Title: Baccano Vol. 2
Author: Ryohgo Narita (Story), Shinta Fujimoto (Art), Katsumi Inami (Characters)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Action, Mystery, Fantasy
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Volume 2 of Baccano continues to tell multiple stories while tying them all together. First off, Firo impressed his boss enough to the point where he is getting promoted to executive. Maiza takes Firo out to buy a hat, which would symbolize his promotion. There, they pass by a couple of whack job criminals who we will get to in a little bit. On the way back from the shop, Firo and Maiza end up noticing a fire. Firo darts off to investigate what’s going on and ends up running into a girl who is in search of something.
The story switches gears to the girl who is a chauffeur for Master Szilard. He has completed his special liquor… the Elixir of Immortality. He charged his chauffeur, Ennis, with going to pick it up from the brewery. However, the person who was responsible for delivering the liquor, Barnes, was ambushed by thugs and had the liquor stolen. He was ambushed after someone had set fire to the brewery and he had to flee, only saving 2 bottles. The liquor changed hands many times as the thugs who stole it left it at the Gandors.
Ennis goes after the thugs who stole the liquor and runs into our two whack job thieves, Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent. They’re two-bit criminals who stole things such as chocolate to doors off of a museum. Now they’re pretending to be modern-day Robin Hoods. They’re still committing crimes, but doing so in a way where they think they’re helping others, but they’re really not. It’s actually quite hilarious. Ennis’ run in with them actually lets her feel human emotions for the first time.
How all of these stories tie-in is the fact that the thugs left the liquor with the Gandors who were invited to Firo’s ritual to be crowned an executive who Ennis is looking for thank to Master Szilard’s knowledge, who has ties with Maiza over the origins of the liquor itself.
It’s one great big giant circle and I expected nothing less from Narita! Every story in and of itself was entertaining and I love the way they all intertwined and came together!
There was a lot of character development here. I’ll try and pick a place to start, but some developments bleed into other characters, which is great because it builds the world for the story to take place in!
Maiza’s backstory intertwines with Szilard’s. They were both in the same boat as they were traveling across the sea due to rumors of the Elixir of Immortality existing in America. Maiza ended up summoning the demon and was bestowed with the knowledge of how to make the Elixir. Everyone on the ship was granted immortality, but what they truly sought was the knowledge to make it. Maiza was going to tell everyone, but he felt it was in their best interest to only have one person know it as information like that is pretty dangerous.
The drawback to being an immortal is that only another immortal can kill you by absorbing your body through their right hand. Doing so will also grant you all of that person’s knowledge. Szilard went around killing immortals left and right in an attempt to gain the knowledge to make the Elixir himself. How or why he didn’t kill Maiza is still unknown, but 200 years later and he finally discovered how to make it himself.
Of course, making Elixirs wasn’t Szilard’s only specialty. He also dabbled in alchemy and created a homunculus. That homunculus turned out to be Ennis. As Szilard’s creation, she only saw herself as a tool for Szilard and Szilard only. She pledged her life to him and understood that she would be his tool until the day she died. This is why she was a bit surprised when she experienced human emotions for the first time after meeting Isaac and Miria. There’s a lot of sympathies that you get with the Ennis character. She’s easy to connect with and is, so far, one of my favorites just because of her personality despite what she is.
Isaac and Miria are, for the lack of a more professional term, just a couple of blithering idiots. Their robberies make zero sense and neither does their logic. Isaac claims to be tough, but even the menacing glare of an elderly shopkeep is enough to send Isaac running. Miria is just like an echo. Almost everything Isaac says, she either repeats it or reinforces it with over-the-top encouragement. Normally, I would find these kinds of characters annoying, but these two have a certain charm about them. Something about them just makes you smile!
While the first volume of Baccano was a little of the confusing side, the second volume was much more coherent. It still had Ryohgo Narita’s style of telling multiple stories and then tying them together… it’s like a Japanese version of Pulp Fiction set in the 1930’s with Narita’s supernatural twist to it. It’s a perfect recipe for entertainment, but unlike the Elixir of Immortality, this story won’t last forever. With only one volume left in this short series, it seems things will get wrapped up pretty soon.
Even if it is a short 3-volume series, Baccano is still highly entertaining. I know this series has been around in light novel and anime form for quite some time, but if you are like me and missed it the first time around, then this should be a great pick up for you… especially if you’re a fan of Narita’s other series Durarara!!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press