>DVD Box set review – Epic gang wars never die out

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In an earlier review, I criticized “Baccano!” for a plot which didn’t make sense. However, I had only seen the first volume. After watching all 16 episodes, I really enjoyed this series as a whole.

The “Baccano!” box set released in December showcases the best qualities of 2000s anime–epic battles, splattering blood, dense storylines and incredible drama.

You probably won’t understand the story of “Baccano!” from the first episodes. It looks like a mish-mash of random battles, mindless violence and unfinished storylines. However, the plot is quickly set into place in episode seven on the second DVD.

A group of alchemists meet a man named Maiza Avada aboard the Advenna Avis in 1711. He summons a demon to produce an elixir, giving all the passengers complete immortality. However, everyone also has the ability to devour other immortals to gain their knowledge.

The shrewd Szilard Quates plots to devour Maiza, but his plan is thwarted when the other people warn Maiza. He escapes by jumping overboard, only to reappear in urban America in the 1930s.

This anime is about far more than just defeating an immortal overlord. Characters such as Czeslaw Meyer suffer horrific torture from his immortal guardian. Eva Geonard is searching for her lost brother, who was captured by the Geonard family of immortals.

Meanwhile, the Camorra gang’s new recruit, Firo Pinocacchio, bumps into a mysterious woman named Ennis, who is working for Szilard. Szilard’s cooking up a new elixir which keeps people from aging.

To make matters even more confusing, a ruthless gang war ensues on a train known as the Flying Pussycat. The Russo family assassins, led by Ladd Russo, plan to kill all the members of the Laforet family. On top of this, a Rail Tracer is killing passengers on the train.

If all this sounds too much to handle, don’t worry. It all wraps up nicely at around episode 14. There’s plenty of gang wars, but the series isn’t all about gangs.

“Baccano!” is all about the everlasting bonds the characters make as they regenerate throughout the series. Characters such as Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent spread their goodwill to everyone by stealing money from the gangsters and giving the money away to the public. Firo helps Ennis socialize with his friends.

Even newcomers such as the mute Chanel LaForet learn to escape from their gang affiliations by loving other people. “Baccano!” might features some of the bloodiest battles in anime history, but it has a big heart. This series is about the unbreakable love between friends, even as people kill them numerous times.

Although you could say this is an evil series about a deal with the devil, this series keeps the hocus pocus witchcraft to a minimum. Instead, “Baccano!” delivers a dazzling story about unforgettable acquaintances and friendships within some ruthless gang wars in 1930s New York. This is an absolute must-see series that everyone has to watch at least once.

Image courtesy of seaslugteam.com

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Filed under Baccano, Box set, Brains Base, drama, shonen, violent

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