Ok so here's the fairy tale meta thing based off a lie that I was talking about.
In Dead Apple, there's a flashback scene at Bar Lupin where Dazai explains the concept of apple suicide to Oda, while a track called "Dear Prince" plays in the background. There's a brief mix-up where Oda confuses the story of Snow White for Cinderella - but when I first came up with this, I misremembered what he said (I mixed up... his mix-up...) and thought the line was about Sleeping Beauty.
And I'm so unreasonably annoyed by this because that would've made so much more contextual sense. Why? Because they both involve an awakening. Moreover, there's a few interesting details in the environment of the older tales (I will not be using the Disney versions as the Dead Apple motifs actually connect better with the originals and also because I have never actually seen them... embarrassingly enough) that translate quite nicely to aspects of Dazai's life and bonds.
Specifically, there are some loose parallels to be found with Odasaku and the story of Sleeping Beauty, and Chuuya and the story of Snow White. (Note that this is not intended to be shipping fuel or anything; interpret it however you like, I'm just drawing connections.)
And yeah, I know this is an entire half-baked meta formed around a line that doesn't even exist but please just give it a chance or at least humour me please please please please please
Alright let's get the Cinderella thing out of the way first since I want to at least address it.
Cinderella has its origins in the old Greek story of Rhodopis, which sets up the main aspects of the story we know now: a servant girl from a poor background ascends to royalty through marrying a prince, who searches for her after finding her missing shoe. This doesn't really bear any resemblance to the rest of the movie or any other ongoing themes... unless you want to suggest that maybe Dazai's jumping from one side to the other was something akin to a "shoe-test"; that he was looking for a perfect fit. I think that's quite a stretch though and it's likely this really was just a throwaway line meant to show us Oda's occasional uh... airheadedness. If anyone has any further thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.
It's a shame, really, because the slip up could've been given more significance and also because as an analyst of sorts it is my sworn duty to pull meaning out of absolutely nothing so I guess I took another step further here and made up my own line to analyze in stupidly excessive detail.
The entire point of this was meant to show how both the stories of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White have a theme of awakening, and so do Dazai's bonds with both Odasaku and Chuuya - they both have a function of "waking him up" in a sense. However, the means of doing so manifest very differently.
So, let's talk about Sleeping Beauty.
Sleeping Beauty has its origins in an old Italian story called Sun, Moon and Talia, which has many of the elements we know today but was uh. A lot darker. And way more non-consensual. The version the more modern story takes its roots from is Perrault's version. Here are the important bits to this analysis: the princess pricks her finger on a spindle out of curiosity, the good fairy puts everyone in the castle to sleep along with her for 100 years so that she will not be alone when she wakes, the prince does not wake her with a kiss but instead she wakes just by his presence and they sit and talk for a long, long time.
So, on to my delusional parallels. Part one: the princess pricks her finger out of curiosity. See, for Dead Apple, we have to rethink this a bit because Dazai brings up the concept of apple suicide, not murder. Of course, this is a parallel to himself and his disregard for his own life, so here we can take it that he did not "prick his finger" out of mere curiosity, but also, likely out of a desire to "sleep".
It's hard for me not to draw a connection between the curiosity aspect of the finger prick and Dazai's curiosity to join the mafia, especially with the next part - where everyone falls asleep as well for the time the princess is asleep. Essentially, no one will age or die. For as long as the princess remains unconscious, the world will not change. And if the princess perhaps, wanted this, then we can infer what is likely a fear of being left. Maybe even a fear of living. Dazai joined the mafia because he was curious if it would have what he sought. Instead, he spent his days trapped in an "oxidizing dream" as he detached further and further both from his humanity and from others. The mafia is already a place where people don't talk to each other openly and we know Dazai was even more unknowable than that - if he doesn't care about himself or others, the dream goes on. He stays asleep, and if he doesn't care, then he doesn't lose anyone - no one truly "dies".
As for the last part, there isn't much to say. Dazai warms up to Odasaku because the man just talks to him. And likes talking to him. And doesn't tell him to stop when he's being really freaking weird. But notably, Odasaku doesn't do much at first to help Dazai "awaken". It's only when he's about to die in his fight against Gide that he realizes he regrets not saying something sooner. Odasaku only has one chance to wake Dazai before he dies and he does it by shattering that dream that he will find what he's looking for. Paradoxically, that hope Dazai held onto was what trapped him in that singular mindset. Oda dies shortly after and the illusion is broken. Dazai wakes up, his world kickstarts where it had previously been stagnant and Dazai greets the sun and tries to live.
See why I'm slightly annoyed this wasn't the line now?
But hey, while we're at it, let's also talk about Snow White because the Dead Apple movie was actually a lot more firm with its connections than I think people realize.
Firstly, I would love people to know that in the original Grimms' fairy tale, Snow White doesn't clean the dwarves' house but in fact burgles it, eating their food, drinking their wine and falling asleep in one of their beds after testing each one, and generally leaving the house in complete disarray. Yeah. Not related to my point at all, but this sounds an awful lot like something Dazai would do (but more out of mischief than naivete of course).
Here's the important part though: Did you know that the Queen attempted to have Snow White killed not just once, but three times? The first two times, the dwarves were the ones to save her and quite quickly - they made a deal after she broke into their house that she would fix it up for them and maintain it in exchange for her staying with them in safety. It's an agreement of sorts, but as they became fond of her, they try and save her life in earnest. The poisoned apple is actually the third attempt to kill her, where the Queen bites into the white, non-poisoned part of the apple and Snow White, thinking it safe, eats the red half and falls asleep.
Hey. Remember the colour of the pill Dazai took in Dead Apple?
Yeah, someone on that team knows the original fairy tale.
Interestingly (and this is where I got really excited), there are three different attempts to kill Snow White (or, if Dazai is to be believed, three different attempts at her own self-destruction) - and there are three different instances where Chuuya "wakes" Dazai, twice while they're partnered (when they have an "agreement", terms in a sense as partners), and once in Dead Apple.
The first is in Fifteen, the infamous scene where Dazai shoots the body and Chuuya snaps him out of it by wrenching the gun out of his hands. I'm honestly a bit too tired to go super into that scene right now but I'm doing a little bit on it later - all that needs to be acknowledged here is that Dazai was out of it and Chuuya forced him back to earth. The second occurs during the Dragon's Head Conflict when Dazai is completely insensitive to the death of a mafia executive and Chuuya decks him for it. The now-infamous line "no one would believe that" is often misinterpreted I think. Chuuya says this in response to Dazai's "I'm human, too, you know." He's not saying "you're not human", he's saying "you are human but no one would believe that with the kind of shit you're saying and doing". It's the same kind of sentiment in the first scene where Chuuya intervenes, I believe. And it is a form of waking, in that Chuuya snaps Dazai out of his more inhumane moments - he basically calls him out and forces him to reevaluate; the epitome of a rude awakening.
Now for the Dead Apple scene proper.
Firstly, let's establish something. They are no longer partners in the mafia. They are even on separate sides. The framing of this changes Chuuya's actions from working with Dazai with occasional call-outs to bring him back to earth, to saving him in what is quite literally a rescue.
In the original myth, again, there is no waking kiss. Instead, in this third time, everyone assumes Snow White is really dead, that she will not be coming back. The prince, who happens across her, insists she at least receive a proper burial. But when carrying her coffin, one of them trips and they stumble, which jostles the princess enough that the piece of apple stuck in her throat is dislodged and she coughs it up, reviving. Uh...
Anyways this got kind of messy at the end and idk if it even made sense this is really just unhinged rambling so...
Tldr, Odasaku and Chuuya both help "wake" Dazai even if their methods and personalities are very different, which is part of the reason why both bonds are very important. Neither are particularly gentle with him, but waking, especially if all you want to do is sleep, is not a gentle thing.