"Setting the Old Woman's Qualms Aside, the Flying Pussyfoot Departs" is the second episode of the 2007 Baccano! anime.
The episode opens on a busy platform at a train station. Tony the conductor directs passersby from his position on a caboose while passengers board his train and others walk on.
An elderly man marvels at the Flying Pussyfoot, a Nebula-built transcontinental express bound for New York from Chicago. As he and his wife look the train over, he remarks on its unusual design and how First Class is up near the front - rather than toward the rear, as per the usual designs. His wife shares none of his good cheer and believes that they shouldn't board the train - her sixth sense has warned her that something terrible will happen aboard it. She says that many people will die during the journey, and those that who survive will be those with good luck - and those who are not human.Title card.
Some time in 1930, Isaac & Miria are mining for gold in a Californian mine shaft - an act that Isaac describes as "stealing from the Earth." Five months later, Miria wonders why they are digging for gold when gold is usually found via river-panning. Isaac freezes, and claims that only amateurs pan for gold. He assures her that he recently spotted a centipede, which can only mean good fortune.
Four months later, Miria stops digging to inform Isaac that they have received a letter from Ennis. She proceeds to read it out loud to Isaac, as he relaxes in his hammock. In the letter, Ennis writes that she and others have been thinking of Isaac and Miria daily since they left New York nearly a year ago, and that they miss Isaac and Miria greatly. Ennis invites Isaac and Miria to come back and visit, since she has heard they haven't been very successful in their mining endeavors.
Ennis hurriedly adds that she hopes she is not being too forward, explaining that she thinks of Isaac and Miria like the siblings she never got to meet. She confesses that she is sad whenever she thinks of those who were "created" before her, but that thinking of Isaac and Miria always cheers her up. Upset, Miria lowers the letter and asks Isaac if Ennis' siblings are dead, and Isaac quickly thinks of a way to assuage her worries. Looking over the letter, he decides that Ennis is actually expressing her desire to have a younger brother.
Since they are not Ennis' parents and thus cannot give her a brother, Isaac suggests that they buy Ennis a souvenir on their way back to New York. They will have to commit a train robbery in order to afford a gift at all - Isaac's notion of a train robbery is this: they take a train to their destination, commit a robbery, and then make their escape on the train. They decide that when they commit their robbery, they will rob some mafia outfit.
The scene cuts to the robbery in question: Isaac and Miria, dressed as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, attack two mafiosi and steal a black bag full of money. An old man looks on in shock, while a baseball game plays on the radio next to him.
The anime returns to the opening scene, only this time the camera lingers on the platform long enough for Isaac and Miria to step in front of the lens, dressed as a gunman and saloon girl respectively. They witness a group of black-suited musicians boarding the Flying Pussyfoot, their leader Goose Perkins informing a train employee that they have received permission for some of their members to travel in the freight hold. Isaac and Miria are excited at the idea of an orchestra traveling aboard the train, loud enough that they catch the attention of a woman in coveralls boarding the Flying Pussyfoot.
Tony steps off the caboose balcony and onto the platform. A middle-aged conductor and a younger conductor walk over to compliment Tony on his hard work, all three men wearing the same white uniform. The Young Conductor is eager at his chance to finally work ride the Flying Pussyfoot, but Tony admits he no longer shares his younger colleagues' energetic spirit. He reveals that he's retiring, and tells the Young Conductor that this "special train" is all his before walking off in the direction of the musicians, saying that he will catch up with the Young Conductor later.
The Young Conductor watches Tony leave, and notices a young woman in a black coat leaning against the train, an instrument bag over her shoulder. He remarks on her beauty and seeks his older colleague's opinion, only to chase after him once he realizes the older conductor already left. Meanwhile, a man grabs Tony and drags him between the cars of the train. Sounds of a struggle ensue.
Jacuzzi Splot watches the musicians load their luggage with terrible dismay, turning to his friends sitting on the platform with the news that there will apparently be guards in the freight holds. Nice Holystone tells him to calm down, pointing out that their target is in a different freight hold. Donny assures Jacuzzi that he can just take care of the guards without a problem, leading Jacuzzi to become more worked up over the idea that Donny might be hurt. Nick merely yawns at Jacuzzi's fretting.
A man and a boy stand by one of the cars with a freight hold, near Jacuzzi's Gang. The man informs the boy that he has constructed a hidden room in the freight hold, and that no one should find 'it' unless something odd happens, like an explosion. The boy smiles.
Isaac and Miria continue to spy on the musicians until their attention is caught by a group of men and one woman all in white standing by the Second Class cars. The group's leader Ladd Russo wonders what kind of people are riding First Class, spotting the black-suited musicians down the line. Cradling Lua Klein's chin, he coos that it is 'nice' to see such a contrast between their group and the musicians before asking his men if there is anyone else among the passengers whom he should note. Who points out Natalie Beriam and Mary Beriam among a crowd of passengers, identifying them as the wife and daughter of Manfred Beriam. Ladd comments that it must be 'swell' to breeze through life in first class accommodations, thinking that nothing bad could possibly happen thanks to how rich one is.
Ladd calls for his men to get ready and treat the passengers like 'livestock', increasingly working himself up while Lua watches on, entranced. Dune darts over and shows off a conductor's uniform he acquired, pleasing Ladd so much that he hugs him. The two men run off, laughing. Isaac and Miria watch the rest of the men walk away, and conclude that they must be having a wedding aboard the train. Miria wonders if there will be presents, and Isaac enthuses that there will be plenty of expensive presents perfect for their train robbery. Miria replies that she thought they were running away from the train robbery they already committed. Isaac pauses, and agrees that that is exactly what they are doing.
The train departs the station. Tony's corpse floats along in the sewer water, its conductor's uniform missing.
In Senator Beriam's office, Beriam's aide (possibly the same man who was seen with the boy Czes) informs him that the Flying Pussyfoot has departed on schedule, the 'item' is safe - and that Beriam's wife and daughter are on the train. Beriam is surprised to hear this, tossing his papers onto his desk. The aide says that they placed the item as far away from First Class as possible, so if anything unexpected happens Natalie and Mary should be safe. He adds that there is still time to stop the train and let the two of them off, but Beriam tells him to forget it and to stick to the plan. He claims that this is an issue of what is more important - his family, or the item - and that he has made his decision. If anything happens to his wife and daughter, than it is fate.
In the dining car of the Flying Pussyfoot, bartender Jon Panel whispers to Jacuzzi that he can't talk about 'that' with Jacuzzi out in the open. By 'that', he means that the train is apparently carrying a high-grade package, which assistant cook Fang Lin-Shan says is some new kind of bomb. Jacuzzi worries about what will happen should the package explode, and newly arrived Nice Holystone answers that whatever happens will be a blast. Nice sits at the barstool on Jacuzzi's left, confident that they will be able to steal the cargo as long as she is involved.
Isaac and Miria laugh boisterously over their dinner at end of the counter, and their outlandish outfits lead Nice to wonder if they are actors. She suggests that Jacuzzi try talking to them in an effort to become more sociable, and Jacuzzi approaches them with extreme reluctance. Isaac assumes that Jacuzzi is a movie star due to his facial tattoo, and Jacuzzi stutters that he's actually a small-time bootlegger. As the night goes on, Jacuzzi relaxes and even starts chuckling at Isaac's nonsensical logic. Jon silently notes that he hasn't seen Jacuzzi have so much fun in a long time.
Czes runs after Mary Beriam down the aisle, accidentally bumping into Jacuzzi and causing him to choke on his food. Wheezing, Jacuzzi assures him that he is fine. Natalie walks over and apologizes on Mary's behalf, taking a seat at the bar along with Czes and Mary. She introduces herself and Mary; when it is Czes' turn to introduce himself, he pauses for an unusually long time before giving his full name. He apologizes again to Jacuzzi for earlier and Jacuzzi reassures him that he didn't do anything wrong. Isaac and Miria immediately point at Jacuzzi and say that in doing something wrong, he will be eaten by the Rail Tracer. Jacuzzi has never heard of the Rail Tracer before, and Isaac prepares to explain.
Over in the conductors' compartment in the rear car, the Young Conductor describes the Rail Tracer to his older colleague as a monster that chases trains. Once it reaches the train, the passengers will disappear starting with the back of the train until no one is left. The train itself will vanish once the cars are empty. He claims that there is something 'even creepier' than such an image.
Isaac informs Jacuzzi that if someone tells the story of the Rail Tracer aboard a train, that train is sure to be targeted by the Rail Tracer next. At Jacuzzi's obvious fear, Isaac nonchalantly says that there is one way to prevent the Rail Tracer from coming - only to realize that he can't remember how the story ends.
The Young Conductor is about to explain how to prevent the Rail Tracer's arrival, but the older conductor interrupts him to perform the scheduled light signal. He flips down a switch, causing the exterior lights to flash repeatedly. The black suited musicians stir throughout the train, and Goose Perkins announces to those gathered in his First Class cabin that it is time to begin their plan and split into groups of three.
The Young Conductor attempts to pick up where he left off after his colleague switches off the lights, but the older conductor says that he knows a similar story: one involving ghosts called Lemures.
Addressing the assembled 'musicians', Goose declares that from here on out, the only ties that they have is their loyalty to Master Huey Laforet. He says that in transcending life and death they will be able to become one with Master Huey, he who has obtained 'eternal life.' This, he continues, is the goal of the Lemures, that as living 'ghosts' they must not and cannot fear death.Isaac tries and fails to remember how the legend of the Rail Tracer ends without success. Jon says that he has actually heard the story before, from the Young Conductor. Jacuzzi leaps to his feet and runs off toward Second Class, intending to ask the Conductor for the prevention method. While Jacuzzi apologizes to the others for Jacuzzi's scaredy-cat nature, Czes sits alone and wonders why he introduced himself with his real name - and if there is an immortal among the passengers. He is roused from his thoughts when Mary remarks on how scary the story was, and agrees.
The older conductor continues his story in the rear car with increasing vitriol, spitting venom over the "Feds" who have arrested the Lemures' leader and are trying to cover up all knowledge of him. Meanwhile, Goose urges the Lemures to think of their actions aboard the train as a ritual, in which the train is the altar and the passengers sacrificial lambs.
Jacuzzi exits the dining car and bumps into Nick and Donny on the connecting platform. They ask him why he is in such a rush, and he rambles something about how the passengers are all going to die and how he needs to find the Young Conductor before entering the first Second Class car and continuing on his frenzied way.
The older conductor says that the remaining ghosts came up with a plan. They would have to take people hostage, including the family of a powerful senator, and use them as leverage in negotiating for their leader's release. Identifying himself as a Lemur, the conductor says that his great leader Master Huey will be undergoing interrogation in New York's justice department tomorrow – which means that this train has to become a sacrifice for Master Huey.
Goose tells his men to have faith that their actions on the train will lead to the release and rescue of Master Huey.
The older conductor, in the conductor's compartment, points a gun at his younger companion telling him that there is no way to prevent the his death and pulls the trigger.
Ladd exits his Second Class compartment, and is almost immediately bumped into by Jacuzzi. He shouts at Jacuzzi to watch where he is going, and Jacuzzi turns to issue frantic apologies, explaining that he is in a hurry to find the Young Conductor since all the passengers are in great danger. Ladd watches him run off, seemingly recognizing him.
The Lemur pulls out his revolver, and says that since everyone who hears his story dies, there is no way for the Young Conductor to be spared. He aims the revolver at the Young Conductor's face, and a gunshot is heard off-screen.
Differences between the Anime & NovelsEdit
Episode Two implies that Senator Beriam was involved with and had an interest in the explosives smuggled aboard the train, but this is not the case in the novels. This means that there was no man assisting Czes on the platform as there was in the anime. The scene with Beriam and his aide is also anime-original.
Jack is supposed to be one of the members of Jacuzzi's Gang accompanying Jacuzzi on board, but his role in the anime is cut. He was supposed to have been with Nick and Donny on the connecting platform when Jacuzzi bumps into them.
Ladd's conversation about the First Class experience and the Senator's wife and daughter actually takes place once he and his crew are on board the train, and not on the platform. The subordinate who brings up the Beriams isn't specified to be Who in the novels, and he spotted them board the train rather than point them out to Ladd. Right after the conversation takes place, Fred enters the car and walks all the way down the corridor, exiting into the next car. Ladd takes notice of his unusual appearance - Fred's scene, along with his character, is cut from the anime. Ladd's line about livestock also actually occurred on the bus his group took to the station, not on the platform.
In the novels, Nice speaks in an overly polite manner to most people aside from Jacuzzi. While this is reflected in the sub to some extent, Nice speaks fairly casually in the dub.
Isaac and Miria spot Ladd's group first in the novels and the 'musicians' second, opposite to the anime. Miria is also wearing a bright red, broad-rimmed hat in the dining car, but the hat never shows up in the anime. Gregoire is also cut from the dining car; he shouts at Jon and Fang to do their work.
Nader Schasschule's coup is cut from the anime entirely, along with his character.
The anime cuts Isaac's and Miria's scene regarding the train robbery in the mine shaft short; after they decide to steal from the mafia (and wonder what outfits they should wear), the light in their lamp goes out. They decide to wait for help to arrive, but end up suffocating in the dark. Men find them in the morning and take them out of the mine on stretchers. According to a group of miners discussing the incident, Isaac and Miria were doing just fine by the afternoon.
A few other scenes are cut from the anime, including Goose and Chané taking notice of Rachel (the woman in coveralls) and Czes bumping into Jacuzzi on the station platform.
- The elderly couple in the beginning of the anime are actually the owners of Dolce Restaurant, and play a minor role in the 1934 arc. Though it is never shown in the anime, they actually end up selling both their tickets to Elmer C. Albatross, who boards the train in their stead.
- The anime doesn't specify that Isaac and Miria are actually dressed as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb.
- What did Goose mean by eternal life?
- How does one prevent the Rail Tracer from coming?
- Why was Czes troubled that he gave his real name earlier? What did he mean by immortal?
- What did Ennis mean when she referred to her siblings has having been "created" before her?
- Are the explosives that Senator Beriam wants the same as the explosives Jacuzzi's Gang is after? How are Czes and Beriam connected? What does Beriam want with them?
- Why does Ladd seem to know who Jacuzzi is? Why didn't Jacuzzi recognize him?
- What is Ladd's group planning to do to the passengers?