Posted by psgels on 3 November 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Baccano!

Anyone who tries the first episode of Baccano! will immediately notice one thing: the immensely huge cast of characters. I could be wrong, but this can very well be the 13-episoded series with the biggest amount of characters ever. While it’s incredibly hard to make a story with so many characters that stretches over three different timelines come together, the creators of Baccano! actually pull this off. And how!

Basically, Baccano! combines immortal alchemists with the American Mafia in 1930. It works quite well, because there are so many different characters, they just have to go beyond the clichés in order to prevent characters who look too much like each other. This results in the quirky thieves of Isaac and Miria, the psychotic Ladd and the charming Luck. While it’s of course impossible for the character to reach the same level of depth as, say, Toward the Terra, but the creators did manage to give every important character (if I had to guess, there’s about thirty of them) an identity, a clearly defined role, a small piece of development and an actual personality.

And I haven’t even started talking about the story yet. Basically, it goes from a completely incomprehensible first episode to a captivating mystery-series, where all the threads of the huge amount of side-stories end up resolved at the end of the final episode. It furthermore tells the story of three, sometimes even four, related timelines right through each other. Because of this, the creators are able to plan the climaxes really well, and they turn into one huge success, with a near-perfect combination between comedy, drama and action. I really mean it when I say that Baccano! has some of the best writing of the entire year.

In terms of production-values, this series also shines. Especially the character-designs: not only do the creators manage to give every one of the about thirty important characters a unique look, they manage to actually do this for even the unimportant and side-characters (if I had to guess, there are about eighty of them). The animation may not look crisp, but it’s detailed, never giving off a feeling of still-frame abuse. The soundtrack consists out of a bunch of catchy Jazz-tunes, which makes me wonder why not more anime turn to this, as it works great to give action-scenes a bit of a quirky touch.

Regarding the bad points, there aren’t really any true flaws about this series, apart from the sacrifices that had to be made for the good points. The first episode is basically one huge puzzle, and only later in the series will things start to make sense. The characters individually aren’t very special either. It’s only when they are combined with others that they become special and interesting.

Overall, there need to be more anime like Baccano! It’s not often when you run into a series that’s as well-written as this one. It’s a definite recommendation from me, provided that you can take a few gory scenes that pop up once in a while.

17 Responses

  1. I agree to everything you have pointed out ^_^

    It’s not often that we get to see an anime as amazing as this. Sadly it needed to be squeezed to 13 episodes though it can actually show much more.

    I’d like to thank you for blogging Baccano! *been reading your Baccano entries for a long time but have been lazy to comment* It’s really a huge mystery why very very few blog such an awesome series x_x Probably because many prefer the ones rich with moe and perverted stuff? -_-

    Baccano’s indeed a highly recommended series! ^_^ I think it might be more popular if there weren’t much gore, since many can’t bear them x_x But it’s still so damn awesome with all those gory stuff xD Hehe

  2. moshi says:

    buccano rulz :-)

  3. Archer says:

    i totally agree with you one this one for me this is one of my favorite anime of the year,i liked it from the first episode even if the second episode was the one that convinced me that Baccano will turn into a great series,to see Isaac and Miria appear more in that episode and in the later ones made them two of my favorite characters in this anime,but there are many other characters that i like,the story is very good and you can never really guess what will happen next and that is what i love about this show,also the music it fits perfectly and i cannot even complain about the animation i think even that was good,the only thing that might push people away is the gore but i think that is also a very important part of Baccano and they don’t use it without reason like in other anime i saw
    overall a great anime,i would definitely recommend it to others and your review is also very good i hope it will make other people watch this too

  4. Westlo says:

    It’s a shame how criminally under watched this series is. Thanks for the Baccano blogging and I’m looking forward to the dvd only episodes as well as the last 3 subbed of course.

  5. omo says:

    It needs to be marathoned. The narrative format doesn’t lend itself to serialization very well, which explains why it’s hardly followed.

  6. Windspirit says:

    OMG, just finished the series (13th episode came out today).

    I thank you so fucking much for blogging this series, it’s basically you’re first entry that made me look this series out and I don’t regret it at all. Actually, if it hadn’t been you, I probably would never have bothered watching this series because I wouldn’t have come to be interested in it, as this is series is, as said, criminally underwatched.

    I think this has the best storytelling of the year. Seriously, the story is just awesome and enjoyable, having elements of seriousness and humour, without it being a complete comedy. It’s very adult.

    We need more animes like Baccano, you bet. This is the kind of animes done with a purely artistic intention, without wanting it to especially sell, we’ve seen with Monster that this gets the creators to avoid every “über-cool commercial” elements in their shows, which make it utterly awesome.

    Thanks again for blogging this. Let’s hope we’ll see more stuff like this ! ;)

  7. KO-chan says:

    I just finished watching this.
    My friend just told me about it, because I don’t really watch that many anime right now. He was right.. It really was an awesome experience!

    Perhaps one of the reasons why this anime didn’t have so much of a following was that it is so hard to watch it piece by piece. This series needs to be ‘marathoned’ because the layout of events is extremely complex and therefore hard to remember quickly.

    I think what made this series a good watch is that it harnesses a lot of participation in the watcher’s part – like, you have to do more than watch what’s happening in a linear way. It stimulates you to get your brains up working and try forming the puzzle together yourself as the show reveals each piece to you.

    As you all said, I was floored by the writing in this one too. If the events weren’t laid out strategically in such a particular manner, this wouldn’t have been so effective. I wouldn’t think of them doing it in any way other than this.

    People should know more about it (well people who can tolerate blood/gore that is). So yeah, spread the Baccano (stupid ruckus) everyone! :3

  8. Radlum says:

    I loved this series; thanks a lot for your review, at first I wasn’t sure if I should watch this series, but reading the review made me take a good decision. Baccano is one of the best anime series I’ve ever seen and now I feel a little sad that it has ended.

  9. milo says:

    Hi, I’ve just finished this brilliant anime, I was wondering if you know of any others that has the same feel as this?

    Thank you.

  10. skyhack says:

    Almost skipped on this one, didn’t get it until the week before Funi licensed it.

    I’ll be buying the box set, which I’ve done for every series I’ve liked. (42 boxes bought after watching the fansub so far)

    Baccano rocks!

  11. Anthony says:

    This anime is the closest replica of suzumiya haruhi. Its uber hard to watch without actually piecing the episodes in your mind because its never even told in chronological order as mentioned in episode 1. but as the pieces falls together is amazing.

    All i can say about it is, its got no plot whatsoever just very deep character development for its huge cast and short 16 episodes and very well done story telling. the whole damn even practically focus on and even that just lasted for 1 night.

    its daring, but i wouldnt be surprised if people stopped watching after 1st episode.

  12. jho says:

    Absolutely amazing series, and definitely in my top 5-10 of all time. I just finally got the chance to watch it this past week, and I was just blown away. The DVD episodes were good too, but I can’t believe how well they put together the main story in just 13 episodes. WOW.

  13. Allibaba says:

    First 2 episode weren’t too interesting but it does pick up and then explodes into awesome around the time Vino REALLY shows up. I had a hunch that young conductor didn’t die, he was just too much of a pretty boy. Like Carol said, “is main character-ish.” Being voiced by Ichigo helps too.

  14. ShyBlue says:

    Oh my god, thank you so much for this review. If I hadn’t read it, I may have never even heard of Baccano! X3 I just finished it, and now, I’m half-crying because I feel so happy for Czes-kun and I’m half crying because it’s over. T_T

    Amazing. I doubt there will be a season two, but hey, we have Durarara. :D

  15. Jo says:

    Thank You for reviewing Baccano! and making me curious enough to watch it. You are now my hero.

  16. Janfred says:

    Thanks for blogging this ^^
    I’ll download it right away to check, if its really good :)

  17. Janfred says:

    I personally think this is overrated @_@
    It has a good ending yes.

    But I find too many characters that are unnecessary, they only made things complicated and they only made more unnecessary stories like the the woman of Huey, Huey himself, the kid with a mark on his face and subordinates, etc.

    I’m also interested to the story of Csez, which seems to have the best story of all the characters, though unfortunately, there is a very small screen time/ details about him.

    Oh well there a lot of things that I dont really like or understand in this anime, but at least it has a decent ending (“for some characters”).

    My personal rate this anime, 48/100 @_@

    (Maybe my rating is different because Ive watched it in 2013, and by this time, animes now have better graphics, plot, twist, etc. )

Leave a Reply


Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Dec 2. 2015 05:04 AM)
    Although that one as far as I know does not have another version with better art.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Dec 2. 2015 05:03 AM)
    The onepunch man fans will be happy to know that Bone is adapting another work by the author, Mob psycho.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:46 AM)
    @Kaiser: so far it’s good. I’ve been hearing the buzz but I wished someone had nodged me to watch it sooner.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:42 AM)
    You’ve reminded me Bam that I’d been meaning to pick up ash vs the evil dead sometime.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Kaiser: the remake was still pretty entertaining, but it lost the silly comedy edge the series was known for. I still think that the 2nd film had the most unique and prominent voice of its own, and all of that is present in the new series’ pilot. If anything Raimi cranked it up a couples of notches here and there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:35 AM)
    There was a mean spirited feel to the remake I found pretty appealling.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

One Punch Man – 09

The end result is hardly a surprise but non the less this may be the strongest episode of One Punch Man yet. Despite Saitama being the real hero and taking down the Sea King, the show was stolen by Licenceless Rider. You have to respect the courage to fight a battle you know you will […]

Young BlackJack – 09

I think the outcome of this episode was thoroughly spoiled by the opening, where we have Blackjack and this Hyakki facing each other as arch enemies. But I didn’t expect that the man’s character would be so interesting. The episodes beginning broke the fourth wall by referring the original Mangaka’s works and how is man […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 08

At this point the theory of Magata being pregnant before she was locked down on the Island is looking very likely as during Souhei’s revelation of the answer to everything, we get a brief glimpse of a pregnant woman. But lord only knows what the Ostriches are supposed to symbolize. What I really wonder is […]

One Punch Man – 08

I wish I knew just what that girl at the beginning was parodying as she’s clearly been overdrawn in a completely different style. My closest guess would be the poster girls of creature features in the 60s and 70s as she wouldn’t look out of place if pasted into a movie poster. I don’t think […]

Young BlackJack – 08

While I find the level of risk in this two part arc to be inconsequential, I must admit that I like how it all turned out. For this is the first time in this series that Blackjack failed. While he was able to discern the cause of Johnny’s lack of pain, he was unable to […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 07

Oh those poor seiyūs that had to act in today’s episode. I can only imagine the horror when a Japanese speaking seiyū is told they need to have an entire conversation in English in a fairly dialogue heavy show. Japanese and English happen to be two of the hardest languages to learn so if they […]

One Punch Man – 07

This episode mainly focused on a giant Meteor about to annihilate the city and the introduction if S class heroes, Metal Knight and Bang. Bang makes it a point to say how the top class heroes are hardly very heroic with most not showing up at all to stop a city’s total destruction. Even one […]

Young BlackJack – 07

Racism is always a thorny topic to deal with. Regardless of intent there are just so many ways of messing it up, be it by using strawmen or one dimensional caricatures. It’s a topic that requires a delicate hand to prevent pushing it to its extreme all to make an obvious point of Racism being […]

Subete ga F ni Naru – 06

I can’t say I enjoyed this episode of Subete too much, mainly because there was less investigating and more character building. That wouldn’t be a problem if the character building wasn’t so focused on our main leads. The leads are fine, what we need is to expand on the other characters present on the island […]

Latest Reviews

Gangsta. – 58/100

Gangsta is an anime with a lot of things going for it. A mature cast, gritty themes, a interesting setting and a trio of main characters who can carry the show. However due to a number of factors it never quite reached its potential. The main trio of characters are unconventional and quite interesting with […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 80/100

Gakkou is one with a good facade as promotional material would have you believe it was some dime a dozen moe slice of life. I was one who wasn’t fooled by the cute cuddly exterior but I was truly surprised with just how good this anime ended up being. Gakkou is one of those rare […]

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]


Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]


Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]


Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]


Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]