I keep thinking about chapter 31 and it’s painful to think of how Dazai doesn’t care about Chuuya at all yet Chuuya actually does get concerned about him throughout the entire chapter. Chuuya even trusted Dazai with his life but Dazai just barely saves Chuuya and then leaves him for dead.
To Dazai, Chuuya is just a pawn, while Chuuya might’ve held him in a higher regard despite all the threats from his side.
This shows in their daily interactions with other people too. If Akutagawa or any of his other subordinates had died back when he was still an executive, Dazai wouldn’t have felt that remorseful. He’d be disappointed that Akutagawa’s potential had gone up in smoke like that, but he wasn’t attached.
Chuuya, on the other hand, does care about his subordinates, telling Dazai to kill Q in order to avenge those who had died because of him.
After episode 16, it’s become clear that Odasaku is the only one Dazai has actually cared about. His mask breaks when he holds his dying friend in his arms. Now that he’s part of the Agency, I think Atsushi has come closest to what Oda was to Dazai. Kunikida has become Dazai’s new partner, but apart from that amazing bit of character development we saw during episodes 6 and 7, their relationship still feels a bit superficial to me. The difference is that, unlike with Chuuya, Dazai actually respects him.
So that’s that. I still love Soukoku with all my heart (and I’m gonna keep writing fics about them that would be impossible canon-wise lol) but I wanted to share my thoughts and I’d love to hear some of yours as well