Baccano! is one of those stories where multiple, seemingly unrelated plot-threads go their merry way, and it all ends up in a large tangle of intrigue and confusion. Add the fact that the series is not set up chronologically, and you get quite a few surprises.
Normally, that would be irritating, but in this series the pacing is at a break-neck speed, and the revelations stack on top of eachother so fast, you just don't get the time to sit back and think about it all.
Most of Baccano! is set in the 1930's in the US. Most of the action is aboard the Pussyfoot Express, a trans-continental train to New York. There are a pair of thieves, an immortal kid, a mob hitman, a murderous gang, a gang who wants to get someone else out of jail, something secretive that a congressman is having transported by his wife and daughter... And all throughout, we get flashbacks as far back as the 1700s that explain how it all came to pass. As the series progresses, we get to understand how and why the people aboard the train are doing what they do -- the story is quite convoluted, and depends on a few coincidences here and there...
Undisputed stars of the series are Isaac and Miria, the pair of thieves. Instead of stealing money or goods whenever they can, they do 'themed' heists. Isaac thinks up some hare-brained plan on how stealing something will make the world a better place, and Miria always agrees with him. They are a part of almost every plot thread, but they are such idiots that they don't understand what is going on -- they simply stumble through whatever it is that happens to them, and always emerge unscathed! At the start of the series I thought they were completely stupid and irritating, but by the end of the series I was cheering for them.
The music is quite something too. Lots of up-tempo trumpets, to give it that 30's swing! Voice acting is excellent, though Miria's voice is so high that only dogs can hear her...
Animation is very smooth, and the series is quite dynamic. There are some quiet parts, but most of the action is quite lively, and this is animated very well.
- Crazy intertwined plotlines;
- Oozes with style.
- It takes quite a bit of time before you understand what is going on.
Luckily, it's only 13 episodes -- with this amount of action, any longer would have stretched the formula. It's a rollercoaster ride filled with fun! I'll give it a 8.5.