Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $29.98 US
Running Time: 100 minutes
Genre: Action / Fantasy
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now
Stories with no beginning and no endings and the love lives of immortals.
After viewing a single episode of Baccano!, you know you’re in for a completely different anime experience. It’s a story that isn’t told from beginning, middle and end but rather skips through various timelines to finally piece together the puzzle that connects each character to a fateful train ride as well as a secret society of immortals. Volume 4 of Baccano! reaches it finale as truths are revealed and some questions are finally answered in the accompanied OVA episodes.
In the last four episodes of the series, the horrific events that take place aboard the Flying Pussyfoot comes to an end as Ladd Russo is thrown off the train and Jacuzzi Splot – having summoned all his courage – fights Russo’s thug who favors using a flamethrower. While we seen Jacuzzi tremble and cry at the prospect of facing such a dangerous situation, he actually turns out to be one of the bravest characters in the series. On the same train, the Rail Tracer finds Chane Laforet still living and, strangely enough, professes his love for her and makes her an unusual offer.
On land, the survivors find solace in each another and it’s like a strange family reunion … of sorts. You see, back in 1930, the standoff between Maizo and Szilard comes to an end as Ennis (meeting Isaac and Miria again) turns on her master. Before Szilard could slay her, the crazy pair defend her only to be saved by newly made immortals that happen to include Firo. The bottles of the elixir have certainly circulated during the course of the series so let’s just say that the immortal clan has gained a number of new members. This first episode is actually the final episode of the series but, thankfully, FUNimation includes the three OVA episodes that flesh out some of the characters that deserved attention like Nice and her relationship to Jacuzzi. Plus, if what did happen to the other characters?
In the first of the OVA episodes, Eve Genoard – thanks to the three Gandor brothers – finally finds out what happened to her brother Dallas. The answer doesn’t only surprise Eve but it also surprises us as another connection to the elixir of immortality might be involved. Later, we are introduced to Graham Specter, a mechanic who wields a huge wrench and is just as psychotic as Ladd Russo … who just so happens to fight Graham and defeat him. Impressed with Russo’s fighting ability, Graham and his crew work for the psycho boss and their first target is Eve Genoard.
Meanwhile, Jacuzzi Splot’s men find Chane and the little crew befriends the mute girl. It is in these episodes that we get to see not only Chane’s past but also come to see Nice’s past as well. Speaking of Nice, we see why she has burn scars and wears an eye patch and why Jacuzzi tattooed his face. As Graham’s poor Intel has him confuse Chane with Eve, there’s in interesting standoff in Graham’s garage as Jacuzzi offers himself up to the psycho and there’s an appearance by the Rail Tracer who – not too long ago with the help of Rachel from the Information Brokers – has arrived to truly tell her how he feels about her.
With many loose ends finally tied up and many of the mysteries finally revealed, the story doesn’t truly end in the traditional sense despite the fact that we leave many of its characters cheerfully bonding over dominos with Isaac and Miria. It is Gustav St.Germain, the Vice President of Daily Days, who says that some stories don’t really have endings and that’s Ok. Some stories don’t have real beginning either but, in the end, isn’t it more fun to believe that all good things never really end?
Volume 4 of Baccano! is a fitting end to an outstanding and original anime series that brilliantly pieced together a riveting story that was exciting from start to finish. The OVA episodes even add to the story as well as offer an insight on a few of our favorite characters. The series as a whole is one of those anime series that is truly unforgettable and outrageously distinctive to the point that you really can’t just watch one episode without falling in love with it.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
As the story finally jumps away from the bloodbath aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, we come to learn a little more about certain key characters including the mysterious woman in the black dress named Chane. As the fate of Dallas Genoard is finally revealed, Jacuzzi Splot puts his life on the line for a new friend. Stories, as the Vice President points out, don’t always have to have traditional begins or have an ending.
VIDEO QUALITY: A+
At risk of repeating myself here, Baccano! does the bloody violence rather well and the action scenes really are quite exciting. This is yet another one of Aniplex’s best-looking series.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
The voice acting has always been strong in this series whether you like the Japanese cast or the English dub … which is my preference for this particular series. The original score by Makoto Yoshimori is amazing and we still love Kaori Oda’s closing theme song.
The DVD doesn’t bring anything extra for the final chapter in the series but at least there’s the audio commentary (with voice actors Joel McDonald and Chris Patton as well as Line Producer/ADR Director Tyler Walker). There are also trailers and the clean opening and closing theme songs.
At last, the world of Baccano! becomes a bit clearer as truths are revealed and new friendships are formed in the immortal clan as Volume 4 concludes this fascinating and thoroughly original anime. The final three OVA episodes has its great moments and an unusual romance. It has certainly been a worthwhile ride and this final chapter is a good way to end a story like this.
COMPLETE SERIES GRADE: A+
Filled with larger-than-life characters, bloody violence and a fascinating supernatural twist, Baccano! is the type of anime that doesn’t come along very often. It’s an original story that strays from the traditional and that’s what makes it stand out in the best way possible. We just can’t recommend this one enough if you’re ready to try something different.