Stay on track - Baccano! simulwatch [RS] (14/02 - 01/03)

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
Have you lads no shame?? How can I, notoriously late always and forever, be the first to post here?! Hoooow.

01

Ok, get your notebooks - 18 named characters in the OP, good luck with the rest along the show. Norio Wakamoto sweetly whispering in our ears as to the specificities of journalism ethics and storytelling eases you into the whole thing.

Bro, supernatural mobsters is so hot as a concept. I've only ever seen this and played The Darkness games but it's so right. It feels right. It feels goood.

Everyone is here - watching this with knowledge of what happens and who's who is interesting, a lot of the main characters show up during this episode. The result is you want to know more and where the whole thing is going. Everything is still extremely tangled though, but all becomes clear along the way.

Much of Narita's style relies upon selling you seemingly extremely stereotypical characters and then pulling the rug from under your feet and showing you they're also much more. It's cool. When looking at it from a more cynical point of view, it may seem forced but as I said before, Baccano is a 10/10 for me and DRRR!! is very close to that. Baccano had an energy the likes of which I'd never felt before watching anime - excellent stuff.

Poor upscale, though.
 

WMD

Mad Scientist
Episode 1

What an opening tune. Love the way it's animated too giving us all the casts names. The first time I watched it felt very helpful every episode to have that visual run down of all the main ensemble.

I don't want to say too much so as to avoid acciental spoilers but I do like how the show opens with a conversation about where this story should begin which really sets up the non linear style the story is told in.

The cast is great too. It's large sure, and we've only got a few little tasters in episode 1 but as it goes along everyone gets their moments to shine. And we've already got quite a number of what's going on here?! questions to sink our teeth into.

Ultimately I just find this show has an effortless coolness. From the mad cast, great music, insane violence and non linear storytelling. It all works so well for me. Also given the characters are mostly classic American gangsters the English dub actually adds a lot in my view in setting the tone and sound for the show.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Episode 1

I'm watching in subbed, but if I would watch any dub at all, apparently this is a good one to do because as you say, it's setting lends itself to it.

Apologies for being later than you @João Gomes, I've had a few issues with the old Chia farm today that have taken a lot of my time after work sorting out :(

Right. into things we go, coming from someone who has seen maybe the first handful of episodes before and can't remember a lot of details, this anime has an interesting way of introducing itself. The OP is really good, not my fav style of music, but it's nicely made and the theme really fits the aesthetics they are going for.

I liked how they introduced our narrators as also being part of the story, and using a discussion about where to start as a narrative device to show us these potential beginnings, and also to introduce the characters. One thing I will say is that for a stacked cast like this, it's good to see a high level of attention to detail on each of the characters. We don't get copy-paste characters here, each one seems to have a unique design and feel.

I remember not disliking this last time I saw it, but I think it was a little overwhelming at the time, and I was probably watching a few other things at once. Now I'm a lot more focused on just 1 or 2 shows at a time so I think I can share my brainpower with this one better this time (hopefully!).

It's a very interesting setting and the non-linear style of showing things can work well, it depends to me a little on just how much we jump about, and whether I can tell we're before or after certain events. The first episode appears to show the aftermath of the train journey they haven't really started yet, whilst simultaneously showing us the start of said train journey, so there's clear skipping about, but I kind of hope we stay mostly on track (see what I did there? :cool: ) perhaps with the odd flashback, at least then I can follow along with events better.

I watched Kyousougiga recently and I disliked how much we jumped about in that show, it was all over the place and as a result hard to follow the timings of events, but I'll give Baccano! a chance to prove itself in the coming episodes.

Overall I enjoyed episode 1 and the setup it brings.
 

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
@Lordhippos I feel like the jumping around the narrative here is pretty well handled because you always have the main thread, which is the Flying Pussyfoot. The story jumps here and there but it's to give you context and insight into the characters and the world - then, it comes back to the train. I remember it being pretty well handled - I think I only watched this the one time.

02

Under spoilers and sooner because I'm probably not coming back to this any time soon - hope I'm wrong.

Lots of pieces on the move - allegiances, dispositions and intentions. Isaac and Millia are such adorable dorks, love them.

Jacuzzi is like that annoying perverted c-nt from Demon Slayer if he wasn't annoying and was actually a good character. Love this kid!

Didn't remember the final scene happening so soon into the anime!

Eh, don't have a whole lot to say in the end, so not a lot of spoilers - but just to be safe.
 
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Lordhippos

Thousand Master
You posted episode 2 because you can't post it tomorrow? does that mean you should be back for episode 3?

It's fine to skip ahead and spoiler tag it, I can read it tomorrow :)
 

WMD

Mad Scientist
Episode 2

God Issac and Miria are so much fun. Their jovial naivety is so endearing and they sure find it easy to make friends while on a crime spree! Very much enjoyed the joke where Issac says "its all you can eat!" And the barman under his breath says "no its not!"

The bulk of this episode is setting the scene and the players on the train. A powder keg of factions. A melting pot of motives. And a creepy ghost story or two.

The way the episode ends as well. Argh I just want to binge it!
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Episode 2

On with the journey, I think I remember the antics of Isaac and Miria the most from my previous watch attempt, but some minor other details creep in as well that I kind of recall. Stealing gold from the earth indeed!

Love the conductor with the instant death flag ending, "oh it's my last trip I'm retiring" followed by instant death 🤣

The train robbery is the thing you do when you rob some gangsters, then you ride a train right? if you have time maybe you rob the train you are using as the getaway vehicle.

I can definitely see how this setup of bundling these characters into the same place and then letting slip the dogs of war will be interesting to watch unfold. The varying factions each with their own goals and agendas will certainly lead to confusion and chaos I sure of it.

For someone with a face tattoo, Jacuzzi sure doesn't like being the centre of attention.

Cliffhanger ending o_O 🔫
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Have you lads no shame?? How can I, notoriously late always and forever, be the first to post here?! Hoooow.
Aha! Worry not good sir, for I, forever-late-a-lot will hold the fort for all lovers of tardiness! Right, enough rubbish, I've caught up on the first two episodes and will likely parrot what you all have said. I had no idea what this one was about but so far I'm very much enjoying the many layers already being woven in this bizarrely amusing mix of supernatural gangsters (for some equally bizarre reason a mash up of The Godfather & Carnivale came to mind) with a great start with the two observer?/narrator characters. As usual I'm watching with subs, but probably for the first time feel like I should be watching it dubbed. The focus on the Baka futari pair of Isaac & Miria in the second episode was hilarious and I very much liked the potential foreshadowing of hidden depths made by scar? lady wondering whether they're actors.


What an opening tune.
I quite liked it too and the headshot list of the many characters in the OP will no doubt serve as a useful key in this short series with a huge cast. The ending theme sounded very much like Kajiura's elegant handiwork and I confirmed that being the case after a quick look on ANN.
Also given the characters are mostly classic American gangsters the English dub actually adds a lot in my view in setting the tone and sound for the show.
I'm watching in subbed, but if I would watch any dub at all, apparently this is a good one to do because as you say, it's setting lends itself to it.
The dub being good would be an ideal excuse for me to re-watch in English next time around heh.
Love the conductor with the instant death flag ending, "oh it's my last trip I'm retiring" followed by instant death 🤣
That was pretty damned funny, almost as much as Isaac and Miria's antics heheh.
The way the episode ends as well. Argh I just want to binge it!
Cliffhanger ending o_O 🔫
It is most certainly feeling very bingeable! At times I think dense shows like this are better binged whilst the subtle details are fresh in the mind, but conversely at others I feel like it's best to take time for the dense plots to settle and stew without becoming overwhelming. Hopefully an average rate of one episode a day shall remain the sweet spot.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Glad to have you aboard the Flying Pussyfoot @Geriatric hedgehog - you missed the first station but rendezvoused (I actually spelt that right first time! :cool: ) with us at the second one!

Given how much seems like it's going on here, I wonder if pacing this kind of thing out would actually be preferable, I think so at least so far, you get a bit of time to digest the events.
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
Your spelling comment made me chuckle: it certainly induces a double-take doesn't it? I think the usual pacing would balance things nicely here, so that there's time to digest without forgetting what happened a few episodes back hopefully (which in my case is still probably asking a lot heh).
 

D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
Im_late.gif


Episodes 1-3
First time and watching dubbed.
Very quick thoughts...
  1. Apart from the OP which is pretty cool there were too many characters introduced in a haphazard way so I got no sense of who most of them are apart from a lot of them are violent thugs... and immortal apparently which is not what I expected. I thought from what little I knew it was going to be a fun caper with the blonde and the cowboy and nothing hinted at supernatural stuff.
  2. Settled down and actually started to tell a story.
  3. Started telling another story, I assume some time before the train story which briefly appears here, as the blonde and the cowboy are at once on the train and going into a shop.
Seems like another LN adaptation forgetting that anime is a different medium. In a book you can introduce characters 1 chapter at a time or even if you do a few per episode the readers have time to go at their own pace, but with only 13 episodes there isn't enough time so they had to cram introductions into 1 episode. Seen this compared to Tarantino or Guy Ritchie, but they had 3/4 stories tops and quite easy to follow before they collided. This has 18 characters and they seem to come in pairs, so that's 9 stories and some are already colliding.
Still there's some intrigue, so still looking forward to continuing, probably in another batch at some point.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Episode 3

Information shops sound interesting, I've never heard of them existing, are they based on a real thing? Information networks are espionage bread and butter, but usually it's done in a more cloak and dagger fashion, here we can waltz into a shop and buy it.

Ladd has a few screws loose, as does the girl with him. I'm sure I've heard of loving someone to death, but she's taking it a little too literally I think.

We have a strange elixir being brewed that seems to grant (or is it curse) people with immortality, not only that but he appears to have drunk some himself given how he wound up.

This episode shows two things, never bring a knife to a gun fight (the cart robbery). Never bring a knife to a fist fight (the alley way brawl). Guns or fists only. Important life lesson right there.

Rail Tracer appears and we finally link back to the mind blowing 🤯 ending of episode 2, with the train in full momentum, what will Rail Tracer get up to next?
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
@D1tchd1gger sorry for double post hit send on previous one too soon!

That was my issue with it before, a lot going on character wise straight away. I like to try and learn the names of the most important characters as I go along, but here it's extra difficult due to the number of them.

I'm not too lost yet, we'll see if that changes :)
 

WMD

Mad Scientist
Episode 3

Another great epsiode. The tension on the train reaches a fever pitch as three factions make their move at the same time and Jacuzzi encounters a gruesome scene. This show really is great at cliffhangers! Also I love how mad and OTT Ladd is. The guy is so deranged but at the same time is loving life (or at least loving ending others lives). And yet is full of charismatic and just draws others to him!

The meat of the episode happening back in the city and Fieros little beat down is fun to watch; especially given how much of an a-hole Dallas is. Szillard sure is grumpy for a man who managed to defeat death!

In a book you can introduce characters 1 chapter at a time or even if you do a few per episode the readers have time to go at their own pace, but with only 13 episodes there isn't enough time so they had to cram introductions into 1 episode.

That was my issue with it before, a lot going on character wise straight away. I like to try and learn the names of the most important characters as I go along, but here it's extra difficult due to the number of them.
Honestly for me the style of this show is one of my favourite things about it. I love how we slowly put the pieces together and build the full picture. An early example we've seen already being Jacuzzi bumping into Ladd last episode and then in this one we follow Ladd until he bumps into Jacuzzi and we are now building the events timeline accordingly. It adds to the fun of the show for me.

Also I like how we get these teasers for characters in epsiode 1 but then get to see them in full action later on as the show progresses.
 

Gemsy-chan

Soul Reaper
I'm not doing the simulwatch but Baccano is one of my all time animes. Just wanted to but my 2 cents in as I'm also reading the light novels.

Basically the anime is mashing together vols 1, 2 & 3 of the LN. Vol 1 is the stuff in New York and vols 2 & 3 is the stuff on the train. The novels don't skip around with the time frame like the anime, they focus for the whole novel on that time frame and incident.

I would love for Baccano to have a sequel as there is some stuff in the later novels that would look so good animated.
 

D1tchd1gger

Akatsuki
now building the events timeline accordingly.
Problem is, I always forget stuff.
Firo's little beat down is fun to watch; especially given how much of an a-hole Dallas is.
See didn't even realise the dude was one of the named characters, just thought he was a random thug used to show that 'new hat guy' was a gangster with a heart.

The novels don't skip around with the time frame like the anime, they focus for the whole novel on that time frame and incident.
Interesting. Wonder if they f**ked around with the story like that with or without the blessing of the author?
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Honestly for me the style of this show is one of my favourite things about it. I love how we slowly put the pieces together and build the full picture.

I think for me time will tell how much I appreciate it, it's far too early for me to say really!

See didn't even realise the dude was one of the named characters, just thought he was a random thug used to show that 'new hat guy' was a gangster with a heart.

Honestly I thought the same! :D

I'm not doing the simulwatch but Baccano is one of my all time animes.

shame-go-t.gif
 

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
I think no one (I'm tired) is expecting anyone to remember all the named characters in the OP, not even the creators lol - the series eases you into it pretty well!

Anyway, Jacuzzi is a good boi, wanting to save everyone from the rail tracer, but yeah, it's a bit late for that oops.

Ladd is a Madd lad amirite. We already know how he gets off the train prematurely, with a bit of a scar to boot 👢

I started watching episode 4 yesterday but I've been so tired I can't even finish singles episodes 😴
 
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WMD

Mad Scientist
Episode 4

Every scene with Ladd is just something else. The guy makes your usual unhinged crazies seem completely normal! The ga t he's so competent just adds to how menacing he can be.

More fun with Issac and Miria later in the episode. I honestly love every second they are on screen. Their interplay and dialogue is so good and funny. And all the different ways people are apathetic to them is hilarious.

So I thought Szilard was the grumpy old man in the alley getting roughed up last episode but it's actually a different old dude while Szilard is making arrangements. I'm pretty sure I've made that mistake every single time I've watched the show lol. Oh well.

And another creepy cliffhanger on the train!
 
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