From what I could tell Baccano! is a story about immortal gangsters in the prohibition era, focusing on the mob. This did not interest me, which is odd because the setting itself isn’t a turn off. However the show is rather violent and that does turn me off. Looking up the full story didn’t help when I learned the immortals can absorb each other, which is somehow more gross than lopping their heads off like in the Highlander franchise. Apparently it’s only the anime that is stuck in prohibition era America.

Created by Ryohgo Narita, and note that this link goes to a wiki that of this writing seems to be more for fans of the franchise than anything usable for research or for anyone simply curious so I had to use regular and questionable regular Wikipedia to learn a darn thing, the light novel series follows a group of alchemists who asked a demon for immortality. It granted it to them plus an elixir in the care of one man, while another wants to give out like crazy or something. The story has at least reached 2002 while the one season anime never made it out of the early 1930s. Even when I follow this series I don’t follow it. It’s not a show I’d really be interested in. I do however find the debate between subtitles and dubbing when it comes to anime interesting, and I do need to get back on schedule because March 2023 continues to throw distractions aplenty at me.

So I’m going to sit back and let the folks at Cartoon Cypher compare the US dub to the original subtitle. They say in the video that this dub is usually more accepted because 1930s America is the main setting but the debate between Japanese and English continues. Note that the following video contains animated violence and bloodshed as well as swearing by the characters and the guest co-host CDawgVA. With that warning out of the way, curious what people think.

The only real thoughts I have here is that while the original was through a Japanese lens Baccano! isn’t just something influenced by Western works like Trigun or Gatchaman but still ultimately Japanese. I’d look closer to something like Gunsmith Cats in which America is the setting (in their case Chicago) and thus seeing Americans using honorifics would make a mental disconnect. I go with English because I don’t want to go back and forth between the words and the images because sometimes I do miss something one way or the other. So granted an American production set in Japan wouldn’t cause me to seek it out dubbed in Japanese unless I knew Japanese. I don’t.

In the end though it’s the same opinion I always have. Choose the version you like and enjoy. Hearing it the other way may be interesting if you have the time but if not there’s so much media out there that you have to choose what and how you enjoy a good story. It doesn’t matter to me as much because this is totally not in my wheelhouse but it’s your experience. You decide what it should be.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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