Tired of his mundane life, Mikado Ryugamine decides to move to Ikebukuro, a district in Tokyo, when a friend invites him. With everything from invisible gangs to rumored beings, Ikebukuro is full of connected mysteries where people's pasts intertwine with the present.
Johnny Yong Bosch,
A Japanese businessman, captured by modern-day pirates, is written off and left for dead by his company. Tired of the corporate life, he opts to stick with the mercenaries that kidnapped him, becoming part of their gang.
Believing in humanity and order, policewoman Akane Tsunemori obeys the ruling, computerized, precognitive Sibyl System. But when she faces a criminal mastermind who can elude this "perfect" system, she questions both Sibyl and herself.
In Tokyo, an impenetrable field known as "Hell's Gate" appeared ten years ago. At the same time, psychics who wield paranormal powers at the cost of their conscience also emerged. Hei is ... See full summary »
The vampire Alucard, his master Sir Integra Fairbrook Wingates Hellsing, and his newly sired ward Seras Victoria, try to protect England from a war-crazed SS-Major who seeks to start an eternal war with his vampire army.
In the year 1711, a group of alchemists are granted an elixir of immortality, with the stipulation that they must kill each other until there can be only one. The now-immortal group unanimously decides it wasn't worth it and destroy the elixir; but one of them, Slizard Quates, starts to kill off his fellow immortals. To reduce the risk of Quates tracking them all down, the group separates and goes their separate ways. Neither of them crosses paths again till 1930, Manhattan, when Quates manages to create a new elixir of immortality. However, he loses it and it ends up going around town, taken to be a bottle of alcohol and unknowingly drunk by many residents. The drinkers of this new elixir include Isaac and Miria, an eccentric pair of thieves; the Gandor brothers, a Mafia family; and their associates in the Camorra, the Martillos (who employ some of the original immortals). Now, not only are a new group of immortals created, but the simmering criminal underworld is about to explode.Written by
Q. Leo Rahman
A multi-strand tale of mobsters and alchemy, 'Baccano' is the 16 episode story of a colourful cast of characters on the other side of the law (including hit men, gangsters, socialites, robbers and well, an alchemist or two) whose lives change over the course of three years (1931-1933) as they deal with the likes of a turf war, gangland murders, an elaborate train heist and the convergence of 'immortals' seeking the means to produce an elixir of eternal life. And that's just a quick skim! A fun and distinct period romp, 'Baccano' is told in a manner akin to 'Rashomon': jumping between different characters and times and seeing their effects on the story, and given our diverse cast, this equals a lot of possibilities. The train is the main anchoring point, and where most of the story takes place, but we cut back to prior years to help inform characters, as well as the bigger narrative of the show, which deals with immortals, alchemy and their ongoing battle. Despite all this though, the show is for the most part a drama with comedic elements (mainly in the form of cosplaying thieves Issac and Miria), and not a big whizzbang fantasy or action show. In fact, this would make a great beginner's anime, given how restrained it actually is and not using a lot of the 'eccentricities' that the form has become notorious for. If the West produced mature dramatic animated series, this is how I imagine it would look.
Animation is solid, sleek and dynamic without being hyperactive, the voice work is good despite some accents, and the 30s setting allows for some really neat recreations of the contradiction that was 30s America: really gorgeous skyscrapers and trains versus very dingy warehouses, dark speakeasys and slummy neighbourhoods. The large group of characters are also by and large rather likable and fun, even if they are slightly stock mafia archetypes, with special note going to the aforementioned Issac and Miria. They are such wonderfully charismatic and energetic goofballs yet not so much so they clash with the darker elements.
As far as complaints, I really can't offer much, except that having a big cast does mean some of them, as well as certain plot threads, are not fully tied up by the end, yet their introductions make them feel more important than they actually turn out to be. Plus, the returning immortals angle is not explored as much as you would think, with really only one episode being the focus and then a quick cap off at the end. I wish they did delve a little more into their lives and what the effects of living so long do to different people. However, the rest of the show is so engaging that it didn't become too big an issue.
In the end, 'Bacanno' was a neat little surprise. It's not 'FullMetal Godfather' as one may be lead to think at first, but it's an exciting and often lively romp through the unlikely blend of mob and magic. Not sure about anime because of all the fanservice, kawaii and ADD action? Give this a shot ya mug.
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