Bungou Stray Dogs has propelled itself into mainstream success, thanks to a plethora of interesting characters and a stellar setting. It’s no wonder it’s getting renewed for a new season every time, with how popular it has become. The series has done amazingly well for itself, despite having a story that gets more complicated with every plot twist. But if anything, that just proves how much staying power the series has. Especially when you consider the characters of Bungou Stray Dogs.
Some of the most popular characters in Bungou Stray Dogs aren’t who you’d think they’d be. I mean, yeah, they are popular in the fandom. But it isn’t just because of their powers or how ‘cool’ they come across. I mean, I’d argue that the most popular character in the series overall is a massive dork with a dark past, but that’s neither here nor there. And I have to admit, the success of the show really does hinge on both its characters and their interactions with each other.
Because, let’s be real here, the idea of a detective agency that deals with the occult warring with a mafia organization that also has shady magic on their side? It’s pretty out there and the schtick can only work so many times. But Bungou Stray Dogs takes inspiration from the many literary giants it has paid tribute to and weaves a story that’s equal parts comedic and unsettling, with a central plot that is ever moving. You’ve got gothic lore, and some gore in there too. And of course, superpowers and oddly accurate comedic timing.
But what about the characters themselves? How do they serve the plot so well? Well, the multi-faceted aspects of them certainly help. And some are more intriguing than others. But which characters would we call ‘the best’ in the series? Well, let’s actually discuss this. Here are our Top 10 Bungou Stray Dogs characters in another segment of Get Ranked! Note: This will include both manga and anime characters, so spoilers beware!
10. Lucy Maud Montgomery
I might be just a little biased with this one. Anne Of Green Gables was one of my favourite book series growing up and therefore, it only makes sense that Lucy Maud Montgomery would make this list.
In Bungou Stray Dogs, she’s one of the few members of the Fellowship Of The Guild that isn’t Japanese. But what’s really terrifying is her Ability, known as ‘Anne of the Abyssal Red’, where she can create pocket dimensions. That space takes the form of a hellish playroom where you’re trapped with a monstrous character with no way out.
9. Atsushi Nakajima
It might feel weird that we’re ranking the main protagonist of the series so low on this list, but that doesn’t mean Atsushi Nakajima doesn’t hold his own.
Orphaned and alone, Nakajima has found a home with the Armed Detective Agency and learned how to take control of his dormant ability ‘Beast Beneath The Moonlight’, where he transforms into a giant white tiger monster. With his pure heart and selfless care of others, it’s easy to see that Nakajima will come into his own self sooner or later. But for right now, it’s a journey we have to experience with him.
8. Ryūnosuke Akutagawa
I have to say, despite his cruel tendencies, it’s easy to see why fans gravitate towards Ryūnosuke Akutagawa as one of the better antagonists in Bungou Stray Dogs.
I mean, he is the first villain we truly experience, inexplicably tied to the infamous Port Mafia. Hell, he is a super young member too, at only age 20. But in that short amount of time, he has become one of the highest ranking members and leader of his own faction. Then there is his Ability, Rashōmon, which is basically an Eldritch monster that could tear through anything, even space and is conveniently merged with his clothing.
7. Akiko Yosano
Akiko Yosano lives up to her namesake, which is that of an outspoken feminist poet that caused quite a few scandals during her time.
Due to her Ability, ‘Thou Shalt Not Die’, being of a healing nature i.e. she can bring back someone on the brink of death, Akiko is the designated Medic of the Armed Detective Agency. But her non-offensive powers do not reflect her personality. Akiko is outspoken and brave, never afraid to voice her opinion and make herself heard. Foes underestimate her as a Healer, which gives her the perfect opportunity to strike back.
6. Doppo Kunikida
Okay, hear me out here: Is Doppo Kunikida just a less chill Nanami from Jujutsu Kaisen? Because that’s the vibe I always got.
However, I guess being partnered up with a suicidal freak that won’t leave well enough alone could lead someone like Kunikida having some control issues. But he happens to be the organizational front of the Armed Detective Agency, helping manage new recruits and veterans alike. And so, keeping things in check like a strict mentor is kind of a given. His Ability, ‘Lone Poet’, works with that personality trait because, just like how he plans things by writing them down, he uses the same notebook to materialize any item he jots down.
5. Louisa May Alcott
Look, female authors rarely get the spotlight anyways, especially as stronger characters in other media forms. So, seeing Louisa May Alcott be represented has been a treat.
And one of the main reasons Louisa appeals so much is because of how different she is from the cookie cutter femme fatale style ‘strong’ characters we have been seeing. Don’t get me wrong, I love that character archetype as well. But Louisa lives up to her name by being this intelligent and inquisitive force of nature. She is indispensable to the Guild, thanks to her ability, ‘Little Women’, where she can slow down time for herself and dive deep into solving an issue without any restraint.
4. Fyodor Dostoevsky
While his name is a mouthful, the man himself is just effortlessly cool. Although, Fyodor Dostoevsky does happen to be somewhat of a terrorist.
As both the head of the Rats In The House Of The Dead and a member of the mysterious Decay Of The Angel group, Fyodor Dostoyevsky is not someone you take lightly. Perhaps his deadliest quality is the fact that he can remain calm and collected even in the most chaotic circumstances. It’s like the man lacks the brain function needed for fear. Though, with an Ability like ‘Crime And Punishment’, where he can kill someone with a single touch, I doubt there is much he is afraid of.
3. Ranpo Edogawa
You know why Ranpo Edogawa is the G.O.A.T.? (Greatest Of All Time) It’s because despite being the one of the smartest people, he’s the only person in the Armed Detective Agency without an Ability.
And in a cast of characters this supernaturally gifted? It is an amazing feat to not only survive but stand out like Edogawa does. His intelligence is almost too incredible to not be a by-product of some magical force. But, no, Edogawa is simply that good of a Detective. He can solve cases that are stumping the police in mere minutes and isn’t shy to admit his prowess. And though he might come across as a little mischievous, Edogawa knows when to get serious.
2. Chūya Nakahara
I mean, Chūya Nakahara happens to be part of the biggest ship in the Bungou Stray Dogs fandom, but he also holds his own. His dynamic with other characters is what sells him.
As part of the Port Mafia, the man exists to fight. He is an Executive in the organization, which makes sense considering who his partner used to be back in the day. The name ‘Double Black’ ring any bells? But more importantly, Chūya is just one of those characters that might be on the antagonistic side but have shown empathy towards others that is unlike him. Like he’s hot headed, but not sadistic. With an Ability like ‘For the Tainted Sorrow’, where he can defy gravity, the man continues to rise in popularity.
1. Osamu Dazai
Let’s all pretend to be surprised about this one. Of course, Osamu Dazai was going to be number 1 on this list. He’s practically the unspoken mascot of the show.
I mean, Dazai is such a complex character too. He’s intelligent but hides it behind a superficial façade. He is genuinely suicidal, because his past in the Port Mafia made him that way. Despite all his carefree antics, Dazai is seriously cunning and sharp, with a wit that is almost unrivalled. And his Ability, ‘No Longer Human’, is the ultimate trump card where he can nullify anyone else’s Ability upon contact. To the Port Mafia, he was respected despite his younger age. With Chūya, they were unstoppable as Double Black. But he left on the guidance of Oda Sakunosuke, who told him there was more to life than the cruelty of humanity.
So, there you have it folks. Here are the top 10 Bungou Stray Dogs characters ranked, in our humble opinion. I’m sure we missed out on a couple of your faves. If so, please sound off below and let us know who you think deserved one of the slots. Until next time!