Bungo Stray Dogs may seem like a supernatural action anime at first glance, but dig a little deeper and viewers will discover its strong literary origins from countries such as Japan, America, and Russia, amongst others. These literary origins are then used in the names of the characters and their special supernatural abilities.
Created by Kafka Asagiri, the anime of Bungo Stray Dogs just concluded its fifth season which is a sign of its popularity across the world. In an interview with Crunchyroll, Asagiri expanded on his creative process, with specific reference to how he creates his characters and how he selects the authors they are based on.
How does Kafka Asagiri come up with characters in Bungo Stray Dogs?
Kafka Asagiri is naturally quite an avid reader, as he writes so much about authors and their works. He then uses what he reads to come up with characters. He expanded on the process, saying (via Crunchyroll):
“I read the novels and poems from each author that appears in my story. I draw inspiration not only from the author themselves, but also from their works. I like to look at particular scenes from those works of literature to then come up with the character [for my story].”
He then gave the example of Fyodor Dostoevsky, one of the antagonists in Bungo Stray Dogs named after the famous Russian author. He said:
“For example, if we take Fyodor and look at this character, he is completely different [than the real-life author]. He has absolutely no similarities to Dostoevsky. I took inspiration from Dostoevsky’s book, The Brothers Karamazov, in which there is a scene where Ivan has a conversation with the devil. I based Fyodor off of this.”
Thus, Kafka Asagiri goes through a long process that involves a lot of research and reading before deciding on an author to bring them into Bungo Stray Dogs.
How does Kafka Asagiri select the authors in Bungo Stray Dogs?
During the same interview with Crunchyroll, Asagiri spoke on how he narrows down the authors that he wants to adapt into his series, saying:
“I generally choose authors that tend to be historical and very famous – their works of literature are incredibly unique and have a strong identity. Because of that, works from France or England tend to be incredibly strong.”
Asagiri then spoke on the direction he would like to take in the future with regard to selecting authors, saying:
“From now on, however, I would like to start using not-so-well-known, less famous authors from several different countries to introduce into the story.”
He also mentioned how he uses the popular perception of certain writers in his work, and how their character and background can be further expanded upon. While changing the authors’ personalities is certainly a risk, it is mitigated somewhat by the fact that their personalities are usually based on some of their writings.