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Bungo Stray Dogs Season 5 - What We Know So Far

From "Detective Conan" to "Death Note" — which "The Simpsons" once parodied — detective stories are an important pillar of Japanese animation. Among some of the most popular present day detective anime is "Bungo Stray Dogs," which premiered in 2016 and is based on a comic that debuted in 2012. Testament to the enduring popularity of "Bungo Stray Dogs" is its lengthy run, during a time when even some of the biggest anime adaptations are either limited in episode count or hampered by years-long gaps between seasons.

The protagonist of "Bungo Stray Dogs" is a young man named Atsushi Nakajima, who possesses the ability to transform into a monstrous white tiger. He joins a supernatural detective agency headed by Osamu Dazai, whose own ability allows him to nullify the powers of others. Nakajima, Dazai, and the rest of the series' main cast, notably, are named after famous Japanese writers. The fictional Dazai's signature ability, for example, is called "No Longer Human," which is the name of the real-life Dazai's most famous novel.

"Bungo Stray Dogs" Season 4 concluded on March 29, 2023. Season 5 was then confirmed that same day, immediately assuring fans that the show will continue sooner rather than later. Here's what we know about "Bungo Stray Dogs" Season 5 so far.

When will Bungo Stray Dogs Season 5 be released?

As is oftentimes typical for lengthier anime series, production on "Bungo Stray Dogs" has at no point adhered to a regular schedule. First, Seasons 1 and 2, which consist of 24 episodes combined, both aired through 2016. Then, Season 3 didn't premiere until 2019, though a film titled "Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple" tided fans over the previous year. After that, a single season adaptation of spin-off series "Bungo Stray Dogs Wan!" aired in 2021, preceding the official fourth season's debut in January of 2023.

Rather than a lengthy absence, film, or spin-off following "Bungo Stray Dogs" Season 4, a proper fifth season is not only on its way but slated for a release just months after its predecessor. According to a Crunchyroll writeup about the new season's announcement, "Bungo Stray Dogs" Season 5 will premiere in July of 2023 on a date that has yet to be announced.

What is the plot of Bungo Stray Dogs Season 5?

"Bungo Stray Dogs" is based on an ongoing comic book series released in monthly installments of the anthology "Young Ace," and thus far the anime has adapted existing material rather than chart out new territory to any significant degree. That said, whereas prior seasons' trajectories were altogether clear based on the volume of source material, Season 5 will mark the first time that the "Bungo Stray Dogs" anime might run up against the manga's current end point.

In response to a Reddit post about the "Bungo Stray Dogs" Season 5 announcement, a couple of users in a comment thread theorized that, rather than pulling solely from the manga to which it's almost caught up, Season 5 will likely adapt one or more light novels — which is effectively a term used to describe Japanese young adult fiction — instead. Eight "Bungo Stray Dogs" light novels exist in total.

By comparison, Season 4 begins with a three-episode light novel adaptation, before covering the events of 24 manga chapters. As of the time of Season 5's announcement, 23 manga chapters are unadapted. A similar schedule, then, through which Season 5 might first adapt a light novel before moving on to the rest of the currently-available source material, seems probable. Therefore Season 5 may well encompass the story of a light novel and both of the two most recent manga story arcs in full.

Is there a trailer for Bungo Stray Dogs Season 5?

The March 29, 2023 announcement of "Bungo Stray Dogs" Season 5 includes both a new key visual and a minute-plus trailer of footage from the upcoming season, giving fans their first taste of what to expect when it premieres just months after its confirmation.

At this first trailer's opening, military leader Ochi Fukuchi speaks in front of the United Nations, before visiting the Armed Detective Agency's Doppo Kunikida in the hospital, where he's recovering from a head injury. From there, a series of quick cuts alternate between some of the rest of the series' key cast members and various action setpieces, culminating in a close-up shot of Ryunosuke Akutagawa speaking.

Given its relatively short runtime, this first preview doesn't give too much away about the forthcoming "Bungo Stray Dogs" season, but nevertheless, the fact that new footage exists at all so soon after Season 4's end is something that the vast majority of fans likely never saw coming.

Where to watch previous seasons of Bungo Stray Dogs

With four seasons, a spin-off, and a movie all concluded, catching up on "Bungo Stray Dogs" is a considerable undertaking. Currently, the only streaming service with both every episode of "Bungo Stray Dogs" and the single-season spin-off series "Bungo Stray Dogs Wan!" is Crunchyroll. While the show has been available on non anime-focused streaming services in the past, this is no longer the case, so a Crunchyroll subscription is essentially required to view "Bungo Stray Dogs" in its entirety.

Meanwhile, the 2018 film "Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple" isn't available on any major subscription service, meaning that it must be purchased through a digital storefront like Amazon. That said, while the events of the movie do supplement certain moments throughout the show, it's hardly required viewing. A Crunchyroll account, then, is all that's necessary to catch up on "Bungo Stray Dogs" prior to its Season 5 premiere in July of 2023.