Baccano! takes place in early 1930s New York City and follows various Italian mafias in this era. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill story about gangs with tommy guns, though, as Baccano! adds an element of the supernatural to its setting and characters. The catch is, the series blurs the line between the two so that supernatural and natural abilities don’t seem that far off from each other. Being a hero or a monster is determined by the individual, and even then some characters can be considered both.
Baccano! has a large cast of characters, and they are incredible. And wonderful. Wondercredible. The story has no true main character, or should I say that every character is like a main character. You have Firo Prochainezo, a young baby-faced guy with a penchant for fisticuffs and a good heart. You have Ladd Russo, the sociopath whose only joy is to kill anyone who thinks that they’re completely safe. Then there’s Jacuzzi Splot, a man Kenshiro would be proud of, who manages to do the manliest things possible while crying like a girl. And not last (I told you that this cast was large), and certainly not least, are Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent, two skilled, yet bumbling honorable thieves who like to dress up for their various crimes and use the most distorted logic possible and happen to end up doing good as a result. They’re probably my favorites but it’s not like any of the other characters are far behind.
Wondercredible, indeed. And there’s so many more I haven’t even talked about.
Baccano! tells its story out of chronological order, so the events in each episode jump back and forth between 1930, 1931, and 1932. And you know what? I don’t care. I have no great desire to watch the series in “proper” chronological order, I have no motivation to see just exactly how all the dots connect. Baccano! is that engaging and entertaining that I did not feel like I was missing anything by having the story jump around so much. Events are grouped thematically, and it works very, very well.
So in summary, Baccano! hits it out of the park.