Fyodor Dostoevsky, one of the present antagonists of Bungo Stray Dogs, is seen to have survived the ordeals that the city of Yokohama has to offer without even revealing his ability’s true nature. The ability is called Crime and Punishment, and the minute glimpses throughout the narrative shows that Fyodor can kill his targets with just one touch, as seen when he killed Ace’s slave, Karma. However, his ability is also not restricted to skin contact as he was seen killing a government agent who had gloves on but upon contact, he immediately died. On top of that, he could even kill the Order of the Clock Tower agents inside the plane without even being in the same space as them. So what is the exact nature of Fyodor’s powers and how strong is it?
A tumblr theory suggests that Fyodor’s ability might have connection to the presence of his two selves in Bungo Stray Dogs. The same theory is based on the recent happenings in the manga that raises questions on the Decay of the Angels’ member’s escape from Meursault. However, the escape is not possible unless he uses his ability in some way or another, which becomes the point of discussion in this theory. While Fyodor’s ability is yet to be explored or described in the series, the points presented by this Tumblr user are pretty convincing.
Tumblr user notes how Fyodor’s sobriquet may hint at his mysterious ability in Bungo Stray Dogs
Titled “How Fyodor will escape Meursault and how he’s communicating with the outside,” the Tumblr theory by user sorcererandskillusers starts by pointing out the specifics of Fyodor’s powers in the movie Bungo Stray Dogs: Dead Apple. In another post (“Just rewatched The Dead Apple and noticed something about Fyodors ability.”) by the same user, they describe how the rules of “the fog” entailed that an ability user’s power manifested in a humanoid form that replicates the user. However, this humanoid has a “blank face with glowing eyes, and they have their gem weak spot on their foreheads. This kind was seen in the case of Tanizaki, Yosano, Fukuzawa, etc. Here, sorcererandskillusers notes that abilities which already have a manifestation are exception to this rule, as seen in the case of Atsushi’s Tiger and Akutagawa’s Rashomon, whose placement of the gem for the former two is different.
On the other hand, there’s Fyodor, whose ability appears in a different outfit and with a detailed face. Moreover, the gem is placed on his hand. sorcererandskillusers then says that given the manifestation of the ability, it completely defies all the three rules of the fog. Another point is – Fyodor is able to completely merge with his ability without breaking the gem, his ability can talk, has a consciousness of his own, but doesn’t actively kill him. Atsushi’s Tiger and Mori’s Elise have concrete physical forms with detailed anatomical structure even outside the fog, and since Fyodor’s ability also has the same properties similar to the aforementioned two during the course of Dead Apple, does this mean he also has a manifesting ability that is not restricted to the occurrence of Shibusawa’s fog?
At this point, sorcererandskillusers questions how his ability would tie to the recent events in the Bungo Stray Dogs manga. They use a panel where Fyodor (and Chuuya) is in the room being drowned by Dazai, who is accompanied by Sigma. Fyodor asserts, “You can’t kill me.” Now, the Tumblr user focuses on semantics and how Fyodor could have used “You can’t kill me, like this” or “This won’t be enough to kill me.” Stressing on this, they question:
“Why? why can’t Dazai kill him, even if he had a skill of immortality Dazai would only have to touch him and he’d be defenceless. So why…?”
sorcererandskillusers then writes that “ its because he’s not even there to begin with, even if Dazai defeats this Fyodor, the real one is still out there. It would perfectly call back to the ending of ‘The Cannibalism’” Using a manga panel of Akutagwa from The Cannibalism arc that shows him realizing that Fyodor was never at the base to begin with.
Now, sorcererandskillusers asks the readers to imagine a hypothetical scenario, where:
“Dazai, after the long and frustrating back and forth, finally confronts Fyodor. He reaches to touch him. ‘It doesn’t matter if I don’t know your ability, it will be useless against me’. Only for Fyodor to vanish the moment he touches him. leaving Dazai, Sigma and Chuuya shocked.’He got me… The rat was never here to begin with.’”
The Tumblr user then comments how the “real Fyodor” not being present within Meursault connects well with how the Russian killed Order of The Clock Tower agents who were airborne while he was on land. The user further remarks “how he’s able to seemingly disappear from the roof top in TUO” or “Why he personally stabbed Mori and shot Katai.” sorcererandskillusers writes that Fyodor never jeopardized his life since he didn’t actually put his real life at that given point, he just “wanted other people to think he could be anywhere at any time.”
This is then connected to the question of how he communicates with the outside world when he is inside a prison with tight security. To this, sorcererandskillusers replies with:
“The Fyodor on the outside is simply acting the same as the Fyodor on the inside would, so he knows how things will play out. Dazai can never figure out his method of communication if there is no communication in the first place. He simply knows himself so well he can guess exactly how things are going outside.”
Lastly, the Tumblr user mentions Fyodor’s epithet, which is “The Conjurer.” The word means anyone who has the ability to produce anything out of thin air. So, sorcererandskillusers thinks that this makes sense perfectly. They continue:
“Fyodor is using that power to trick people into thinking he is omnipotent, by seemingly affecting things out of his reach he feels like a god, organising events exactly how he wants. But in reality there is another Fyodor doing the leg work.”
This is an interesting theory as it ties several loose ends together. The explanation on Fyodor’s ability also makes sense when one considers how the targets he have killed all die due to internal bleedings. However, there is still the question of why he had used a gun to kill the catgirl when he could have used his ability. The speculation is deep as it might suggest that he didn’t want to reveal his power to Dazai, whose one of the goal is to find out about the same. Just like many queries one may have regarding the Bungo Stray Dogs’ narrative, most particularly being the origin of the book or Dazai’s history, Fyodro’s ability in the series has long been teased but never explored. It thus remains to be seen how long the readers of BSD will have to wait before they get clarity on the answer(s).