Baccano!

If you think Ladd is one creepy dude, you would think right.

 

It is 1932. The newspaper Daily Days is investigating the events that transpired on the train named Flying Pussyfoot a year earlier. Little do they know that the Flying Pussyfoot was the intersection of many destinies.

Baccano! (バッカーノ! Bakkāno!) is a 2007 anime series based on a series of light novels of the same name. What you will inevitably see first is how stylish the series is.

The opening credit sequence is all you need to see to have some idea as to what kind of effort went into the production. The opening theme is Paradise Lunch’s “Guns & Roses”. While Paradise Lunch didn’t make any of the other music present in the series, “Guns & Roses” is an example of the sweet jazz soundtrack, which is appropriate given the fact that Baccano! takes place in Prohibition-era America. In addition, the cast of Baccano! was well voiced. I thought the voice actors that stuck out were Fujiwara Keiji as the murderous Ladd Russo and Sakaguchi Daisuke as Jacuzzi Splot.

In addition to the quality of the sound, Baccano! features some fantastic animation. The characters had great designs, each with their unique flair from the lunatic Ladd to the sweet Firo to the mysterious Ennis. When everything starts moving, Baccano! looks every bit like what a modern anime series ought to. Furthermore, the art director had visited locations like Grand Central Station in New York in order to be sure to accurately portray Baccano!’s setting. That definitely contributed to showing how Baccano! was indeed very well researched to have a convincing, 1930s American setting.

The best part however, was the story. Baccano! actually tells three different stories, each united by the thread of an immortality elixir and the bumbling thieves Isaac and Miria. It would be impossible for me to really describe anything of the story and do it any justice without spoiling anything. Baccano!’s story was told very cleverly in a non-linear fashion. The first episode was actually the ending, and the series initially seems like a confusing mess. However, as the series progresses, you will get to a point where suddenly everything makes sense. Because of that, I thought the non-linear storytelling was what made Baccano! the rewarding experience it was. At 13 episodes, Baccano! was a pretty short series, but those were 13 of the sweetest episodes I have ever seen. Admittedly, I have yet to see the 3 direct-to-DVD episodes, but I thought 13 episodes were exactly all Baccano! needed to tell its story as it was pretty expertly paced and everything was nicely tied up by the end of the series.

It is rare that I had experienced watching an anime series to be really rewarding, and Baccano! is one of those experiences. Largely because of the clever story, Baccano! easily is a series that I think everyone must go out and see.

Score: 4/4

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