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The Rolling Bootlegs is the first volume of the Baccano! light novel series, and Ryohgo Narita's debut novel. After receiving the Gold Prize in the ninth Dengeki Novel Prize Competition, held in 2002, it was published by MediaWorks on February 10, 2003.[1]

The novel was first adapted into a 2007 anime series by studio Brain's Base, and later adapted more faithfully in the second and third volumes of the 2015 manga.

Official Synopsis[]

New York, 1930. The manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited by law, but behind this prohibition, organized crime flourishes—so, too, do bank robbers, bootleggers, assassins, and homunculi. Some want money, some are chasing the secret to immortality, and others just want to have a really good time. You know what they say, though: You can't always get what you want.[2]

Full Synopsis

Click "Expand" for the full synopsis.

A Japanese photographer visits New York City in 2002, only to have his camera stolen by a boy and his gang. He meets with a bespectacled immortal who introduces himself as the contaiuolo of the Martillo Family. While the two of them wait in Alveare for Ronny Schiatto to retrieve the camera, the immortal passes the time by recounting a certain incident which took place in November 1930.

November 1930, New York City. A blender working for Barnes finally completes the Cure-All Elixir for the immortal alchemist Szilard Quates, only to shortly thereafter be murdered by a panhandler. Szilard and his chauffeur Ennis arrive in the city the next day, when a fire accidentally caused by Randy and Pezzo leads to the total destruction of Barnes' granary. Though close to three dozen bottles of the elixir are destroyed in the conflagration, Barnes manages to carry two of them out in a crate during his escape.

On the way to Szilard's hideout, Barnes is attacked and knocked unconscious by young thug Dallas Genoard. Martillo associate Firo Prochainezo comes to his rescue by single-handedly taking on Dallas and his crew; while Barnes and the others are unconscious, Firo switches out the elixir with the contents of two liquor bottles he had illegally acquired for his upcoming promotion party. Dallas and his friends successfully assault and rob Barnes of his crate not long after, but later lose the crate at Coraggioso after their meeting there with the Gandor Family turns sour.

Ennis finds Barnes and delivers him to Szilard, who devours Barnes and then orders her to capture Dallas and his followers. Once she brings the four men back to Szilard, she injects them with the incomplete immortality elixir at Szilard's behest. He devours Dallas' companion Scott and instructs the remaining three men to bring him the crate from Coraggioso.

Meanwhile, thieves Isaac Dian and Miria Harvent prepare to rob the Martillo Family as the final hurrah of their thieving career. Their investigation of the Martillos results in them attending Firo's promotion party at Alveare, along with the Gandor brothers and the rest of the Martillo executives. All mortal attendees of the party unknowingly imbibe the Cure-All Elixir and become complete immortals.

While the party is underway, Dallas and his companions reclaim the crate via a bloody raid of the Coraggioso which leaves four Gandors dead. Isaac and Miria, having left the Martillos' party early, happen to stumble across the Coraggioso right as Dallas' group is making their getaway. They assume that the crate contains the mafia's dirty money and successfully steal it, not realizing that Dallas and his friends are the same people who assaulted them earlier that day. The theft is witnessed by Ennis, hidden nearby. 

When the Gandor brothers return to Coraggioso later on and discover their men's corpses, they are outraged and swear revenge. The local police, led by Edward Noah, launch an investigation that carries on into the next day. Morning breaks to find Isaac and Miria disappointed that the crate contains liquor rather than money, and the two decide to give the bottles to the Martillos as a thank you gift for the jar of honey the Martillos gave them.

They thus bring the crate to Alveare around noontime, where Firo is surprised to recognize the crate as Barnes' crate. Ennis, having followed Isaac and Miria there, spots Maiza talking with them and immediately leaves to inform Szilard of Maiza's whereabouts. Isaac and Miria say goodbye to Maiza and Firo and leave in turn.

Szilard, ecstatic at Ennis' report, has her drive him to Alveare at once; at the same time, Dallas and his companions decide to find and murder Firo before skipping town. Meanwhile, the Gandor brothers head for Alveare with the intention of speaking to the Martillos about the raid.

Isaac and Miria run into Edward by Coraggioso on their way from Alveare, and he informs them that four Gandor mafiosi were murdered the previous night. They mistakenly assume that Dallas' gang were the Gandor men, and come to the conclusion that they killed Dallas' crew via their pepper bombs. Fearing that suspicion may fall on the Martillos should it be discovered the family has the crate, Isaac and Miria hurry back to warn the Martillos of what has transpired.

As they draw close to Alveare, they happen to overhear Dallas and his friends talking behind the fence of a factory lot. The three are discussing revenge and, to Isaac and Miria's horror have tommy guns; assuming that the men broke out of jail to seek revenge on Ennis, Isaac and Miria vow to save their heroine from Dallas' wrath.

Szilard arrives at the Alveare and confronts Maiza in full view of the other Martillos. Firo and the other executives learn that Szilard killed Maiza's younger brother and many of his friends, and now intends to kill Maiza as well. Angered on Maiza's behalf, the executives shoot Szilard full of bullets; much to their shock, Szilard remains on his feet and reaches for a tommy gun.

Firo attempts and fails to harm Szilard, after which Maiza orders him to find Molsa Martillo and Ronny Schiatto and warn them of the situation. Though reluctant, Firo agrees; Szilard opens fire on him as he escapes, but Maiza leaps in front of the muzzle and blocks the barrage of bullets with his own body. Helpless to move, all he can do is watch as Szilard mows down the remaining executives.

Ennis attacks Firo as soon as he exits through the back door, and both recognize each other from the granary conflagration the day before. While Ennis explains who she and Szilard are to Firo, Szilard explains the nature of his past two hundred years' worth of research to Maiza.

Dallas and his two friends come across Firo and Ennis and prepare to kill them, but the Gandor brothers arrive just in time to hold Dallas and his crew at gunpoint. He attempts to blame the deaths of the Gandor mafiosi on Firo, but Luck Gandor reveals that he and Firo are childhood friends and shoots Dallas in the head, as do Berga and Keith with others. Ennis' warning that they should tie Dallas' group up comes too late, and the three men revive and shoot the Gandors, Firo, and Ennis dead.

The trio make their escape down another alleyway, but are run over by Isaac and Miria by way of Szilard's automobile. Isaac accidentally hits Szilard in the process, but Szilard recovers and takes him hostage right as Ennis rounds the corner. Szilard orders her to hold the thieves hostage for him while he deals with Maiza, and Ennis takes Szilard's knife and holds it to Isaac's throat.

Szilard shoots Maiza's legs, sending the capo to his knees. Ennis thanks Isaac and Miria, turns, and literally and figuratively backstabs Szilard before he can devour Maiza. Firo rounds the alley corner, shouting Maiza's name; Szilard severs the connection between him and Ennis, and she collapses to the ground. Meanwhile, Edward and several other policemen arrive at the front entrance of the Alveare to investigate civilian reports of gunfire.

Isaac and Miria throw their pepper bombs at Szilard while Firo runs over to Maiza and Ennis, and Ennis realizes that Firo must be an immortal (much to Maiza's surprise). Randy and Pezzo light Szilard's head on fire, giving Firo the opportunity to devour Szilard and save Ennis' life. 

The alleyway is shortly happened upon by Edward, who harangues Firo for answers until Isaac and Miria deliberately draw his attention and run away. Realizing that they are the costumed bandits the BOI is after, he orders his men to take chase; as Isaac and Miria run, they distribute the Genoard Family fortune to passerby—deciding to save the last of it for tickets to California, where they plan to mine for gold.

Maiza asks Firo to devour him, but Firo refuses to do any such thing. When Ronny, Molsa, and Kanshichirou Yaguruma finally arrive, they find everyone celebrating their newfound immortality in the alleyway.

In the aftermath, the Gandors take Dallas and company to an abandoned warehouse, place them in individual barrels, and fill the barrels with with cement. The barrels are subsequently dropped into the Hudson River. Later on, Edward, Bill Sullivan, and Donald Brown locate and deal with Szilard's main group of sponsors (including Edward's former superior Superintendent Veld).

Back in 2002, the immortal is pleased to see that the photographer believes his tale. He identifies some of the patrons in the restaurant as some of the people from his 'story', and the photographer is surprised to learn that the immortal in front of him is Firo, not Maiza.


No. Title
Color Insert 01 One Day Before: Inside Alveare
Color Insert 02 A Few Days After, Or A Few Hours Before: In Front of the Station
Color Insert 03 A Few Minutes Before: On The Road
Color Insert 04 Right Before: The Gandor Family
Epilogue 01 Epilogue...1
Prologue Prologue
Chapter 01 Day One
Chapter 02 Night
Chapter 03 Day Two
Epilogue 02 Epilogue...2
Afterword Afterword


Cultural References

  • The title of the volume is a reference to the band The Rolling Stones.
  • The novel is the only Baccano! volume to not have a year prefacing its title, as Narita had no guarantee that its publishers would want Baccano! turned into a series.

Characters in Order of Appearance