Posted on 1 June 2008 with categories: Baccano!


Okay, so this episode turned out to be miles away from the action-packed finale that I imagined for this show. In total, there was just one fighting-scene. In exchange, the writers managed to deliver an ending that was more complete that I could have imagined. Everyone apart from the dead people, Lua, the Gandors and the Runoratas makes an appearance, and everyone’s story gets a decent closure. It’s been so long since the series finished, but this is indeed why I fell in love with the original series.

Not only the threads from the past two dvd-episodes were wrapped up, but also the various story-threads that were left behind by the series:
– The reason why Rachel freaked out so much when Rail Tracer whispered something in her ear: this turned out to be “Ticket Inspection”. Apparently, Rachel’s hobby was stow-awaying on trains. :P
– The wish that Herman asked to the demon was to make him a human and watch over Maiza, until he’d laugh again. That really was the first time I noticed that guy, but I do remember having seen him a bunch of times. Did Maiza never wonder why the guy would never age, just like he did?
– Sylvie also ended up taking the immortality potion, a few years after she boarded the boat.
– The mouse is just fine, and is still happily living.

As for other highlights: Rail Tracer is also just like a little kid when he’s not on a killing-spree, Ladd has turned insane and Dallas seems to have escaped within the two-year period that he was trapped inside that concrete. His whereabouts and Ladd’s storyline are the only real questions that this series has left behind, aside from the obvious “how will the characters spend the rest of their immortal lives?”

The only disappointing thing is that we never saw anything of Lua. She’s overall been the weakest major character in this series. Heck, I’m still not sure why she got her own place in the OP while the people from for example the information office did not. The scenes with Firo, Isaac and Miria also were pure fanservice-moments: none of them had any role left in this series, so the creators gave them their own little moments where they just have fun. Ah well, at least it was fun. :)

Thinking back, Baccano has been a wonderful anime. Series without a clear main character do have their charms, because in this way, you won’t have to deal with an annoying lead that needs to stay in the centre of attention, even at the cost of some plot-devices (this is also why I’m a fan of series that know when to put their main characters in the background, in favour of the side-characters).

Posted on 23 April 2008 with categories: Baccano!


Ah, like expected, things make a lot more sense now that the introduction-episode is over. This really was a Chane-episode; as she really gets a lot of development that built further on her encounter with Vino on top of the flying pussyfoot. Om top of that, Jacuzzi and Nice also get some really appreciated background. Now all that’s left to wonder is what the purpose was between Rachel and Czeslaw’s encounter…

Jacuzzi this time really shows that in Baccano! characters go much further than in regular anime, and it’s not just limited to Ladd Russo and Graham Spector. What other character would scar his face, just because a friend of his got scarred for life due to an accident? What other person would just turn himself in to collect money from a bounty to release another person from a ransom? I think that in his case, he’s able to do these extremely nice things because of his friends, who somehow manage to pull him out of any screwed-up situation he got himself involved in.

Chane is after Czeslaw the second person to undergo a drastic change, when both Jacuzzi and Rail Tracer treat her nicely, something that she only knew from Huey.

I think we’ve also got a first for a Baccano! episode: there was no Isaac nor Miria. They’ve been surprisingly distant from the DVD-only episodes so far, especially considering how they’re the two most central characters in this series. I do hope to see a bit more of their antics in the final DVD-only episode. It should be released on the 28th of May, and according to the title, we should see Carol again. Fair enough, that should provide a nice closure: to end where everything began.

Posted on 1 March 2008 with categories: Baccano!


Thank you pgal, for pointing out that the first of three Baccano! DVD-only episodes has arrived. The length has been increased to half an hour, and this episode basically spends its time fleshing out some of the characters of the series, and introducing one new guy. I’m not sure what the point was behind some scenes, though. At one point, we see Isaac and Miria laying down some kind of domino-course in front of a baffled Firo. It was also a bit hard when the new guy used a wrench to deflect a bullet.
In any case, this episode featured a lot of good stuff. The new guy (I couldn’t pick up his name, unfortunately) met Ladd in the past and he’s about to go after Jacuzzi. Huey also gets a bit more development, and we see some time he spent with Chane (who was too cute when she was young, by the way). Apart from that and Rachel sees Chezlaw (who seems to hang out with Ennis now) again.

I obviously missed a lot of dialogue because I watched this raw, but I think that even with some kind of translation it’ll be rather impossible to figure out where the creators plan to be going. The only way to find out is to wait for episode 15 and 16.

Posted 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.

Posted on 2 November 2007 with categories: Baccano!


So, certain things just had to happen. This episode had a huge disadvantage in terms of predictability, and still it turned out great, even though we knew that Ennis was going to retaliate to her creator and Jacuzzi was going to kick the guy in black suit’s butt. Yes, these things happen, but in this final episode, so much more gets wrapped up.

Ladd indeed ends up unconscious, at the side of the railroad, with one arm gone, just like we saw in the first episode. After that, Rail Tracer actually ends up proposing to Chane, explaining how Chane ended up in the water in the first episode: when Rail Tracer didn’t look, she jumped into a river. Nick does the same, while Nice goes to check up on Jacuzzi, who manages to win against the leader of the guys in black suits, like expected. What I didn’t expect is a scene of Jaccuzi, right after Nice had her accident that made her lose her eye. Quite cute. ^_^

What’s even cuter is the reunion of the two lovers, especially when Jaccuzi spots Rail Tracer, thinking it’s an enemy (probably Ladd). Czeslaw also gets a surprisingly large amount of development when basically both Isaac and Miria and Maiza just greet him, without eating the guy. I guess he’s been so afraid of immortals ever since he the horrible things that his companion did to him. It’s interesting: he does remain a child, despite having lived for so long. It’s not something you can recognize in other anime that feature children that somehow are much older than they look. I loved how his story turned out. :)

Back in 1930, I just had to be amused when every single person who drank the sake that Isaac and Miria had been passing around returned at the same time. It seems that also a bunch of guys from the Mafia drank it, and the final fight between Firo and Szilard was awesome. I also loved how everyone reacted so happily after discovering being immortal, considering how Maiza had been hiding his secret for years and years, and probably grew scared of it.

And I just had to laugh when I found out what happened to Dallas. The idiot. It’s a bit of an anticlimactic ending, but it fits the guy perfectly, to be trapped in concrete for ages because the Gandors couldn’t find a way to kill him. It may be a bit strange that this story was included in the anime, though. Baccano! is basically the story of the immortals Isaac and Miria (as shown by the aftermath, where we see the two of them as energetic as ever in 2001), and the people they meet. The Dallas-storyline was about the only thing they didn’t have anything to do with, apart from the fact that the Gandors and Eve had met Isaac and Miria at one point.

And to close off this post, those who’ve been reading my blog know that I kept wondering who the guy in shadows was, who was searching for someone in the first episode. My speculations went from Dallas to Czeslaw’s companion, but in the end: it was Rail Tracer. The one he was looking for is simple: Chane. After all, she disappeared after he proposed to her. Of course he’d search for her. I know about the DVD-only episode, but I’ll be closing off Baccano! for now. This really has been an amazing series, and a recommendation for everyone who doesn’t mind a bit of gore here and there.

Posted on 26 October 2007 with categories: Baccano!


I already had some sort of vague feeling that the climax for this series would turn out worthwhile, and indeed: the second half of this episode was just awesome. One of the advantages of having so many characters in a series is that you can show many fights at the same time, and as it seems: the creators of Baccano are masters at this. Seriously, if you haven’t given Baccano a try, you really should consider. I can’t think of many other anime that have better writing than this series.

Only few anime realize that if you want to have a great fight, the inclusion of comedy can be a great addition, and Baccano finally made me understand why. The combination of excitement with Isaac and Miria’s quirks was just awesome. Some creativity in the choreography also helps, like how Isaac, Miria and Chezlaw just came flying by, while Jaccuzi was busy trying to fight off the leader of the guys in black suits. ^^;

Rachel also surprised me with some actions I honestly didn’t see coming, even though the reason for her leg to be in bandages hadn’t been explained yet. She basically freed both the Nathalie, Merry, Nick and Nice, and got hurt in the process. Then she tried to save Isaac and Miria, were nearly falling off the train in an attempt to save Czeslaw, who had just about given up hope of trusting someone (it seems that the companion he was with went crazy, making Czeslaw eat him).

Meanwhile, Rail Tracer kicks Ladd’s ass, while suddenly Lua shows up (finally!), and Rail Tracer threatens to kill her, a task that Ladd assigned to himself, though I really think that he feels something for the girl. It’s a strange kind of feeling, considering how he’s insane and all, but he basically tries to save her, but jumps off the train along with her in the process.

Back in 1930, it seems that Isaac and Miria have been sharing the two bottles of “sake” with Firo, Luck, Berga and Keith, as we see them get shot by Dallas around the middle of the episode. Meanwhile, Maiza manages to escape from Szilard by jumping through a window. Szilard follows him and bumps into his own car, driven by none other than Isaac and Miria, who just ran over Dallas and his two companions, who happened to stand there as well. Obviously, Szilard doesn’t like this, but he decides to go after Maiza first, and orders Ennis, who happened to be nearby as well to kill Isaac and Miria.

Surprisingly, there was nothing about Eve this episode. Jaccuzi rocked, though, as he showed himself to be something much more than just the coward of the first few episodes. I also laughed at the passion Nice seems to have for her bombs. The people inside the dining car also surprised me when they took up guns to defend themselves. ^^

There’s one episode left, and I’m pretty interested in how this series is planning to end.

Posted on 19 October 2007 with categories: Baccano!


Hmm, not as good as the previous episodes, but that’s probably because this episode spent most of its time building up for the finales of all the different storylines that have yet to be resolved, apart from Isaac and Miria’s role on the Flying Pussyfoot (after all, Isaac still has to be stabbed in the ear) and surprisingly: Lua.

In 1930, things get heated up when Szilard himself pays a visit to Maiza, right after Firo’s promotion. He kills every mortal in the room, and gets his hand on the box that has just been emptied by our lovely Isaac and Miria. The Gandor-brothers are also at the scene, and they decide to check out what’s going on, and it’s getting clearer and cleared how they became immortals. Firo also finally gets more screen-time when he sees Ennis again, and the two of them get to know each other. That just leaves the question: how did Isaac and Miria become friends with Firo? I guess we’ll see that in the next episode. This episode also convinced me: Szilard is going to die, or sucked up. If I had to guess, then Firo is going to do it. Also, what role is Dallas, who suddenly appeared near the end of the episode at the same scene, going to play?

In 1931, on the Flying Pussyfoot, Rail Tracer does a few things that were quite hard to understand why: he interrupts the fight between Ladd and Chane without killing any of them, and he keeps killing Czeslaw over and over, despite knowing the guy is immortal (how did he know this and Czeslaw’s name in the first place?) I’m not sure why he’s been killing people on the train in the first place. Wasn’t his purpose just to meet with his brothers? I think that the thing to blame for this is my lack of Japanese, instead of bad writing. In fact, I’m sure of it. :P Oh, and Jacuzzi manages to seize back control over the dining train, while Nice and Nick are pointlessly questioned by the black-clothed guys.

Then, at 1932, it seems that Gustavo’s boss, the head of the Runorata-family has decided to accompany him, and they actually talk about Dallas in front of Eve. It was a bit of a strange reaction, after all, that was the same guy who was behind the gun-fest of episode one. Still, if I had to guess, then it’s because both families would be happier with Dallas gone.

Posted on 12 October 2007 with categories: Baccano!


Oh my god, this was such a fun episode! THIS is exactly the power of a good mystery-series: and this episode continues to deliver revelation after revelation and everything keeps coming more and more together! I kept wondering how Firo and Isaac would be linked together, and I can’t believe that we were already shown the answer to this. Remember the time when Firo officially became an executive, and the head of the family shot a bullet in the roof: he really nearly hit Isaac back there, who was interested by the other holes in the roof, which seem to suggest that it indeed was a ritual which was performed.

This also is the episode where we see Chane and Chezlaw’s background. I hope I got them right, because there was a lot of talking involved. Chane is indeed Huey’s daughter, and it seems that she’s entirely devoted to him. It’s indeed a different relationship than your usual father-daughter relationship when the father refuses to grow up. Oh, and Chane finally talks! Apparently, she can talk telepatically to Huey. Chezlaw meanwhile planted a bomb in the train: he works for the Runorata-family! Quite ironic how he’s friends with Maiza who is friends with Firo who is friends with the Gandors. :P

I’m not sure what the objectives of the kid are, though. If I had to guess, then he’s on a mission to stop Vino (or Rail Tracer, as it seems) from getting to New York. I’m still not sure whether the guy is an immortal as well, though if I had to guess, then he’s just a very exceptional mortal, being away from his brothers for a long time and all.

And while writing this entry, I finally realize who the guy was whose silhouette we saw in the first episode, and said how he would keep looking for a certain person, and I finally realize why Chezlaw’s companion in episode seven felt as a deja vu: they’re the same person! I finally know where I saw the guy before, and it seems that he didn’t agree with the path Chezlaw decided to take, which of course is quite reasonable, with killing everyone on the train and all. :P

It also seems that Jacuzzi and Nice have been dating for ten years now, and it took that long for them to actually kiss. That’s quite awesome, and we also finally know why they boarded the train in the first place: it’s because of the bombs our cute little Chezlaw planted. I wonder where he hid them.

The action-scenes were also some highlights of this episode. Finally we have another anime that realizes that action-scenes should be fun to watch, which was exactly the description of the fight between Chane and Ladd. Seriously, the latter is really crazy! Gustav also was awesome when both he and Eve went to the Gandors for explanation and ran into each other. I especially laughed at how the three Gandor-brothers tried to play innocent by playing a game of cards. It’s in a way so cheesy but at the same time it would be the most logical decision under time-constraints. ^^;

With this episode, there’s only one character left that feels underdeveloped: Lua! Come on, you’ve still got three episodes! Show us that you’re more than just a one-dimensional character!

There’s another thing I’m surprised about, though that’s less positive: hardly anyone talks about this series. In the past few weeks, I’ve only seen two other blogs which are covering this series as well. If this was some kind of obscure series, then I could understand, but this is Baccano! we’re talking about. How can anyone not like this series, apart from the gore, perhaps? I mean, are people really more eager to go for a mediocre series with cute girls in skimpy outfits above a well-written series like this one?

Posted on 5 October 2007 with categories: Baccano!


Oh god, just when you think you understand everything, this episode comes and smacks you in the face with new revelations that were completely different from your assumptions! Here I thought that Dallas was Rail Tracer. Here I thought that the girl in work-uniform was Vino. Here I thought that Chezlaw was subtle in his plans. Boy, was I wrong!

My god, I seriously loved the plot-twists in this episode. I originally thought that the red-haired conductor was slaughtered by Rail Tracer as well, but now that I think about it: there were three conductors: the middle-aged one, the red-haired one and Ladd’s ally who stole a suit of one of the others. Why did I never find it strange that there were only two bodies in the back, if Rail Tracer was the one who killed them? That’s because the Red Haired one IS RAIL TRACER!! He’s one of the Gandor’s younger brothers, who once worked in the circus, explaining his extreme manoeuvrability.

We also finally learn the name of the girl in work-uniform: her name is Rachel, and she works for the newspaper-company. She went on the flying pussyfoot to collect information, though I doubt that things turned out the way she originally had in mind. It seems that the thing Rail Tracer whispered to her was just a small sentence to tease her and scare her away.

Meanwhile, it seems that Dallas has indeed become an immortal, though I think it’s the kind of immortal that is immune to wounds, but not to aging. I think that Quates wanted to do this so that he could absorb the guy when needed, and the guy would probably be too stupid to try something smart. Dallas also manages to get the bottles back, which makes me wonder how Firo and the others turned immortal. If I had to guess, then the Gandors won’t take Dallas’ actions lightly. The next episodes promise to become something very interesting.

And yes, Chezlaw was awesome.

Posted on 28 September 2007 with categories: Baccano!


This episode was definitely the funniest episode yet, with even more screen-time for Isaac and Miria than in the second episode. Apart from that, we’re back in the regular timeline, and this episode’s sole purpose was to develop the different couples in this show: Isaac and Miria, Dallas and Eve and Jacuzzi and Nice.

Yes, you read that last part right, because surprise surprise: this happens. Jacuzzi, you’re a true man after all. ;)

Anyway, this episode was also surprisingly focused and surprisingly few characters appear. No Ladd, no guys in black suits, no Gandor, no Quates, no Chezlaw, no Firo and no Maiza. Basically only the storylines involving Isaac and Miria were shown. Seriously, the two of them have been everywhere.

It seems that they’ve even robbed the Genoard-household at one time, tough with this episode, I kindof lost my sense of time with her story. I originally thought that she was kidnapped in 1931, and that the Runoratas were looking for her at the same time that they assaulted the Gandors, but now it seems that this all took place in 1932. The only assumption I can make is that Dallas only later decided to go and cause trouble for the Runoratas. I also now know why Dallas was so pissed when he ran into Isaac and Miria. This may be just a guess, but I think that he ran into Barnes, right after Isaac and Miria robbed his home. This is also why Eve feels so bad. Perhaps that the angry face of her brother when he found out about the robbery was the last thing she saw of him?

I’m having a theory here, by the way: what if Dallas is Rail Tracer? What if the liquid Quates injected went horribly wrong and turned the guy into that horrible form? Anyway, the end of the episode also shows something interesting: the Runorata-family member who keeps eating chocolates lets Eve just escape. Why?

Then there’s Ennis’s storyline, as Isaac and Miria help her move Dallas’s body into her car, which looks suspiciously much like the one that hit them. ^^; It’s really clear now how the three of them became friends.

Jacuzzi and Donnie also meet up with Isaac and Miria on the Flying Pussyfoot, and make sure that the others are safe. He tells them a few things about his background, but I didn’t quite catch those. I think he’s supposed to be extremely dangerous when brandishing a gun, but I’m going to wait for the subs to arrive before confirming this.

So, there are five episodes left now, and they’ve got their work cut out for them. Chane and Chezlaw still need to receive their backgrounds and development, Firo, Luck and Maiza still have to do something to get involved with the story, the story between Szilard and Dallas still needs development, and let’s not forget that Ladd and the mysterious Vino also have their roles to play. And will Huey come into action again, or is he just reason for the guys in black suits to be involved? I’m looking forward to it. :)

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