Saturday 17 April 2021

Book Review: Bungo Stray Dogs Light Novel 5: Dead Apple by Iwahata Hiro (Fantasy)

Title: Bungo Stray Dogs Light Novel 5: Dead Apple
Author: Iwahata Hiro
Publisher: Yen On
Publication Date: 2020
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Bought Copy

Six years have passed since the bloody Dragon's Head Conflict took place. An unexplained spate of suicides by skill users worldwide has sent the Armed Detective Agency on a search for Tatsuhiko Shibusawa, a mysterious skill user who may be connected somehow. Kyouka Izumi and Atsushi Nakajima are hot on Shibusawa's heels when Atsushi learns a startling truth from his sworn enemy Ryuunosuke Akutagawa. Find out what lies beyond the eerie mist in this novelization of the hit anime film Bungo Stray Dogs: DEAD APPLE!


This is one of those cases where the movie was better than the book; although, that makes sense in a way, since the movie came first. Where Bungo Stray Dogs Light Novel 5: Dead Apple works is in the way it explains certain plot points better than in the movie. However, the writing of the action scenes falls pretty flat; it didn't help me visualise what was playing out, so I struggled to engage with those moments. It also felt more like a recitation of the movie than a story in its own right, even with the minor changes here and there. Overall, I think they would have done better to stick with Asagiri as the writer, rather than bringing in an outsider. That said, I am a big fan of Bungo Stray Dogs, so I still enjoyed this piece and it was fun to 'relive' the movie, which I haven't watched in a while. If you are already a BSD fan you will want to add this to your collection, but it's not the place to start if you are new to the series. I ummed and ahhed between 3 and 4 stars for this one, but I went with 4 in the end simply because I love the characters and the story as a whole so much.

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