Baccano Uguuuu~

The typical joke leveled at Kanon and other similar shows is that the characters’ appeal can be summarized by calling them “damaged goods.”

I find myself watching Baccano! (and the extra episodes which have started coming out recently) waiting for the moments which show just how off-kilter or mentally deranged some of the characters are. And every time they bring in a new and even more damaged character it just makes me want to watch more. Ladd Russo and his twisted code of ethics (if you can call only wanting to kill people who don’t want to die a “code of ethics”), Graham Specter’s endless rambles, if there’s a manly equivalent to the “damaged goods” type of moe this must be it.

Misuzu tripping on the ground and Rail Tracer covered from head to toe in blood?

Totally related.

Bamboo Blade is its name, and Tama-chan is its star

I’ve been told that in any story there is always only one true protagonist as much as it would seem otherwise. It’s not necessarily the character who gets the most screen-time. It’s not the character who acts as narrator. It’s not even the one with the most prominent lines, but the character who moves the story along the most. Even when there seems to be multiple protagonists, in the writer’s mind there is only one.

I know I said otherwise previously, but I’ve come to realize that Isaac Dian is the main protagonist of Baccano! because he has by far the most influence on characters in the story. Even though Morikawa George, creator of Hajime no Ippo, has said that he treats his manga like every character is a main character, the mere fact that it’s titled “Hajime no Ippo” says otherwise. And in Bamboo Blade, of which I’ve watched the first seven episodes, Kawazoe Tamaki is the lead.

Tamaki has a clear purpose in the story, even if it’s the result of watching too much anime: protecting justice from evil. Even though she’s managed to repel evil, i.e. those two older boys in the club, it’s a never-ending battle, at least in her mind. Her actions, more than any other characters’, move the story along, as she is the one primarily responsible for transforming the ragtag Kendo Club into a workable team. As much time and emphasis that Koujirou gets, he acts more as a fairly passive narrator.

So with that in mind, I have to say that Tama-chan makes for a wonderful protagonist. I hope to see her speed-eating and kendo skills even more.

Hopefully it will involve ramen.

I Love Nostle Orunch: Baccano!

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.

Gachiiiin!