Baccano! is a release I’ve been waiting for for a long time, despite never having seen it before. However, I do love Durarara!!, the author’s Ryohgo Narita’s other work, a lot so I have high hopes.
It’s sixteen episodes long (including 3 OVA’s which take place after the main sereis) but boy does it take more than a good few episodes to really get going. The characters are established quite early but the story itself is up in the air for pretty much all of the episodes, making Baccano! a hard one to binge watch. Brains’ Base are a favourite studio of mine and whilst Baccano! shows their prowess in animation and how they’re able to handle large casts well, it sadly, doesn’t feel as if the story got the same level of attention.
So, let me stress that I think the characters are absolutely great and I wanted to know more about them, especially Isaac and Miria, and Jacuzzi and his crew – however, I never felt like I truly got to know many of the characters. I did find the story to be almost non-existent in its entirety but the high quality of the other aspects of the show encouraged me to carry on and if the characters were worse, or if the art and OST weren’t so enjoyable, then I think that there would’ve been a fairly large chance that I would’ve dropped Baccano! It already makes for a hard recommendation due to how sporadic it is, yet it’s kept me interested enough to finish. I’ll likely read the light novels when they’re released, and I completely fault Brain’s Base for messing around with how it was originally written as, apparently, the original light novels were mostly chronological rather than constantly jumping around.
Many of the characters are immortal, searching to become immortal or have unfortunately become wrapped up in a battle between immortals. Many want the key to immortality and, due to having lived for so long, have made enemies with a lot of people who meet up on the Flying Pussyfoot – the train where much of Baccano! takes place. It’s hard to talk about much of the story without spoiling it and I think the characters were much more engrossing, but it does a good job in keeping you intrigued although I think it could have been far better paced had it not been jumping to and from different years and events. I personally feel Durarara!! did a better job in fleshing out a large cast whilst not sacrificing the story or pacing.
Baccano! features a large cast of characters, some more important than others, but it’s comedy duo Isaac and Miria that steal the show. They’re both lovely idiots who just want to make a quick buck by stealing things rather than physically hurting people (like many of the characters do) and although they’re not very important to the story, I always enjoyed watching their crazy antics. I was also fond of Jacuzzi and Nice who are conducting a heist on The Flying Pussyfoot, Firo who’s one of the nicest characters in the series and works towards protecting his friends and family, Ennis who’s a homunculus, the assassin Chane who’s looking to become immortal and, surprisingly, Ladd Russo who’s overly violent and enjoys killing others – he’s not a person I’d like, but he’s an interesting character to watch.
Baccano! may be one of the most visually impressive anime that I’ve seen – it’s just gorgeous. The animation is fluid, detailed and generally a pleasure to watch, and the spectacular animation is one of the reasons I continued watching Baccano! It’s a very violent show and you’ll see plenty of blood and uncensored acts of brutality during the show, along with gunfights and fistfights. There are a few comedic moments courtesy of Isaac and Miria but it’s a show that deals mostly with mature themes which is reflected in its art.
Baccano! features one of the strongest English dubs around, and it’s way up there with the best of them. The cast is made up of a lot of voice talent that I’m actually not very familiar with, but then you have bigger names such as Monica Rial, Caitlin Glass and J Michael Tatum alongside a very talented cast of voice-actors and actresses. I definitely recommend watching Baccano! in English. The OST is phenomenal too with an outstanding OP that’s been in my head since I heard it with appealing visuals to boot, although I firmly believe that the ED is one of the worst ones around in both visuals and audio. The audio in Baccano! is top-notch and doesn’t fail to impress.
I really want to love Baccano!, I really do as I think the art, OST and English dub are phenomenal, but the lack of notable character development and little to no focus on storytelling left me with brimming with disappointment. It’s hard to recommend to anybody, especially when Durarara!! is far better in my opinion, and I wish I had more positive things to say about it. Brain’s Base are a fantastic studio but it seems as if they haven’t done the source material justice here with their own changes having a negative impact on how the story was told – although it’s hard to say without having read it myself. Maybe one day I’ll revisit this review if my feelings change on it, but it’s hard for me to not feel disappointed – it might be confusing to read and although I don’t particularly recommend Baccano!, I still think you should watch it. However, do I have plans to watch it all again? BaccaNO!
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