Bungou Stray Dogs is back, with characters such as the famed Five Deadly Omens getting their first introduction! Of course, that’s not all we’ll get to see in this highly anticipated 4th season, but it is a start. Bungou Stray Dogs has never been the type to hold its punches, with mafia organizations and murder afoot. So, an infamous terrorist organization filled with characters named after giants in the horror and macabre genre sounds right up its alley.
So, who are the Five Deadly Omens? They might be known to manga fans under a different alias. Does the term Decay Of the Angel arc ring a bell? That’s right, what is being referred to as the Five Deadly Omens in the anime, is actually the Decay Of The Angels, an extremist group that moonlights as a murder association. Though the member account is nothing to write home about, it consists of some of the most powerful Ability users yet. Namely Kamui, Bram Stoker, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Nikolai Gogol, and Sigma.
For years now, we were convinced that the true rivalry of Bungou Stray Dogs was between the Armed Detective Agency and the Port Mafia. Like, it was always good vs evil, right? But with the appearance of the Five Deadly Omens, that theory is thrown out of the water. For the first time, both the Port Mafia and the Armed Detective Agency are facing a threat from an extremely unpredictable force that is outside of their control. The Five Deadly Omens have a plan: to eliminate the country using The Book, which can turn fiction into reality.
And as long as they have that page, they are near unstoppable. But why are they doing this? Who are the Five Deadly Omens and why do they hold so much power? After their first cameo in Chapter 57, it is clear that they are going to be major players going forward that can make and break the Armed Detective Agency. So, let’s discuss this in another segment of Lore Analysis!
Of course, I was going to start with this one. Growing up, Bram Stoker was one of my favorite classic literature writers and he single handily redefined the vampire genre with Dracula. And over here, the inspiration from the famed novel carries.
Bram Stoker in Bungou Stray Dogs lives up to his vampiric heritage, even with his appearance. With long dark hair, pale skin, and fangs to boot, there is no denying what he is meant to mimic. But it is his power that is the most intriguing. Bram Stoker carries an unnamed Ability, but its nature is ‘Infection type’. Much like a real vampire, Bram’s bite turns its victim into a vampire as well, but a completely subservient one. And those vampires can bite more victims, turning them into Bram Stoker’s personal army. And the worst part? Even death doesn’t save you from that fate, as Bram Stoker was able to turn a dead Ryūnosuke Akutagawa back in Chapter 88.
He isn’t known as the ‘Lord Of the Undead’ for no reason, you know? And with how quickly his power can spread over a large number of people, it’s no wonder he is so greatly feared.
The leader of the Decay Of The Angels, and quite possibly the deadliest of the Five Deadly Omens, Ōchi Fukuchi runs a tight shift. Masquerading as Kamui, a captain in the Hunting Dogs Special Unit, he easily duped those that would’ve suspected him with a loud personality.
But in truth, Kamui is a much colder individual who is very serious about his goals with the rest of the Five Deadly Omens. Since he survived the Great War as a veteran, he truly believes that the best thing for the world would be the total annihilation of every country. And so, he creates this fourfold plan involving The Book and writing on both sides of the pages to make great calamities come true.
Of course, Kamui’s Ability ‘Mirror Lion’, is formidable on its own, thanks to it supercharging any weapon that comes into his possession. But it is his sword, the Shintō Amenogozen, that is the most terrifying. With it, he can literally cut through time mid-battle, going back to a moment when an attack wasn’t landed on him. Basically creating this infinite loop where he doesn’t get hurt, period.
‘The Man of a Hundred Faces’ is no one to underestimate, considering how he took on two powerful Ability users and came out on top.
Just because we don’t know his real name, doesn’t mean Sigma isn’t known for his exploits. Originally, we are introduced to him as the manager of Sky Casino, acting as an information broker under the glitz and glamor of the gambling den. But it is his almost relatable nature that makes him such a fan favorite.
Sigma calls himself ‘The Casino Man’, partially due to his occupation but more so because of how he has devoted himself to his career. He doesn’t have a strong sense of identity, thanks to having no memories of his past, nor any friends or family to go back home to. So, in essence, the Casino is his life’s blood, with its customers and employees treating him well. But it also means that, outside of it, Sigma suffers from crippling anxiety, often doubting himself.
To protect himself, his Ability is also a secret. But despite being on the weaker spectrum when compared to the rest of the Five Deadly Omens, it is a valuable one. Sigma can use his Ability to extract the information he desires by executing a touch-based exchange with someone who possesses said information.
Possibly the most unnerving of the Five Deadly Omens, Fyodor Dostoevsky knows exactly where his strengths lie. It’s easy to see why he is so confident, of course. When you possess the ability to kill on a whim, you tend to gain a reputation, you know? Especially when you also lead an underground guerrilla faction.
Fyodor Dostoevsky is known more for his work with the Rats in the House of the Dead, whose public goal is to find The Book intact, which is rumored to be in Yokohama. And they will stop at nothing to gain access to it, even if it means burning the entire city to the ground. Fyodor knows that without it, he can’t achieve his fanatical dreams. And yeah, fanatical is one way to describe him. Especially considering how he joined the Decay Of The Angel to pursue a world without any Ability possessors. This is odd because Fyodor Dostoevsky is the owner of a very powerful one.
His ability, Crime and Punishment, is literally a death sentence for anyone that comes across it. It can kill with a single touch and appears to have no restrictions. You don’t even need skin contact, because of how Fyodor killed a government official who grabbed him using gloves. Not that he needs it, considering how he also happens to be a master of strategy.
Nikolai Gogol was our first character introduction to the Five Deadly Omens, and it certainly set up the standard for their recklessness. I mean, the guy bursts on the screen while killing a police officer, so subtlety isn’t his strongest suit.
But you know what is? His espionage skills. Before we even get to his Ability, it is important to talk about the practical skills Nikolai brings to the table. Nikolai is a mastermind at disguises, much like Kamui. He impersonated Tanzō Tonan’s secretary, aka the Vice Minister of Justice himself, without anyone realizing who he was or his motives. Or maybe that’s just the theatre kid in him, considering how extreme he can be with his reactions.
And speaking of, Nikolai is strangely sadistic. He often gives out threats in the form of ‘quizzes’, putting his victims in a blindspot and toying with them until he can unveil his true power. The Overcoat is Nikolai’s Ability, and it has the power to manipulate space with, well, his coat. Essentially, he can create rips in the space continuum, almost like portals, and move things in a 30-mile radius. And yes, this includes living beings as well. This means severing a body part isn’t that farfetched for him.
So, those are the Five Deadly Omens or the Decay Of the Angel. At this point in time, they are shaping up to be one of the greatest threats the Armed Detective Agency has ever faced and could spell total chaos for those they mean to protect. Not even the combined powers of Osamu Dazai and his allies can guarantee a win this time.
So, how will it go from here? Only time will tell! (Of course, unless you’re willing to start the manga!)