Fanfiction Fridays: Baccano! Double Feature

In my mind, there’s a secret list of anime I want to watch or catch up on. This list is made full well knowing that I might get to maybe 10% of those series due to my own apathy toward finding streaming sites—because, as we are all aware, using Google is hard and typing anime titles into search bars is too time consuming. Luckily, I have the best support in the world for marking off entries on this list that no one knows about. Which is to say that with very little prodding from her end, my girlfriend and I sat down and marathoned Baccano! I feel like I’ve cheated myself by not watching it sooner, but hindsight is 20/20.

Baccano! Group ShotThis is one of those situations where I knew I liked what the series had to offer, but watching it itself was always in the back of my mind, in the dark abysses where I forget things. The series watches from an objective viewpoint the events that unfold on The Flying Pussyfoot, a transcontinental locomotive that happens to be transporting a cult bent on gaining immortality, a mafia family that gains joy from killing other people, a couple of thieves who have a strangely positive outlook on life, a gang full of sweet cinnamon rolls (who will also potentially kill you), and several other characters who mostly fall under the theme of “they will kill you”. Cut so the storyline jumps between “present” and past events, this mildly fantastical look at the 1930’s keeps watchers glued to the show so they don’t miss any hints at what’s actually going on.

Upon finishing the show, I desperately needed family fic of the adorable found family formed at the end of the series. Unfortunately, since the fandom is hella small—apparently—instead of cute family fic, I had to wade through pages of NOTP fic and other things that just didn’t fit the bill. And while I may not have found what I was looking for, I did end up finding two really great fics. And to my joy, they were both written by the same author!

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Celebrating the “brotp”: Ten Awesome Platonic Friendships

Pretty much everyone who has read fanfiction has an OTP—a One True Pairing that they ship harder than anything else. But what about the couples that are just awesome buds, and who you like together as friends but not romantically? Well the recently coined term ‘brotp’ is there for you. And since Valentine’s Day puts and unnecessary emphasis on being in a romantic relationship, I figured I’d take this post to give a shout-out to some of the awesomest platonic friendships out there.

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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!

Fanfiction Fridays: Howabout a crossover?

I avoid crossover fic like the plague. It just takes so much to be done right, and I have gotten finicky about what I’ll actually spend time reading these days.

So here’s the backstory to the discovery of this fic: When I was about 13, I read all the existing Les Miserables fanfic on the internet. Like literally all of it. A few months ago, I realized that the Archive of Our Own (aka AO3), being a relatively new fanfiction archive, might have untapped Mizzie fanfic for the reading, and I happily wandered over to their Les Mis section.

Imagine my confusion when, amidst all the sad stories of doomed gay revolutionary love, I discovered this title:

“The Host Club’s Refreshing Interdimensional Tour

It… it couldn’t be.

Did they mean… Ouran High School‘s host club?

Oh, yes, they did.

The premise of this beautiful work of staggering beauty: Tamaki, having been unfortunately allowed to watch some sci-fi, decides he wants a time machine. A staggering investment of Ohtori funds later, the club finds themselves with a dimension-hopping vehicle, which they dub “Super-Delicious Strawberry Cake, since no one can think of a good reason to object”.

They visit (among other stories) the Enterprise circa Star Trek TOS, Sunnydale, the Fire Nation, the Andes ofThe Emperor’s New Groove, and Amestris, wreaking havoc and leaving greatness in their wake.

This fic is great for a number of reasons: the characterization is spot-on, making it seem like this is just a lost episode of OHSHC that never aired. The writing is clever and often hilarious, and the situations presented are goofy but perfect. (Honey and Mori fight in the 1832 June Rebellion for the revolutionaries, with whom half-French Tamaki sympathizes extraordinarily, hence why this was tagged in the Les Mis section of AO3.)

Anyway, this fic is perfect and hilarious and you should all go read it now. Find it here at the Archive of Our Own.