ANIME & MANGA - Review
11:00 - 9th January 2016, by Amanda Young

Baccano

Whimsical, complex, violent, action-packed and exuberant – and that’s just the opening sequence of Baccano. Featuring an extended cast of colourful criminals, this ensemble show is set during the Prohibition era in the United States, and concerns alchemy, the search for immortal life, the mob, murders, kidnappings, a transcontinental train called The Flying Pussyfoot, and plenty of double-crossings. If this whets your appetite, you should know that the show is just as good as it sounds – a crime caper with a supernatural bent, which juggles dark scenes of horror and death with joyfully hilarious interludes. It’s a seriously accomplished anime, with a host of colourful characters who are amongst the most memorable in recent memory.

The storyline bursts backwards and forwards through timelines, uncovering the motivation of the various protagonists. There are 18 introduced in the series’ credits, and it’s an incredible feat from the animation team that each one has a distinctive voice, personality, and look. Standouts include lovable rouges Issac and Miria, and well as the violent maniac Ladd Russo. Some of these characters are immortals who have been carrying grudges for centuries, so expect betrayals and revelations aplenty.

This set is the first time the series has had a Blu-ray release in the UK, making it the definitive edition for fans. It contains all 13 episodes of the original TV series, plus three bonus episodes from the OVA series. Although this slows the pace somewhat after the finale, these three episodes form an epilogue of sorts, and even contains some character development for Jacuzzi Splot and Nice Holystone. The set also comes in a rigid case with a digipack for the discs, and a booklet with bonus material, including interviews with the staff.

An incredibly funny and accomplished show – this is a collection that should be on everyone’s shelf.
SCORE: 5/5
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