Please mind that this is entirely my point of view, so I might be getting facts wrong and my portrayal might change based on rp’s too!
|| What I find so curious about Dazai is that he isn’t exactly human, like his ability implies. He is capable of inhumane things which makes me wonder what goes through his mind on a daily basis? Is he on ‘the edge’ or did he already pass that border and is actually unable to live with himself? It’s one of the things that really makes me curious because there are times when he is human.
He treated Akutagawa terribly, alright. He gave him a spartan training you wouldn’t want to wish on anyone. It was Dazai’s way of ensuring Akutagawa would become stronger. It was twisted and yet he somehow he knows as long as Aku follows his order he would grow to become stronger.
Atsushi later claims that Dazai approved of Aku long ago and Dazai doesn’t deny it, yet why didn’t he ever tell Aku this before?
He clearly treats Atsushi much better, but I think that’s because he himself had to learn to ‘teach’ and ‘behave’ differently after he joined the Agency. He is used to violence, murder, torture, deceive and repeat. I don’t think he ever knew what family was or how to accept people into his heart, how to abide by good morals etc. He knows how to talk to people, he knows what to say, what to do and how to achieve his goals. He also seems to have a good idea of what others think and how to play along with them. But I don’t think he knew how to treat those he was responsible for ‘better’ or in a good way.
Or maybe he thought Aku could handle the spartan training, but even then, it’s never justifiable.
Dazai is capable of accepting friends, those at first being Oda and Ango. I think they were the constant in his life, the safe haven he knew he could go to whenever. He knew he would meet them at the bar, thus becoming friends with them. Ango betrayed them in the end and honestly? I was kind of surprised to see Dazai letting him off so easily. Didn’t he betray the Mafia? Instead he let him off saying: Don’t show me your face ever again. Does that mean it did hurt him that Ango betrayed them? It looks like to me Ango did have a place in his heart, albeit a small one because Dazai doesn’t allow people to pass that invisible barrier.
Then there’s Oda whom he was genuinely upset about to see him dying in front of him. He did think of him as his friend and made the promise to fight on the good side. He owes it to Oda that he can do good things with his incredible ability now, but is he ‘good’ at heart? Or rather: can one expect him to learn good morals and live by those? He can, but is that also what he feels and truly thinks?
The Agency gave him a broader view and reasonable restrictions, such as no killing and protecting civilians, no harming comrades etc.
Back to the Mafia: Chuuya. There was definitely a bond of trust, because I believe it is not possible to work together so well without at least having some kind of ‘connection’. They clearly had these dynamics that enabled them to work together so well. And yet at the same time, they can’t stand each other. I think, Dazai does show a bit of what he truly thinks and feels to Chuuya. I think Chuuya is one of the few who knows Dazai, just like Oda did, only slightly differently.
Now, at the Agency, Kunikida is the one Dazai can always be found hanging around, irritating him, working together as partners and so on. I think Kunikida is the new stable factor for him. There are for every human protective and risk factors. While Dazai has many risk factors in his life, I think Kunikida is a protective one in the sense that he can keep Dazai at bay, somewhat. I think Kunikida has this air of ‘reassurance’ that also helps Dazai to somehow level with him, if you get what I mean. Am I making sense? Just like Oda was the constant in his life, Kunikida has that role now (not to replace Oda mind you). And about the protective factors, I think Atsushi is one for him too. He treats him much better compared to Aku and I think that’s because Dazai learned enough to at least be able to do that. Despite Atsushi being 18, he’s still often treated as a child, which I don’t think is a bad thing considering what the boy went through in his life.
But you know? Chapter 39 about Atsushi’s orphanage and the caretaker did trouble me. I read comments about people suddenly being confused about him, suddenly somehow feeling for him. There is no justifying what that man did, no matter his intention to want to praise Atsushi in the end. It was touchy yes, but it doesn’t take away all the years of abuse. And yet, I can also see why Dazai said told him ‘when someone’s father passes away, they will cry.’ Doesn’t Dazai understand all too well what kind of relationship Atsushi and his caretaker had? Didn’t he treat Aku in a similar way in the past? He also knew Atushi doesn’t know what a parent is, what familial love is. Dazai doesn’t know that either, so they were really on the same level regarding that. Dazai knows it’s unforgivable what the caretaker did, he knows what he himself did is unforgivable, but the important thing is what are they going to do with that in the future?
I will ramble more about this later, but this was just to settle with the ideas I have for Dazai’s portrayal c; Feel free to let me know your thoughts! I’d love to discuss it and improve it, because there is always space for improvement. Not to mention, I might still be getting details wrong because I am still re-reading the manga o////o
Anyway, thank you for reading this! ^^