Anime Review: Baccano!

No anime reviews from me in months and then two in two weeks? In my defense, No. 6 and Baccano! are both awfully short shows.

Baccano! is a complicated series, featuring like a dozen main characters and a totally non-linear storyline. It’s set in the early 1930s and is chock full of mafia families and tommy guns and intrigue. It revolves around the events of one night aboard the transcontinental train “Flying Pussyfoot”, as three separate groups attempt to take over the train for their own ends. Meanwhile, a notorious serial killer known as the Rail Tracer stalks the train.

Also, there’s alchemy and immortality involved. So that’s pretty cool.

Baccano! is one of those shows that you have to pay relatively close attention to, because you never know when something trivial or silly in one scene will become something super important in another scene. With so many main characters, it’s easy for the show to take one meaningless occurence and switch the point of view, casting the situation in an entirely different light. And like I said, the storyline is non-linear, so it jumps around constantly between the night on the train, a year before that, a year after that, 200 years before that, and the present day. It’s worth it to pay attention, though, as it’s really a fun watch.One of the things I liked about this show is that (like Durarara!!, which is from the same studio) basically everyone is a hidden badass, but in different and interesting ways. One kid runs screaming from the idea of the Rail Tracer but later has a bombs-versus-flamethrowers battle with a guy on top of the train; a homunculus betrays her maker, not knowing what will happen to her own body when he dies; and the two ditziest characters in the history of anime pull off astoundingly ballsy heists on a regular basis.

It’s also got great female representation, with a cast that’s roughly fifty-fifty between genders, and filled with a wide range of character types and gender presentations. And those two ditzy robbers I mentioned earlier? Have one of the funniest, most awesome platonic male-female friendships I’ve seen in a show.

It also has one of the greatest OPs ever: the jazzy instrumental “Gun’s & Roses”, which has been stuck in my head for days now.

Baccano! is only thirteen episodes (with a three-episode special that isn’t really necessary for the canon, although it is fun), so I recommend you check it out!