In the fifth episode of ‘Bungo Stray Dogs’ season 4, Rampo slowly makes the case that author’s murder is not exactly what it appears to be and Mushitarou has been hiding a huge secret. When the truth is revealed, Mushitarou realizes that he is no other option but to guard Kindaichi’s secret in order to ensure that his last wish gets fulfilled. While Rampo offers all his support to Mushitarou following his surrender, things take an unexpected turn when Nikolai Gogol makes an appearance.
Rampo Suspects Mushitarou
Kindaichi, the author of the manuscript and famous mystery novelist, was found dead at an inn where he had been staying for long-term work. The last volume of his popular work was about to be published and there was already a lot of conversation about it. But his unexpected death changed everything. Poe has read the manuscript and in the story, the killer is the victim’s old acquaintance with years of pent-up anger. However, he cannot explain the smudge marks on the final pages of the chapter and suspects that they could be a copy.
Meanwhile, Rampo tells Mushitarou that he had gotten his hands on the original documents, which meant that he was not that far away from establishing his crimes. That’s when the driver stops the car and points a gun at Rampo. But he does not realize that they have been surrounded by the police at exactly this point. Unfortunately, the gun turns out to be fake and since the car has a foreign service plate, it enjoys immunity so Rampo and his friends have to let Mushitarou go away. But just a few minutes later, Mushitarou finds a phone in the car and as soon as he picks it up, he gets transported to a place that seems like the crime scene where Rampo is waiting for him.
It is soon revealed they are actually inside Kindaichi’s novel, thanks to the help of an ability user who has helped Rampo achieve the seemingly impossible. He then reveals that he has initially reasoned that the motivation for the crime was a personal grudge but he no longer feels that the case. Rampo argues that the author had met Mushitarou well before his death and the two had actually talked about the author’s death. In other words, Rampo believes that Kindaichi killed himself with the help of Mushitarou.
Why Does Mushitarou Surrender?
While explaining smudge marks on the pages in the manuscript, Rampo points out that the final page was placed at the top. He then argues that the source of water at the crime scene and the reason the attacker frantically tried to replace the original with a copy can only be explained with one theory. Although Mushitarou has claimed to hate the author and agreed to kill him after being asked, when he actually sits on his chest trying to strangle him to death, he can barely control his tears. The manuscript ended up getting those smudge marks not because of water but because of Mushitarou’s tears.
So the theory that there was even a little bit of personal grudge involved that motivated the killer is absolutely wrong. Rampo argues that if the victim was an accomplice to the crime, then the investigation itself becomes pointless. The thrill of solving a mystery dies soon afterward. Mushitarou listens patiently and ultimately could only argue that Rampo has no proof, which is true. However, it could still be publicly announced that the smudge marks were a result of tears, not water which would make readers reconsider their view of the manuscript.
Once they start getting confused and question the death of the author, the temptation to take on the challenge according to Rampo plummets significantly. Since he has established that the suicide of the author was an effort to put the novel’s scheme into reality in order to break the wall between reality and fiction, Rampo’s warning to disclose the truth to the public can muddle Kindaichi’s last wish become even more relevant. Keeping this in mind, Mushitarou unconditionally surrenders and is arrested by the police.
Who is Nikolai Gogol? What is His Special Ability?
Just when Mushitarou is being taken to the police station, the car gets stuck in traffic. That’s when a mysterious man approaches the police officer transporting Mushitarou and tells him about a murder. On being questioned, he reveals that he was talking about his murder and proceeds to kill him on the spot using a gun that appears to manifest out of thin air. The man dressed in a police uniform then turns his attention to Mushitarou, who is sitting in the backseat. He then reveals that his name is Nikolai Gogol and he is there for cleanup duty.
It appears that he is alluding to the fact that he is there to take care of Mushitarou since he is unfortunately aware of their next project. It turns out that Nikolai belongs to the notorious terrorist organization known as Decay of the Angel. His special ability is called the Overcoat and he can use it for spatial manipulation, which also allows him to create anything out of thin air. Although it has a distance limit of 30 meters, the power is dangerous since it also works on living beings and spatial manifestations could easily cause life-threatening injuries when they are used in the right way.