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

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Aug 31. 2015 01:01 PM)
    *it actually looks
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Aug 31. 2015 12:00 PM)
    @Bam: Aidan watched it and found it decent enough, then I watched it afterwards. Story and characters were nothing particularly remarkable but it was good entertainment for what it was and for a Japanese CG movie is actually look very well done.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Aug 31. 2015 06:36 AM)
    Btw did anyone like the Captain Harlock movie? I forget if we discussed it or not.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 09:30 PM)
    I get to cheat and say those Rodriguez films are westerns =)
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 09:20 PM)
    What I can’t forgive Genesis for though is kiddifying terminator.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 09:18 PM)
    @Bam: Though I think Cameron may have gone mad after 1997.
    Ah-ha, but Miller is a true Aussie, they live through volcanic, Venus/Mercury summers there. =P
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 09:16 PM)
    @Bam: No, no avatar, my Alita movie, done right, done now. =P
    Terminator 3 and salvation were very very mediocre. T3 is fun to laugh at at least, salvation wasn’t very good but it did show the whole dark future schtick.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:52 PM)
    I’ll torrent it later just to see how they attempted to make sense of this fucked up chronology.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:51 PM)
    I haven’t seen Terminator Genisys, since I refuse to drop a penny on what is clearly a monument to artistic compromise. How Cameron lets these idiots desecrate his legacy for the money he doesn’t even need is beyond me. He should get his head out of his ass and either finish that 7 years-in-the-making Avatar 2 and make a good Terminator and set it right, or just live and let it die.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Aug 30. 2015 08:38 PM)
    I also wanted to see a bit more of Max’s character, but I think Hardy did good with the little he had to do. I mean he spent the first act of the movie tied to a pole with a muzzle on his face. Guess we have to wait till the sequel. It’s crazy to have this 70+ years old man directing movies in the dry extreme heat of the desert. Mad props to Miller for keeping it real.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gangsta. – 08

Some focus on Alex this time around as with the drug out of her system she remembered that she had a younger brother. A pretty startling revelation for her as forgot about him the whole time she was under Barry’s control. It was done well on just how much this shocked her but I must […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 08

Itami continues to be a mystery as he is shown not only to be a ranger but also a member of special forces. Its not really confirmed whether he is a genius in hiding or a slacker who was tossed into high profile positions and got through it with minimum effort. The big part of […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 07

This episode has been a weaker episode than those so far. The opening has gone through a number of changes now that we have reached over the halfway point. Megumi’s part of the opening has been replaced by a shot of her grave, the colourful transition after showing the title is now a series of […]

Gangsta. – 07

Now the past has been mostly revealed, Worick’s friendship with Nicholas has become a more complex thing. Worick seems to see him as a good friend yet resent him for going kill crazy and murdering his whole family. Though the murder of his father looked to be an order he himself made to Nicholas and […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 07

I understand that for an anime adaption some character designs need to be simplified in order for an easier time to keep them in proportion in animation. But while the characters who suffer in this episode because of this are indeed minor characters, its really a shame to see them become something unrecognisable. The two […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 06

Well the story continues on from the flashback, showing Miki first joining the club. Right off the bat the episode pushes to answer the question of Megumi’s existence. It’s a answer that was pretty obvious by this point as the foreshadowing was pretty heavy on this particular detail but this episode makes it crystal clear. […]

Gangsta. – 06

When taking into account the show so far, I find that the quiet character moment stand out far more than the over the top fight scenes with knife wielding psychos on rooftops. The dialogue between characters is much more engaging that two characters jumping around like Bleach Soul Reapers. In particular it great seeing Worick […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 06

Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” is a fairly iconic piece of music in pop culture. So much so that after Apocalypse Now (1979) whenever there is a helicopter assault in any piece of media, it’s practically obligatory to play Ride of the Valkyries. Even just today when finishing Far Cry 3 and had a […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 05

As these episodes go on it really is something to wonder about the matter of Yuki being a hindrance or a help. I have said previously that she does push the group in the right direction but it is still a case where her mentality is dangerous. The group need to come up with excuses […]

Latest Reviews

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 […]

Clipboard06

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 […]

Clipboard03

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 […]

Clipboard01

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 […]

Clipboard04

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 […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]