Baccano! (Japanese: バッカーノ! Hepburn: Bakkāno!, Italian for "turmoil", Italian pronunciation: [bakˈkaːno]) is a Japanese light novel series written by Ryohgo Narita and illustrated by Katsumi Enami. The series, often told from multiple points of view, is mostly set within a fictional United States during various time periods, most notably the Prohibition era. It focuses on various people, including alchemists, thieves, thugs, Mafiosi and Camorristi, who are unconnected to one another. After an immortality elixir is recreated in 1930 Manhattan, the characters begin to cross paths, setting off events that spiral further and further out of control.
The first novel was released in February 2003 under ASCII Media Works' (formerly MediaWorks) Dengeki Bunko imprint, and as of March 2013, twenty novels have been released. The novels were adapted into a sixteen episode anime television series directed by Takahiro Omori and produced by Brain's Base and Aniplex. The first thirteen episodes were aired on WOWOW from July 26, 2007, to November 1, 2007; the final three were released direct-to-DVD. The series was also adapted into a two-volume manga, an adventure video game for the Nintendo DS and two drama CDs. An additional novel was released with the first drama CD and two gaiden novels were released in parts with the DVDs of the anime adaption. Funimation has dubbed the anime episodes in English, and has licensed them for release in the United States and Canada. The series was also licensed by Manga Entertainment for English releases in the United Kingdom, and by Madman Entertainment for releases in Australia and New Zealand.
The light novels of the series have been well received by readers and have also been awarded. The first light novel, The Rolling Bootlegs, was awarded the Gold Prize of the ninth Dengeki Novel Prize, held by ASCII Media Works in 2002, after reaching third place. The anime adaptation of the series has been popular in Japan and the United States, and has also received significant praise for its plot, characters, strong dubbing, animation and musical score.
In the year 1711, a group of alchemists are granted an elixir of immortality, with the stipulation that they must kill each other until there can be only one. The now-immortal group unanimously decides it wasn't worth it and destroy the elixir; but one of them, Slizard Quates, starts to kill off his fellow immortals. To reduce the risk of Quates tracking them all down, the group separates and goes their separate ways. Neither of them crosses paths again till 1930, Manhattan, when Quates manages to create a new elixir of immortality. However, he loses it and it ends up going around town, taken to be a bottle of alcohol and unknowingly drunk by many residents. The drinkers of this new elixir include Isaac and Miria, an eccentric pair of thieves; the Gandor brothers, a Mafia family; and their associates in the Camorra, the Martillos (who employ some of the original immortals). Now, not only are a new group of immortals created, but the simmering criminal underworld is about to explode.
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