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Lightnovel: Baccano!

"Depending on who you place in the same situation, the characteristics of said incident change kaleidoscopically. In other words, there is one incident. However, there are as many stories explaining it as there are people involved in it."
Gustav St. Germain

Series Overview
  • Light Novels
    • Baccano! The Rolling Bootlegs
    • Baccano! 1931 The Grand Punk Railroad (Local Episode)
    • Baccano! 1931 The Grand Punk Railroad (Express Episode)
    • Baccano! 1932 Drug & The Dominos
    • Baccano! 2001 The Children Of Bottle
    • Baccano! 1933 (Part 1) The Slash ~Cloudy to Rainy~
    • Baccano! 1933 (Part 2) The Slash ~Bloody to fair~
    • Baccano! 1934 Alice in Jails (Prison Episode)
    • Baccano! 1934 Alice in Jails (World Episode)
    • Baccano! 1934 Peter Pan in Chains (Finale Episode)
    • Baccano! 1705 The Ironic Light Orchestra
    • Baccano! 2002 Bullet Garden (A-side)
    • Baccano! 2002 Blood Sabbath (B-side)
    • Baccano! 1931 Another Junk Railroad
    • Baccano! 1710 Crack Flag
    • Baccano! 1932 ~Summer~ man in the killer
    • Baccano! 1711 Whitesmile
    • Baccano! 1935-A Deep Marble
    • Baccano! 1935-B Dr.Feelgreed
    • Baccano! 1931 ~Winter~ the time of the oasis
    • Baccano! 1935-C The Grateful Bet
  • Side-stories
    • Baccano! 1931? Great Punk Railroad Revisited (mini-novel/Drama CD)
    • Baccano! 193X: A man in the killer (1)~(5) (five mini-novels)
    • Baccano! 193XB: The Time Of the Oasis (1)
    • Baccano! ????: The illusional first and last episode

In prohibition-era America, a cacophony of stories stirs. Thieves, terrorists, mafia gangsters, and other elements of pulp fiction collide in a chaos of intrigue and violence. When a hapless alchemist creates an elixir of life that can confer immortality, a series of incredible events follow that spiral out of control, touching upon the lives of an enormous cast of characters.

Baccano! (Italian for "ruckus" or "commotion") originally started as a series of light novels (summarized here, with links to translations on the same page), and was adapted into a 13-episode anime (16 including the bonus episodes) in 2007. The anime adaptation is centered on three specific stories from the novels, taking place in 1930, 1931, and 1932 respectively, jumping around from one to the other quite frequently. Even scenes set in the same time period regularly appear out of order and overlap with each other, all adding up to a rather delicious non-linear storyline that is very rewarding if you keep your wits about you when watching. Each of these stories relates either directly or tangentially to the immortality formula and those individuals who have drunk of it, sharing some characters and having some plotlines intersect. Three extra episodes were released with the DVD, acting as an epilogue for each character and bringing the story full circle.

The 1930 story stars Firo Prochainezo, a rising member of the Martillo camorra family. Through a chance encounter with a mysterious young woman, he and several other characters are pulled into a plot involving a group of alchemists in a centuries-old conflict over the fabled elixir of life.

In 1931, disaster befalls the famed Flying Pussyfoot transcontinental train as it makes its journey from Chicago to New York. A terrorist/cult group known as the Lemures seek to use the train's passengers, including a US Senator's wife and daughter, as leverage to demand the release of their leader, Huey Laforet. Meanwhile, a gang of killers lead by the Russo family assassin Ladd Russo are trying to hold the train hostage to demand ransom from the train company. Caught in the middle is a group of delinquents originally attempting a train heist, who take it upon themselves to save the passengers. And amidst all this, a terrifying blood-red "monster" called the Rail Tracer has begun to murder people all over the train...

1932 deals with Eve Genoard, searching for her older brother Dallas following his disappearance after the events of the 1930 story. She soon becomes entangled in the rivalry between the Runorata and Gandor families, both of which also have an interest in her brother.

The extra DVD episodes continue off right where the 1932 story ends time-wise, and focus primarily on the arrival of Graham Spector, a friend of Ladd Russo's, as he seeks revenge for what happened aboard the Flying Pussyfoot. This arc also acts as an epilogue for the series, showing what happens to nearly all the characters while also filling in on some backstories and answering a few lingering questions.

The novels are formatted a little different than the animation as each book covers one major event. While they have not been written in chronological order, most books are best defined by the year they take place. Most books center on a single character or a small group of characters as a focal point for the story.

Baccano! is part of an overarching Verse of light novels written by Narita Ryohgo that includes the following:

Also, be sure to check out the character sheet for the who's-who on all the leads. Contains unmarked spoilers.

U.S. & UK residents can watch the entire series on FUNimation's YouTube channel as long they have a YouTube account. It's also available on FUNI's website, although it is unfortunately no longer availible on Netflix Instant Streaming. It IS available, however, on Hulu.


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     Tropes in both the anime and the light novels 
  • The Abridged Series: Here. Another highly amusing one here.
  • Acting Unnatural: On at least two occasions, Isaac advises Miria that the two of them should act casual to avoid suspicion. Isaac and Miria's idea of "acting casual" inevitably makes about as much sense as anything else they do - which is to say, none.
  • Adorkable Jacuzzi definitely, and even Claire has his moments, especially around Chane
  • Aerith and Bob: Eve, Rachel, Isaac? Meet Luck, Firo, Chane, and Jacuzzi Splot.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: After thinking that he is going to die, Czeslaw gets a pat on the head from Maiza instead of having his life force sucked from him as he'd expected. This, along with the love that Isaac and Miria had shown him, leads to his breaking free from his past woes.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Alchemy in this series allows the summoning of demons and was able to produce the Elixir of Life. Lampshaded by Szilard Quates, who's angry about the divorce from science, declaring that demon-summoning is not alchemy and complaining that devouring disregards conservation of mass.
    • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: So, naturally, the solution is to figure out why it can break the established laws of physics through empirical analysis.
  • All Myths Are True: The Rail Tracer. Actually subverted: The Rail Tracer we see is just what you get when you let somebody as crazy as Claire Stanfield have fun with an urban legend. Fridge Brilliance makes it better when you remember who started the Rail Tracer rumours in the first place after Isaac and Miria tell it to Jacuzzi, one of the chefs mentions, "That young conductor" had been telling the story for a while. Conclusion: Claire Stanfield invented his own urban legend.
  • All There in the Manual: While the anime is generally self-contained and understandable without the Light Novels, there's still quite a bit of backstory that doesn't find its way into the show — as well as the unanswered question of just who were those people who sliced up Isaac's ear in the first episode. And of course, if you want to know what happens after the anime events...
  • All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game": It's pretty much impossible to talk about Claire Stanfield without spoiling a hell of a lot of the 1931/Grand Punk Railroad arc. Of course, he's also one of the most popular characters in the series, and the Railroad arc is one of the most popular arcs, so nearly any conversation on Baccano! invariably will result in massive spoilers. The fandom usually refers to him as The Young Conductor before his reveal, and treats him like two different characters before and after.
  • Always Someone Better:
    • Ladd gets schooled in this concept by Claire.
    • And Ladd himself did this to Graham Specter.
    • Dallas has trouble accepting that Firo outclasses him in every conceivable way. He is, however, willing to admit Claire does, but also believes that his mere existence counts as cheating.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Szilard and Huey can be argued under this.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Can't go wrong with a name like Jacuzzi Splot. Also Luck Gandor, Nice Holystone and Czeslaw Meyer. Those are some pretty great names as well. Szilard Quates. Ladd Russo has a pretty nice ring to it too.
  • Back from the Dead: "Hey, Maiza, how come killin' us didn't make us dead?"
  • Backstory: The episode taking place in 1711 on the Advena Avis. The novels go further with two books taking place before 1711 and one taking place that very year with those characters.
  • Baddie Flattery: The more Ladd employs this with you, the more he wants to kill you.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The intro is a good showcase of the show's light-hearted tone and high energy. It does not, however, display much hint of the amount of gorn, gang violence, and overall insanity some of the audience might have wanted to look out for.
  • Be All My Sins Remembered:
    • Czeslaw has these moments as he questions if what happened to him on the Flying Pussyfoot was justice for him having killed his abusive guardian after a couple hundred years of torture. Nearly eighty years later he still questions if he is evil or if he is worthy of love.
    • Maiza has a little of this due to guilt over his dead little brother.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Edith comes to the Daily Days in hopes to buy info that may help Roy escape the wrath of the Runorattas. Unfortunately, the Knowledge Broker on call for that day, Henry, is only willing to sell her the information if she can get a testimony of the Flying Pussyfoot incident from America's most dangerous assassin, Claire. So she brings him to testify personally. Claire decides to give his testimony by reenacting his Flying Pussyfoot torture routine. He pays for Edith's info purchase, as well as one of his own, by only almost shaving Henry's face off with railroad tracks.
  • Because I'm Jonesy: One of the members of the white suit gang is unfortunate enough to get caught with this with the young conductor. It doesn't end well.
  • Berserk Button: In a cast chock full of Ax-Crazy homicidal psychopaths, this is a no brainer. Even the nice ones are prone to have one.
  • Best Served Cold: In the 2001 novel it is revealed that Sylvie drank the elixir solely so that she could eat Szilard one day. She waited until she was older to drink it so that he wouldn't recognize her when she attacked him.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Claire Stanfield thinks he's God, and considering the stuff he does he may not be too far off the mark.
  • Big Apple Sauce: Most of the time, though the light novels also include Chicago, San Francisco, a Town with a Dark Secret somewhere in Europe, a City of Adventure in Spain, and international waters.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Just about character is a mobster, thief, liquor bootlegger, Psycho for Hire, Torture Technician...
  • Blood Lust: More than one character spends large portions of the show drenched in blood. One dances in glee over it.
  • Boom, Headshot: No fewer than ten in the anime, and at least as many in the novels. Only a few of them actually take. And not only guns given there are quite a few instances where a similar effect is created with a knife through the skull.
  • Break the Cutie: If you are young and innocent in this work, you will fall under this trope. Czes, Eve, Mary, Sylvie and Gretto anyone?
  • Brooklyn Rage: Considering that many of the characters come from New York, and they're all badasses...
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: One of the main reasons that this show is so popular with female viewers is the surplus of good looking guys in suits.
  • Cast Herd: Part of the Loads and Loads of Characters leads to this where there are multiple factions of people with little identity beyond their group. Includes the the Martillo Family, the White Suits, and the Lemures for starters. The more prominent characters also tend to sort out into noticeable, if overlapping, groups. The more notable ones include:
    • The Martillos/Alveare crew: Firo, Maiza, Ronnie, Ennis, Czeslaw, Randy and Pezzo.
    • The Gandors: Luck, Keith, Berga, Claire, Tick and Maria.
    • The Russos: Ladd, Lua, Placido, Graham, Ricardo and Christopher.
    • Jacuzzi's Gang: Jacuzzi, Nice, Nick, Donny, & Chane.
    • Huey's crew: Huey, Liza/Hilton, Sham, Hong Chi-Mei, Christopher, Tim, Adele, Frank, Rail, Sickle, the Poet.
    • The Advena Avis survivors: Maiza, Czes, Sylvie, Nile, Denkuro and Elmer (Victor and Huey technically count, but they tend to stick to their own groups).
    • Isaac and Miria.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Despite having most of the characters wearing similar clothing each and every one has a unique facial structure.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Randy and Pecho's pyromania — "We've done gloves and buildings, but I think this'll be the first time we've lit a man on fire."
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Nick mentions that Nice and Jacuzzi have been dating for ten years. Neither of them could be any older than eighteen. Flashbacks show them as being something of an item in their childhoods.
  • Children Are Innocent: Subverted, almost always due to breaking the cutie.
  • Click Hello: Not surprisingly there are several instances. Luck Gandor pulls a classic one on Dallas Genoard, and the entire staff of the Daily Days newspaper do one en masse to a pair of Runorata goons who try to threaten Nicholas.
  • Closed Circle: the Flying Pussyfoot is effectively this while in transit. And filled with Xanatos Speed Chessmasters and Xanatos Gilligans who sometimes switch roles.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: Issac and Miria's escapades almost always fall under this. Refuge in Audacity allows them to get away with their crimes because they are beyond believable, and that when civilians notice their crimes, they usually think they're actors pulling a publicity stunt
  • Cultural Cross-Reference:
    • Issac and Miria tend to do this. Unfortunately because they are standout examples of The Ditz and Cloud Cuckoo Lander tropes, they are often bizzare in their inaccuracy and leads to frequent CMOF.
    • Firo is a member of the Camorra living in New York City. By 2001, he has mastered Japanese on his own through reading manga.
    • Elmer is in much the same boat - He learned Japanese from playing imported games and Visual Novels. After Maiza tracked him down in 2001, he decided to go join Denkuro in Japan for a year or so and spent the whole time in arcades and video game stores (as well as watch Shizuo hand Nile his ass).
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ladd versus random Lemures. Jesus Christ. Claire Stanfield versus anybody at all.
  • A Day in the Limelight: That's basically how the introductory chapters often works in the novels. Narita will Info Dump about a given subject, situation, or a character for the current arc, with another character narrating and interacting through the whole chapter. This is where Narita conveys how the narrator feels about the situation, their mannerisms, speech pattern and so on; making it a quick way to know the cast.
  • Dead Guy Puppet: Ladd makes one out of one of Chane's comrades.
  • Deal with the Devil: Though it should be noted that Our Demons Are Different. Very different.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Played with in the anime. Carol says Firo's the main character because he's "lead character-ish." Good luck trying to prove her right or wrong.
  • Devil in Disguise: Ronnie Schiatto is the demon who gave the alchemists immortality taken human form.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: Elmer's interesting way of distracting Szilard in episode 7.
  • Die Hard on an X:
    • 1931 — On a train! With three gangs hijacking at the same time, two serial killers, and three immortals! You almost forget hostages are involved, sometimes.
    • 2002 — On two luxury cruises! With one Cult kidnapping women for their purposes and hijacking one of the ships, one group of assassins getting in their way and hijacking the other ship, and seven immortals on board, two of whom are on their honeymoon. This time the hostages are barely mentioned at all. For indirect Lampshade Hanging, the prologue starts with a Mask Maker rambling about Speed 2: Cruise Control.
  • Dirty Business: Most of this cast consists of occupations such as The Mafia, Liquor Bootleggers, Psycho for Hire and the like.
  • Disco Dan: One of the CMOF attributed to Issac and Miria in the flashforward to 2001 at the end of the TV episodes.
  • Dramatis Personae: Both in the books and the anime, the latter of which is in direct homage to Snatch.
  • Dutch Angle
  • Dumb Muscle: Subverted - Donny, while the largest and strongest of Jacuzzi's crew, is arguably the smartest - he comes from Mexico and therefore speaks at least two languages (Spanish and English). He also never shows signs of below-average intelligence during the series.
    • Played straight with Gustavo Bagetta, Don Runorata's egomaniac henchman.
  • Dumb Is Good: Invoked by Firo in the light novels, who convinces Ennis to trust him on the basis that he's too dumb to actually think of betraying her. Then there's Isaac and Miria...
  • Dynamic Entry: Rachel's rescue of the Senator's wife and daughter.
  • Dysfunction Junction: If you are a character in Baccano!, there is something wrong with you. To show just how screwed up the cast is on average - The Only Sane Man is a Camorra-raised Street Urchin who inadvertently became immortal and acquired the Ghost Memory of centuries-old Mad Scientist.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: Immortals leave these when they are eaten.
  • Ensemble Cast: There is no main character, as pointed out by Gustav St. Germain.
  • Eternal Love: More than one couple counts, but Isaac and Miria are a good example.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The organized crime families that the protagonists are a part of usually have lines that they will not cross. Mafioso Keith Gandor, for example, absolutely loathes drug trafficking and has forbidden it entirely from his clan's territory. His brothers are less fierce about it, but they still don't like it.
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: The long-faced Gandor Family enforcer turned Daily Days flunky with the ever-present box of sugar cubes is never referred to by name until the last episode - when the Daily Days editor refers to him as Kakuzatou-kun (Mr. Sugarcube). In the novels, it's revealed that his name is Rubik.
  • Everyone Can See It: Most of the Martillos and Alveare staff find Firo's crush downright embarrassing in how obvious it is.
  • Excited Show Title!: Baccano!
  • Face Palm of Doom: "Devouring".
  • The Farmer And The Viper: Firo hands a handsome sum of money to a beggar, and almost gets mugged for his efforts. However, he's able to immediately serve the guy his just desserts.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Some of the characters are immortal and can regenerate any wound, but can still feel pain. This leads to some pretty gruesome, if unique, ways of torture. Particularly notable is the fate of Dallas and his crew at the end of the 1930 storyline; given Cement Shoes and thrown in the Hudson River to drown for decades on end. They get rescued after a couple of years, but even a couple years of that is horribly traumatic.
  • Foreign Language Title
  • Foreign Sounding Gibberish: A high percentage of the characters' names are this, and most of the exceptions are relatively minor characters.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Ronnie.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Flying Pussyfoot storyline includes a group of terrorists who wanted to hold a train and two important passengers hostage, not knowing that one of their number intends to sabotage this scheme (she in turn doesn't know that they were waiting for a chance to off her), a bunch of mafia-affiliated psychos who want to kill half the passengers and get the railroad to pay a ransom for the rest, a small but armed gang of delinquents who plan to rob the passengers, an immortal who decides the only way to protect himself is to have enough people killed that he can figure out who else on the train is immortal and kill them first, a pair of robbers making their getaway, and of course, the murderous Rail Tracer. Oh, and a reporter. Unfortunately for them, all of them chose the same train.
  • Gang Initiation Fight: Firo has a ritualised knife fight with Maiza to get into the Camorrista. Unusually, it only goes until first blood is drawn and fighting to kill is frowned upon. (As in, it will get you shot.)
  • Gangsterland: Everyone in the cast is either a gangster or connected to one. The plots revolve around bootlegging, hijacking, and gore. The mobsters themselves don't really fit the trope though.
  • Genre-Busting: The Mafia + Immortality + Alchemy by way of Quentin Tarantino. Then consider that this was done by a Japanese author.
  • Ghost Memory: One of the results of one immortal "eating" another.
  • A God Am I: Several examples, at least one of whom isn't even immortal.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: This being Gangster Land, its a really good thing, as some characters are maimed and killed repeatedly.
  • Gorn: Being essentially Pulp Fiction with alchemy!, you have to expect some violence. And by "some", we mean "an absurdly huge level of."
    • Fingore: You have to wonder just what Ryohgo Narita has against fingers, given the number of times they're utterly maimed in this series.
  • Guinea Pig Family: Huey and his daughters, Chane and Leeza.
  • Identity Absorption: All immortals have the ability to do this to other immortals. In the novels, "water" beings have the potential to do this to anyone who ingests their "water", although they run the risk of falling victim to it themselves.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: AKA Why Firing Celebratory Gunshots In A Basement Is A Bad Idea.
    Miria: Oh my God, Somebody just killed Isaac!
  • Immortality: Obviously, of the From a Single Cell variety. The Ageless is introduced in the later novels as well.
  • Immortality Begins at Twenty: Averted, as everyone who drinks the immortality potion is frozen at that age but enforced by Sylvie, who receives the potion as a teenager but deliberately waits until she's in her twenties to drink it.
  • Immortality Immorality: Both used and subverted.
  • Immortality Seeker: The entire premise behind the original 1711 immortals. After a couple hundred years, the wisdom of this is questioned to say the least.
    • This only applies to the originals. The rest of them ended up immortal by pure dumb luck.
  • Immortal Life Is Cheap: Most immortal characters die horribly at one point or another, some of them multiple times.
  • Immortal Procreation Clause: Averted, as immortals are no less fertile than any normal human. The catch is that the resulting children aren't immortal. Huey actually had kids to test both this and whether Lamarck Was Right.
  • In the Back: At the end of the 1930 arc, Ennis stabs Szilard in the back, literally and figuratively. The moral outrage normally associated with this trope is ameliorated by the fact that he totally deserved it.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Dallas and his gang border on this, being low on the sympathetic factor but high on the ineffectual part.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: At the end of The Grand Punk Station, the Gandors mention that Firo and Ennis have been living together for about a year without so much as a close-mouthed kiss. Claire briefly wonders if Firo's even human after hearing about it. This trope is also lampshaded by Nick, after Nice mentions that it's the first time that Jacuzzi had kissed her in the 10 years she's known him.
    "Geeze, being a gentleman is one thing, but that's just stupid!"
  • Insane Troll Logic: Graham sends a note to Jacuzzi's gang, telling him to come alone. So the entire gang shows up individually, claiming they all came alone. Graham, as the resident Fauxlosophic Narrator, considers this perfectly reasonable.
    • Also, Issac and Miria's robberies, which typically involve some form of Missing Steps Plan.
    • Graham recalls a time when "Professor Russo" gave him the following logic lesson: It's legal to kill someone self-defense, so if you tell someone to kill you and then kill them, it's totally okay. Makes sense, doesn't it?
      Graham: Does it ever! Philosophy 101, taught by none other than Professor Russo himself!
  • Knife Fight: And a damned cool one at that. It gets reenacted at cons a lot.
  • Large Ham: A lot. From the high engergy Cloud Cuckoo Lander Isaac and Miria, to the Motor Mouth Graham, to the Ax-Crazy Ladd.
  • The Last Horse Crosses The Finish Line: Despite being present during a huge explanation about how people came to be immortal, and sharing in the elixir itself, it wasn't until Isaac and Miria realized that they were immortal until they noticed that they had never aged a single day since the 1930s..... in year 2001. And even then, they never clicked it together just what had happened to make them that way.
  • Late Arrival Spoiler: The fact that Czeslaw Meyer, the seemingly young boy aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, is an immortal is a HUGE spoiler for the first three light novels, and yet it will be spoiled for almost anyone who is new to the series, mostly due to it not being treated like a spoiler in the anime.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Jacuzzi, as well as The Young Conductor AKA Claire Stanfield/Vino.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: In the opinion of Firo and the other 1930 immortals, although not all of the 1711 group would agree.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The opening sequence ought to give you an idea. In ninety seconds, seventeen characters are deemed important enough to pause, zoom in on their faces one by one, and display their names.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: Isaac and Miria are the world's best unintentional life coaches. Firo actually acknowledges it in Alice in Jails when he realizes he didn't try to physically assault Victor for pressing his Berserk Button - something he would certainly have done three or four years ago.
  • Loveable Rogue: Quite a few of the characters, considering most are thieves, assassins, or mafia members.
  • The Mafia: And the camorra.
  • Manly Tears: Parodied by Jacuzzi Splot. At first, this is just the signature of his 'crybaby personality'. During one flashback, however, it is revealed he does this DELIBERATELY, so that by the time he has to deal with a bad situation or crisis, he'll have cried his fears away and can get SERIOUSLY DANGEROUS.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Twice in the anime, both involving a male character tripping and falling onto a female character.
    • In 1930, Isaac trips and falls into the cleavage of an Alveare waitress, knocking her to the ground in the process.
    • In 1931, Jacuzzi and Donny collide with Isaac and Miria in a doorway and all four of them stuck. Jacuzzi, having grabbed Miria to keep from falling over, finds himself experiencing Marshmallow Hell after her dress rips in the process.
  • Mad Love: For Ladd and Lua, "I'll kill you last" is just as good as "I love you."
  • Meet Cute: Firo and Ennis.
  • Mook Horror Show: The Rail Tracer AKA Claire Stanfield does this with the Lemures and the Russo family.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Souvenirs are Serious Business. As are dominoes.
  • Nepotism: A unique take on the trope with Ladd. He's the nephew of the boss of the Russo family. He's not incompetent, just an Ax-Crazy psycho, but this trope is fulfilled as his uncle gives him a job as a way of trying to channel his violence into a useful end.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: Lampshaded.
  • Nice Hat: Hat shopping is Serious Business in Firo and Maiza's Camorra.
  • Nice to the Waiter: Claire rescues Isaac and Miria because they're good customers.
  • Neighbourhood Friendly Gangsters: The profit aspect isn't really touched upon in the anime, but it's played with and lampshaded in the light novels. By 2002, the Martillos' Camorra business is second to the family's chain of Alveare restaurants.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Oh, Claire...
  • Official Couple: Isaac and Miria, Nice and Jacuzzi, Firo and Ennis, Ladd and Lua, Claire and Chane, Tick and Maria, and Huey and Monica.
  • Older than They Look/Really 700 Years Old: To be expected in a series with immortals. Firo, pre-immortality, serves as the former, as — both in and out of the series — people usually underestimate his age (almost nineteen) by about three or four years.
  • One Steve Limit: Semi-averted with variations on a name. There's a trio and a pair of related names, although all belong to secondary or lesser characters: Gustav St. Germain (the vice-president of the Daily Days), Gustavo Bagetta (the mafioso who kidnaps Eve), and Goose (the leader of the black suits aboard the train); Nicholas Wayne (the information broker) and Nick (the blond member of Jacuzzi's crew).
    • And then there's the Felix Walken, of which there are at least five running around town.
  • Open The Door And See All The People: One of the delinquents walks into the buffet car armed with a knife. At the same time, representatives from the two groups of mobsters turn up with guns. He apologises and withdraws.
  • Paint the Town Red: More paint the train red in the 1931 arc with Ladd and the Rail Tracer, but plenty of other people are guilty of this in New York proper.
  • Panacea
  • The Power of Love: Subtly so, but in Baccano! even the most violent gang boss, vigilante, and serial killer is capable of deep, honest love. Such love, as shown with Ennis, Czeslaw, and Chane, can in turn make the coldest person show emotion.
  • The Power Of Trust: In the 2001 novel, Czes is confused about whether humans are basically good or evil, and worries that he isn't deserving of the unconditional kindness that Maiza and the others have shown him. Elmer responds to this by grabbing Czes's right hand and putting it on his own head, saying something like, "If you were so evil you'd eat me right now, wouldn't you?" and tells Czes that he should quit worrying about it and be glad that he has people in his life who care about and trust him.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: The shot Dallas takes to the forehead is downright tidy.
  • Playing Card Motifs: The opening credits sequence of the anime styles the kooky thief duo Isaac and Miria as the Joker, and indeed they have a tendency to shake up any situation they unwittingly wander into. The Dreaded killer-for-hire Claire Stanfield, meanwhile, is sometimes associated with the Ace of Spades in its capacity as the "death card."
  • Pulling Themselves Together: Immortals recover from damage by doing this.
  • Punctuated Pounding: Ladd gives one of the black suits a lesson in boxing history with words and fists.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Czeslaw Meyer, Maiza, Szilard, Huey, Elmer, Sylvie, and others from the 1711 incident.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: When the celebratory gun shot the head of the Martillo family fires is immediately met with "Oh my God, somebody just killed Isaac!" from the floor above (luckily, Isaac's Plucky Comic Relief status means it actually only went through the brim of his hat without touching him).
  • Red Herring Shirt:
    • In 1930, the entire Martillo family appears to be summarily gunned down by Szilard. Imagine his surprise when they come after him. It gets lampshaded when Maiza is asked, "Hey, how come killin' us didn't make us dead?"
    • In 1931, Claire Stanfield.
    • In 1933, most of the Mist Wall victims, who turned out to have been incomplete immortals.
  • Refuge in Audacity: How Isaac and Miria do everything. Leaping out in front of a trio of tommy-gun-equipped thieves wearing a samurai helmet and an opera cloak and claiming loudly to be Professor Moriarty is just one example.
  • Religion of Evil: SAMPLE, a Cult that designates a child to be their "sacrificial god" and brutally tortures them, believing that the child is a scapegoat for all the pain that the believers themselves would normally go through. There are multiple branches, but the three most prominent are the ones that hijack the cruise ship Exit, the branch that Illness was "sacrificial god" of as a child, and a defunct 300-year old branch for which Elmer was the "sacrificial god" until 1700.
  • Retirony: Tony, killed just seconds after he announces his retirement, has to be a new record.
  • Retraux: Used briefly to give a look inside a character's head, and also often used in Funimation's promotion of the series.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Claire goes on one after discovering that one of the white-suits killed his conductor buddy, Tony, starting with the murderer and extending to pretty much anyone who's vaguely associated with said murderer. It also turns out that the huge bounty on Jacuzzi's head is a result of one of these after the Russo family killed eight of his friends.
  • The Roaring Twenties: Technically 1930, but close enough in style.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: The hapless young train conductor from the opening sequence gets to be the first person killed on-screen in the story proper. Of course, he's actually Claire Stanfield, and not only does he survive, but he's behind the Rail Tracer murders all along.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: In 2001, the hidden village is able to exist unmolested by the authorities because of Szilard's connections being used by his descendents.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: About the opening of Reservoir Dogs, no less.
    "Then I guess I'm Steve Buscemi."
    "No, I'm Buscemi.".
    "I wanna be Buscemi."
    "Don't be stupid. How can a girl be Steve Buscemi?"
    "But he's Mr. Pink, right? That means it's okay for a girl to be him."
  • Self-Mutilation Demonstration: Both in the anime and books. 2002-era Firo likes doing it unprovoked. He thinks the reactions are amusing.
  • Senseless Violins: How the Lemures got their weapons aboard the Flying Pussyfoot.
  • Sexless Marriage: Firo and Ennis. They're still Happily Married - they've just never gotten around to the actual sex part.
    Pecho: I thought it was weird that they didn't have any kids!
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Abused thoroughly, no doubt in part because of the setting. Pretty much every other man, and even two of the women, have something for the suit fetishists.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Firo makes a reference to The Untouchables at the end of the first book. The 1987 film was what actually got Narita writing the series in the first place.
    • Placido Russo looks suspiciously similar to Johnny Caspar. For reference.
    • Szilard may be a Shout Out to a Real Life researcher of aging.
    • Almost the entirety of the Mask Makers in Bullet Garden and Blood Sabbath is composed of film buffs. This naturally leads to a lot of movie references, including an argument over who would be the Mr. Pink of the team.
    • In the English dub of the first episode of the anime, Bartolo Runorata says "You follow?"
    • The opening sequence, deemed one of the best in anime by many who saw it, is a 1930's style depiction of the first scene in Snatch.
  • Shown Their Work: Baccano! is pretty good about this. For example, it actually depicts the Hollywood sign saying "Hollywoodland," which is what it stated originally.
    • Rachel's scenes in the OVAs also take place in an easily recognizable Grand Central Station, right down to the doors.
  • A Simple Plan: If you are Firo, asking your crush if you can hold her hand is very, very difficult.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: The common, not to say universal, trend in Baccano! appears to be pairing up with someone who complements you in some way and then never feeling anything for anyone else ever again. Firo is a case in point.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Unlike every other character, Claire — the friendly-looking young conductor is conspicuously not identified in the opening credits.
    • Some serious fridge brilliance ensues when you get to episode 9 and realize that Claire's been lurking in the opening all along.
    • The reporters from the Daily Days newspaper, especially Rachel, are also missing from the opening. This is probably mostly just because the series has too many major characters to fit them all into the opening sequence.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Used by Szilard on the Advena Avis, both to keep people from realizing that he was the one committing the murders and to distract Maiza, whom he had overheard planning to kill him.
  • Smug Snake: Goose. Also, Huey.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: "Calling". Extremely noticeable in contrast to the jazzy upbeat opening, "Guns & Roses".
  • Something Only They Would Say: Both in-world and meta — Claire reveals to Rachel that he's the Rail Tracer by commenting on her train ticket purchases. For the meta-example, it's heavily implied that Ronnie is the demon summoned aboard the Advena Avis (and later confirmed) when he uses the same Catch Phrase/Verbal Tic.
  • Sorry I Fell on Your Fist: Jacuzzi, with regularity.
  • Speak of the Devil: Rail Tracer. Triple subverted.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Any character not introduced in the opening credits? We can confidently assure you that no one can agree on how their names are spelled. Getting the correct name for the Gandor family Torture Technician, for example, is so much of an exercise in futility that you're better off not even bothering.
    • It's most probably spelled as 'Tick' since his little brother was named 'Tack' (an usual variant for 'Tock' in some languages) and their original family bussiness was clockmaking.
  • Spit Take: Firo does one in Bullet Garden when Isaac and Miria indirectly announce his virginity to everyone in the Alveare.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • Ennis's being a homuculus (her image appears in a bottle of elixir; also, it's not too big of a spoiler, since we find out this fact on her second appearance or so) and Dallas's eternal drowning. You'd mistake it for a symbol, though.
    • Thanks to the Anachronic Order of the series, the attentive viewer will realize from the train station scene in the very first episode that Firo, Ennis, Maiza, Isaac, Miria, Czeslaw, and the Gandors will all survive their various ordeals none the worse for wear, and that Ennis and Firo will be together.
    • Aversion - Although the Young Conductor is featured among the mix of named characters in the opening, with the same amount of face time, he's not named. Although he is carrying a bottle of wine, or Vino
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Gretto and Sylvie had the deck stacked against them pretty much from day one. Sylvie is not happy when Elmer suggests that reading Romeo and Juliet can give them some useful advice on the situation.
    Sylvie: Please donít be so ominous.
    Elmer: Didnít you know? There's actually an afterlife in the world of that play. So after they die, they can meet up again—'Were you just pretending to be dead all along, Juliet?' 'Romeo, darling, youíre so oblivious.' They could laugh together afterwards!
  • Steal the Surroundings: Doesn't happen onscreen, but Graham Spector's first reaction to hearing that some other gang of thieves might beat his own to looting Millionaire Row is to order his gang to start dismantling entire houses to find the safes and carry them back to their lair.
  • Strong Family Resemblance/Identical Grandson: Huey Laforet apparently has the strongest genes ever, given that his kids and even his great-great-grandson looks nearly identical to him. The exceptions are his great-great-granddaughter Claudia, who instead has a noticeable resemblance to her great-grandfather, Claire; and his descendant Luchino who looks exactly like Monica
    • Outside the Laforet family, Szilard has an identical descendant whom we meet in 2001.
  • Stock Footage: The entire Visual Novel based on the Great Punk Railroad arc for the Nintendo DS revolves around this, despite its possibilities to create many scenarions not seen in the anime nor the novels, all of the illustrations contained in the game are just still-frames from any scene in the anime; the result is the possibility to read something completely new but not see anything different.
  • Summoning Ritual: Performed by Maiza in 1711.
  • Super-Stoic Shopkeeper: The clerk in the hat store.
  • Super Window Jump: Maiza jumps out the back window of Alveare to escape from Szilard.
  • Take Me Instead: Being a Martyr Without a Cause, Jacuzzi offers the bounty on his head to Graham as the ransom money for Chane.
  • Takes One to Kill One: True for immortals.
  • Terrible Trio: Dallas and his cronies, at least after their fourth member gets eaten.
  • That Came Out Wrong: A conversation between Nice and Jacuzzi —
    Nice: This is the very last cherry bomb I got. It doesn't have that much force, all right?
    Jacuzzi: ...Thank you, Nice. I'll hold it tight, and let it blow with love.
    Nice: Don't be such a naughty boy.
  • There Was a Door: Nice loves explosives. She takes this to extremes at one point, when a door is open and she blows it up anyway, just to make a dramatic entrance.
  • Thriller on the Express: the aforementioned "Pussyfoot Express" plotline.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Nice has more explosives than what is realy sane on (or in) her person.
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • Subverted — Randy and Pecho's complete disregard for fire safety indirectly makes them immortal.
    • Also subverted with Isaac and Miria: they mix with violent characters and seem likely to die. But instead end up immortal. They unwittingly drink the elixir of life, and neither of them ever get killed, so it takes them seventy years to realize they haven't aged a day.
  • Touched by Vorlons: The immortals from 1711 achieved their status by summoning a demon. The demon itself considers himself this as well.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sugar cubes, which practically define one of the background characters - he is only ever referred to by name as Mr. Sugarcube, and his only line of dialogue is "Want one?" when offering them to somebody.
  • Traintop Battle: To be expected from the Flying Pussyfoot story.
  • Translation Convention: It's safe to assume people in 1930's New York aren't actually speaking Japanese.
  • True Companions: The Martillo family and Jacuzzi's gang. Episode 15 basically ends with Chane learning about the importance of True Companions.
  • Try Not to Die: Said almost word for word by Miria to Jacuzzi.
  • Underside Ride: Rachel temporarily travels underneath the Flying Pussyfoot train after escaping from the captive diner car.
  • Unfortunate Names: The "Flying Pussyfoot", a transcontinental train. As for characters, "Jacuzzi Splot", Dune, Graham's crony Shaft, Charon, Illness, Death, and Aging.
  • Up to Eleven: Which does this fit more, the copious amounts of blood, or the Epic Fail of Logic employed by Isaac and Miria?
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Urban Legends: The Rail Tracer.
  • Verbal Tic: The demon usually ends statements with "maa, ii," which translates to something like "Ah, never mind", "Well, whatever," or (in the dub) "Well, no matter". Funny that Ronnie seems to share it too...
  • The Verse: Baccano!, Vamp!, and Durarara!! are all set in the same universe, although due to being set in very different locations and time periods, there isn't too much overlap.
  • Villains Out Shopping: If you ever wondered what Claire Stanfield does when he's not murdering people...
  • White Shirt of Death: Ladd and his pals decided it would be totally awesome to dress in bright white tuxedos for the sole purpose of getting them soaked in other people's blood. The first episode shows that this didn't go quite as planned...
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: There are those in the 1711 group who feel that way.
  • World of Badass: Every named character in this series can kick your ass. All of them.
  • World of Ham: YES!
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Goose, thinking of himself as something as a gentleman, isn't comfortable with having his men give a rebelling female passenger, Nice, a full body search upon capture. This comes to bite him in the ass (which he admits) when it turns out that Nice was hiding fireworks under her clothes. Also, the Gandor brothers in Drug & The Dominos.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: When one immortal "eats" another, all the victim's knowledge and memories, reportedly including muscle memory, are transferred to the killer.

     Tropes exclusive to the light novels 
  • Actually, I Am Him: In The Rooling Bootlegs, wherein it is revealed that Firo is the narrator.
  • The Alcatraz: The Alice in Jails / Peter Pan in Chains arc, featuring the Alcatraz, natch.
  • Analogy Backfire: Note to Isaac and Miria — Al Capone is not a good benchmark for personal success. Yet strangely, it is more sensible than nearly everything else that comes out of their mouths.
  • And Then What?: Firo foils his "perfect plan" to hold hands with Ennis (re: asking her out) with this very question.
    ... I'll take her hand... and then what?
    I, I guess it'd be too early to ask her out? Wait, is it even all right to hold hands before asking her out properly?! Dammit, I can't even ask anyone for advice on this...
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: When immortal Isaac insists to his equally immortal friend Firo that he talked to a fairy, Firo assumes that separation from Miria has finally broken him beyond repair, because fairies could not possibly exist in this universe.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Deciding that he doesn't want to deal with Czeslaw's questions, Victor throw one to shut the kid up.
    Victor: Czes... What happened to Fermet?
  • Art Evolution: Compare Firo in the first book to Firo in the fourteenth. Also compare Isaac and Miria from early in the novels to the page image. The anime simply uses the character designs of the later books.
  • Backstory: Ironic Light Orchestra, Crack Flag and Whitesmile, which focus particularly on Huey's Start of Darkness.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In Drug & the Dominoes, Edith comes to the Daily Days in hopes to buy info that may help Roy escape the wrath of the Runorattas. Unfortunately, the Knowledge Broker on call for that day, Henry, is only willing to sell her the information if she can get a testimony of the Flying Pussyfoot incident from America's most dangerous assassin, Claire. So she brings him to testify personally. Claire decides to give his testimony by reenacting his Flying Pussyfoot torture routine. He pays for Edith's info purchase, as well as one of his own, by only almost shaving Henry's face off with railroad tracks.
  • Best Served Cold: In Children of the Bottle, it is revealed that Sylvie drank the elixir solely so that she could eat Szilard one day. She waited until she was older to drink it so that he wouldn't recognize her when she attacked him.
  • Beyond the Impossible: The rules of Immortality are spelled out and fixed but Fermet has defied one of the biggies. Namely that being eaten by another alchemist is the only way they can die. He's recovered from it twice.
  • Big Bad: Due to the nature of the storytelling, it can be somewhat hard to tell who this is. Broken down in arcs though, you have:
  • Blatant Lies: Whenever Ladd Russo ever has to answer to the law enforcement, he invariably pleads self-defense. He knows they won't buy it for a second - he just does it For the Lulz.
    Ladd: Hey, hey, what's with the dirty look? I was just defending myself against a dangerous criminal. You guys should be thanking me, and maybe chopping a good half year off my sentence while you're at it. The big lunk was about to throw this guy at me. Would've killed me for sure. Can you really blame me for protecting myself? I was scared out of my mind! Whew. You know, if I'd acted just a second later you guys would probably be carting my dead body out of here right now.
    Guard: ...You honestly expect us to believe that?
    Ladd: Nah.
  • Breakfast Club: Huey, Elmer and Monica - three thoroughly screwed up teens that decide to be thoroughly screwed up together.
  • Brick Joke: At the beginning of Alice in Jails, realizing that he's talking to an undercover cop, Isaac asks Miria if she could fetch the wallet that he left at a warehouse minutes before he's arrested. When he's released from Alcatraz after a month and calls Miria, these are his very first words:
    Isaac: Sorry, Miria! Turns out my wallet was in my pocket all along.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Huey and Monica in the early 1700s are actually quite different from this.
  • Call Back: Given the number of books in the series (over a dozen now) and the span of time that has been covered (1705 to 2002 at this time), the books do make multiple mentions to events mentioned in previous books as offhand mentions, Running Gag, or as expanded plots.
  • Call Forward: When the Gandors are asked for their opinion on Firo at the beginning of Alice in Jails, Berga declares that it will probably take about fifty years for Firo and Ennis to actually get married.
  • Casting Couch: Detective Edward Noah has some theories as to how Firo got an executive Camorra position before even turning nineteen.
    Edward: Itís because you've got a girly face, right... Just how many executives did you sleep with to rise so high?
  • Character Development: More present that in the anime, what with the light novels covering nearly 300 years.
  • Chicago: Alice in Jails: Street Episode takes place in Chicago.
  • City of Adventure: Lotto Valentino in the early 1700s, though it stood on the edge of being a Wretched Hive at times. Victor firmly believes it's the latter.
    Victor: Iíve only been here for a day, but letís start with the facts: This city is out of its fucking mind.
  • Continuity Cameo: In Blood Sabbath, Bride mentions a certain Orihara who will take care of corpse disposal for them in Shinjuku. Likewise, Elmer finds great amusement in the fact that Nile got his ass kicked by Shizuo
  • Continuity Nod: On multiple occasions. Makes sense with the number of books that cover just shy of 300 years chronologically.
  • Covers Always Lie: The mini-novels which came with each Original Japanese DVD Volume for the anime; the covers portrays well known members of the cast in each one of them: Graham, Elmer, Tick, Maria, Ricardo and Melody. The actual storyline contained in these novels are side-stories featuring a whole new cast 30' with little to no relation to the main cast. The regular members of the cast are Demoted to Extra and to One-Scene Wonder.
  • Cue the Sun: After her victory over Adelle in The Slash, Maria thrusts one of her swords in the air, and the clouds part as if she cut them herself to reveal the sun. As it turns out, Ronnie was feeling a bit theatrical that day. ("Think of it as congratulations.")
  • Curtains Match the Window: Very common.
  • Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: After his self-appointed Axe Crazy "friend", Christopher, pushes his Berserk Button, Firo threatens to grind his teeth to the gums with a nail file if he doesn't shut up.
  • A Day in the Limelight: That's basically how the introductory chapters often works in the novels. Narita will Info Dump about a given subject, situation, or a character for the current arc, with another character narrating and interacting through the whole chapter. This is where Narita conveys how the narrator feels about the situation, their mannerisms, speech pattern and so on; making it a quick way to know the cast.
  • Dumb Is Good: Invoked by Firo in The Rolling Bootlegs when he convinces Ennis to trust him on the basis that he's too dumb to actually think of betraying her. Then there's Isaac and Miria...
  • Evil Gloating: Ladd Russo thinks this trope is stupid and thinks no one should ever do it - except for him.
    Ladd: Let me tell you how important it is to keep your mouth shut. Me, I've seen so many damn people going on and on about 'these will be the last words you ever hear' and 'take these words with you to the afterlife,' and then that gives whoever they're fighting an opening to strike back. Crazy, isn't it? I see it all the time, in books, in plays, even in real life! I don't even know why, but somehow the more comfortable someone is with killing, the more they flap their mouth when it comes time to do the deed, yakking on and on and on. As you might have guessed, I myself happen to be such a person! And therefore, as such, in light of that revelation, I'll say that one is enough, and since that one is of course myself, I want you all to shut up. You're boring. Swallow those words and take them to the afterlife yourself if you want them delivered there so damn much.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The situation in Ironic Light Orchestra is explicitly described as such, with most of the commoners of Lotto Valentino, the corrupt police, the aristocrats that buy and sponsor the drugs, including Maiza's father, the masked counterfeiter, and the Mask Maker. As for the series as a whole, the Big Bad Fermet considers his ultimate nemesis to be the Sociopathic Hero and "world-destroying evil" that is Elmer C. Albatross.
  • Exty Years from Now: Subverted. The demon was summoned after exactly 103 years. He is slightly annoyed by this.
  • Fantastic Science: Both Szilard and Huey spent a ton of time figuring out how alchemy and immortality work.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Baccano! itself tends to stick to alchemy, but the universe it takes place in has everything from dullahans to Eldritch Abominations.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Thanks to Blood Sabbath, we know that in 1710, Monica will be killed by Fermet.
  • Framing Device:
    • The Rolling Bootlegs: A Japanese tourist is told the story by the Martillo Family's conta Ť oro.
    • Alice in Jails : Sham, Gustav St. Germain, and Huey's researcher Salomť Carpenter respectively recount the events of books 8 through 10 to the Daily Days, Hilton, and an information broker.
    • Children of the Bottle: Felt tells the story to Isaac and Miria. Narration by Phil is also included.
    • Crack Flag: A young man reads the accounts of Jean-Pierre Accardo, a poet who was deeply involved with story.
    • Whitesmile: The same young man tracks down and acquires a dossier regarding the days that preceded the Advena Avis's departure from Lotto Valentino, most of it in the form of Victor Talbot's (not terribly professional) status reports to Lucrezia de Dormentaire.
  • Gender Neutral Writing: In The Grand Punk Railroad: Local Episode, Firo, Berga, and Luck never refer to Claire's gender when talking to Ennis about him.
  • Generation Xerox: Charon and Claudia Walken act a lot like gender-swapped versions of their paternal great-grandparents, Chane Walken and Felix Walken - aka Claire Stanfield. Firo does however claim that Charon's quietness and stoicism is actually a product of hanging out with Keith Gandor for entirely too long.
    • The 2002 story invokes this, with the culprit behind the incident claiming that he wants to recreate the events of the Flying Pussyfoot Massacre in 1931. It fails, and it's implied to have been because the culprit didn't take into account the roles Isaac and Miria played in 1931.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: In the climax of Drug & the Dominoes, Luck's hand gets blown off by a revolver. As it turns out, severed limbs are still capable of tearing throats out - you just have to use the jagged end.
  • Happily Ever Before: Crack Flag has a variation. The accounts of the poet Jean-Pierre cut off at the so-called happy ending, but the reader then discovers the hidden continuation of his accounts, which detail the Diabolus ex Machina and the Downer Ending of the story.
  • Hope Spot: Crack Flag ends on a hopeful note with Epilogue B, where it looks as if Huey and Elmer managed to fake Monicaís death. Of course, it turns out to be a case of Unreliable Narrator and the real ending, Epilogue C, ends with Monica being stabbed to death by Fermet.
  • I Am Not Shazam: In-universe example, wherein Miria makes the classic mistake of assuming Frankenstein is the monster's name. Isaac quickly corrects her on this, claiming instead that the monster's name was Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelly.
  • I Can't Believe a Girl Like You Would Notice Me: Victor actually cites this as one of the reasons he's into Lucrezia de Dormentaire - it means she gives no damn about class differences.
    Victor: If you think about it, the fact that sheís courting a lowly alchemist like me and letting me talk to her plainly already makes her different from every other aristocrat out there.
  • Identity Absorption: "Water" beings have the potential to do this to anyone who ingests their "water", although they run the risk of falling victim to it themselves.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: In the anime, the episodes are always long titles that essentially sum up the contents of the episode. For example, "Ladd Russo Enjoys Talking a lot and Slaughtering a lot," "Jacuzzi Splot Cries, Gets Scared, and Musters Reckless Valor," etc. As for the novels, each book title is based on the name of a rock band:
  • Insistent Terminology: Maiza and Firo would like to remind you that they're part of the Camorra, not the Mafia. The anime also explicitly mentions the Martillo family as belonging to the Camorra.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: In The Rolling Bootlegs, Detective Edward derides Firo for thinking a homeless man would want to take his dirty money. Rather than deny the dubious sourse of his cash, Firo points out that a charity organization wouldn't bother to check the source either.
  • Japanese Honorifics: A Frame Story plot point in The Rolling Bootlegs. After receiving a somewhat backhanded compliment from the Martillo's conta Ť oro, the anonymous photographer passive-aggressively nitpicks the man's disturbingly fluent Japanese by pointing out he was ignoring age hierarchy by not addressing the elderly Paul Noah by his appropriate honorific. And that's when the conta Ť oro gives one of those grins and starts setting up his favorite party trick...
  • Katanas Are Just Better: This is Maria's position in-universe. Which is why she uses two of them, amigo! However, it ends up being subverted in Drug & The Dominos. Katanas? Cool. A pair of scissors in the hands of everyone's favorite psycho, Claire Stanfield? Better.
  • Legacy Character: The name "Felix Walken" is passed down from one assassin to another. By 1934, it's shared between multiple people—Claire and five of Sham's bodies. Claire bought the name from a woman around 30 years old, and Sham's bodies were given the name by a man who now calls himself "The Former Felix Walken".
  • The Slash, Dallas Genoard, of all people. Pretty much everyone in the cast (and audience) assume that Adelle is going to sweep him aside in the climax. Turns out he REALLY wasn't kidding about paying them back for threatening his sister.
  • Loophole Abuse: Falsifying age is tricky business for an immortal (and requires a third party in high places), but possible. Firo, for example, has a passport that's entirely genuine (FBI Victor Talbot didn't want to deal with him getting detained for presenting a "fake" one again), but with a deliberate error in his date of birth.
  • Love at First Punch: At first ear-clipping by knife, actually, but close enough. One of the reasons that Claire is more enthralled by Chane than any of the previous girls he was also briefly in passionate love with is because she managed to deal lasting physical damage to him, proving herself to be real in Claire's otherwise solipsistic world.
    Claire: You managed to nick my ear. Even though it was just a coincidence, you left proof of your existence to me, the center of the world. So I want you to join me on the side of the dreamer... on the side of the ruler of the world. I'll welcome you with open arms.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The rules of immortality are clearly defined, although some of them are rather odd.
  • Male Gaze: The first book has at least a paragraph lingering on Ennis's appearance, which is probably the first sign that the man telling the story isn't Maiza, but rather Ennis's eventual husband Firo.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Subverted, as Claire Stanfield, one of the biggest badasses in the series, is a total virgin by his own admission — though not exactly by choice, mind you)
    Claire: Don't say stupid things. I've never two-timed before, you know? Well, frankly, it's because I never dated a woman.
  • Marriage to a God: In Blood Sabbath, a cult tries to force Sylvie to become their god and marry their leader.
  • Mercy Kill: In the epilogue of Drug & the Dominoes, Maiza contemplates killing the comatose Begg for this reason, but decides against it upon realizing he's in his Happy Place.
  • Minor Insult Meltdown: Isaac and Miria undergo one in The Slash after snaps at them for their melodrama over his truly heinous crime of knocking over their domino setup.
  • Nepotism: This is how Luck ended up as a Mafia executive while barely into his teens, and he's well aware of it.
  • No Export for You: Want to read the Light Novels, but can't read either Japanese or Chinese? Well, then it sucks to be you!
  • Noodle Incident: Pretty much the only thing we know about Firo and Ennis's wedding is that it took place in a church circa 1980, there were Wedding Smashers, and that it ended in a bloodbath that is later fondly remembered by the Martillos.
  • Out of the Inferno: In Children of the Bottle, Czes escapes from a group of superstitious villagers who think immortals are demons by throwing himself into a fireplace, waiting for the ropes they've bound him with to burn off, and walking out of the flames, regenerating as he goes. Even more impressive when you recall that Fermet threw him into a fireplace at one point. Also a CMOA.
  • Pals With Cthulhu: Post-reveal, Maiza and Ronnie's relationship shifts into this.
  • Painting the Medium:F rom time to time, such as when Barnes' thoughts gradually shift from kanji to hiragana to demonstrate his mind's deterioration.
  • The Power Of Trust: In Children of the Bottle, Czes is confused about whether humans are basically good or evil, and worries that he isn't deserving of the unconditional kindness that Maiza and the others have shown him. Elmer responds to this by grabbing Czes's right hand and putting it on his own head, saying something like, "If you were so evil you'd eat me right now, wouldn't you?" and tells Czes that he should quit worrying about it and be glad that he has people in his life who care about and trust him.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: The Grand Punk Railroad: Express Episode and Alice in Jails: Street Episode.
  • Puppy Love:
    • Occurs between Czeslaw and the little homunculus girl from Children of Bottle, Phil. The fangirls ran wild with this one.
    • The Slash puts a spin on it by putting Tick and Maria together. While they're both of them are physically adults, they both act like Axe Crazy children. To Luck, seeing them together is like watching ten-year-olds trying to flirt.
  • Religion of Evil: SAMPLE, a Cult that designates a child to be their "sacrificial god" and brutally tortures them, believing that the child is a scapegoat for all the pain that the believers themselves would normally go through. There are multiple branches, but the three most prominent are the ones that hijack the cruise ship Exit, the branch that Illness was "sacrificial god" of as a child, and a defunct 300-year old branch for which Elmer was the "sacrificial god" until 1700.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: In 2001, the hidden village is able to exist unmolested by the authorities because of Szilard's connections being used by his descendents.
  • Seinfeldian Conversation: About the opening of Reservoir Dogs, no less.
    "Then I guess I'm Steve Buscemi."
    "No, I'm Buscemi.".
    "I wanna be Buscemi."
    "Don't be stupid. How can a girl be Steve Buscemi?"
    "But he's Mr. Pink, right? That means it's okay for a girl to be him."
  • Sexless Marriage: Firo and Ennis. They're still Happily Married - they've just never gotten around to the actual sex part.
    Pecho: I thought it was weird that they didn't have any kids!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Firo makes a reference to The Untouchables at the end of the first book. The 1987 film was what actually got Narita writing the series in the first place.
    • Almost the entirety of the Mask Makers in Bullet Garden and Blood Sabbath is composed of film buffs. This naturally leads to a lot of movie references, including an argument over who would be the Mr. Pink of the team.
  • A Simple Plan: If you are Firo, asking your crush if you can hold her hand is very, very difficult.
  • Spit Take: Firo does one in Bullet Garden when Isaac and Miria indirectly announce his virginity to everyone in the Alveare.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Gretto and Sylvie had the deck stacked against them pretty much from day one. Sylvie is not happy when Elmer suggests that reading Romeo and Juliet can give them some useful advice on the situation.
    Sylvie: Please donít be so ominous.
    Elmer: Didnít you know? There's actually an afterlife in the world of that play. So after they die, they can meet up again—'Were you just pretending to be dead all along, Juliet?' 'Romeo, darling, youíre so oblivious.' They could laugh together afterwards!
  • Super Window Jump: In Blood Sabbath, Aging jumps out of a window on a cruise ship, runs along the hull while holding onto a cable, and jumps back into the ship through another window.
  • Sycophantic Servant: In The Rolling Bootlegs, the Red Shirt brewer Barnes is Szilard's, to the point that he considers it an honor to be devoured by him.
  • Take Me Instead:
    • In The Grand Punk Railroad: Express Episode, Rachel begs the Rail Tracer to take her life in exchange for stopping his rampage. The Rail Tracer casually tells her he was already done (as well as that he only killed the white and black suits), tosses her a train ticket, and goes on his merry way.
    • In The Slash: Bloody to Fair, Firo tells Christopher that, if he wants a hostage, he should take him instead of Jacuzzi. Unfortunately, Chris knew he was immortal and promptly shot the offer down.
  • They Would Cut You Up: Subverted. Victor desperately wants to keep Huey out of the hands of the government and the Nebula corporation, but more out of fear that Huey will sway the would-be cutter-uppers to his side than out of any concern for Huey's well being. (Or so he says, anyway.)
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Lotto Valentino in 1705.
  • Updated Re-release: Two so far:
    • Another Junk Railroad — the 14th Light Novel is a collected and expanded version of the mini-novel and Drama CD, Great Punk Railroad Revisited.
    • ~Summer~ man in the killer — the 16th Light Novel is a collected version of the five mini-novels that composes A man in the killer side-story, it also gives away an exact date this time around.
  • Uptown Girl: Gretto and Sylvie
  • The Verse: Baccano!, Vamp!, and Durarara!! are all set in the same universe, although due to being set in very different locations and time periods, there isn't too much overlap.
  • We Can Rule Together: Ironic Light Orchestra has an interesting take on this. Huey asks Monica if she wants to help facilitate his counterfeiting ring. Turns out Monica was way ahead of him on the idea.
  • We Have The Keys: In The Slash: Bloody to Fair, Claire is not happy to see Ennis waste all the time he spent lockpicking by kicking Mist Wall's front door off its hinges.
  • Wham Line: The words revealing the identity of the person asking the questions in the introductory chapters of Ironic Light Orchestra "...Master Fermet." is this considering that some of those questions were asked long after Fermet's death.
  • What Are You in For?: Pretty much an obligatory scene in Alice In Jails, what with being set in Alcatraz. Firo, in for an undercover operation he got roped into by the FBI, lies and claims he assaulted a few guards in his previous prison. Turns out the other inmate, Ryujiro, is in for the same thing, except for one little extra detail...
    Ryujiro: Yup. Well, in my case, there was this guard who pissed me off, so I gave his neck a little chomp. You understand, right?
    Firo: ... Chomp?
    Ryujiro: Heheh! Hey, ever heard of odorigui? It's this way of eating the Japanese haveóyou bite down on your food while it's still alive and moving. The feeling of something live squirming against your tongue, against your teeth as you bite down... It just all comes together with the salty taste of blood and makes it so incredible!
    Firo: Yeah, okay. I think I've heard enough.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: One of the very few times Keith Gandor speaks in the entire series is when he calls out Claire Stanfield during the climax of Drug & The Dominos... And actually gets him to apologize. Maria is impressed enough that she switches sides.
  • With Due Respect: Agent Bill Sullivan is not afraid to snark at his superior.
    Bill: Er, Sir. I don't think it's my place to ask, but, uhh... I am a bit curious about something."
    Victor: Huh? About what?
    Bill: Well, if I recall, you asked me to drive you here so that you could, and I quote, 'Warn an old friend not to fall for Huey's bullshit'. So, sir, how exactly did you go about that warning to warrant such hostility that your knees were knocking as you got in the car?
    Victor: Uh... Well what do you think happened, Detective Sullivan?
    Bill: I think you probably went and did something stupid, sir.
  • Year X: All side-stories aside Great Punk Railroad Revisited have vague dates, making it hard to properly place them in the timeline; 193X for A Man in The Killer and The Time Of the Oasis, ???? for The Illusional First and Last Episode. A Man in The Killer was later published as the 16th volume, with the year confirmed to be 1932.
  • Wicked Stepfather: Tick's stepfather sold him to the mafia to pay off loans. The only reason he didn't sell the younger son was because he figured he could make more off of him.
  • You Killed My Father: Subverted - Eve pulls the trigger on Gustavo once she finds out, but Luck, trying to keep her hands clean from this nasty Mafia business, deflects the blast with his arm — blowing it off — and takes out Gustavo himself. With his own severed arm.
  • You Make Me Sic: Victor Talbot is the only man to ever have his reports spellchecked by an omniscient Humanoid Abomination.

     Tropes exclusive to the anime 
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Katsumi Enami had some... unique ideas for what color to use for some characters, whereas the anime tried to keep realistic tones.
    • In the first volumes Ladd was a blonde with a very weak paste tone that could be mistaken for white hair. In Alcatraz it became completely white. The anime went for normal blonde; later Enami would even things out by drawing Ladd like he was animated.
    • Claire's eyes are usually shown as golden in the novels, matching perfectly with Chane. One piece of art for the 1931 arc shows him with red eyes. The anime went for normal brown eyes.
    • Enami has drawn Chane with a much more pale skin tone than is typical for her presumed ancestry; the anime is consistent with it.
  • All Part of the Show: Isaac and Miria manage to convince themselves that the entire plot of The Slash, including Ronnie showing off his demon mojo and a number of bloody murders, is an elaborate and awesome magic show.
  • All There in the Manual: While the anime is generally self-contained and understandable without the Light Novels, there's still quite a bit of backstory that doesn't find its way into the show — as well as the unanswered question of just who were those people who sliced up Isaac's ear in the first episode. And of course, if you want to know what happens after the anime events...
  • Anachronic Order: The first episode actually contains scenes from the endings to each of the three stories. Later episodes will jump back and forth between and even within the separate stories with little warning.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The intro is a good showcase of the show's light-hearted tone and high energy. It does not, however, display much hint of the amount of gorn, gang violence, and overall insanity some of the audience might have wanted to look out for.
  • Book Ends: Depending if you're going by the ending of the series proper or the bonus episodes, either the two scenes at the train station or the two conversations between St. Germain and Carol.
  • Brick Joke: What Happened to the Mouse? from episode three, you ask? It escaped the fire and is now enjoying its immortal, mousy life like any mouse would.
  • Casting Gag: At least it seemed like one in the dub, the second that Claire said Rachel's name.
  • Compressed Adaptation: the anime is loosely based on four Baccano! Light Novels: The Rolling Bootlegs, both books of The Grand Punk Railroad and Drug & The Dominos. The three extra episodes are based on the mini-novel/CD-drama, Great Punk Railroad Revisited.
  • Conspicuous CG: The halls of the Flying Pussyfoot.
  • Dutch Angle: As expected for an anime about chaos.
  • Engrish: Impressively averted. Despite taking place in America, the show is mostly devoid of this, with signs and background elements almost always spelled correctly, a sign that the creators did their homework. Nobody's perfect, though; note "Grando" Central Station.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most episode titles are pretty clear concerning what they're about, such as "The Rail Tracer Maneuvers Through the Train Slaughtering Many."
    • The fourth episode title describes one of the show's lovable psychopaths: "Ladd Russo Enjoys Talking A Lot and Slaughtering A Lot."
    • The author's preferred translation of baccano is "stupid commotion" which is an adequate summary of the plot. The semi-interlacing plot lines do look a lot like a "stupid commotion" for the first few episodes before all the pieces start falling into place.
  • Fake Nationality: The dub is INCREDIBLE, but Huey Laforet simply sounds like Pepe Lepew.
  • Fanservice: For a anime that has NOTHING to do with this trope, at least a couple of scenes of fanservice appeared.
    • The first being where on the train, Jacuzzi and Donny run into Isaac and Miria, trip on something and then Jacuzzi lands on her cleavage due to everyone being crowded together.
    • The 2nd is when the Chinese girl stops Isaac from looking in the bullet holes, she trips and her breasts go on him face first. Also, many of the scenes with the Chinese girl like to show her butt.
    • Then there's the fact that, if you look really closely, Nice, Chane, and Lua all seem to be Going Commando.
  • Foregone Conclusion: By the first episode, you will know that Luck and Firo become immortal, Isaac, Miria, Jacuzzi, Nice, and Czeslaw survive the Flying Pussyfoot massacre, Ladd loses an arm, and Chane accepts Claire's proposal... Or perhaps not, because you're not given any context for it until you see the rest of the show.
  • Framing Device: The conversation between Gustav St. Germain and Carol and their attempt to piece together the three stories.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: During Chane and Ladd's second fight atop the train, after Chane is kicked off, as she is climbing back up, there is a shot of her bare hand holding one knife, but as soon as she is back up, her gloves are back on both her hands.
  • Funny Background Event: If you look closely at the card game in Episode 10 you'll notice that the Gandor brothers are playing Old Maid.
  • Futureshadowing: The entire first episode of the anime is this. It won't make sense until the second time you watch it.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: As the above indicates, a good bit of the gore is actually shown, but the Gory Discretion Shot still sees some use - for example, when the Gandor brothers are shot in the head near the end of the series.
  • Grand Finale: Episode thirteen, followed by a three-episode epilogue.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Shinpachi and Sacchan are lovers while Gintoki's the Ax-Crazy bastard here!?
  • How We Got Here: The first episode.
  • Hyperlink Story
  • Insult Backfire: It apparently didn't backfire well enough in Ladd's opinion.
    Placido Russo: Yer a freak. Homicidal lunatics think you're a nutcase!
    Ladd: Your attempt at flattery is so ham-handed! Can't you do better for the Russo family's greatest assassin?
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: The framing device for the anime is Carol trying to put all the pieces together.
  • Match Cut: The opening credits.
  • Painting the Medium: Claire explains that he sees himself as the only real person in the world, and everyone else is just an interesting character he thinks up. At this point, the audience sees things from his eyes, and the visual image is like an old movie projection.
  • Pink Mist: The Young Conductor on the Flying Pussyfoot, and poor Czes taking two shots in the head from Ladd's shotgun.
  • Playing Against Type: Quite a few of the more famous seiyuu in the series go completely against the grain of their usual type. In particular are Sugita and Morita, who forgo their usual Deadpan Snarker and upbeat Hero roles in favor of batshit insanity.
  • Post Episode Trailer: Usually involving Isaac and Miria misinterpreting the next episode's title.
  • Powers in the First Episode: The From a Single Cell power is demonstrated by the first episode when someone cuts Firo's fingers off.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: When Graham Spector slams a wrench into Ladd's torso at about 50mph, Ladd stands there and smiles at him. This is when Graham decides he's met his new daddy.
  • Retraux: Used briefly to give a look inside a character's head, and also often used in Funimation's promotion of the series.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Placido Russo looks suspiciously similar to Johnny Caspar. For reference.
    • In the English dub of the first episode of the anime, Bartolo Runorata says "You follow?"
    • The opening sequence, deemed one of the best in anime by many who saw it, is a 1930's style depiction of the first scene in [1].
  • Shown Their Work: Baccano! is pretty good about this. For example, it actually depicts the Hollywood sign saying "Hollywoodland," which is what it stated originally. Rachel's scenes in the OVAs also take place in an easily recognizable Grand Central Station, right down to the doors.
  • Silent Whisper: The Rail Tracer's words to Rachel are drowned out by an ill-timed train whistle the first time we hear them. The second time, we hear them: "Your ticket, please?"
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Unlike every other character, Claire — the friendly-looking young conductor is conspicuously not identified in the opening credits.
    • Some serious fridge brilliance ensues when you get to episode 9 and realize that Claire's been lurking in the opening all along.
    • The reporters from the Daily Days newspaper, especially Rachel, are also missing from the opening. This is probably mostly just because the series has too many major characters to fit them all into the opening sequence.
  • Sleeping Dummy: Used by Szilard on the Advena Avis, both to keep people from realizing that he was the one committing the murders and to distract Maiza, whom he had overheard planning to kill him.
  • Solemn Ending Theme: "Calling". Extremely noticeable in contrast to the jazzy upbeat opening, "Guns & Roses".
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Firo pulls this in episode 14 of the anime series, scaring the ever-living crap of Issac and Miria, who were just playing with some dominoes.
  • Third Line, Some Waiting
  • Wham Episode: Episode 9, when it's revealed just how utterly crazy our conductor buddy really is.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • At the start of episode 8, a special FBI task force is created with the objective of capturing Issac and Miria. The feds are never seen or heard from again, although it's implied that most of them simply think the case is too stupid to investigate.
    • Averted with the actual mouse, who shows up in an early episode as a test subject for the Grand Panacea. He reappears at the very end of the final episode, now immortal.


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alternative title(s): Baccano
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