Of Dazai and the Old Boss – An Analysis Report
So ever since I started reading the manga, there was always one character I always wondered about; the Old Boss, or the boss that came before Mori. Sure he seemed like an unimportant side character in the way he’s presented, but I have reasons to believe he’s more than that.
First, let’s compile what we know about him.
1. He was ruthless even when he’s not bedridden and paranoid, as was said by Kouyou whose lover was killed because she tried to escape the Mafia with him.
And again when Tanizaki tried to kill Mori
but was stopped by Kouyou, saying that if Mori died, the Mafia would return to
its ‘wretched ways’. We can say with complete confidence that Mori’s way is so
much ‘kinder’ than the old boss.
He was bedridden with illness that also made him
paranoid of attacks. This is not the case before the illness strike because
Hirotsu mentioned he become like that after
If Mori hadn’t stopped him by slicing his
throat, he would have burnt Yokohama down.
4. Wait that’s it? Yep. All we knew about him was in that episode and that chapter. But what we know about him was profound.
First let’s look at this scene:
Notice how Hirotsu mentioned Dazai specifically? Here’s the original panel for that scene:
In this, we can confidently say that Hirotsu singled out Dazai about how was the one who should’ve been most not alright with the development. The words used for it ‘Dazai –kun mo rikai suru tokoro de attarou‘ implies this. It hints that Dazai should’ve been resentful to Mori because he killed the Old Boss. But against all odds, he understood why Mori did what he did.
Then there’s this scene.
It really bothered me and when I looked deeper this is what cemented my conclusion of Dazai and the Old Boss’ connection. So as we could see in this scene, Mori killed the Old Boss and had Dazai become the sole witness. Now this premise has many problems.
1. Other than Mori, who was a doctor so obviously he was to take care of the sick, notice that Dazai was the only one in the room. Now this is strange. He was the only one who was by the Old Boss’ side, all alone in the room with the vulnerable, sick man when there’s no doctor to hover on the bedside. This in and of itself is a proof of their bond. If they weren’t well-known to have it, then all the Mafia would be suspicious to the fact that he’s accompanying the boss when he’s the most vulnerable.
On top of that he was entrusted with the Boss’ security as he was in the room with Mori who might or might not harm him (spoiler, he harmed the boss.) so he was supposed to be the one to care the most about the Old Boss’ wellbeing.
2. As we know from the light novel, Odasaku mentioned that Dazai was considered to become an Executive at 16. In this scene he was only 14 and at that point of time, he had enough sway in the Organization that he can be the sole witness to the boss’ will and everyone just—nods and go along with it, making Mori the new boss despite them should be having Five Executive that would have fought for the seat. Why?
In this case, Dazai cannot be adopted and raised by Mori as the fandom believed. If he
was Mori’s and he became the sole witness everyone would call bull on it
because he’d be perceived as Mori’s accomplice in taking out the Old Boss. They’d
be executed and one of the upper echelon would take the throne themselves.
This would only work if the Port Mafia to believe that he couldn’t harm the boss and wouldn’t let harm come to him.
But what about this picture, you ask? Well, Mori did have a connection with Dazai too seing how Dazai got the coat he wore from before he was 14 to 18 from him. That’s a good 4 years wearing the same thing. I think this was actually the same case with Chuuya not appearing in the Dark Era; the plot has yet to be told to the readers and kept secret.
And then there’s the possibility that they knew each other because of Dazai’s wounds. If the Old Boss is as ruthless as Kouyou made him out to be, it won’t be far-fetched to say he’s the one resposible for Dazai’s numerous injuries and was frequently sent to Mori, the doctor, to get treatment.
Summary: the Organization needs to know Dazai well and for some reason connect him with not only being close enough to the Old Boss for it not be strange for him to be all alone in the room with him and having enough credibility that he can’t possibly lie about the Old Boss’ last will. On top of that, he needs some reason to be the one ‘most not alright with it’ in a personal sense.
So what would make this credible? What could make this work? It would be if by doing so he was giving up his rights to the throne.
Here cometh my conclusion: Dazai was the Old Boss’ son and the rightful heir to the Port Mafia. If he was one, it won’t be strange for him to have credibility as 14-year old kid claiming to be the sole witness to a boss of The Mafia’s biggest bad that made a city doctor its next Boss. More than that, it would be natural for him to spend time alone in the Boss’ bedside when he was sick and vulnerable.
No, I won’t be dropping Darth Vader’s ‘I am your father’ bomb here, despite it being extremely tempting. How many father and child bound by blood have you seen in BSD? That’s right, none. No reason to break the pattern now.
But what is prevalent? Adopting orphans. Hell, it was dropped by Odasaku in his last moment as one of Dazai’s driving force. In fact, most of the main cast are either adopted orphans or have adopted an orphan. (Fukuzawa & Ranpo, Kunikida & Rokuzo, Akutagawa/Atsushi and Dazai, need I go on?)
Here’s my verdict: Dazai was the heir to the Port Mafia because he was the Old Boss’ adopted. When the Old Boss died, everyone in the Mafia who knew about it, thought that he couldn’t possibly lie because by doing so he’d be defacing the Old Boss and giving away his rights to the throne. This gave him the ultimate credibility and thus allowing Mori to become the next King.
Most of all, this also solve the mystery of Mori’s behavior. Why drive Dazai away when he’s 18, when Mori could’ve killed him or make him go away before? He made the preparation to drive Dazai away two years beforehand when Dazai was 16, a good two years after becoming boss. The answer was because this will reveal his play to his subordinate. In the light novel Odasaku mentioned about Mori’s fearsome reputation for being ruthless and clever as hell. And this is the key; reputation.
If Mori killed Dazai before he got a secure standing in the Mafia, he would be accused to be killing the Old Boss and taking down his heir. Everyone would be on the scent of blood like sharks, especially in a place as cruel as the Mafia. So he got himself a reputation, backed by people loyal to him (Chuuya, Kouyou and, in an extent, Ace who was loyal only to money) and when he was sure that he has shown what he could and would do to the whole Mafia and the world, he cut off Dazai because he was no longer needed and now poses only threat.
By exiling the Prince, he would be able to hog the throne for himself since the older members would not be rallying behind Dazai to retake his rights. Truly a long-running plan befitting of him.
But hey, that’s just a theory. A BSD theory. Aaaand cut.