Man. If I just set my mind to it, I can finish anime lickety-split! Baccano! only took me about nine hours to finish! Was it my ambition to finish it quickly? Or did I just enjoy the anime that much?!
It was a little of both. I like Baccano! due to one thing and one thing only: its story. The psychology behind it doesn’t make sense most of the time, but it was so superbly told that I couldn’t help but find it amusing.
Look at all of these characters! There are so many characters! Wow! Do I care about all of them? Absolutely not! The characters were pretty straightforward, not a lot of them really stood out in my eyes. There were some that had some development but not a lot of depth. And then there were others with the opposite problem. Some characters only felt like plot convenience, while others were just insane to be insane.
Take for example, Isaac and Miria. Who the hell are these characters? We get absolutely no information about these two characters whatsoever, yet they are intentionally the most likable of the entire cast, because everyone loves comic relief, right? This feels more or less like the anime is making up for their flat backgrounds by making their outer appearances seem bubbly in comparison. Kind of like making a trailer for a game look epic, only to find out that the game is shit after playing it. Not to mention, their abnormal optimism changes not just one, but two characters’ whole perspective on life. This seems way too far-fetched. It feels like I’m watching Fruits Basket again.
The other characters are all fairly hit and miss. I found it humorous how the character the anime hinted to as the main character in the beginning got very little screentime in comparison to others. And for good reason! He has no personality. A lot of the other characters just feel like they have one personality trait. There were only a few characters I genuinely liked for how complete they felt as characters. Actually… now that I think about it, who was a complete character in this series?! I seriously can’t think of anyone! Everyone has either little depth or little development! There are no complete characters! Although, this could be attributed to the amount of characters present among the cast.
The art was nice, especially for 2007. I liked how American it felt, even though it wasn’t American-made. That time skip at the end, though? Dumb. I liked how this show wasn’t afraid to show gratuitous amounts of gore, and it worked wonders. I cringed at some of the things that happened to these characters. Truly an epic horror to behold, and that’s a good thing. By the way, sometimes the animation would move slower than need be, but whatever. Criticism is stupid.
I just liked the story! But I thought it was too all over the place, too. In the beginning, it was hard to really pay attention to detail when it was setting the story up. It kept skipping time and showing new characters for me to pretend to care about and ugh! Although, the storytelling overall felt similar to that of Kuuchuu Buranko. All the threads that these stories produce are all intertwined in this gigantic overview of a plot. It pulls this off very well.
Basically, very good storytelling, but the giant array of cast members really inhibit the enjoyment of almost every other category. A giant influx of characters means less screentime for other, more concrete characters. A giant influx of characters means less story dedicated to said more concrete characters, along with making the overviewing story jump around too much. A giant influx of characters means having to produce more characters in other settings with different designs altogether, running up the risk of inconsistencies. Despite everything, Baccano! is a series well worth watching. Just get over the hump that is the first two episodes.
Personal Score: B+
Critical Score: B+