"The Vice President Doesn't Say Anything about the Possibility of Him Being the Main Character" is the first episode of the 2007 Baccano! anime.
SummaryEditA girl called Carol kneels on a table, surrounded by open books, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous papers. The door to the room opens, and in steps Gustav St. Germain, Vice President of the Daily Days. Gustav rebukes Carol for the mess, and she apologizes for accidentally getting carried away.
When Gustav asks what she was up to, Carol explains that she's been looking for more information about the 'story', admitting that she can't stop thinking about the strange events that began in November 1930. Gustav folds a newspaper page and asks if she remembers a previous conversation they'd had on a train ride.
The anime flashes back to the train, where Carol admires a rainbow through her seat window. Across from her, Gustav waxes philosophical over how mankind generally perceives rainbows with wonder and delight rather than thinking them harbingers of disasters. He wonders why this is the case, and asks if Carol had ever wondered similarly.
Carol admits that she has not, arguing that their job as reporters is to report on events that have already taken place, not to wonder about them. Gustav gives her three hundred and ninteen points, pointing out that as people they should never stop thinking. Furthermore, to only go so far as to ascertain whether information or true is false would make a mockery of their profession. Carol complains that thinking about something does not change its validity, to which Gustav disagrees.The flashback ends. In the present, Gustav says that what they report is "merely the precursor to a conclusion," and asks Carol why she chose 1930 out of all the dates on their timeline as the beginning. When Carol struggles for a response, Gustav berates her for not having the answers despite her position as his assistant, and asks if she wants help answering the questions.
Gustav proposes that the events aboard the Advena Avis could have served as a potential starting point, as could the covered-up tragedy of the Flying Pussyfoot and multiple other instances on the timeline. He repeats his question, for which Carol now has an answer: she wanted to make the story easier to understand, so she chose the time when the story was first brought to their attention.Carol's answer earns her one hundred and fifty-six points, and while Gustav compliments her idea as "good" he notes that it is more important to focus on the 'characters' than the timeline. He then presents multiple people as candidates for main characters, as seen in a series of clips: Isaac Dian with his ear newly cut, Miria Harvent crying out in horror; Ladd Russo shooting the boy Czeslaw Meyer aboard the Flying Pussyfoot; and Luck Gandor (described by Gustav as "The Gandor Family's brilliant young capo") gunned down in a hail of bullets.
Carol picks up a photograph of a young man and suggests that this man could be the main character instead. The scene cuts to the young man - Firo Prochainezo - on a New York street, acknowledging a panhandler begging for money. Carol calls Firo "main character-ish", prompting Gustav to raise an eyebrow.
Firo opens his visibly flush wallet and gives the beggar two dollars before continuing on his way. The beggar reaches into his bag, claiming that he wants to thank Firo with some flowers - only to pull out a knife instead, rushing him a moment later. Back in the present, Carol blushes and affirms that Firo must be a good candidate.
Firo catches the knife with his right hand, earning himself a deep gouge in his middle finger and the loss of his ring and little fingers completely as the beggar draws the knife back. The beggar laughs - only to freeze at the sight of Firo's blood flowing off his knife and back to Firo's hand, the fingers reattaching and the cuts resealing.With his right hand healed, Firo ignores the beggar's cries of "monster" and his flailing of the knife; Firo introduces himself as "Firo Prochainezo of the Martillo Family before punching the beggar in the face.
In the present, Gustav laughs and says that he sees what Carol means by "main character-ish," before adding that there are as many sides to the same story as there are people. His words trigger a montage of gangsters gunning down casinos and speakeasies, black and white shots of beggars, and signs reminiscent of Prohibition and the Great Depression.The montage gives way to a large mansion, where Gustavo Bagetta orders a large group of gun-toting men to destroy all who dare to infringe upon their world - Martillos, Gandors, he does not care whom as long as they are wiped off the face of the Earth.
In the Coraggioso, Luck informs Berga Gandor that he's having Tick Jefferson "interrogate" someone. Their older brother Keith Gandor shuffles cards at his desk. A Gandor member opens the door to their office and informs Keith that a gambling parlor, speakeasy, and ticket window all under Gandor influence were subjected to a drive-by shooting.
Berga leaps to his feet, roaring at the nerve of the Runorata Family. When their subordinate says that they caught one of the perpetrators responsible, Berga leaves the office and begins violently assaulting the perpetrator off-screen, asking him if he thought he could get away with antagonizing the Gandors.
Carol asks if everything started when the Mafia and the Camorra began fighting, to which Gustav asks her to consider 'something'. The scene returns to Gustavo and his boss, Don Bartolo Runorata. Nervous, Gustavo informs Bartolo that his men gunned down Luck Gandor and that he has received intel on a new bomb prototype. Gustavo suggests that dealing with the Gandors and the Martillos will be child's play once they obtain the explosives.
Bartolo would rather Gustavo focus on something else, and he takes out a photo of Dallas Genoard. Elsewhere, a girl called Eve Genoard holds up a different photograph - one of herself and a younger Dallas - and wonders where Dallas has gone.
Having recalled this exchange, Gustav looks out a window and suggests that it "wouldn't be too strange" if he and Carol turn out to be the characters who begin the tale. Carol is intrigued.
Back in 1931, Gustavo identifies Dallas as the second son of the Genoard Family. Bartolo coldly recalls that Gustavo killed Dallas' father Raymond and older brother Jeffrey without informing him, and reveals that Dallas contacted the Runoratas and accused Gustavo of murdering his relatives. Alarmed, Gustavo says that no proof of their murders should exist - he paid off the court to ensure it.
The fact remains that Dallas somehow fingered Gustavo as the culprit, and Bartolo orders Gustavo to find Dallas as soon as possible, with Dallas taking priority over the Gandors. He expresses no preference over whether Dallas is found dead or alive. After Bartolo leaves the room, Gustavo grins and opens one of the windows of Bartolo's office to relay the orders to the gun-toting men assembled outside. Listening to Gustavo's speech through the door, Bartolo calls Gustavo a "wretched bastard" under his breath.
Meanwhile at the Coraggioso, Berga Gandor continues his vicious assault on the bound and bloody perpetrator, demanding that he give up the names of those he is working for. Luck and Keith arrive, and the perpetrator blanches at the sight of Luck - whom he says should be dead. Luck ignores him and calls for Tick Jefferson, informing Tick that he needs Tick to 'take care' of 'one more' person. Tick (in the doorway of an adjacent room) warns him that he hasn't cleaned his scissors of all the blood, grease, and urine from the previous person, so 'it' will hurt much more than normal.
He opens the door wider as he talks, revealing the 'previous person' in question - a man slumped against the back wall, covered in blood. Horrified by the sight of the man and Tick's scissors, the perpetrator frantically assures the Gandors that he'll tell them anything they want so long as it means staying away from Tick. Luck demands to know who thought they could kill him.
The scene flashes back to Luck reading a collection of Edgar Allen Poe's complete works in a bookshop. Firo appears in the bookshop's front doorway, greeting Luck and and asking after what he is reading. Luck obliges by reading off a verse of Edgar Allen Poe's poem "Spirits of the Dead," and Firo applauds his performance. Luck admits that he used to be afraid of the poem before a certain incident that took place one year ago - when he lost all reason to be afraid of death. When Firo shows no sign of having ever shared similar fears, Luck asks him to forget everything he just said.
Firo notes that strange men have started hanging around Martillo turf, and Luck guesses that they might have some connection to the Runoratas. He warns Firo to stay out of the feud after Firo offers his assistance, adding that "Vino" will be assisting the Gandors instead. Surprised and delighted, Firo asks if "Claire" really is going to show up, and Luck confirms that Claire will be arriving in New York on the Flying Pussyfoot tomorrow morning. Firo laughs, and says that Isaac and Miria are travelling on the same train, as well as an old friend of Maiza. Luck's suggestion that they go to the station and pick up their friends together is cut short when a car screeches to a halt outside the bookshop and several tommy-toting men inside it open fire on the store. Firo and Luck are gunned down, collapsing in a flurry of bullet-ridden books.
Elsewhere and elsewhen, a large police force carries out an investigation by the railroad tracks under light snowfall. An officer pulls a sheet off one of the corpses lying alongside the tracks, and agents Edward Noah and Bill Sullivan grimace at the body's condition. The officer confirms that though the bodies are horribly mangled, there is no question that they were once passengers aboard the Flying Pussyfoot. He estimates the corpses discovered so far number in the 'teens, though he adds that the trail of corpses continues for miles.
The officer asks the agents what happened, but they call such information 'classified' and enter their car. Once inside, Bill says to Edward that there were immortals aboard the train, confirmed by the presence of their names on the passenger list in Chicago. Edward asks about the safety of a certain lady, and Bill replies that that their orders are to investigate her safety next. He wonders if an incident this large can really be covered up, and the officer waves at him through the windshield with the news that they have found a survivor amongst the bodies. Bill is stunned.
Back in the bookshop, the tommy-toters finally cease fire. The shop owner gets to his knees, surveying the incredible damage to his shop – and Luck sitting up, alive and whole. Shocked, he exclaims that he saw Luck shot dead with his own two eyes. Luck smiles in response, almost apologetically.
The scene cuts to a spearwoman in the lobby of a manor, with various people standing in the background. She hefts her spear and says that there should be "no problems," and Isaac cries out in pain - only to remove his hand from his cut ear and exclaim in astonishment that his ear no longer hurts. Miria observes that the cut has disappeared completely, thinking it some sort of magic trick.
In a dark room, blood flows off the room's walls and floor and returns to the body of Czeslaw Meyer, who sits up and mutters, "what a useless thug."
The scene returns to the bookshop, at the exact moment the tommy-toters cease fire. Blood retracts from the bookshelves just as Czes' blood did from the walls, and Firo bursts through the wrecked entrance and takes out one of the tommy-toters standing behind the car moments before it drives away.
Inside the shop, Luck ignores the shopkeeper's questions and calls out to the absent Firo. Firo – his suit as bullet-ridden as Luck's – appears in the doorway once more, throwing the man he attacked (now bound, and the same man whom Tick was torturing earlier in the episode) onto the floor of the bookshop while the shopkeeper gapes at him. Luck tells the shopkeeper that he will pay for the damages to the shop, and the shopkeeper hastily assures him that he won't tell anyone what he has witnessed. Satisfied, Luck looks down at the captured man and says that he cannot ignore the man's crimes.
Sunrise. On the roof of a train, a silhouetted man studies a note carved into the rooftop and vows that he will find the person who wrote the note before hopping off the side of the train.
Firo shares a table with Maiza and Ennis in a train station, the Gandor brothers sitting at a table nearby. Firo remarks that he has heard that the Flying Pussyfoot is a one-of-a-kind train, but Luck dismisses it as 'ostentatious'. His comment only makes Firo more enthusiastic, but Ennis glumly informs them that apparently the Flying Pussyfoot suffered a breakdown, and that its passenger cars were switched out. Recovering from his disappointment, Firo inquires into the character of Maiza's "old friend." Maiza describes his friend as introverted and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, appearing 'fragile' as a result. Berga replies that Claire is the same way for a opposite reason - he is cheerful, but too stubborn. Firo agrees with Berga's assessment.
A crowd of policemen gather around two people sitting in the snow by the railroad tracks: a bloodied Ladd Russo, and a woman named Lua Klein. Ladd asks the men if they plan on just standing around or taking him into custody, warning them that he is in a foul mood. The policemen watch in bewilderment while Ladd strokes Lua's face, crooning her that he would have killed her sooner if he had known what would happen. He says that he will kill her now if she likes; when he hesitates, he raises his arm into the air and demands to know if her hesitation means she does not want to be killed by him. All the policemen recoil in horror: the flesh of Ladd's forearm is completely gone, with only his ulna and radius remaining.The Flying Pussyfoot pulls into the station, and Firo and company watch as various passengers disembark including an injured woman in coveralls and three delinquents: a giant; a scarred woman; and an injured youth whom the woman is assisting.
Elsewhere, a group of people are fishing cargo out of a river, and one of them spots a woman clinging to a floating box.In the train station, Isaac and Miria gasp in delight upon reuniting with Firo, Ennis, and Maiza. Firo observes that Isaac and Miria look like hell, wondering what happened to them. Isaac replies that if Firo lives long enough, Isaac will someday tell him the story. Behind them, Czes steps off the train and stares darkly at Maiza; Maiza spots Czes, and merely smiles in response.
Isaac & Miria puzzle over where the place ‘Aside’ could be, after misinterpreting the title of the next episode, "Setting the Old Woman’s Qualms Aside, the Flying Pussyfoot Departs."
Differences between the Anime & Novels Edit
The opening conversation between Gustav and Carol in the Daily Days is original to the anime.
Click "Expand" for differences regarding the 1930 timeline.
In the anime, the scene with Firo and the beggar clearly takes place after Firo becomes immortal. However, their encounter actually takes place before Firo becomes immortal in The Rolling Bootlegs. Consequently, Firo avoids the knife entirely instead of having his fingers cut off. He also punches the beggar with a fist full of bloody coins and drops them onto the man's face and into his mouth. The anime also cuts out the entire scene succeeding their encounter, in which Edward arrives and reveals that the police were using Firo to catch the beggar in the act of murdering someone.
Click "Expand" for differences regarding the 1931 timeline.
The bookshop scene is quite different: Luck is alone when he is targeted in the bookshop (Firo is not present), and he dies by having his throat cut rather than through machine-gun fire. Firo's attitude toward the Runorata-Gandor feud also differs greatly: in the anime, he makes it clear that he will be happy to help Luck if needed; in the novels, Firo tells Berga that he had better not drag the Martillos into their beef with the Runoratas.
Isaac and Miria reboard the train to fetch Czes in the novels. In the anime, Czes steps off the train on his own accord.
Fred and Who were supposed to follow the woman in coveralls off the train, but they are cut from the anime. Fred serves as the novels' red herring for Maiza's "old friend," similar to how the woman serves as a red herring for Claire, but the anime does away with having a red herring for Czes entirely by implying the connection at the end of episode one.
Bill and Edward's discussion in the anime is a little truncated; Bill asks Edward to recite the characters of immortals in the novel, and notes that Donald Brown is currently investigating whether or not the immortals on the train had a hand in the massacre.
Jack also appears in the crowd retrieving the cargo from the river, but in the novels he plays a much larger role as one of the delinquents accompanying Jacuzzi on the Flying Pussyfoot.
While it is later pointed out in Episode 04 that Bartolo's claim that Dallas has blackmail material must be a lie, it ought to be noted that Bartolo doesn't lie at all in the novels; the Runoratas are not actually hunting for Dallas like they are in the anime, so Bartolo has no reason to lie.
- The Kerald Tribune newpsaper that Gustav is reading on the train may be a reference to the real New York Herald Tribune, a newspaper published between 1924 and 1966.
- The poem by Edgar Allen Poe featured in the episode is called "Spirits of the Dead," and is narrated by a dead spirit speaking to a live person visiting their grave. The spirit informs the person that those whom a person knows in life will surround them in their death.
- The conversation between Gustav and Carol is from the ninth light novel 1934: Street Episode Alice in Jails - the scene is supposed to take place in December 1934.
- The scene featuring Adele in the manor is actually from 1933: (First) The Slash ~Cloudy to Rainy~, the sixth novel in the series. The 1933 arc was not adapted in the anime, and the scene is never brought up again for the rest of the show.
- In the anime, Tick is referred to as "Chick."
- Gustav St. Germain
- Jacuzzi Splot
- Isaac Dian
- Miria Harvent
- Czeslaw Meyer
- Ladd Russo
- Firo Prochainezo
- Berga Gandor
- Luck Gandor
- Keith Gandor
- Edward Noah
- Bill Sullivan
- Chané Laforet
- Nice Holystone
- Adele (cameo)
- How did Firo, Luck, and Czes survive being shot? How did Firo's hand heal?
- What happened aboard the Advena Avis and the Flying Pussyfoot?
- Who is Vino?
- Why did Ladd shoot Czeslaw?
- What was the year-old incident that Luck mentioned?
- What was Jacuzzi running from? How did he end up hurt?
- Who left that message and who read it?
- What happened to Dallas Genoard? Where is he?
- How do Czeslaw and Maiza know each other?
- Why didn't Claire arrive at the station with the others?
- "At any rate, we still see these seven colored pieces of information with a sense of fairytale magic to them. Haven't you ever thought about that, Carol?" - Gustav St. Germain (dub).
- "Still, Carol... Depending upon which of these interesting characters you focus, the same incident will behave like the surface of an ocean, changeless yet ever-changing. In other words, there may be but one event that has many stories as there are people to tell them." - Gustav St. Germain (dub).
- "I used to be so scared of this poem I couldn't stand it. But now...it doesn't seem to bother me. Not since what happened a year ago." - Luck Gandor (dub).