Mark Watches ‘Baccano!’: Episode 13

In the thirteenth episode of Baccano!, the characters celebrate the lives that they have. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Baccano!

“Both the Immortals and Those Who Aren’t Sing the Praises of Life Equally”

  • You know, I don’t actually know how there are three OVAs after this! I know that this show will make more sense if I ever find the time to re-watch it; a lot of my questions about this have been answered, but the show is also deliberately ambiguous about a lot of things. I actually do like the idea that this all was a chaotic portrait of multiple people, all who came to interact with one another because of what happened aboard the Advenna Avis all those years ago. It means that some people get closure and happy endings, and others… well, they don’t get anything close to that. This isn’t a tidy finale at all, but it did satisfy me on a number of levels.
  • Chane is a bizarre character, one who is utterly devoted to her father, so much so that she accepts a marriage proposal from Claire. Her reasoning? Claire will protect her father. Which… okay, I get why she’d think this was a good idea. I think I just wanted more from Chane. What else do we know about her as a character? Is her entire purpose a reflection of Huey, who we barely saw to begin with? Does he ever play a bigger part in this narrative? How did he ever get so many “followers”? What kind of relationship could Claire and Chane ever have? Perhaps that’ll be addressed in one of the upcoming OVAs, I don’t know. At least I now know how she ended up in the river!
  • Oh lord, Jacuzzi’s development over the course of this series is one of my favorite things. If this episode’s title is any indication, then many of the stories here are about affirming life. And that’s what Jacuzzi comes to understand finally: that his life is worth it. That it’s worth it to be afraid, to love someone, and to put your life on the line for the people you care about.
  • Also, that Nice’s cherry bombs are amazing.
  • And also that you can make a person explode by shoving them off a train onto the tracks below while they’re wearing a flamethrower. That shit was awesome.
  • Meanwhile, in 1930, I’m shown that I can’t even put basic plots together. At all. I saw that the box Isaac and Miria had was empty, and I didn’t think, “Hey, where’d the elixir go?” I knew that all of these people were alive in 1932, and yet I didn’t figure out that THEY ALL DRANK THE ELIXIR AT FIRO’S PARTY. Hey, at least that means I had a ridiculous reaction to the reveal that literally everyone was fine. That includes Isaac and Miria, who pelt Szilard with… something? Puff balls? Pastries? Balls of flour? I actually don’t know what that was. Regardless, their treatment of Ennis inspired her to turn against Quates. Oh god, how’s that reveal that Ennis is just the next one in a line of homunculi who always turn against Quates once they gain self-awareness? This show can be so fucked up with a single line, I swear.
  • Anyway, Ennis turns on her creator, who tries to utilize his power over her to kill her. OH GOD, OF COURSE HE CAN DO THAT. Thankfully, it’s here that we find out who all the Gandor and Martillo people became immortal, and Firo DEVOURS SZILARD QUATES. So that is why we don’t see him in the future!
  • I’m glad, then, that the show turned the narrative to Maiza, who had fought so hard to keep the secret of immortality from other people. It was necessary that he express guilt and horror over the fact that all of his family and friends are now immortal. And really, it makes sense that he’s the only person who’s not overjoyed with this development, you know? He knows that immortality can be a curse to humanity, and he never wanted to doom these people.
  • However, Firo knows that for the moment, they are all impossibly alive. After the events in 1932, it’s a miracle to him, and it’s why there’s an impromptu dance party in that alley. They’re singing the praises of the lives they’ve been gifted.
  • Of course, I think it’s important to put Maiza’s reaction here into the context provided by the events in 1931. That’s why it’s so crucial to understand Czeslaw’s history, why he came to New York to devour Maiza, and why Maiza would believe that immortality could ruin people. While most of what I’m going off of is conjecture, I think that Maiza saw how immortality tore him and Czeslaw apart. It took them hundreds of years to reconcile. Why would Maiza expose others to the same treatment? Why would he risk his relationship with the Gandors or the Martillo family or Firo?
  • Oh god, I also love the idea of Ennis being Isaac and Miria’s gift to her. THEY GAVE HER SOMEONE WHO UNDERSTANDS IMMORTALITY AND WILL HELP HER DEAL WITH HER OWN LONELINESS.
  • Isaac and Miria are so adorable, I swear.
  • HEY.
  • HEY, Y’ALL.
  • I think you could also read Eve’s story as one of affirmation, too. Despite knowing that her brother has done horrible things, she holds out hope that he can truly change. She inherently values the life of everyone, and it’s why she’d like to give her brother another chance by turning him over to the Runorata family.
  • Still, I just need to point out that the opening credits spoiled Dallas’s fate the whole fucking time, and I never realized it. (Similar to how I realized in the opening of the twelfth episode, Claire was in the opening credits the whole time, too.)
  • My favorite part of all this? The very idea that Isaac and Miria spent years in Manhattan (possibly staying there since 1932?), got stuck in the ’70s, and then lived thirty years completely unaware that they hadn’t aged. That is the best confirmation that they drank the elixir that night in 1932 ever. It’s beautiful. NEVER CHANGE, BACCANO! NEVER CHANGE.
  • How the hell are there three OVAs? WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY ADDRESS? Maybe some more Huey Laforet, some of Lua’s story, I DON’T KNOW. I feel horribly unprepared for this.

The video for Episode 13 can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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