Baccano!

Baccano

Baccano!

  • Trailer: Fan-made for the English Dub
  • What it’s about: A series of inter-related storylines weaving back and forth between three “focal points”. Set in Prohibition-era America, the story follows an ensemble cast of gangsters, psychopaths and immortals and the various intersections of their lives at different points.
  • Why watch it?: Simply put, it’s a fun story. There’s enough action to keep you watching this episode, and enough mystery to make you want to watch next episode. Baccano! is also that rare animal where the dub is actually far superior to the subtitled version, with the New York and Chicago accents adding a lot to the experience.
  • Caveats: The first episode is overly confusing and jumps around *way* too much, even in a series that does a lot of that later on – to the point of doing little to actually make you care about any of the characters. Honestly, I generally recommend people to skip straight to Episode 2, where they provide a solid foundation (the train journey) to give context to the rest of the storylines. With the non-linear style of storytelling, you can always go back and watch Episode 1 once you’re hooked.
  • Themes: “A life well-lived”. It’s not how long the journey is, but what you did along the way, and how you determine for yourself your own goals, your own relationships and your own identity. How a single event can be viewed as the centre of a thousand different stories, providing a thousand different causes and an infinite number of repercussions.
  • Similar works: Durarara!!, (Non-anime) Cloud Atlas, Pulp Fiction

Baccano! is, overall, a pretty good “starter” anime for anyone looking to get into the medium. Provided that the audience is willing to go along for the ride despite not knowing where it’s going or how they got to this point for at least a couple of episodes, the storytelling style is one of the big selling points. Isaac and Miria are a stand-out comedy relief couple and the show uses them excellently. It’s way too easy for writers and showrunners, upon finding out that the audience likes characters like this, to run them into the ground. Baccano! avoids that mistake, and they’re always a treat to see when they do pop up in one storyline or another.

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