Baccano! is an anime adaptation of a novel written by Ryohgo Narita who’s more notoriously known for creating the critically-acclaimed anime and manga, Durarara!! It is a 13 episode epic story about alchemists, immortals, gangsters and outlaws who happen to interweave aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, leaving trails of unfortunate events along the way.
When does a story start? Does it need a beginning? Does it even need a protagonist? Too often writers are caught up conforming to some standard, some convention, because after all, why break something that works? It’s rather rare to see an author challenge the very essence of storytelling.
Enter the incredible disjointed and scattered world of Baccano! This anime has some of the most diversified range of characters, not simply ranging in personalities but also from differing eras. Characters from all backgrounds intermingle and coincide together resulting in some fascinating and intriguing interactions.
Suspense is the anime’s speciality. Each episode feels purposeful and important, unraveling its many secrets, leaving the viewer paranoid and uncertain of what’s to come. The clever use of setting gives a sense of claustrophobia as the plot gradually moves forward, independent of any individual’s choice as they’re part of a much larger story.
Costume designs are top-notch, primarily reflective of the 1930s where the majority of the story transpires, while the jazzy musical choice reinforces the period’s classy atmosphere. Animation is excellent and remains throughout, unafraid to display graphic imagery of which the story relishes in.
Baccano! is an example of a story that isn’t afraid to take risks in order to reap the highest reward, and does so successfully. I recommend this to anyone that is a fan of unconventional storytelling, loves good ol’ gore and enjoys suspenseful thrillers.