Bungo Stray Dogs

Dear Dazai,

I went back and revisited an old Livejournal that I don’t think I’ve read in nearly 10 years today; Cleolinda’s recount of the “Twilight” books.

I’ve never read Twilight or any of the other books in the series because sparkly vampires never were enough for me to bypass the horrible message that it was sending to young girls. I was too old and wise for that, or liked to think I was, at that age.

These days, I’m a lot more understanding about what each person gets out of a piece of art. Snobbery about what counts as something proper and worthwhile of our time is just not something that I’m now interested in.

Art is so subjective, that even with faults, I don’t think it is fair to suggest to someone that you might be wrong for liking it.

So I’ve decided to be honest how I came to you.

It’s one of the things I’ve held onto. One thing that only the closest to me know and I think that in honour of the amazing blog post that’s coming for the very first (Sol)Ace in Art (and be sure to check in for that this Saturday because it’s going to be epic!), I wanted to tell that story.

Our story.

I’d like to say that on my first trip to Tokyo I found your book in a little book store in Shinjuku, a dusty cover with a crinkled edge that called my name, but that’s a lie. Romantic sure, but certainly not true.

It actually started with an anime called ‘Ouran High School Host Club’, in my mind, a modern masterpiece, but not without some suggestion of twincest and a bit too much lolicon occasionally for my liking. Still it’s my all time favourite anime, and I’m a bit of an anime nerd, I’ve watched enough to be fussy about what I like.

And I LOVE Ouran.

So 10 years after Ouran was made, the same creative team got together to make Bungo Stray Dogs. A story of the Armed Detective Agency and their newest recruit, Atsushi. Every character in the anime is based on a real person, with a lot of awesome nods to their real lives, but the anime shined whenever Dazai was on screen.

I’ll admit that I was biased to start.

See, Dazai in Bungo is voiced by my favourite seiyuu, Mamoru Miyano, who had also voiced Tamaki in Ouran. I’m such a fan that an absolutely awesome friend got me his signature for my birthday one year, in what was one of the best presents I have ever received, and I squealed for days.

So I fell in love with that Dazai, because I had already loved Tamaki, and already loved Mamoru Miyano.

I fell in love with him long before I ever read anything you wrote. Long before I scoured the world for every book I could get my hands on. Long before my bank account suffered immensely for that.

I loved you before I knew you, really knew you, because I found an anime I absolutely loved, and watched something else by the same people. I might have still felt so alone in this world, except for that one thing.

So I think that art can do amazing things, and it doesn’t matter what art it is, what matters is how we respond to it. How it makes us feel.

Because I still watch Ouran and Bungo, because I still love them, and they make me happy, and it doesn’t impact my love for you because of it.

xx

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