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16 August 2009 @ 03:28 pm
Catching up with anime reviews...  

How do you summarize an anime that starts with a discussion on narrative and its arbitrariness prefiguring that the ensuing story will have no clear beginning nor protagonist, not to mention the fact it will be chronologically destructured?
Baccano! is a story set in the 1930's that involves robbers, mobsters, delinquents, cultists, assassins, innocent and not-so-innocent bystanders - a number of which are immortals - a newspaper agency and a train called 'the Flying Pussyfoot' running from Chicago to New York through three main separate interwoven time lines plus the flashbacks.

In 1930, a handful of mislaid bottles of the Immortality drink and the people who try to recapture them cross the path of the Camorra, a gang of violent delinquents, and a couple of eccentric robbers.
In 1931, on board the Flying Pussyfoot ride a number of miscellaneous groups of suspicious people with conflicting and violent agendas - not to mention the monster known as Rail Tracer - as well as our favourite couple of eccentric robbers.
In 1932, young Eve Genoart, daughter of wealthy mobster family, is still trying to find her brother, who mysteriously disappeared two years ago.

Despite the complex chronology and massive number of protagonists, Baccano! is remarkably easy to follow (after the somewhat confusing first episode) in what amounts to a brilliant masterpiece of storytelling. It is fast paced, compelling, with beautiful action and fluid animation, a glorious jazzy soundtrack, frequently gory and yet filled with a communicative feeling of joie de vivre. A remarkable number of the characters in Baccano! are kind of insane - from the sociopathic to the so stupidly eccentric it's crazy, going through the psychopathic and the people who clearly have big issues which would be hard to describe. You come to love all of them anyway, or, at least, those of them that do their psychopathic rampage with style (there are several).
I have only one complaint against Baccano! : I want more.
Tune: Garbarek - Madar
☂ Internet trickster: Teddie / That was amazing!rainmage on August 16th, 2009 01:36 pm (UTC)
At the beginning I didn't want to watch Baccano! because the first episode confused the crap out of me and the opening sequence had too many people. I suck at remembering names, how can I! Then someone at my flist was all KEEP WATCHING, and so I did, and I loved it :D It's much fun even if it's a bit hard to get the timelines straight sometimes.
Anne-Elisa: michikoetrangere on August 16th, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
haha, yeah the first episode is mightily confusing, and the second only slightly less so. But by the third I thought the story really kept rolling and didn't have that much trouble with the storylines (although I kept reading episodes review by a guy who is good at piecing thing together as I was going, so that probably helpled).

I really loved it. It's probably not for quite everyone (with the gore and all), but for anyone who likes Tarantinoesque stories it's pretty much WIN. Thanks for the original rec ^^
Les divagations de Neljaflo_nelja on August 16th, 2009 01:55 pm (UTC)
J'ai beaucoup aimé, moi aussi - et, oh, je ne connaissais pas cette image ! Dans la catégorie bien groupée avec presque tout le monde !
Anne-Elisa: ned does not simplyetrangere on August 16th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC)
presque tout le monde ^^ :)

cet anime mérite franchement d'etre mieux connu qu'il ne l'est!!
baseball with elephants? bah!: baccano: enniskeelieinblack on August 16th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
I adored Baccano!, but I was really, really glad I started watching when 11 or so episodes had been released--maybe I just have a poor memory, but I don't know how someone watching from week-to-week could have ever managed to keep all the plotlines straight. :D

I'm dying for more, too, especially since there's tons of story they could use. Don't know how likely it is, though. *sigh* Still, there's an ongoing project to translate the novels, which helps a little.
Anne-Elisa: interestingetrangere on August 16th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Haha, so true. I would have been utterly lost if I couldn't have watched it in about 3 days.

Yeah, I saw about the translation online and I had started trying to read it but had had trouble concentrating on it. Eventually though!
Sophia Prestersophiap on August 16th, 2009 04:32 pm (UTC)
I love Baccano! The storytelling is amazing, and it's one of those animes that I like to recommend to people who "don't like anime." (Others are Fullmetal Alchemist and Cowboy Bebop.)

What I really want to do is track down the light novels the anime was based on. Apparently there is much more to the story in those.
Anne-Elisa: kissesetrangere on August 16th, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
So true! Especially Cowboy Bebop (I don't dislike FMA, but I consider it too flawed to reccomend it easily).

Yeah, I know they'r ebeing translated online, keelie has a link in the comment above yours.