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While there are many interesting anime series out there, there are times when viewers will find one that stands out amongst the others. This could be said for Baccano with its unique storyline, incredible cast of characters, and excellent dub. Baccano is a 16 episode series based on a series of novels and was created by Aniplex and Brain’s Base. The show is a mix of action, drama, comedy, mystery, and could be considered historical fiction.
Baccano is unique in the fact that it has no entirely defined beginning or end in the storyline. Over the course of the series, several stories involving a group of immortals, the mafia, and various crime organizations are told piece by piece until it all finally connects. The majority of the story takes place during 1930 and 1931 in New York City and on board the transcontinental train known as the Flying Pussyfoot. With each episode, the story moves from various points in time to explain all the pieces shown in the first episode.
There is no one main character, rather a large group of main characters that are all interesting and generally likable. From the eccentric and kleptomaniac couple Isaac and Miria, to the crazed assassin Ladd, to the young and charismatic Firo, to the friendly and enigmatic Maiza, and more, Baccano has a character that everyone will like. Character interaction in Baccano is very strong, and there are no characters that feel two dimensional.
While this is an interesting and unusual to have an anime have several stories intertwined like they are in Baccano, the execution of this idea is not without its flaws. The first episode can be very confusing for first time viewers, as it jumps all over the place with each scene. This is a recurring problem in the series as well where it will jump between years, leaving viewers in the middle of a particular scene only to come back to it an episode later. While this may seem inconsistent and strange, Baccano usually does a good job with explaining what is going on. Although due to being an adaptation of a series of novels, there are all sorts of details about events and characters that are left out.
After the first episode, the story becomes very engaging and hooks the viewer in from episode to episode. Each episode flows at a decent pace and nothing ever feels too short or belonged even if the scene can change a little too soon for my liking. There is always a decent mix of drama, intense action, and the occasional moment of comedy to lighten the mood. There is never a moment where a scene feels unnecessary or unimportant to the story.
One particularly important thing to note about Baccano is that it has the tendency to be very bloody and brutally, graphically violent in some scenes. But it never feels like the violence depicted is gratuitous, and is fitting given the context of what may be going on in that particular scene. Although, the sheer amount of blood and gore that occurs over the series may be enough to turn some viewers away from Baccano.
As far as dubs go, Funimation did a great job with Buccano. They picked out a great, diverse amount of voice actors that pulled off outstanding performances with their characters. With authentic sounding accents, properly conveyed emotions and little to no overacting, the dub doesn’t detract anything from the viewing experience. In fact, there are some character voices that really steal the show. Especially with the character Ladd Russo and his crazed ranting in the midst of a fight or general conversation.
Overall, Baccano is a great anime and is worth watching. If you are into engaging stories and interesting characters set in a historical fiction setting and can make it past the first episode, then Baccano is for you. But if you are not a fan of a constantly jumping storyline, or extreme violence then I would not recommend Baccano. Baccano may be a short series, but with it’s unique story and likeable characters it is most certainly an unforgettable one.