Thursday, September 26, 2013

Rewind: Baccano!

Baccano ep 1. If you enlarge the screenshot, you'll notice
dots on the top guy's clothes. Those are bullet holes. Yeah,
he's pretty cool.
Ah, Baccano!. How do I even attempt to describe this one? You see, there's action. And blood. And a lot of people on a train. Some are mafia. There's those two crazy but kind thieves. And a bunch of them are immortal because of something that happened a lot time ago. It's mostly set in 1930s New York. Except those other parts, like the gold mining. You tracking with me?

Didn't think so. Baccano! is something you have to experience for yourself.

When I first watched Baccano!, it was the goriest anime I'd ever seen. I thought the amount of blood shown was disproportionate to the amount of bloodshed. I was sure that the only way you could get that much gore from a single body was to put it in a blender, and I said so to anyone I told about the show.

Still, it was my favorite action anime for a long time. I couldn't follow the plot, but I knew it was exciting, a rollercoaster of blood and fight and mafia. 

When I re-watched the show a couple years later, the gore didn't seem as extreme. The characters weren't swimming in blood after all. I still give a gore warning when I recommend it (it's rated TV-MA for good reason), but it shouldn't be too terribly disturbing for those who are already familiar with anime action and blood.

In December 2010, on Anime-Planet, I recommended that fans of Gungrave watch Baccano!, and vise versa. Baccano! was fresher in my mind then:

Both Baccano! and Gungrave involve the mafia and related questions of loyalty (and, at times, betrayal), friendship, tasteful "supernatural" strength, and amazing action.
Whenever I reccomend Baccano! I must warn that it is the bloodiest, most violent anime I have ever watched. It's been labeled TV-MA almost exlusively for this reason.  But the action is very well done, and I greatly enjoyed watching it.Gungrave's fight scenes were just as enjoyable, although less emphasized than in Baccano!. Where it perhaps has less action (relatively), Gungrave spends more time developing the plot and characters - in a much more orderly manner than Baccano!. Don't get me wrong - Baccano! has great characters, developed plot, and intrige, too.If you liked Gungrave, you'll probably like Baccano!, provided blood, gore, and chaos doesn't scare you away from a mafia action masterpiece. And, if you like Baccono!, you'll probably enjoy a peak into the the action and inner-politics of the mafia in Gungrave.
I made this recommendation before I finished Gungrave and kicked Baccano! down to second place in my list of favorite action anime. I still think the animation is excellent, the characters are as developed as they need be, and the plot is intriguing. I highly recommend it. Just don't get frustrated if you don't understand everything right away. Instead, sit back and enjoy the ride. I sure did. 


  1. It's already on my list ;) Good to see things have calmed down enough for some blogging ^_^

    1. Glad it's on your list! Baccano! is an important one, in my mind at least.
      To be honest, I'm still swamped. I just typed a bit here and there and took a break from homework to get a screenshot. :P

  2. This is my second favorite anime of all time. Seriously, there isn't a single anime more entertaining than this show right here.

    I am super frustrated though, I am not sure if you are aware of this (you most likely are) but Baccano! is adapted from a novel series (light novel to be specific). Baccano! Only covers the first two books, do you know how many book there are? Do you? The twentieth just came out. Twenty books! We could have another five seasons of Baccano easy! Probably more!

    Well, Durarara!! is getting a second season, hopefully the studio (DRR!! season two has a different studio adapting it) will do some Baccano! too, even a reboot would be ok.

    1. Second favorite? Now I'm curious what your first is...

      It's been a while since I looked at the background behind Baccano!, but I vaguely remember that it was based on light novels. I'd love to see more of it, if they adapt the rest, and if the quality of storytelling remains high throughout the entire series. I've settled into contentment with what we were given, but now that I think about it, I'd really like to watch the characters' lives continue to unfold (although "unfold" seems too tidy a description).

      I look forward to season the new season of Durarara!!. Looks like it's coming next season, in the winter. Hopefully Crunchyroll will get streaming rights. Assuming they (or even Hulu) do stream it, I'll be following it closely. Hopefully it does really well, so the studio will want to work on Baccano!. :)


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