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It´s time to go to the old American way of life! The decade is 1930, and we are in the middle of a period known as the Prohibition. We can not get alcohol by the legal ways here, so the mafia has spread as mushrooms all over the big cities. It is an authentic kingdom of crime! However this is not the world as we know it, because there is magic lurking around the corner. A group of alchemists created an elixir of life, but in the middle of their ambition and greed, one disagrees to keep their precious byproduct as a secret. The guy, called Szilard, has his elixir stolen by the mafias, who start a crazy run throughout the Continental Railway.
Based on the light novel written by Ryohgo Narita and illustrated by Katsumi Enami, Brain’s Base recreated the maddening and mysterious world of Baccano! in anime form. Its format, consistent of independent plots focused on particular characters that come together in the end, has received positive critical appraisal. Baccano! has a mix of humor, action and horror that is difficult to find in a neat pack. Nevertheless, we have done our best to find anime combining historical inspiration, action, mystery, magic, comedy and a bit of slice of life. Ladies and gentlemen, let us go to the dark side to introduce you to 6 anime like Baccano!
Similar anime to Baccano!
1. Kyougoku Natsuhiko: Kousetsu Hyaku Monogatari (Requiem from the darkness)
- Episodes: 13
- Aired: Oct 4, 2003 to Dec 27, 2003
This anime claims to know where the famous One Hundred Ghost Stories from Japan came from! A certain Yamaoka Momosuke decided to travel in order to collect scary legends and tales all over the country. During these endeavors, he finds a team of supernatural detectives who call themselves the Ongyou. Momosuke will live mysterious and right down horrific experiences by their side, discovering the truth behind the legends he was seeking and questioning what is right and what is wrong.
Although Requiem from the darkness is probably the least similar anime to Baccano!, we have an exciting journey revolving around crime here, as with the Transcontinental train. The novel treatment of such a traditional topic as ghost stories sets Requiem from the Darkness apart. Its graphic style resembles inked drawings and the anime from the 50’s, with plain, basic colors and accented shadows. Requiem from the darkness also has a discreet usage of CG when the scene requires it. All in all, this is an accomplished and interesting anime.
2. Kuroshitsuji: Book of murder (Black Butler: Book of murder)
- Episodes: 2
- Aired: Jan 28, 2015 to Feb 25, 2015
What happens when your family is forcefully taken away from you (killed) and you are mistreated and tortured on top of it? You get inspiration from a bat, build a secret cave and learn to operate weapons? Nah, who needs to become Batman when you can make a contract with a charismatic devil? That is exactly what Ciel Phantomhive did. As the heir to the watchdog family for Queen Victoria of England, Ciel swears to avenge his parents and discover the truth behind their demise. He counts on Sebastian Michaelis, his devilish butler, to achieve his objective while he investigates other peculiar crimes under her majesties command.
The main similarity of this anime with Baccano is the supernatural features on a well documented historical setting. Black Butler has been a highly successful franchise, and it is easy to see why. The high quality of the animation, its elegant pace and the rich aristocratic environment invite the viewer to submerge into the plot. The two leading characters are well defined, and the subtle dark atmosphere only enhance their interactions. The latest chapter of Michaelis and Phantomhive adventures, the Book of murder OVAs, promises to deliver as much uncanny emotions as the anime show.
3. Le Chevalier D'Eon
- Episodes: 24
- Aired: Jul 2, 2006 to Feb 23, 2007
France on the verge of the French Revolution had a political environment far from peaceful. This is the story of a brother and a sister (D'Eon and Lia), involved with the secret police in those times. Still, nothing yells “this is a who-dun-it anime” more than finding a coffin floating down the river with Lia’s mortal remains in the very beginning of the show. And things just get better! D'Eon has to phase zombies and even becomes possessed by his sister’s soul, seeking revenge from beyond her tomb.
This is another anime with a supernatural theme embedded in a well documented historical period, just like Baccano! Le Chevalier D'Eon has everything to attract anime fans: beautiful locations, a well developed and paced mystery, a strong (and possessed) leading character, and zombies. Its adaptation of the real story behind the beginnings of the French Revolution is also a point on its favor. Le Chevalier D'Eon might as well as spark your curiosity, as it plays with characters who existed in real life, including D'Eon himself. Definitely recommended.
Any Anime Like Baccano! ?
4. Dantalian no Shoka (The Mystic Archives of Dantalian)
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Jul 16, 2011 to Oct 1, 2011
Let’s go back to England in the decade of 1920, just after the First World War. Our protagonist is Hugh Anthony Disward, who is lucky to inherit his grandfather’s property in such a time of economic disarray. Yet, as with all things in life, there is a condition. Huey has to take custody of the Bibliotheca Mystica de Dantalian, which is full of magical books that contain forbidden knowledge. The keeper of the books is a cute girl called Dalian, who dresses up as the most Victorian Lolita. Together, they will investigate mysterious cases involving the misuse of the Biblioteca, sealing the books back whenever is necessary.
Dantalian no shoka overflows with magic, which is also an important plot device in Baccano. Plus, we are talking about two animes based on defined historical periods. Dantalian no shoka is an anime for people who like Cardcaptor Sakura, Xxxholic and the like, with powerful beasts involved in an elegant setting. Even the music, character designs, and pace are classy. So, if you like your murders and mysteries with a good English-style taste, Dantalian no Shoka might be the option for you.
Dantalian no Shoka PV
5. Joker game
- Episodes: 12
- Aired: Apr 5, 2016 to Jun 21, 2016
We will move to a different setting now, travelling through time to a few years later, where the possibility of a Second World War could be felt in the atmosphere. Japan establishes an intelligence agency called “D Agency”under the commandment of the veteran Lieutenant Colonel Yuuki. The story revolves around eight spy agents from D Agency. These people undergo extensive training to get the best information out from other countries.
What Joker game has in common with Baccano is that the stories revolve around different crime and justice factions in well defined historical periods. Here we have an imagined recreation of the Japanese Intelligence services between the wars. The story is full of dangerous situations and action, as espionage and counterespionage are no laughing jokes. Perhaps what stands out the most in Joker game is the lack of supernatural powers of the protagonists. Their trademark is the ability to manipulate other people, so, the anime is also interesting from a psychological point of view.
Joke Game PV
6. Hagane no Renkinjutsushi: Brotherhood (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood)
- Episodes: 64
- Aired: Apr 5, 2009 to Jul 4, 2010
The quest of the Elric brothers to recover their bodies from their unfortunate experimentations with alchemy was adapted in an unforgettable anime on the year 2003. Ed and Al’s adventures included working for the police and solving crimes. They confronted dangerous homunculus and dominated the complicated laws of alchemy in order to survive another day. Nevertheless, the anime version of 2009 was adapted with a closer follow to the original manga by Hiromu Arakawa.
Of course we had to mention Fullmetal Alchemist here, as this is the most similar anime to Baccano. In first place, both are reinterpretations of well documented historical periods (Europe in the Victorian Era on the case of Fullmetal Alchemist). They both deal with alchemy. They also have a dab for comedy that other recommendations don’t employ as a reccurent plot device. And finally, they have family values as an important theme, although in Baccano!, they are more into the mafia family style. So, if you enjoyed Baccano!, you surely will like Fullmetal Alchemist!
As you can see, the last twenty years of anime have several options for the crime lovers out there. If we combine the attractiveness of the stories with a dab of historical features, real life scenarios, and a little bit of supernatural elements, we get enjoyable shows. We can even learn a thing or two about other times and places! We can also exercise our mind a little by trying to solve the mysteries before the protagonists do so. Others can simply enjoy the gorgeous visuals and the music from another epoque… but of course that none of it would be of use without well defined characters.
Therefore, it is the time for questions. Which other anime similar to Baccano! would you like to recommend and why? Which is the best part of watching such anime? The plot, the visuals, the characters? Don’t forget that we are open to all your comments and questions. See you soon!