Monday, February 10, 2014

Anime Review: Baccano

BACCANO: Jumbled storytelling -- for the better

            The story is set in 1930’s United States. It follows various alchemists, mafias, and thieves, who happen to cross paths with each other, triggering a series of events that spiral further and further. It generally tells three stories -- the hunt for the immortality elixir, the search for Dallas Genoard, and the hijacking of Flying Pussyfoot. These stories, even though they happen at different time periods, are told simultaneously.

            For some, Baccano may be a little hard to follow, because of the mere fact that the storytelling is not linear, and the events presented are not in chronological order. But the good news is, the anime has its ways on helping its viewers have an easier time subscribing to the stories.

The opening theme is the prime example of this. It gives the viewers an idea on which characters are important. Another example is how the anime shows the year a particular sequence has happened, so the viewers could stitch the sequences that have happened in a particular year in their minds. Also, the anime has the decency to repeat certain sequences, so as not to confuse the viewers on the chronological placement of the particular sequence in a particular story.

            Personally, Baccano is actually not hard to follow. Really, it doesn’t take much effort to pay extra attention to get the rhythm of the storytelling. In fact, when you get the vibe of it, you won’t be even needing the year when a particular sequence happened, or even the repetition of sequences to get the chronological order. They just stitch themselves in your mind automatically if you pay attention enough.

What I really like about the stories in Baccano is how they are interconnected really smoothly, even though they happen on different time periods and places. The plot points that connect them make sense, and they are actually quite surprising when they are revealed -- quite comedic in some instances too.

            Speaking of comedy, Baccano is probably one of the anime titles with the most fun pool of characters. Isaac and Miria are just extremely good in lightening the mood every time they are on screen. Ladd Russo is unusually charismatic for a brute -- same goes with the Rail Tracer. To balance out the light characterization, we also have Jacuzzi Splot, Czeslaw Meyer, and many others. We also have the laid-back ones like Firo Prochainezo. The characters are very interesting in their own right. They also blend well together.

            What I find most impressive in the characterization is that there still has been room for character development. Considering that the number of characters is too high for such a short anime, that is something worth noting.

            Another thing worth noting is the music. Baccano has one of the most exhilarating soundtracks I’ve heard in all of anime. They are also very thematic, which suits the overall design of the anime. These soundtracks are embedded perfectly, particularly in the action scenes.

            Overall, Baccano is a very impressive title. Its unique storytelling style, even though it is confusing in theory, is actually not confusing.  This storytelling is accompanied by interesting characters and music that is way beyond ordinary. This is easily a must-watch.


  1. Another great review where I agree with you yet again! Baccano was one of the first anime I watched and it is still one of my many favorites! In terms of being purely entertaining, Baccano is among the best in my opinion.

    Isaac and Miria are two of my favorite characters to watch from any anime. They are fun, energetic, and positively hilarious!

    You probably watched the sub, but the show's dub is one of the best, especially since most of the are American anyway. The cast really capture the mobster accents well.

    I agree, Baccano was not particularly difficult to follow, especially after the third episode or so when the viewer can piece together the plot for themselves.

    As much as I like Bebop's opening, I have to say that Baccano's is my personal favorite, and it is the one that I listen to most. And the music, particularly the "No Theme."

    Have you seen the OVAs yet? Those are a must watch after finishing the series.


    1. I agree. Baccano is one of those titles of just pure entertainment -- and it delivers quite well, and that is primarily because of Isaac and Miria. They're just too funny! I watched the dub by the way, and yes, the voice performances are really good, almost ridiculously good actually.

      I also love the opening! The theme is very catchy, and it puts me in a good mood.

      I haven't seen the OVAs yet, since I'm not really into OVAs. But maybe there will come a time (if there ever will be enough time) where I can marathon all the OVAs I've skipped in many anime titles.

      Thanks! I'm glad that what we think of Baccano is mostly the same!