Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baccano! vol. 4 Impression

This can’t be it! Are you serious, this is the end of Baccano! in only volume 4? For a series that has no main character or solid story it’s surprising such an ending would bother this Otaku so much, but it has. Just when story was starting to make sense and plot points were getting, well direction, it’s over … say it ain’t so!

The fight on the top of the train continues with a promise made. A quick visit to the past reveal show Firo came into his power and leads to a confrontation with Slizard and a not so happy ending for him. With the train ride over the survivors go their separate ways. The action is not over as immortals are bound to find one another as is the case with Boss Russo. Rachel recounts what happened on the train while Benjamin lives to see another day when he thought he’d be absorbed. Jacuzzi has an encounter with a wrench wielding SOB while the origins of his scars are revealed and why he goes through the lengths he does to fight. And … that’s it.

Yeah, see what I mean. Even trying to recount what the hell happened is a jumbled mess. There are tons of characters, some immortal, some created. Some dark demon or something created a pact with immigrants in the past each of which, if they drink, become immortal. They interact in the future as they can absorb each other, memories, etc (like Highlander with no swords). They come to climax in the 1930’s through a series of mob interactions and a chance train ride. Relationships are never fully explained or carried out but a few characters by the end do stand out. This series has good animation but if it’s really over after four volumes it could have been better. The 1930’s setting is really cool and the mix of the occult and alchemy is sweet but there is craziness, a nonsensical course of actions not seen since Fooley Cooley and Excel Saga. Where they concentrated on the crazy, Baccano takes on the crazy serious, bloody … you get the point and if not welcome to the club.

Baccano! is not like any other anime. Good animation mixes with great setting and design and weaves into a story that just needs a bit more fleshing out. The alchemy will remind at times of Fullmetal Alchemist but will only leave viewers sad that Baccano! did not flesh out more. Is this really it, just four volumes, dang.

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