEA
And that helps you in learning further Japanese because practice makes perfect and you get to see everyday convos
Not sure if planning a bomb is an everyday conversation though
I have mentioned before that I STRONGLY believe that gift giving is Chuuya’s love language
So he gets you anything related to Japanese culture that he believes might be to your liking
“You didn’t need to get me a samurai’s armor.”
“But it looks cool and powerful?”
“THAT DOESNT MEAN YOU NEEDED TO TAKE IT FROM A MUSEUM!—“
“BUT YOU SAID YOU LIKED IT!”
On the more normal note
He gets you trinkets and food from different parts of Japan when he visits them cause why not
He loves learning about your culture too
ITS SO INTERESTING TO HIM
Especially since it’s a part of you, he always asks questions about it
You guys can go on for hours talking together
I feel like conversations with Chuuya are actually fun and rarely get awakened once you are close to him
Mans died when he saw you wearing a kimono for the first time, you looked so stunning :(
And he will try his best to find your country’s traditional outfit and wear it for you
Whenever you are feeling homesick, he is ready to hug you and offer to go there for sometime
And when you guys can’t, he will let you redecorate a room in his house to your taste so you can feel more at home
It later on becomes the bedroom for you guys
As you would figure out, he is pretty professional at first, but he does show his interest in your culture and country politely
“That seems interesting, can you tell me more about it?”
In secret he is in love with your accent like ITS SO ADORABLE AND ADMIRABLE HOW YOU ARE TRYING SO HARD
One time he chuckled out loud accidentally and mumbled what you heard as “cute.”
But then he switched and started working loudly to distract from what he said
Maybe that’s why his face was red?
Slowly but surely you guys get together
He confessed to you normally but he did get you a lovely bouquet of the flowers known in your country
You asked him to help you with your Japanese and he of course agreed
However, since he was a math teacher since he is a normally strict person, his teaching is the same with strictness
But worry not, you get head pats, forehead kisses and sweet “good job”s
“That was great, y/n; onto the next one.”
“You pronounced the middle incorrectly, if that happens while you are talking to someone then they will think that you have a prisoner at home.”
You know, at the beginning of your romantic relationship he would rarely go to you for questions about your country and culture
He would just sit in front of his laptop and search for it himself
Why? He is just a bit shy or rather reserved about asking you and plus he wants to impress you with what he already knows
But that didn’t work for the period of time he was hoping for
Because one time you came into his room with snacks so he doesn’t starve overworking himself, you found him asleep in front of the laptop
You gently chuckled and were planning to carry him onto the bed but you noticed what was written on the screen
“Popular dishes in (c/n)”
“Gifts that resemble extreme love in (c/n)”
“What to avoid doing in order not to offend a (c/n) citizen”
To say you were touched and sweetly overwhelmed is an understatement but I am totally so out of words right now so deal with it <3
When he woke up the next day, you were clinging onto him all day and he just buried his face in your hair/shoulder (no height discrimination 🔫)
Dazai somehow found out and kept on teasing him about how whipped he is for 3 weeks or so because he is dazai
Also, he still searches but when he wants to double check something he goes to you and you guys discuss what you know about Japan and your country
Of course while completely having fun and enjoying your time, you still feel homesick at times
It can’t be helped :(
But your lovely boyfriend is there for the rescue with a rather very unique way
And I am not being biased, it’s just kunikida cares deeply for those he values and I feel he would go through anything for them 🥺
One day he called you into a room away from the agency, it was pitch black
You had no one around you and the door closed right after you entered
You were about to attack whoever you heard but then you heard something
It was the traditional music of your country
Following that white fabric surrounded the room and a projection was revealed above you
When it turned on you saw a video of your country all around you, including the popular events and landscapes
You then felt a hand place a controller in yours
The screen then switched to simulator of a character living in your country
With the controller you were able to move like you are actually there
“I noticed how you were feeling homesick lately; I hope this helps.”
If that isn’t sweet then I don’t know
Obviously you thanked him a lot and hugged him until y’all couldn’t breathe
“THANK YOU SO MUCH!”
“It’s nothing, I am just glad you are fine now.”
taglist: @magenta-cat-drawingss @pompompurin1028 @scul-pted @dazaisdeathwish @requiem626k @nameless-shrimp @shinys-bsd-world-1 @sonder-paradise @ravenina14 @jessbeinme15 @todorokichills @ginneko
copyright © 2020 tender-rosiey
do not copy or plagiarize or you will be reported
230 notes · View notes
On (BSD) Dostoyevsky’s and Dazai’s ‘humanity’
Hello there! This is my first attempt at some BSD analysis. You can find the references (books, chapters, publishers, translators) I used to write this post at the end. (marked as (*))
This analysis will focus on Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Osamu Dazai’s characters from Bungo Stray Dogs, based on the reading of the original works that inspired their abilities and persona. I will mostly base the analysis of this post on No Longer Human (Osamu Dazai, 1948) and Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1866), as well as on the first 3 season of the Bungo Stray Dogs anime, and on the main Bungo Stray Dogs manga up to chapter 88 (there will also be a mention of chapter 96 in the third paragrapher of On Fyodor’s and Dazai’s realities).
There will obviously be major spoilers of both No Longer Human and Crime and Punishment.
TW for mention of death, depression, suicide, addiction and murder.
Please keep in mind those are my own thoughts and interpretations and that you have every right to disagree with me!
The concept of ‘humanity’
On Fyodor’s and Dazai’s realities
No Longer human or the Disqualified
The Crime and the Punishment
Are Fyodor and Dazai human? a conclusion
- Two humans
- The sinner and the judge
The concept of ‘humanity’
It is important to agree on the concept of ‘humanity’ before starting anything. On the dictionary I used, humanity is explained as such: “All human beings, sometimes considered as a collective being or moral entity.” (1)
The concept of ‘collectiveness’ is for me the main point of this definition, if we are to discuss Dazai’s and Fyodor’s characters. A collective hereby implies a sense of belonging, of sharing common ideas, values and moralities. This is what you will find, for example, in the Armed Detective Agency: the ADA regroups various individual people that act as a single entity when on a case. They share moral values and similar views on justice, and therefore form a collective. In the larger concept of humanity, this means that whoever belongs to humanity shares at least some common views, values, with the rest of the world. This can be something as simple as ‘the act of slapping someone in the face without reason is morally wrong’, or, ‘hurting a child is morally wrong’.
Humanity, therefore, can be considered as 1) a biological condition/belonging (homo sapiens) 2) a moral condition (sharing basic moral values) 3) a sense of belonging with its pairs (other homo sapiens).
How does one ‘feel’ human? Like I said previously, feeling human, based on the concept of humanity we discussed, would be feeling connected to the moral values shared across the homo sapiens species. To that, one can argue that moral values obviously differ according to one’s culture or social/economical background. The value of a life, which is one of the main questions across human history, differs depending on one’s background (their culture, country of birth, economic, social situations, job, etc.). (2) For example, it is most likely that a nurse or doctor will consider human life to have more value than the head of a weapons company.
What links human beings is not only shared values, but also their ability to feel and understand each other’s feelings. This obviously, again, differs depending on the individual, as no one experience the feelings of anger and sadness in the same way. Some feelings, like romantic love, can also not be experienced by individuals, in the case of aromantic people for example. In any case, there still exists a kind of understanding between individuals of the humankind: if I am to be hit randomly by a stranger in the street, most people around me will understand why I am upset. Even if they don’t experience the feeling of shock or anger in the same way I do, they will certainly know, as I do, that what I just went through is not ok. Some of them will relate to my reaction, because they would have had the same. Some others will empathize or simply agree that what the stranger did was not right. In any case (whether it be by empathy, relating, morally disagreeing, etc), those strangers will be connected with me or with my experience in a way. That link, however small, can be seen as an example of humanity or ‘feeling human’.
I would describe ‘feeling human’ as 1) sharing moral values or understanding, 2) sharing some common feelings with the rest of humanity and be able to recognize them as such, and 3) being able to understand someone’s feelings and/or empathize with it. The 3 points don’t have to be all filled, but I think this makes a fair base for us to deep further into this analysis.
On Fyodor’s and Dazai’s realities
Before diving deeper into No Longer Human and Crime and Punishment, I think it’s important to take a second and talk about Fyodor’s and Dazai’s reality and life experiences in the manga. Since we do not have Fyodor’s backstory and Dazai’s entire backstory yet, everything I say is either suppositions or related to the low knowledge we have about those two’s early life.
I think it’s safe to assume that neither of them comes from a safe, healthy background. We know Dazai joined the mafia when he was a teenager, at an age where you should definitely not come across this kind of environment (not that you should at any point in your life, though). That means that, at least starting from age 14 (even though I’m sure it started way before), Dazai was confronted to death and violence, and himself had to kill. This explains why, in the Fifteen Arc (ep 26-28 of the anime), we see a young Dazai devoid of emotions, whose mental state is considerably alarming. When taking a gun to repeatedly shoot an already dead corpse, his sanity seems to flip. This shows that his perception of things (death, violence, the act of killing) is distorted and has been for a long time. At an age where you build yourself, your character, values, references, Dazai’s models are Mori Ougai (whom he witnessed killing the previous Mafia boss) and his elder mafia colleagues. He built himself in a world where common moral and human values do not apply, and where his feelings (anger, sadness, frustration, etc) could not be apprehended in a healthy, sane way. Not to mention that Dazai seems to have been suicidal since a very young age, and most certainly never went to any kind of therapy or psychologist. This means he had to deal with those thoughts and feelings by himself, using the environment he had around him to comprehend the way he felt.
However, there is something interesting to notice about Dazai, and that is that he finally decides to leave the mafia. This is probably the first decision triggered by his own will, and by his affection towards someone else, Oda. The Dazai we see now seems to have more moral values, or at least a moral understanding of the world around him. He is learning.
Dazai learnt to flee the dark through grief, which is a point I find important and interesting. When a lot of people would rather turn towards a more violent, revengeful side (I’m thinking here of Hawthorne, for example), grief and Oda’s memory is what pulls Dazai towards the light.
I’d also like to point out that Dazai is only 22. He is a young adult, and even though he went through a lifetime of events and pains already, I do still consider him to be a bit immature in some parts of his characters. This is not said to excuse anything he did, but to point out that he is still at an age where you actually learn how to be an adult, how to build yourself in the world, and therefore that there is still plenty of room for him to learn and unlearn from his childhood, and to evolve, both in his character and perception of the world around him. I was extremely surprised to see the actual age of the BSD characters when I first read the manga, because they all appear way older than they actually are, in their experience and way of being. That’s explained because of their backstory and the recent war that apparently took place, but still, I do believe there is still room for Dazai to unlearn and evolve in his perception of himself.
In Fyodor’s case, I can only try to assume what upbringing he had. First of all, it is common knowledge that Fyodor is extremely intelligent, and has a great understanding of human nature (as it is shown, for example, when he leads Ace to commit suicide). However, he sees himself as a God, as a being superior to others and evolving outside of their humanity. Fyodor does not see people as people but as pawns on a chessboard. He’s doted with an incredible ability to decipher one’s character and philosophy, but does not seem to feel any empathy. He does not hesitate to send his colleagues to death (in Gogol’s and Sigma’s case, even though we still need to read the next chapters to see if that was all part of his plan), but does not seem to be particularly troubled when he meets them again in chapter 96. Either Fyodor genuinely doesn’t feel certain emotions, planned all of this out, or he is extremely skilled in hiding his feelings. However, when I see Fyodor’s habit to bite his nails, which is repeatedly showed across the anime and manga, I see that as an expression of his feelings, whether it be frustration, nervousness or jubilation.
Judging on how Fyodor reacts when confronted to death, danger, or when he goes out of his way to stab Mori himself, I assume that, like Dazai, Fyodor has been confronted to death and violence from an early age. That would mean that his perception of reality and human lives values has also been distorted since a long time, possibly explaining part of his God complex and ability to use people without seeing them as living beings.
It’s very hard to write on Fyodor in this part, because, like I said, we do not know enough to fully analyse him. I can only guess he went through dire conditions of living, maybe through war, and that the death around him, as well as his ability, made his perception of human life shift, as well as his own emotions. His extreme intelligence and genius must have also isolated him from the world, being able to not only analyse but also manipulate anyone at his whims. I do not believe, however, that Fyodor’s and Dazai’s great intelligence is the reason why they both feel so disconnected from being human: it is a combination of many factors. When looking at Ranpo’s character, who is, certainly, the smartest (there are, obviously, different kind of intelligences, but it's not a Ranpo analysis so let's keep this simple) of them all, I do not see a man who struggles with his humanity because of his intellect (Ranpo does have his own struggles, but he does not fundamentally excludes himself from humanity).
What I can only conclude is that Dazai’s and Fyodor’s realities, meaning, the world they evolve into, the violence they are used to see and perpetrate, is something that would explain their disconnection to the first point I wrote as a condition to ‘feel human’: sharing moral values or understanding. For the two remaining, 2) sharing some common feelings with the rest of humanity and be able to recognize them as such, and 3) being able to understand someone’s feelings and/or empathize with it, I will develop that further into the next parts.
No Longer Human or the Disqualified
Let’s focus now on Osamu Dazai’s No Longer Human. (3)
No Longer Human is the tale of a man who feels alienated since his birth, and who struggles through his life to hide the shame he feels from this numbness he inherited. Since an early age, he will act as a buffoon as to hide his singularity and blend into his own family and social circle. Through the years, he will consider suicide, try to kill himself alongside a woman while failing, and her dying. He will become addicted to drugs, sell everything he owns, try to become an artist, meet a woman who wishes for him to change, change for a bit before meeting an old friend again and falling back into his self-destructive pattern. In the end he is leaded to a mental institution before retreating far from the city and from the world, where the story ends.
What strikes me in No Longer Human is the point of view in which it has been written: it is a first-person insight, meaning the narrator is also the main protagonist of the novel. His reflections and observations towards himself are of an incredible severity and violence. While he shows clears signs of human emotions (guilt towards the woman who died, fear to be ‘discovered’ by his pairs), he analyses himself coldly and without any compassion.
It's interesting, this impossibility of the narrator to recognize his own emotions and to understand them as such. It is clear that he does feel, that he is someone who is afraid of shame and capable of affection, but at the same time incapable to understand that he indeed has feelings and emotions. Because of this impossibility to recognize his feelings, he emotionally isolates himself from the world, creates a façade and puts on an act to hide his true self from his pairs. He does strikes me as someone incredibly human, with a complex character, flaws, struggles, addictions and raw emotions that consume him through his entire life. And yet, there is numbness in him, an impossibility to connect with the world around him, a world he is not able to understand and that scares him.
I do see Dazai’s character in BSD to be the same. He does have feelings, is able to recognize certain morals and values, but he does not know how to identify them as such. He is able to recognize them in the people around him but not in himself. Because he was never taught how to deal with his feelings, how to put a name on them, and because the morals of the world around him were so disconnected from the ones of the human society he strives to be a part of, Dazai does not know how to identify humanity within himself. The guilt he might be feeling, the knowledge that he was once a perpetrator, are elements that work in favour of this constant feeling he have, one of not being human.
To finish, there is one crucial point in Dazai’s character, and that is that he seems to gravitate towards people. Oda, and Oda’s death completely changed his life and moral values, and he now works in an agency whose function is to do good. Dazai looks up to good people. He maybe sees them as an ideal he will always fail to achieve, when, in fact, seeing them in this light is a striking proof of his own humanity.
The Crime and the Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (4) focuses on the life of Raskolnikov (Rodion), a former student living in Saint-Petersburg. The protagonist’s life takes a drastic turn the day he decides to murder a woman owning a pawnshop and her sister. The majority of the book focuses on Raskolnikov’s life after his crime, elaborating his mental state and the reasons behind the murder he committed. It shows, from a 3rd person point of view, the evolution of Rodion’s relationships, his morals and thoughts, guilt and feeling of immunity, fevers and delirious states.
Rashkolnikov is the son of a widowed mother, Pulcheria Alexandrovna, and the brother of Dunya (who is an absolutely wonderful badass, I love her so much). He deeply cares about his family and thinks of them, of their well-being through the whole novel. He is friend with Razumikhin, who supports him a lot and cares for him when he falls sick, and later in the novel meets Sonya, a young woman who sacrificed herself to prostitution in order to help her family. Sonya and Rodion share a deep connection, and she is the one he goes to when he decides to confess his crime.
In the novel, we also learn that Raskolnikov is the author of a controversial article published in a newspaper. In this article, the man seems to divide the humankind in two categories, in the hypothesis of committing a crime: while stating it is morally wrong to kill anyone, Raskolnikov argue that, for the greater good, some crimes could find a justification. He often takes the example of Napoleon. (5) Rodion states that, sometimes, the crimes of a great man can be forgiven if they served to lift up humanity, to serve it, or to make it better.
Rashkolnikov, theoretically, therefore believes his crime was justified for a greater good. By the end of the novel, he does not seem to emit any regret regarding the crime itself, seeing it as justified; however, he still is deeply affected by it, mentally and physically. Despite his murder in cold blood, Rodion is a very emotive character. He is impatient, hot-tempered, sensible and does not hesitate to give all of his money to a widow to pay for her husband’s funerals. By the end of the book, we learn that he apparently saved children from a burning building, and that he is someone greatly appreciated by his friends and family. Rodion has a strong connection to Razumikhin and Sonya, and to his family. He is a sociable person and seems to be easily liked by people. He feels guilt after the murder, and that guilt, alongside the reality that he is, in his words, not a Napoleon, is the reason that leads him to surrender in the end.
Rodion feels guilt, but to him, the murder was still justified. Here lays his own morality: being a student, someone of education, he sees himself as being above the rest of humanity, into this category of elite people who could, possibly, get away with morally wrong acts such as killing. As his vision of himself evolves through the book, the root of it never bulges.
I talked a lot about Rodion in order to draw a comparison between BSD Fyodor and him. Unlike Rodion, BSD Fyodor does not seem to have many strong relationships, let alone family we saw him interact with/care about to nuance his character. I see BSD Fyodor as being the embodiment of this ‘elite’ person Rodion idealizes, the embodiment of the one that would be worthy to commit crime for the better good. And that’s exactly the archetype he represents: Fyodor is a genius, a truly intelligent, brilliant man. He is a refined person, sensible to the arts, cunning and understanding of human nature: everything Rodion Rashkolnikov sees as being ‘above’ the whole of humanking.
While I could connect Dazai to Ōba Yōzō, the protagonist of No Longer Human, I can only, with what I know, connect Fyodor to Rashkolnikov’s ideal.
I think that the main difference between Rashkolnikov and BSD Fyodor is the absence of guilt. Rodion feels guilt, Fyodor does not. Fyodor made Rodion’s theory a whole religion, and made himself the embodiment, the god of it. It is such a certitude, such an evidence, that there is no room for guilt anymore. Killing, manipulating, is a mean to achieve his dream, this greater good. Fyodor is therefore driven by a notion of an ideal, but this ideal is so strong that it erases all common moral compass.
Is Fyodor able to recognize that his actions are reprehensible, though? I think he is. I think he does know the moral values of humanity but does not feel connected to them. He only gravitates towards an idea. This idea, his conception of what a perfect world would be, makes human morals irrelevant if they do not serve his goals.
Fyodor is able to recognize feelings in other, it is how he’s able to manipulate them so well. However I do not think he feels empathy, at least, not when he is in a situation where he has to work for his goal. He killed all of Ace’s men, even when they were no threat anymore, manipulated kids in a suicide mission, and so far has shown no sign of guilt or regret. Maybe, in his perfect world, Fyodor would not do it anymore: I don’t think he would kill if he didn’t have his reason to. But the fact is that he did, and will do it endlessly without a sign of remorse. It’s the reason why I doubt that Fyodor feels empathy. If he does, then his goal (his vision, so therefore himself) is obviously more important than the pain he might cause to others.
Are Fyodor and Dazai human? a conclusion
Yes. Thank you for reading!
All jokes aside, I’m now reaching the conclusion of this analysis. If you’re still reading, thanks for putting up with me for this long.
With all that I said, are Fyodor and Dazai human? I think this is a question whose answer should now seem pretty obvious, that answer being: yes. As we saw, Fyodor and Dazai show characteristics of the humankind, both in their ability to recognize certain morals and/or values, to feel, and acknowledge other people’s feelings. Despite everything they have done and should be held accountable for, they are not empty shells and are complex, beautifully written and particular human beings. This question is not relevant, but it allows me to raise a second one: how does Dazai and Fyodor then perceive their own humanity? Despite being humans, do they recognize themselves as such?
In the first part of this analysis, I defined humanity with three points: 1) a biological condition/belonging (homo sapiens) 2) a moral condition (sharing basic moral values) 3) a sense of belonging with its pairs (other homo sapiens).
Do Fyodor and Dazai fall into those three points? Yes and no. Yes, in a fundamental sense, but no in the way that they actually perceive it. I’ll elaborate:
1) A biological condition. Up to that, I think all of us can agree that Dazai and Fyodor are homo sapiens; but: they are also ability users. Now, the existence of ability users is not that extraordinary in this world, but there is a particularity about Dazai’s and Fyodor’s abilities.
DAZAI nullifies abilities. He literally is immune to most ability’s actions, which, when it can obviously be seen as an incredible strength, also isolates him further from the world that outcast him. It means that he cannot experience their direct effect, whether it be good (like Yosano’s ability) or bad (Atsushi’s tiger form), and therefore cannot live common experiences for the vast majority of people.
FYODOR judges and kills. Even if we’re not sure what his ability is yet, it seems quite obvious that it is a lethal one. Fyodor’s ability allows him to take a life without much difficulty. This is an immense power that would cast anyone out of the common of humanity, making them a threat as well as something similar, in Fyodor’s case, to a god.
I just find the parallel beautiful. While Dazai’s ability nullifies others, it is, in a way, the embodiment of Fyodor’s dream. And Fyodor’s ability grants death, which is, unfortunately, Dazai’s obsession.
2) A moral condition. Here, I will try to summarize a bit.
DAZAI has morals. He admires good people, like Oda or Ranpo, and those same good people are who he gravitates towards. He knows the wrongs he committed in his port mafia years, and has a sense of morality which he shares with the ADA. However, his past might lead him to believe that he is someone without any morals, an evil excluded from this symptom of humanity. He does recognize morals in the world but not within himself.
FYODOR also has morals, but they are very different from Dazai’s. Unlike Dazai, from what we have seen, Fyodor does not gravitate towards others, but creates a world which revolves around him, and around his own views. Therefore, Fyodor’s morals are his own, and not ones by common society. I do not think he is influenced by religion, but that religion is a mean to voice, put words on, and identify his goals. It places him in a position above all humanity, since his morals are Godly ones, away from humankind.
3) A sense of belonging.
DAZAI belongs in the agency. He is a valuable member of it, a friend to most. I honestly do not know if Dazai would feel like he truly belongs to the ADA; part of me would think that he’d still feel somewhat disconnected, but the other part tells me that his attachment to Oda is the source of his belonging here. He fights for it and protects it with his life. So I’d say that Dazai does experience belonging.
FYODOR, in the other hand, and again, from what we currently can see, belongs to his dream and to himself. It is a lonely position, one of a judge, and since he considers himself as the rightful man to entirely re-write a whole world, I do not think Fyodor experience belonging with his pairs. He might respect some of them, but he does not belong with them. Fyodor belongs to his dream, therefore to a world that does not exists yet. It’s a poetic and terrible thought.
The sinner and the judge
It's extremely interesting to look at Dazai’s ability’s name, ‘No longer human’, and then at Fyodor’s, ‘Crime and Punishment’. I won’t go into theories regarding the nature of their abilities here, but I’ll try to simply analyse their name and what it can say about Dazai and Fyodor. For me, ‘No longer human’ (or, as the litteral translation is, the disqualified) applies to someone that was human before, but that is not anymore. Something must have happened to exclude this person from humanity; even though they once belonged to it. ‘Crime and Punishment’, if taken from Fyodor’s religious (Christian, orthodox most probably) perspective, can be translated into ‘Sin and Judgement’. Fyodor is placed, from his ability’s name to his goals, in a religious position, one of a god or something akin to it. He sees the Sin, and provides the Judgement. In Christian religion, it is humankind who commits sins, and God, or God’s messengers, who deliver the Judgement. Fyodor’s ability gives him the role of the judge, therefore, of someone outside of humankind, far enough from humanity to be able to judge their sins.
It's an interesting parallel to me. Where Dazai considers himself excluded from humankind, making him something of less-of-a-man, an outcast who doesn’t even belong to his own kind, and therefore is a sort of regression from it, Fyodor sees himself as the transcendence of human race. They are both outcasts, in very different ways. Dazai is one that is unworthy of calling himself a human, someone who has been disqualified. Fyodor is one that has ascended to a divine state and therefore is worthy enough to inflict his punishment upon earth, and humans. Dazai has been disqualified by humanity (society) and himself, while Fyodor is its judgement.
(1) Translation from French to English of the definition found in Larousse’s online dictionary.
(2) Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?, Judith Butler, 2009
(3) Osamu Dazai, No Longer Human, translation from Japanese to English by Donald Keene, publisher New Directions Paperbook
(4) Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment, translation from Russian to French by D. Ergaz, publisher Gallimard
(5) Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) was the first French emperor. He is responsible for numerous wars and million of deaths due to his ambition. He inspired many authors, like Dostoyevsky. His figure has been and is still idolized by numerous people.
98 notes · View notes