Baccano Volume 1 (DVD Set)

FUNimation Productions

Release date: 1/27/09


105 minutes running time

Dual language DVD (Japanese and English)

ISBN: 9781421015033

Rating: M for Mature 18+

ICv2 Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

The first volume of this 13 episode series is confusing and disconnected. Based on light novels, this anime is set in the 1930s in Chicago, New York, and on the Transcontinental Pussyfoot, a train, in the midst of a hostage situation.  Told through eight different points of view and beginning in the middle of the storyline, the anime expects a lot out of its viewers.  The massive list of characters includes the following: two Mafia families: the Gandor and the Russo families; the comedic relief of two thieves; a group of train robbers; and finally the Camorra members, those who have immortality through the drinking of an elixir.  As the episodes introduce the different characters more thoroughly, the unrelated plots begin to intersect and by the end of the first volume the storyline starts to make sense.  The animation is crisp and high quality for television animation by a fairly unknown animation studio called Brain’s Base.  The soundtrack is beautifully rendered jazz era style music.  The English language dubbing has quality voice acting with great New Yorker dialects.  Due to the language, alcohol usage, and extreme physical violence, both with guns and fists, this series is best suited for adults.  People, who enjoy a puzzling storyline and want to experience the world of Prohibition-Era America, should try this anime; everyone else, wait until it is in a box set to see how the story completely unfolds.


-- Kristin Fletcher-Spear