To preface, turns out that writing that little epilogue as a blog post after my Porco Rosso piece was quite serendipitous. So I’ve decided to make this a quasi-regular thing to give well… A ‘writing insight’ I guess. I am not set on the title of this yet, but for this time I’ll run with it. The purpose is to sort of give an idea of what my thought process and ‘methodology’,if you can call it that, was while writing. I’m pretty sure this is just going to turn into me complaining about stuff but oh well, let’s get into it.
There was one big issue I faced while writing both the Baccano!! and the Durarara!! essays. The casts are freakin huge! When writing about the motif and themes of the story the process usually revolves around associating relevant character arcs with the proper themes. This process can be straightforward for some pieces ; the Porco Rosso essay, for instance, wasn’t too bad in that regard, plot progression and Porco’s arc aligned naturally. But in shows that use multiple POV that is not so simple, even more so in Baccano since it jumps regularly between timeline and settings.
For instance, when talking about identity you would naturally gravitate towards discussing Mikado and Celty for instance, but there are equally interesting characters that embody that theme. Seiji and Mika were especially interesting candidates here, Mika’s choice to change identity and Seiji’s approach to love were interesting topics but in the end I just couldn’t make them work for the overall essay.
Equally, while writing about Baccano I had to make choices as to who to feature in the article. Some like Isaac and Miria were of course a given, but others were less evident. I could have well discussed Jacuzzi instead of Czes. The latter made sense because his progressive character arc made sense with the theme of the essay being on chaos. But Jacuzzi’s flat arc would also have been an interesting contrast to have in my opinion. All in all it it was pretty much a coin toss!
I’m slightly disappointed about not being able to incorporate more characters and storylines into the discussion, but when trying to write expressive writing I don’t think you can avoid making certain choices. Otherwise the points you try to make just get muddled and lost in the flow. That would defeat the purose!
All in all, these pieces definitely had me racking my brain. The stories were not especially complex but they both have a large number of themes that are represented by an equally large cast. Although that only means that I’ll be able to revisit these universes a few more time at the very least.