Oct 31, 2011
Otaking09 (All reviews)
In anime, we should automatically celebrate when something like Baccano is tossed away. We should revel in what a delicious candy we are gorging down... but also realize that its still a candy.
It's Toblerone, but still just a chocolate bar (no pun intended on how the title is used in the OP)

I've always seen the show as a tribute to gangster/crime tales; it has quite a bunch of gimmicks:
1. A Bonnie and Clyde
2. Multiple gangs that exist for character development/a place to rest.
3. Uncouth scenarios
4. Uncouth villains and hearty heroes.
5. Intentionally incomplete ending.
I could stop here and just call Baccano "fanservice", but since that word has been commonly used negatively to describe shows like Madoka as lazy, I will call Baccano inspiring; especially for an anime.

To figure out things is beyond the point. At least for the first time you watch.
Yes, first time; its highly unlikely you'll retain any information at the rate the show gives it so you'd better just find something close enough to your liking or risk ruining the show by taking notes needlessly.
Why is it needless? Because the show is too short for any notes to really matter; everything that has to be said, is said. just might see it differently the first time, get it?

To mention all the characters and how great all of them are would be a waste since none of them by themselves are that great, and collectively... well, go back to my previous point on "what to expect for your first time".
The best characters in the show are based on how they respond to the things that they are not used to, so at least characterization happens the old fashioned way (lol)
This makes the stand-outs a very short list, for better or worse.

Musically and aesthetically, the show is a tad jaded with character design, but smooth in every other aspect.
Brain Base is currently taking precedence as one of the best studios, with Baccano being the tip of the iceburg. For a mobster-esque show to be its stalwart symbol could be the shows highest compliment...
Plenty of jazz, plenty of suspense, and loads of intensity. I gladly put chips down on there being something for everyone... but perhaps not laid out equally.

I said before that it takes multiple viewings to get everything; a bad and good thing in Baccano's case.
Baccano doesn't have much besides fun which congregates that much attention being channeled again. For all of its craft, to be nothing more than an incoherent blast that we can replicate over and over again, only to pick out a few more details each time, doesn't beget greatness.
Stuff like Ergo Proxy and Neon Genesis juggle quite a lot despite being vague up until the end.
In Baccano's end, be it the OVA ending or TV, has things settle quite finitely going against its source spirit.
Hey, I know its unusual in anime but if you're gonna set the bar, you still have to make the jump!

So I don't consider Baccano to be new classic as some would put it.
It, as its name translates, is way too much ruckus. I could compare the entire series to an extravagant party where everyone has having a rockin' good time... except you're trying to hear what everyone is saying.
It's nice in Baccano's case that you can whip up the party at your leisure, but man's senses can only do so much.
Takahiro Omori did his best to translate the party from paper to... paper so that, again, is another good reason to watch.

Letter Grading Time (LGT)
Story: C+ (you're not watching it to comprehend)
Art: A- (captures America smartly and smoothly)
Music: B+ (works well, but doesn't push itself)
Animation: B (a bit stiff and sore, but mans up when necessary)
Characters: B- (Not everyone are chess pieces and when they are, they still blend)
Enjoyment: B (Is less boring than one would think given its atypical content, but its no Pulp Fiction)
Overall: B (Experimental, unstable, and crazy; mission accomplished)