Anime Vice News

Watch & Learn: BACCANO! #16

So that's the end, huh?

 I know all these characters, now, but I don't know if that helps anything.
 I know all these characters, now, but I don't know if that helps anything.

It wasn’t enough that BACCANO! gave me a vague ending that resolves maybe only 30% of everything - - it just had to dress that all up with a metafictional wink and nod that's brazen enough to extoll the virtue of leaving things unresolved. Sheesh… that’s like finding out that there isn’t any actual cake underneath all the frosting and the baker tells you, "That’s the point, man."

You know what, to hell with keeping an open mind. I’m going to call bullshit (not baloney) on this show. I’m really not someone who thinks stories have to adhere to three act structure or the Joseph Campbell monomyth to be considered worthwhile. The only story theory I subscribe to is that concerning unities in Aristotle’s POETICS. Put simply, if you’re going to show me a bomb, it ought to blow up sometime. If you’re going to set something up, you damn well ought to resolve it at a point.

This… this is just coy. You’ve got a lot of awesome characters, scenes and ideas that more interesting than most anything I’ve watched lately, but they’re never tied up into something worthwhile. What could’ve been a stellar series that I’d heartily recommend from every soap box is now a curiosity that’s only worthwhile to someone who’s already really, really in to this stuff. This honestly feels more like an artist’s concept book; a bunch of big leads that’ll hopefully inspire somebody else to do something better realized later. It doesn’t really work on its own, though.

I mean, even this episode has some great kernels of seeds. Claire asking for dating advice from the stowaway was absolutely brilliant - - it’s so fascinating to see this self-stylized omnipotent falling prey to the same skittish grooming concerns that any scrub would. Finding out that one of the mobsters was actually the demon all along is similarily intriguing, but it’s revealed in such a confusing way that I don’t know if I want to even bother to go back and figure out what it meant.

The Anime Vice community will find out what the next shows are tomorrow. I’m just hoping for something that just functions as competent story that delivers what it promises. It doesn’t have to blow my mind. It just needs to work.

Watch this episode "Carol Realizes That the Story Cannot Have an Ending" below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.  

  

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of  HYBRID BASTARDS!  &  UNIMAGINABLE . Order them on Amazon   here  &   here .  Follow him on Twitter: @tompinchuk

Lurkeroon April 7, 2011 at 7:32 p.m.
Reading your pieces on Baccano made me realize just how unmemorable this show was to me. All I could ever remember is how crazy the characters and plot got, that's about it.

Those first couple of episodes were good, but I wasn't as engaged as it went on.
Olivawon April 7, 2011 at 7:53 p.m.
Tom, you a busta. Baccano resolves everything that is unexplained at the beginning of the show! It has an ending, it just doesn't end with everyone dead or their futures totally certain!

Hell it doesn't really have one that I liked either, because I wanted more but no one in Japan bothered to watch it so there won't be any more because some people just don't know a quality production when they see it.

Baccano gets sixteen episodes and dogshit like Strike Witches is on the air year after year.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother with anime, you know?
metalsnakezeroon April 7, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.
Not everything has to end with explaining everything. Sometimes you must think up what will happen next.
Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamotoon April 7, 2011 at 9:41 p.m.
@Olivaw said:
" Tom, you a busta. Baccano resolves everything that is unexplained at the beginning of the show! It has an ending, it just doesn't end with everyone dead or their futures totally certain!

Hell it doesn't really have one that I liked either, because I wanted more but no one in Japan bothered to watch it so there won't be any more because some people just don't know a quality production when they see it.Baccano gets sixteen episodes and dogshit like Strike Witches is on the air year after year.Sometimes I wonder why I bother with anime, you know? "
Your second sentence is where you are WRONG! There are PLENTY of things the show didn't cover that're explained in the books. Example- Issac and Miria's encounter with an unnamed group in a couple of episodes where we see Issac's ear being sliced by a spear held by a woman dressed in attire better suited for Rio... and his ear miraculously being healed. This event, of course, probably taking place BEFORE the events on the 'Flying Pussyfoot'. I say it occurs BEFORE the train story because, in the 'flashback', we see that Issac AND Miria are surprised to see his ear healed instantly, like the cut never happened.

Please note that what I just gave is only ONE example of the story not being whole yet for rounding-out purposes.

And Tom- sometimes, a bomb is something to see NOT explode, as a few buddies of mine would like to tell you. The same can be said of stories- if they blow up too soon or too late, then it's not worth telling somebody else about it.
No_name_here staff on April 8, 2011 at 10:39 a.m.
@lurkero said:
" Reading your pieces on Baccano made me realize just how unmemorable this show was to me. All I could ever remember is how crazy the characters and plot got, that's about it.Those first couple of episodes were good, but I wasn't as engaged as it went on. "
I'd say it's like grabbing a handful of rocks and find some diamonds it. There are a lot of them in there, but they're hard to get to directly.
No_name_here staff on April 8, 2011 at 10:41 a.m.
@Olivaw said:
" Tom, you a busta. Baccano resolves everything that is unexplained at the beginning of the show! It has an ending, it just doesn't end with everyone dead or their futures totally certain!
Oh man... I got to watch it all over again?
Hell it doesn't really have one that I liked either, because I wanted more but no one in Japan bothered to watch it so there won't be any more because some people just don't know a quality production when they see it.
it wasn't popular in Japan? It seems to have a ton of acclaim outside. Is this like "big in Japan" in reverse?
No_name_here staff on April 8, 2011 at 10:42 a.m.
@metalsnakezero said:
" Not everything has to end with explaining everything. Sometimes you must think up what will happen next. "
Yeah, that's called writing my own story. Ay-oh!
No_name_here staff on April 8, 2011 at 11:01 a.m.
@Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto said:


And Tom- sometimes, a bomb is something to see NOT explode, as a few buddies of mine would like to tell you. The same can be said of stories- if they blow up too soon or too late, then it's not worth telling somebody else about it.
"
True, but their reason for not blowing the bomb up here seemed needlessly coy.
Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamotoon April 8, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk said:
" @Makoto_Mizuhara_Sakamoto said:


And Tom- sometimes, a bomb is something to see NOT explode, as a few buddies of mine would like to tell you. The same can be said of stories- if they blow up too soon or too late, then it's not worth telling somebody else about it.
"
True, but their reason for not blowing the bomb up here seemed needlessly coy. "
Coy as it may be, with some of these characters running around with little to no explanation to them, it almost seems pointless to have this three episode arc, knowing full-well that these were originally just DVD extras in Japan. If they wanted to (and knowing full-well they could have), they could've fleshed these personalities out and expounded upon their stories as they were in the light novels and continue the mindfuckery that is known as Baccano!
uber_skedyon April 8, 2011 at 11:12 a.m.
Personally I didn't mind having a pile of unresolved issues at the end of Baccano! The experience of the series as a whole was enough for me to overlook that. Also, I really think it was intended to have another season...but the lack of popularity in Japan hurt it here.

More importantly it really is the foundation to Durarara! (Or however you translate the title here...too many damn 'r's and 'a's ^^;). I think his style is much more refined there and doesn't come at the cost of the story. Baccano! was worth it for that learning curve alone.
Olivawon April 8, 2011 at 1:51 p.m.
I mean, what went unresolved? We know who the characters are, we know what the Rail Tracer is, we know their backgrounds, we know what they set out to do and whether or not they did it, we know if they survived or if they didn't, we know the whys and hows of immortality and who the villain was and if he succeeded, and we know why everyone was chasing Dallas and why people were robbing a train.

The only thing that goes unexplained is one scene in the first episode that is kind of out place but probably would have been resolved if the show had been POPULAR, and where Dallas is now. That's it! They had to leave SOME hooks in there, they did want to make MORE episodes after all.

Like seriously! Tell me what was wrong with the ending, other than the fact that it ended when you wanted more!
zaldaron April 8, 2011 at 3:46 p.m.
@metalsnakezero:  quoted for truth.  This is one of the best shows you have done.  And yes the fact that there isn't a point, is the point.  Does life have a point?  Do we acutally matter in the grand scheme of things...what is the quote from babalyon five oh yes G'kar has an ant on his finger and talks about how if you walk on a sidewalk and step on an ant do you think about the ant.  That is the point here, that for the immortals just like for us life really doesn't have much of a point.

Is it uplifting, well no, was it entertaining, well no not really.  Do I agree, well no I'm not a nihilist follower of Nietzsche.  But did it make me think and learn?  You bet.

Oh and god is this better than strike witches and yes how I wish there would be more of this....I wish the novels would be translated but no chance of that at all..
Count_Zeroon April 8, 2011 at 6:36 p.m.
Tom, I suspect you might like Durarara!!!! a little more than Baccano, at least in terms of its ending. It does leave things open for a sequel (which makes sense because the novel series was still ongoing), but several notable plot threads are wrapped up, and the unanswered questions aren't total wall-bangers.
Dunchadon April 9, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.


How weird. I didn't feel the need to ask any more questions when the credits started rolling. I just saw this as a slice of the lives of some of the more interesting characters set in that world. They were introduced, we learned of their background, saw what happened aboard Pussyfoot and a little bit of what happened afterwards.

 

I would have loved to see more Isaac and Miria, but it'll do. So yeah, I was left satisfied.

Olivawon April 10, 2011 at 3:19 a.m.
@dunchad said:
"


How weird. I didn't feel the need to ask any more questions when the credits started rolling. I just saw this as a slice of the lives of some of the more interesting characters set in that world. They were introduced, we learned of their background, saw what happened aboard Pussyfoot and a little bit of what happened afterwards.

 

I would have loved to see more Isaac and Miria, but it'll do. So yeah, I was left satisfied.

"
Seriously.

You're the sorts of people who demand lame-ass epilogues in your movies, aren't you.

YOU'RE THE REASON THAT NO ONE SAW "IN BRUGES" YOU JERKS.

Dig Deeper into Baccano!

A colorful cast of immortals come back together centuries after they discovered the secret of eternal life to wreak havoc in prohibition-era America.

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