Let’s say I can create a connection to you—who is reading this now somewhere on Earth—just within my 5, or maybe 4 acquaintances, do you think it’s possible?
Baccano! and Durarara!! are both the prime examples of anime that revolve around this idea, diverging the spotlights into not two, not three, but an ensemble cast of characters—where it is excels in playing with the execution of it. Because inside these intertwining stories, just by simply living their lives—ranging from alchemy, gangs, robberies, spies to assasins—with the accompany of jazzy, funky music, everyone is the main character.
Inside their small, small world, tons of events are happening at the same time, overlapping different lives, and giving rise to later events. So much info to gather, to see and to understand from so many different perspectives, colliding each other within so many dates and times. Before you’ve completely absorbed the situation, you’re shifted to another completely unrelated character.
It’s a complete chaos.
Yet, there’s an interesting theory proposed by Hungarian writer, Frigyes Karinthy that connects them all—the sixth degree of seperation. Six maximum person to connect the writer, me and the reader, you.
It is proposed that if I know at least a 100 people, and if each of them knows another 100 people, then this “friends of friends” routes would eventually intersect somewhere in between that would lead to you. Between these routes, it takes maximum of six steps to connect one and other, much lesser with the social media we have now. If you really try and find the mutual connection, this might actually be possible.
But we just don’t.
We couldn’t care less about another stranger. The characters inside feel the same, oblivious to form a connection with any seemingly unrelated stranger. Yet, this theory approached and introduced them to us, bringing them all together, from one stranger to another. With a bit of twist in the tone for different group of characters, the flow of the story is never too jarring. Never too dull. Just right in between, serving science fiction, thriller, and comedy portion by portion and then blending them all together—exhibiting the powerful storytelling lies within Baccano! and Durarara!!.
This is also how among the crowds, inside the bustling cities, little miracles can still happen. And when they do, you’re in for a whole new world of amazement on how it all comes together.
Thanks for reading.