Baccano! Review

Plot: It’s the 1930s, and the mafia and gangsters rule the streets. The Flying Pussyfoot, a luxurious passenger train, is hijacked by two separate gangs, but a much larger and more complex story than a simple robbery is unfolding behind the scenes – one involving immortality.


…..I’m in love with this show. I really am. They nailed everything in this show. If I make it sound in any way bad from my plot synopsis, I am sorry, and do not even begin to think that way. Baccano! is a breath of fresh air in a wave of mediocrity and crap that I’ve had to sift through in recent time.

I don’t want to spoil anything at all, so let me just give you my main highlights and my few bad points.

Isaac and Miria are awesome. I usually hate characters meant to be comic relief, but they are hilarious and I adored every second of their screen time. Their shtick never got old, they never resorted to dumb cliché jokes – they were just awesome.

In such a dark anime, you need to have talent in order to make comic relief characters truly work, and they work overtime. They also actually affect the plot….in good ways! That is legitimately impressive. They’re the kind of characters that you’d love to meet in real life. They’re thieves, but they’re incredibly nice and funny. Hell, they’re not even really bad in a thief regard.

Jacuzzi has the best name ever. Jacuzzi Splot has the worst last name ever. He also was the breakout character for me because he was really grating on my nerves in the first handful of episodes since all he seemed to do was worry, cry and panic about everything. However, as we’re shown his backstory and as the episodes go by, we learn that he’s incredibly brave and one of the sweetest guys ever. When you learn why he got his famous sword tattoo, you’re going to smile. You’re going to go ‘awwwww.’ You may even cry. This is normal. Simply cuddle the nearest cute animal, preferably one that does not have rabies, and enjoy it.

Baccano! definitely tries to do something different than most other anime. Not many anime take place in 1930s New York. Immortality’s not a new thing, but the way they handle it is pretty unique. And the relationships to all of the immortals both old and new are really interesting.

The show is crazy and insanely entertaining to watch. There’s hardly a moment where it feels slow, and, when it does, it’s for good reason such as tension or to create atmosphere. The story is great even if things get confusing sometimes, and I loved watching every step of the way.

Another aspect of this series that is fairly unique is in the fact that the story is told out of order. And not Haruhi Suzumiya out of order, like in you can just watch episodes in different orders, I mean episodes jump around 1, 2, 3 or even hundreds of years without a moment’s notice. This is both a positive and a slight negative to me.

It’s pretty clever in its execution since it allows you to piece together the plot on your own and slowly gain more pieces and views of the story, which makes it more interesting and fun to watch. And it is fair to the viewer because they notify you when a date shift is taking place and what year they’re jumping to.

However, I can definitely see how it’d be annoying to some people, especially in the beginning. Once you get used to the format, it’s way easier to follow the story and piece everything together, and it is fun to watch scenes and figure out how certain events came to pass. Even so, during the first few episodes, it kinda throws you off and makes it somewhat confusing.

All of the characters were enjoyable to watch, and some were a downright blast to see in action. The only ones I might say were on the lower end of the spectrum would be Dallas and maybe Ches. Dallas just didn’t do much, and Ches was the only character who started to annoy me a bit.

The ending is left a little open-ended, but according to the dialogue, that was intentional. The ending to all of the events that happen on the Pussyfoot actually end in episode 13, which seems like it was set up to the final episodes of the series as we get no next episode preview, no ending theme song and the credits roll over the final scene.

However, there’s a three episode epilogue of sorts where the only real connecting action plotline involves a new character named Graham Specter, a crazy mechanic who uses an unreasonably huge monkey wrench as a weapon. He worked under the crazy murderous gang leader Ladd Russo – one of the hijackers of the Pussyfoot.

Some new things do get explored such as the origins of Jacuzzi’s tattoo, a continuance of the storyline between Chane and the Rail Tracer, we see how Nice got her scars and lost her eye, and a few other things.

This epilogue technically doesn’t need to be here, but it’s a good continuation. Graham’s entertaining to watch, to say the least, and, dammit, I did not want this series to end. 😦 Oh well. I guess I can read the manga next. I can also kick up Durarara! on my watch list since that’s a spiritual successor, possibly an actual successor since they take place in the same universe, and Isaac and Miria also make an appearance in it! Yay!

Art and Animation: High scores in this department. The animation is very fluid and a joy to watch while the art has it’s own distinct style without straying too much from the average anime formula. The fight scenes in particular were very well done. Even the lighting was beautiful.

Music: The OP, ED and BG music are all amazing, and I would love to buy the soundtrack to this series. It fits the chaotic mood while also suiting the time period and characters perfectly.

Bottom Line: I’m gushing over this. I hardly ever get to gush on my reviews. If I ever get around to making a favorite anime list, this will be at or near the top. There are some aspects that may not be perfect and the format may get confusing, but it is well worth it.

Additional Information and Notes: Baccano! was directed by Takahiro Omori, director of Koi Kaze, Hell Girl, and Durarara! It was written Noboru Takagi, who has also written for Attack on Titan, C – The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, and all of the Durarara! and Hell Girl series. It was based on a light novel written by Ryohgo Narita.

Baccano! was produced by Brain’s Base and is currently licensed by Aniplex of America.

Episodes: 16

Year: 2007

Recommended Audience: No nudity, no sex, some swearing. The most you need to worry about is gore. It gets pretty damn bloody up in here. Because some of the characters are immortals, we see some graphic displays of violence and gore. I really shouldn’t limit it to that as some of the characters are crazy murderous psychopaths who may as well wear nothing but black and red to avoid paying outlandish dry cleaning bills for all the blood stains. It drives me nuts that Ladd Russo, one of the craziest and blood hungry sons of bitches ever, actually leads a gang where they all wear white suits. WHITE SUITS. For the gore alone, I’d say at least 15+ If you want a comparison, I’ve seen Elfen Lied and Shigurui Death Frenzy and this made me cringe.

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30DAC – Day 8: Favorite Anime Couple

This one was pretty interesting because I have shipped many pairings in my day. Most canon, some not. Obviously I’m not including non-canon couples here, but my decision ultimately rested with who I most enjoyed seeing on screen and which relationship I think works the most.

In the end, I had another tie on my hands, but I’m justifying it by separating the two choices into a romantic couple where the show focuses on their romance and a romantic couple where the show has nothing to do with their romance (but they obviously remain main characters).


Overly specific cheating justification engaged!

My first choice is in Isaac and Miria from Baccano!

This is one of my favorite shows, as you’ve probably guessed by now, but it does get pretty dark and insane. Some good and consistent comic relief is needed, but it definitely shouldn’t be annoying. Cue Isaac and Miria, the best comic relief duo ever.

It takes talent to do comic relief correctly in a way that’s not stupid or grating over time, and these guys pass that test with flying colors. These two are crazy, but in a funny sense. Their banter and shenanigans are just so unique and enjoyable to watch, and who doesn’t love seeing these two get all dressed up in various costumes that don’t really help them with their crimes, when you think about it. They obviously love each other very much, and if not in a romantic sense, despite the fact that they’re canon lovers, then definitely in the vein of the best of best friends.

Not to mention that they’re just overall really nice people. They may be thieves, but they don’t really have malicious intentions. Their influence on the rest of the characters in the cast also can’t be ignored as they tend to bring out the best in everyone that they meet. These guys aren’t just one of my favorite anime couples, they’re also two of my favorite anime characters ever.

In more of a focus on romantic anime, I chose Chihiro and Renji from Ef: A Tale of Memories.

I have a bit of a love/ha–….err, alright, dislike with this show because while I love this pairing, the show also shares its focus with an annoying as hell and stupid love triangle, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to the actual review. For now, let’s focus on Chihiro and Renji.

For the most part, they have a pretty cut and dry relationship at first. He meets her at an abandoned train station that he likes to frequent and they hit it off pretty well. However, the drama starts the next day when he discovers that she doesn’t remember who he is or what happened the day before. See, Chihiro only has a 13 hour memory span due to an accident she had when she was a kid that also took her eye. She goes through the day relatively normally, but forgets the events of the previous day when she wakes up in the morning.

And before you say anything, yes and no to this being like 50 First Dates. It is in the sense that….well, its basically the same concept, but it’s not handled in a comedic manner at all. It’s just as tragic as it seems.

To combat her memory loss, Chihiro makes entries in her journal every night about the day’s events, and Chihiro reads these entries when she gets up in the morning. So, in a sense, she is aware of certain things that happened the previous day, but she doesn’t remember them.

Renji grows to care about and love Chihiro so much that he’s more than willing to stay with her even through this debilitating memory problem, but their relationship is still tried severely in various ways. Despite this, they do their best to stick together time and time again, and I loved watching every minute of it.

Honorable Mentions: Keiichi and Belldandy from Ah, My Goddess! (Very nearly made it), Yuki and Tohru from Fruits Basket (isn’t entirely canon, so blah), TK and Kari from Digimon (Completely unclear whether it’s canon)

30DAC – Day 6: Anime You Want to See But Haven’t Yet

I don’t keep up with new anime, and I hear great stuff about new shows all the time like Kill la Kill, Space Dandy etc. It’s not that I’m some anime hipster who refuses to watch new stuff, it’s just that my method of selection in terms of my watch list is almost entirely random so I can watch a good variety of shows both old and new.

There are both older shows and newer shows that I’m excited to watch, but I think the one I’m most looking forward to is Durarara!


After enjoying Baccano! So much and knowing that this is both a spiritual successor and takes place in the same universe, I am really looking forward to watching it. Plus, the clips I have seen of it are just insanely awesome. The art is great and really stylized, the animation is very fluid and the characters look very interesting. Plus, it just looks like just as much crazy and dark fun as Baccano! Was, so I can’t wait until I finally get a chance to watch this. Plus, there’s a guy who seems to rip stuff like street signs and cars off the street like they’re pillows and fights with them.

I hate trying to park, too.

As some runners-up, I’d say Code Geass, even though practically all of the show’s been spoiled for me in one way or another, Kanon, Clannad and the Black Jack series.

30DAC – Day 3: Favorite Male Anime Character Ever

This is one I looked at and thought would be even worse than the previous prompt, especially given that they don’t put ‘so far’ on it. Damn you convenient word choices! However, as I skimmed through the anime I have watched, it actually became pretty damn easy.

The anime is Baccano! His name is Jacuzzi.

Yes, bask in his awesome name. If I didn’t think they’d get their ass kicked for it in school, I’d name my kid Jacuzzi without question. Jacuzzi actually comes off as pretty annoying in the first episodes that he appears in because he is constantly crying and whining and seems to have no real backbone whatsoever. His gang, however, follows him with fierce loyalty especially his longtime girlfriend, Nice.

You may be wondering why I would choose a guy who seems like he’s consistently pissing his pants instead of some badass character. Well, Jacuzzi is a badass character in his own way. He’s also one of the coolest and kindest male anime characters I’ve ever seen.

Wanna play marbles? They’re a blast!

To get this out of the way, this isn’t a matter of him having dual identities or anything. He’s not a scaredy cat with a super kickass alter ego; Jacuzzi is just Jacuzzi. The reason that he is constantly crying and whining is because it allows him to let out his feelings of fright and sadness in times where it doesn’t effect anything. When the time calls for it, such as in dangerous situations, he picks himself up, stops crying and takes the leadership role like a damn boss. He is ready to die for his friends at a moment’s notice and face even the most frightening and difficult of situations without care as long as his friends make it out okay. And don’t think that just because he doesn’t look like much that he doesn’t have skills, because believe me he does.

The main reason he topped my list was because of the story behind his tattoo. Spoilers, btw.

Jacuzzi is known throughout the city as the guy with a huge gray sword tattoo on his face, and the origin of the tattoo is left a mystery throughout much of the show. However, we later learn the origins of the tattoo are tied directly into the origins of Nice’s scars.

Nice is the gang’s explosives expert and she has been such since she was a little girl. However, an accident while creating some explosives as a child caused the mixture to blow up in her face, making her lose her right eye, lose a good deal of vision in her left eye and suffer from many scars. She held herself up in her room for a long time after the ordeal and not even her best friend Jacuzzi could coax her out. To make her feel less alone in her plight and to allow her to easily recognize him with her damaged vision, he immediately went out and got that huge facial tattoo. It succeeded in its purpose and she’s been by Jacuzzi’s side ever since.

They have an explosive relationship.

End spoilers.

That is an incredible guy through and through and if anyone deserves the spot (Or should I say SPLOT? Ahahahahah…ahh I’ll see myself out.) of my favorite male anime character ever, he does. Aren’t you happy for this honor Jacuzzi?

I knew he’d be.

Honorable mentions: Vash from Trigun, Roy Mustang from FMA Brotherhood, and Marco from 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother.