"Revenge is a dish best served cold."
This is the cornerstone expression that drives 91 Days. An expression that it lives and dies by, down to the very fabric of its being. One that we're quickly made aware of from the opening act that plants us into its world.
The arms of the clock tick in reverse, as we travel back to the days of the prohibition era. It's a cold night in April, and our young protagonist, Angelo Lagusa, enters frame. In the warm glow of his household, behind the thick wooden walls that push the harsh cold out, he's at ease with the comfort
of his family filling in the spaces of his living quarters. Cushioned by a blanket of security, Angelo and his little brother, Luce, awaits their father's return, hiding away in anticipation for the moment he walks through the door. It's a brief hallmark moment, the siblings' father cheerfully calling out their names, waiting for a likely response to ring out from within the closet. But little does Angelo know, that everything he's known up to this point is about to come to an end with the sudden knock of a visitor at the door—dun! dun! dun!—... and so it begins.
Three burly figures draped in thick trench coats steps inside. And just like that, the warm radiance that once filled the house is immediately sucked out. In its place, the thick stench of malice creeps in, seeping through the floorboards, suffocating the very air around them. Something is about to happen, and every beating heart in that room could feel it coming. Angelo's father lounges forward, blade in hand and his little brother bolts out the 2'x8' coffin to come to his parents' aid before Angelo could even react. Stifled by the linen hanging behind him and the fear of what he's witnessing in front, our young protagonist is left frozen to look on, powerless to take action against the chaos looming right outside his hiding space. Peaking through the wooden panels of the cramped closet, he bares witness to a sight that will forever haunt him. Bullets leave their chamber, the thunderous clap marking their departure, as they tear through the flesh of what he once called family.
This is it. This is the event. This is the anger that fuels him. This is the removal of normalcy. This is the motivation that keeps him going. This is the beginning of something sinister. This is the landmark moment that will forever pave his path with blood stains of burgundy and the sulfuric stench of gunpowder. "Revenge is a dish best served cold" and Angelo is determined to deliver it, even at the cost of innocent bystanders that are oblivious to his vendetta. The cost of him ever living a normal life. And at the cost of what little shred of humanity was left during that cold winter night. When he goes through with this, there's no turning back. No one to turn to. No one to pray for his godforsaken soul. And so we depart with him, down the topsy-turvy course of trust and betrayal, with a hit list in hand and a determination that refuses to yield. He begins his journey; the first steps are taken, day one begins.
Bearing a similar tone and structure to projects done by movie heavyweights Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, 91 Days plays out like a love-child of these two worlds being brought together. This is immediately felt with the sultry musical backing, soft piano keys being carted off by bellowing brass instruments, stylistically cropped with titles cards and blood-curdling violin strings, as the camera slowly pans across the landscape. Traversing the fledgling stages of a city aiming to shoot their infrastructures towards the heavens, we're made aware of this place that's aptly named Lawless; a nesting ground for those trying to carve out a living for themselves, as well as the mafia families that make up the seedy underbelly of the booming alcohol smuggling trade. After laying low for seven years, Angelo makes his return to this city, reborn under the alias Avilio Bruno. Here he set the plans in motion for his revenge, enlisting the help of his childhood friend, Corteo, using his talents as a brewer to get closer to the crime syndicate that massacred his loved ones on that cold night in April.
And as his plans begin to unfold, everyone is slowly entangled within it. A sprawled-out web that's inhabited by family feuds over the dominion of the city and pretexts made at a moments notice to insight altercations. A breeding ground for mutual partnerships and calculated backstabbing, with Avilio fanning the flames whenever he sees fit. These warring family factions include the Vanettis, Orcos, and Galassias. All of which participate in this codependent dance of charades that are set to the music of a zero-sum game. With lots of twists and turns scattered along the way, every chapter adds a new piece to the playing field. This, combined with the brisk, yet methodical pacing, made 91 Days a title that constantly had you wanting to see what would happen next. There were no guarantees on who will live or die, only the falsehood of plot armor that's immediately revoked when two opposing parties meet.
This became one of the show's greatest strengths; suspense backed up by tangible results.
Revenge stories that slowly taper off as it pushes forward aren't uncommon. There have been many examples of this occurring across several storytelling mediums, with the usual morality message regarding the perpetual state of hate being the star attraction set on display. Thankfully, 91 Days isn't another statistic. It sets the stage early on and delivers on its promise from beginning to end. There aren't any trade-offs made to extend anyone's relevance, if they're ensnared in a situation that they can't walk away from unscathed, they receive their just desserts like everyone else. There are still explicit messages regarding the cost of revenge, as well as themes that come default with these scenarios, but the story doesn't bend at will to adhere to the warnings of it. Revenge isn't just worn as a shiny badge before flipping the script to see the apparent wrongs of the actions being taken, no, in 91 Days, revenge is carried out without compromise. And nowhere is that made more prominent than with the cutthroat mentality adopted by the main lead, Angelo "Avilio" Lagusa.
If Angelo were summed up with one word, it would be merciless. An empty shell that lives solely for his objective, Angelo knows nothing else, adjusting his life around the need to make his targets pay. He isn't just satisfied with merely killing them; he wants to crush everything that they stand for. Dismantling the very foundation of their family's name by orchestrating events that will see them tearing each other apart. He's determined to see his plans through to the end, becoming another cog in the machine without so much as flinching at the prospect if it benefits his cause. Step by step, he draws closer to his end goal, the phantom resemblance of a smile just below the surface as bodies begin to fall. It's an obsession that borders on madness.
And it's this same obsessive state that gives birth to paranoia among all camps of the conflict. Men hunched over in their local speakeasies, glancing over their shoulders in fear of other families taking them out. Restless faces marked off by bags under their eyes, dispatching hit men before someone else gets them first. And standing in the cross-hairs of this chaos is Nero Vanetti, a man deeply devoted to his Don and father, and the extended crime family, and unfortunately, another name on the checklist to be snuffed out. Where Angelo is driven to dismantle everything around him, Nero is committed to keeping it together, who, like Angelo, is obsessed with his cause, but instead of being duty-bound to some vendetta, he instead wants to maintain the integrity of his family's name. A task that proves nigh impossible with Angelo offering a handshake in comradeship, while the other hand carries a pistol erected in his direction. A give-and-take relationship where one man stumbles in the dark, oblivious to the others malicious intent.
But not everything in 91 Days compliments this gripping narrative. For one, the art direction and presentation often fell short of expected standards. Instead of becoming an animated series that could go toe-to-toe with the giants it patterns itself after, it only manages to measure up by the skin of its teeth. By no means should anyone approach this work expecting something on Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese or Quentin Tarantino's level. When I said, "similar tone and structure" that was the extent to which I think this anime achieves when pulling from its influences. At best, it's a slightly better rendition of the 3rd movie in the Godfather franchise, which admittedly isn't much of an accomplishment, but still, I'll give it credit for where credit is due. Regarding general scriptwriting, cinematography, and fully developed personalities, 91 Days remains an imitation of these great creator's works, but still a gripping imitation nonetheless.
The lack of eye-grabbing textures, unique shot compositions, color saturation, or other presentation nitpicks could be ignored if you're invested in the story. Although, some aspects might stick out far too often to turn a blind eye to. Such is the case with characters like Fango, who might have been an honest attempt at creating a sadomasochistic individual, but ended up resembling an off-brand Joker villain instead. Where every character involved aimed for an early Film-noir performance set in the 1920s, Fango came flying in like a man transported straight from the 1970s; complete with the general attire and appearance to boot. And as detracting as his antics were at times when placed in a setting not meant for him, after awhile, his role in the story meshed in more effectively. May have been too late by then, but at least the effort was there to course-correct the problem. There are also a few character dynamics that could have benefited with a bit more time dedicated to it, like Angelo's connection to his childhood friend Corteo, which felt too much like an afterthought at times, only there to get his foot in the door and serve as a catalyst for certain events to happen. With a bit more meat to their relationship, pivotal narrative moments could have become emotionally gripping ones as well. There's an excellent storyboard there, just not enough attention-to-detail in-between plot points make it moments with long shelf-lives in the collective conscious of the viewership.
And despite this list of shortcomings, 91 Days remains a welcomed addition to its niche genre appeal, because when everything is said and done, the self-respect in which it carried itself made it far easier to forgive where it may have stumbled. We've had a fair share of mobster-inspired works before this, from the more character-centric ones like Gungrave and Gangsta to the rule-of-cool beat-em-ups of Darker than Black and Baccano, but there's never been a more faithful rendition of the traditional mafioso story in anime up to this point. Where those titles are riddled with supernatural occurrences that are dipped in the flourishings of the mobster lifestyle, 91 Days trades this in for a more grounded approach, containing characters that draw closer to real-world personalities than the more zany ones found in some of its contemporaries.
It may not have the energy of Baccano, the fully developed characters of Gungrave, the well-choreographed fights of Darker than Black, or Gangsta's—... oh wait, Gangsta sucks. But what it does have is an appreciation for the classics that preceded it and the commitment needed to see its vision through.
No, it’s not a show that spans for 91 episodes, a Baccano’s second coming, or in fact anything like that at all. On paper, 91 Days is a revenge story, a show about a guy named Avilio Bruno (real name: Angelo Lagusa) who seeks vengeance against the Vanetti Family. Why? It’s because they ruined his life many years ago when he was a child. His family was murdered (or more precisely, double crossed) by the mafia. This all happened during the Prohibition Era and it’s hard to imagine at the time what Avilio was going through. Simply put, 91 Days strives to prove itself as
a successful crime-drama thriller; one that hopes to make it memorable as for you as it can for itself.
As an original series, 91 Days isn’t being held back by any adaptation hindrances or an established fan base. However, the show is hardly anything original either. Picture this. It’s the Prohibition Era and mafia, gangs, and mobs rule the street. Liquor is like gold while the police force is anything but useful. Organized crime is almost everywhere you see and so common that it’s practically accepted. At the top of the food chain are the mafia organizations that controls the system. The Vanetti Family is one such mafia that emerged as a powerful group led by a man named Don Vincento. He also got a son named Nero who he hopes will protect his family’s treasure. Avilio is able to get involved in this family’s affairs as a subordinate while others remain oblivious to the fact that he wants to destroy them from within. Sounds quite appealing right? It’s almost sounds like a revamp of a gangster story from the 80s or something out of a James Bond movie.
Even judging by the promotional poster itself, the show can feel intimidating. You literally got two guys standing on opposite ends of each other while pointing a gun with the intent to kill. They are Nero and Avilio. As a story about crime, revenge, and murder, there’s also a lot that goes beyond that. 91 Days starts off by making its intentions pretty clear. Mafia really are like Gods in their world who plays by their own rules. Unfortunately, Avilio’s family were killed and the laws never delivered justice for him. It’s why he wants revenge. At the same time, Avilio is a clever man. He’s been hiding himself for almost 7 years until the moment he has the chance. On surface, Avilio is someone that is hard to approach. He hides his emotions and not easily befriended. His friendship with Nero is one of the most interesting dynamics in the series as they are very different. Nero is the one with the bright personality and also has full of pride for his family. We learn that Avilio lost his family already so there’s not many people he can turn to besides his childhood friend Corteo. So in his head, we got Avilio who tries his best to carry out vengeance that being transformed from a sweet kid to this avenger. At the same time, Avilio’s intentions aren’t just revenge. He wants to bring pain and suffering to his enemies so death sometimes may not be enough to satisfy. Talk about intense feelings. Living in pain may feel even worse than death itself.
I have to admit, cleverness alone isn’t just what describes Avilio as a character. The people he wants dead are often planned out in his head like a chess game, where he anticipates the moves of his opponents. In this game, Avilio uses tricks until he catches his prey off guard and goes for the kill or make them suffer. It’s like an assassination except Avilio does more than just carry out his mission. He wants the most out of them and even manages to get other people involved in such dangerous affairs when they weren’t to be. Remember, this is a society where trust is an obscure word. People have to rely on themselves and family feuds are pretty evident. The most noticeable ones are between the Vanetti, Orco, and Galassia. In the meantime, the show makes some families look like hypocrites, especially with they celebrate events. In essence, there’s really no sincere character coming from the families as they all seek to make themselves look good. One of the most noticeable characters in the show is Fango, someone that viewers will see as a psychopath. It’s pretty evident that he has murderous tendencies and really doesn’t care much about anyone but himself. The mind games you see he plays with others also makes him a manipulative individual as well. Perhaps Fango is a bit of extreme example but the point is that there’s pretty much no character in the show with a pure heart.
Among all the antiheroes and crime, the story itself is pretty much a dark thriller. It’s obvious already in the first few episodes so expect nothing less throughout the rest of the season. There is actually one breather episode that connects the friendship more between Avilio and Nero. However, most of the season is tainted with bloodshed, murder, and tragedy. Death is quite real and really, no one is safe. There may even be a few plot segments where you’ll feel like experiencing the unexpected. Every episode builds on the overall story and characters more whether they are from extravagant revelations or small pieces by pieces. The show is about revenge but the characters in them are more than just chess pieces in a board game. Sure, each of the have their roles to fulfill but most of the character also has a purpose. In the meantime, the comedy of the series is portrayed more as dark humor. The violence is portrayed as real. The crimes are lawless.
Animation wise, I was initially somewhat worried. The show is adapted by studio Shuka who is only known for their recent work, Durarara!! sequels. From a technical perspective, the show looks decent and portrays the dark thrilling mood quite well. The best parts about the show is the character emotions as we see how they show their feelings – hatred, sorrow, pity, regret. 91 Days portrays character expressions at their best when they are in conflict. The historical background settings of the Prohibition Era also has fine details although not as emphasized as the violence. Expect graphic violence especially during death scenes and murder. It’s a dark story after all.
The soundtrack makes sense in most respects with the eerie atmospheric setting. Even the OP and ED theme songs are haunting with a soft paced beat. Character voice mannerisms in the show is also a positive with Avilio being a believable character with his quest of revenge. However, my biggest impression of the character voice mannerism is Fango. His eccentric speeches, crazy personality, and psychopathic tone reflects exactly how 91 Days’ society can be so unconstitutional. And his voice is pretty damn good at showing that.
91 Days is a show that goes beyond the mafia wars, revenge story, and crime. Every now and then, we get a gangster story of violence. Some of them really is nothing more than pandering fans with fan service. Others really portray how dark humans can be while there’s a society without laws. 91 Days is the type of series that show the darker side of humanity. I must say…that is something to watch out for.
You don't need a reason to live,you just live-Nero.
In today's generation we strive for more fan favorite genre shows and it's not often we get to see something different, "91 days" is one of those work which isn't made to target all viewers,some may find it immensely out of their regular taste while others will take a great interest in it.
The story is set in the early 1900s during prohibition,it start with Avilio Bruno (The main character) receiving a letter and going back to the flashback of his past, when his family was brutally murdered by Vanetti Family and he was the sole survivor,running away
for 7 years he's finally back in his hometown to seek vengeance,with the assist of his father's friend who sends him the letter earlier.
It's a anime with a much darker theme and things like violence,gruesome killings,fast pacing are inevitable so it may not please all but with each episode,the story gonna progress and gets really compelling.
We won't get to see too many distinctive characters but more or less,each one will have a salient role in the development of the story and Avilio Bruno is a man on a journey,he'll make friends,enemies and will rise from dirt.
The art is pretty much decent,nothing out of the ordinary but still it befitted with the setting of the plot, so nothing to complain.
All the OST got some nostalgic old age feelings, this is something that makes you change the outlook.
I'm glad that we got something unusual this summer and being a fan of Baccano, this is the absolute work I was waiting for.
It got all aspect to make it a worth watching,give it a try.
91 days was a genuine surprise. After finishing their splendid anime adaptation of Durarara!! they managed to make a true mafia story. Its inspiration's become apparent the moment the show begins and no time is wasted to let the story go in full throttle.
91 Days is a revenge story through and through but still manages to keep the viewers on their feet. It is best to take breaks between episodes to let the suspense set in as almost every episode ends in a cliffhanger.
Sadly the animation is inconsistent. The fact that the studio had to suffer through budget constraints becomes apparent half way
through the show. However that is also when the show increases tension and thus still manages to keep the viewers engaged. The sound, music and voice action is spot on at all times.
A revenge drama is nothing without its characters. The main cast and important supporting characters manage to have multilayered personalities.
This show was one heck of a ride and is my 3rd favorite anime of the season after ReLIFE and Mob Psycho 100.
Let’s turn the clock back to summer 2016. ONE’S Mob Psycho 100 blasted its way into viewers hearts with its wacky and creative visuals, bombastic and unique characters, and pretty interesting premise;Relife wowed some including me with its intriguing take on the overly saturated highschool romantic comedy genre; And the beloved Food wars series premiered its second season to mostly high acclaim. In between all this massive buzz; A show managed to slip through the cracks, go under many anime viewers radars, and turn into a hidden gem of sorts. That show went by a simple yet meaningful name... 91 days. To put it simply,
91 days is a crime drama with a quite fascinating premise, some what captivating ideas, and just like its title, revolves it self around an also simple yet very meaningful word... Revenge.
91 days takes place at the fictional town of lawless in the prohibition era; an era where organized crime is flourishing. Gangs, mobs, and mafia are running rampant; liquor is a vital asset that is fought over by almost every one, and the police are almost non existent to the point where the mafia have taken the reigns and are practically controlling everything. One of the several ruling mafia are The Vanetti Family that are run by one Vincent Vanneti; A completely perfect representation of how you probably envision a true crime boss looks and acts. He’s calm yet overwhelming presence who gives off this intimidating aura that makes you want to avoid being anywhere near him. Vincent is getting a bit old in age and is planning to pass on his position as don to his son Nero Vanneti. Nero Vanneti has an enthusiastic and mostly positive personality. He’s very loyal to the family and values it over everything; he’s willing to defend it no matter what. He’ll stop anyone whoever dares lay a hand on the vanetti family. This is where our protagonist comes along...On a cold rainy night, Avilio Bruno is walking back home while looking at the ground, avoiding any possible eye contact and looking unbelievably miserable. Right before going to the stairs that leads to his apartment room, an old woman tells Bruno that there is a letter addressed to his apartment that’s for “Angelo Lagusa”. Bruno immediately takes the letter from the woman and without saying a single word heads to his room. Arriving at his room, you can probably notice how empty and devoid of absolutely anything it is. The visuals are pretty foggy and dark, and only support the gloomy atmosphere the show is trying portray. After reading the letter... Angelo finally shows the first glimpse of emotions he’s ever shown since the start of the series; he flashes a heart wrenching and truly terrifying smile, and then... it cuts to a flashback.
We see Angelo with his brother, mother and his friend Corteo celebrating his brother’s birthday, and unlike the opening he’s smiling and having fun like any other kid. After Corteo leaves to tend to his sick mother, both Angelo and his younger brother realize that their father is coming and they excitedly go and hide inside the closet at an attempt to surprise him. After Angelo’s Father arrives he tries looking for them while simultaneously calling their names, and that’s when... men wearing black coats and hats come into the house. Angelo’s father offers them drinks, but then they announce to him that they’ve murdered the Don, then point the gun at him and tell him that want the ledger from him... Angelo’s dad obviously refuses to hand it over, his wife tries pleading with them to stop and she unfortunately gets struck. Angelo’s brother runs from his initial hiding place in the closet to tend to his mother’s aid... That’s when Angelo’s dad grabs a knife and attempts to stab the man but he unfortunately doges the attack and ends up shooting and killing him. His poor wife pleads for her son’s life but they refuse and site that their son won’t forgive nor forget this and will come to take revenge in the future, and that’s when they kill the both of them... All in front Angelo’s teared up eyes. Angelo ends up escaping the house. Everything that Angelo loved was taken away from him right in front of his eyes, and he was powerless, unable to do anything about it. He no longer cares about life and has a somewhat nihilistic viewpoint on it. Later on, we’re told that inside the letter was written all the names of the people who destroyed Angelo’s life all those years ago, and those people were in the vanneti family; Yes, the same mafia that practically controls everything. They weren’t just in the Vanneti family... they were Nero Vanneti the future leader, his uncle, an important member of the family, and the leader himself. After one thing lead to another, Angelo joins the Vanneti family with a plan to destroy it from the inside and murder everyone who was involved in the deaths of his loved ones. He wants to some meaning in his life through... revenge. That’s the whole dynamic of the series, Angelo tries coming with crazy yet pretty intelligent plans to destroy the family while we learn more about him as a character and see the family and the people involved in it for what they are from the inside, and it’s pretty well executed for the most part. We’re shown the politics inside the family and outside, the show also gets us pretty invested in the family and the people in it and does a really good job in building them up as believable human beings. They’re not just these big bad mafia assholes who kill innocent people for the sake of it, they face their own struggles and lift pretty heavy burdens which the show showcases fantastically.
Unfortunately, as the show goes on we’re introduced to a character called Fango. He’s 91 days’ attempt at a this “crazy edgy loose canon” character and it just failed horribly. He’s annoying and useless inclusion that just felt like an unnecessary distraction from more interesting things in the show. He really felt out of place. The show could’ve done without him and instead focused on maybe building up Angelo’s relationship with Corteo, showing us even more of the mafia members lives or anything besides his bullshit. 91 days had pretty good pacing for the first 10 episodes; it wasn’t too fast to the point where the story felt rushed, but it wasn’t too slow to the point where it bored the viewer. Unfortunately, that is absolutely not the case for the last 2 episodes. Everything just happened, everything. It was too fast; one moment something was happening then 2 minutes later we were in a completely different situation than the one before. The viewers weren’t given enough time to think about anything, everything just happened that fast. This would’ve greatly benefited if it had been 24 episodes, since they could’ve spent time building up everything instead of them cramming 10 episodes worth of things into 2 episodes and trying to make it fit.
The art in 91 is pretty well made. It’s done in an unclean manner that really helps match the dark and gritty tone which matches the dark story the series is trying to tell. It also nicely captures how that timeline really was; The way cars, guns, and the technology in general are visually presented really help make you feel like part of 20th century America; The high class women are dressed up in luxurious outfits, the men in stylish suits in contrast to the poor peoples ragged and dirty cloth really help show the difference between them; and character designs all range from serious to just plain miserable, they really help display the struggles they’re facing. While I did think the art was overall good, there were some character inconsistencies; the characters looked a bit off especially when the camera wasn’t near them, and there were some cases where it genuinely felt like they just put a couple of dots in instead of showing us their eyes. The animation in 91 days wasn’t necessarily bad, but it could’ve been a lot better. There were times where it was obvious that the studio were being lazy and cutting corners, and the biggest and most obvious offender are the CG cars that just looked really odd whenever they started or stopped especially considering the 2d backgrounds surrounding them. The editing also suffered from this; sometimes a character would be standing in a certain position then in the next shot he’d be in a completely different position. Considering the amount of effort they put into really capturing and showcasing the time period, it kind of makes you wish they put as much effort into the animation.
The voice acting in 91 days Is really good, and most of the voice actors really nailed their roles and helped display the characters personalities through their voices alone. Angelo’s voice actor really encapsulates Angelo’s dim personality and nihilistic viewpoint on life, Nero’s voice actors expresses Nero’s enthusiastic yet surprisingly complex personality, and the rest of the voice actors also did a great job excluding Fango’s... I wasn’t the biggest fan of Fango, and his voice really felt like he was trying too hard and it just came off as really unnatural. The soundtrack is brilliant and surprisingly calming, and alongside the art exhibits the shows grim atmosphere while possessing some pretty good tracks that I wouldn’t mind listening to even when I’m not watching the show. The opening is absolutely fantastic and is from a visual standpoint a perfect visual presentation of everything the show stands for and a nice preview before the episode, while possessing outstanding and almost hypnotic lyrics that are song by TK; the same person who sung that famous Tokyo ghoul opening all those years ago. The way TK sings always gives off this tragic vibe which really resonates with people and tugs on their heart strings which is perfect for a series as devastating as this.
Overall, 91 days is a great revenge story with deep and realistic characters, and masterfully executed atmosphere and tone. It was unfortunately prevented from being anything more than that by its overwhelming technical aspects, rushed last couple of episodes, and attempt at an edgy loose canon character that failed miserably.
91 Days is a good choice for you if you enjoy a revenge story where a character exploits other people's self interest and/or schemes them in order to achieve his revenge. 91 Days becomes a bad choice once you start expecting anything other than onedimensional characters, and also if you hate main characters that are displayed in a way that makes them feel flawless without giving them any personality traits, especially negative.
You see, what ruined this series for me was the characters. Most of the characters are presented as onedimensional, with each being from x side or the y side or the z side. If
they're particularly important characters, they will have a trait or aspiration which will rule their personality without giving them any further complexity, like friendship, family, power, greedyness, psychopathy, etc. Each character will operate under one role and that role only and they won't have any sort of trait that would give them a more complex and more human personality. Thus they feel very onedimensional and they were hard to feel any attachment to, because you constantly knew which is their one and only priority. The two characters the series treats as the main characters are pretty much the only two people that feel like more or less people, because they do things that occasionally clash with their goals, but I didn't personally enjoy their portrayals.
One of said characters is the main character, Angelo, or Avilio as he's known by everyone other than a single person. Of the two I'll talk only about Avilio because the other character doesn't enough depth to live on its own. I didn't like Avilio's character. For the reason that he doesn't seem to have any flaws other than him being emotionally damaged and having no desire to live life outside of his revenge. But these are not used at all to impede his goal, so he's pretty much a Jesus character. Avilio manages to constantly scheme and use characters to his purpose, planning things just the right way through all adversity and always coming out unscathed 100% of the time pretty much because he's the main character who delivers his vengeance. There's not really any time where things seem to remotely go against him specifically. The group he is in may suffer. His "friends" might be in a disadvantageous situation. But as far as Avilio is concerned, he never seems to be at odds for the vast majority of the series, even in a situation where he's at a complete disadvantage. The one very good moment in the series, is when that actually finally happens, he finally is forced to do something he doesn't want to and has no other choice and can't create bullshit out of his ass. Which I can't talk about because it would be spoiled. Outside of that one moment he always seems to be the perfect man who's gonna reap vengeance and deliver his justice. Which isn't a good thing. The only thing flawed about him is his goal. Nothing else. As far as his actual personality goes, Avilio never displays enough emotions to engage his character from a viewer's perspective, merely showing short glimpses of very minor reactions that would build his character more as a person. Avilio is portrayed as a silent husk of a person, which makes him as engaging as a toenail, with the personality of the doorknob to boot.
I'm not gonna deny that the type of person Avilio is does deliver this series' point, but a good drama should have some way to make me care about its characters. And the main character is bland, and everyone else seemed even worse. For instance, in a setting where there's 3 big families from the mafia, other than power "levels", I can't tell you any thing that differentiates them from one or the other, except for their leading dons which are onedimensionally portrayed characters. And this is in a story where all of these families are relevant to the world and Avilio's goals, in a series where common traits might hint at things to exploit which would help Avilio. This is in a story where you should also empathize with another character that aspires to constantly help his family, with his family's only saving grace being... that they're related? I can't honestly find any side to root for, for neither a moral reason, or a reason based on ideals or anything of the sort. Everyone seems to be after the same thing, which is power and money. I'd classify henchmen that sacrifice for the family into the power category as well, because they might not be doing it to promote their own, they're doing it for the person who they're supporting. If the story is a drama, there's nothing that compels me to interact with the characters, because they feel too shallow.
The story is simply about revenge. But I can't be engaged in a story about revenge when I simply just don't care about the characters and simply see them as set pieces. Yes, there are one or two things that aren't purely minded towards that goal and it does present revenge in a negative light. The best moment of the series is when finally the main character has to do something he just simply would rather never do, which I've mentioned before. But otherwise, it's a story about a guy who lost his family killing those who wronged him. Which is a standard plotline. And any elements that could make it interesting, its setting, its characters, everything is not noteworthy.
However, despite everything I said, the story did have a theme that I felt it did get to go through. Due to its ending mostly and... that means I can only give you vague things to avoid spoilers and even then I can't guarantee there's nothing that is gonna give away how the series will end in this paragraph. So I advice you to just to skip this whole paragraph in order to avoid spoilers if you'd rather stay clean. The theme of the series is about living in the past. If you let your past define who you are today, once everything that kept you in the past is gone, you're a nobody. If that's what builds up your life, the only option left once all of that is gone is to move on. Power means nothing without the reason you've aspired to it. I know how vague all of this sounds, but I can't get into it any deeper. It's far bleaker and vague, however, this is the essence of it. Take it or leave it.
In terms of action, I wouldn't call this series an action series as much as I would call it revenge porn, with everyone falling in the front of the one and only God, Avilio. Most of the action is comprised of shootings but there's one or two more brutal moments, which I'll just leave unsaid since they bank on the shock factor to an extent.
In terms of artstyle, the series is mostly fine, but the overall color balance with cold colors and low saturation didn't really help make the world more vivid for me. I think the world is too bleak and makes the story too serious. Otherwise, I like the overall art, but for once I wish a series would be a little more colorful. In terms of sound, I found nothing noteworthy to be said, negative or positive.
91 Days was a dissapointing experience for me. Because, it had very little going on for itself and it failed to make me care about its world, its characters and its events. While I think it did succeed in its theme, there's a lot of moments that just didn't help and seemed to serve only simply as revengeporn. So ultimately, I think 91 Days can be a fun ride if you just wanna see how a character dismantles organizations in order to achieve the justice he thinks he deserves, and you just wanna see how he succesfully and consistently does it. Basically if you think the revenge porn aspect is the only thing that will carry you through. Because otherwise I can't really recommend it on any other factor, perhaps its theme, but I can't assure you that it will pay off for you. I think the series was ruined by character portrayal, and how nobody seemed to matter and have any value to the story. There were only a few people that really mattered and were focused on, and they aren't particularly engaging either, they're just there so that Avilio the doorknob wouldn't just boringly sit there and brood. The show lacked tension because the main character seemed to almost always achieve his goals, the show lacked engaging characters, because they were one dimensional, the show lacked drama, for the same aforementioned reason. It was lacking in a lot of ways, ways which make this anime hard to recommend. So if you think the said things would be roadblocks for you too, I suggest you avoid this. 91 Days is one of those series that I think are enjoyable only if they're exactly what you're looking for.
The brisk night air whispers across your face, gently stringing hairs in front of your eyes. Stars are barely visible above through the thicket of bare winter trees and your body aching and languid from the effects of tracking in the cold. Your target is about 100 yards away, the dim glow of their headlights is the one thing keeping you on the trail. Tonight is the night justice will be dealt, the night a culmination of seven long years of anticipation will finally come to a head. They don't deserve to live after what was done to your family that horrific night.
car begins to slow to a halt. The final destination has been reached. Still crouching you strafe to the side of the vehicle, your numb hand clutched on your pistol's grip like a precious keepsake. Your heartbeat escalates as the door of the caravan creaks open. Your target emerges, dressed to the nine and grinning confidently. You hesitate to pull out the gun, hands trembling.
Why is it so hard to finish the job?
You've killed countless times to get to this point. Everything has been assimilated into the single, perfect moment of revenge. You slowly raise the gun up, shaking and unable to steady your aim. Your eyes cloud as warm, fresh tears begin to stream down your icy face. You can't do it.
Is this really happening?
Frustrated, you holster your gun and creep back into the shadows of the dark woods and recollect yourself. The target proceeds to his destination leaving you with an unfulfilled mission.
Shows like 91 Days always put you in the moment, make your chest pound and your pulse quicken. They seek to place you in the character's heads and are often atmospheric. The tension and scenery is almost palpable to me, flooding my head with inspiration to write. I love the mafia and suspense genres.
91 Days is an anime that immediately had me intrigued based on its mafia setting. It's a genre that always seems to have me on the edge of my seat with excitement as in Gungrave or Baccano, and unfortunately one that doesn't get as much proper attention anymore. Sure, watching "Americans" in Illinois speak Japanese to members of an Italian mafia can sound confusing, but these gripes are easily overlooked as the series builds with suspense. This anime is a classic story of revenge where a grieving son seeks to exact vengeance against the mafiosos who killed his family several years back. This original work sucks the viewer in with its compelling premise and doesn't let go, often leaving us with a heart-pounding cliffhanger or unanswered conflict at the conclusion of each episode. It has plenty of flaws but still manages to hit the mark for overall enjoyment with its great pacing and episode structure. Minor spoilers ahead.
Perhaps my biggest complaint with this series is the amount of predictability within its writing. The stereotypical depiction of most mafia characters is laden with selfishness and greed, with the old adage "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" playing a key role in character relationships. 91 Days doesn't stray far from the path here. Many characters seek power and wealth over all things, ultimately leading to their demise. This element only deters the viewers from being able to identify with the characters within the story because they'll often come across as mostly single-faceted. Those few characters with alternative motives tend to fair better from a survival standpoint as the series chugs on. Those who connect to neither Avillo or Nero will find themselves scrambling to identify with someone, anyone in the story.
Of course, this predictability also exists in the plot of 91 Days as well. We can almost predict the progression to a tee:
-Guy is mad and wants revenge.
-Guy joins ranks and befriends future target
-Guy has a hard time killing target because of their new relationship.
-Lots of people die due to betrayal, greed and desperation along the way.
It isn't necessarily rocket science but the main question to ask yourself is if you feel cheated because of that. The only real element of mystery here was who wrote the letter that told Avillo the identities of his family's killers? (Which, you probably forgot about after the first episode anyway). I guess I can't get too upset about it, it's always nice now and then to sit back and just enjoy an anime without being intellectually challenged the entire time. Sometimes in these mafia style shows, the family associations can be a bit discombobulated, and alas, it's no different here. A predictable plot here is a slight hindrance, but didn't necessarily change my overall opinion.
I can easily compare 91 Days to Gungrave on a few different levels. First is the narrative of revenge. Sure, they aren't exactly for the same reason, but they both capitalize on this idea. The setting is slightly different, with Gungrave taking place in a semi-futuristic present, while 91 Days exists within an older America. I personally feel that Gungrave ultimately takes the cake based on animation, atmosphere and plot twists, but the latter has some highlights of its own. The one big flaw when comparing the two was the lack of satisfaction I felt at the end of 91 Days. It just kind of... Happened. Gungrave had great closure, and kind of made me smile at the end. 91 Days just felt a tad stale.
With the bad, there is also plenty of good to speak of in 91 Days. The cliffhangers were for the most part well placed, and I always felt a sense of tension in certain scenes, adding to the show's overall atmosphere. The episodes are well paced, and I never felt like certain scenes were being too rushed. I also have to give kudos to relatively new studio Shuka or tackling the often insurmountable task of animating an entirely original series. The lack of source material at least quells the incessant whining of manga purists. This also gave them the freedom to do what they wanted, and I think they handled it quite well for being such a rookie studio. The existence of Prohibition set up some interesting plot devices and discussion of politics within the series, making it feel more like I just dropped into this world. I appreciate writers that take the time of day to jam little nuances like this into their work. Overall, I ended up getting caught in the whirlwind and hype behind the show, which may have caused me to appreciate it more, but it was still highly entertaining.
Most gangster or mafia shows have the luxury of crafting some of the most polarizing characters we've ever come across in entertainment. I thought Nero was very believable and justified in his personality and actions. He valued family above all else, even though they often aimed to undermine him. Charismatic yet firm in his demeanor, he contrasted Avillo's solemn aura quite well and I felt their chemistry was rather downplayed by most. I wasn't too keen on Avillo as an MC since the only chance for the audience to relate to him is strictly out of emotional revenge. He doesn't necessarily exude many traits the rest of us have. Fango started off as a very enjoyable character. Sadistic and impulsive as all hell, he really served to make things interesting. However, just like most characters exhibiting these traits, his presence grew stale over time. None of the other characters really mattered to me since most of them got the axe at some point, but they all exist to propel the story forward and reinforce the narrative.
I have some major issues with the animation. At times it can be downright ugly and inconsistent. There's a specific scene I remember from early on in the series during a fight with Fango that a few clips existed that made him look basically distorted. In today's world, there's no excuse for the lack of editing here. Other times, the art felt very on point and helped to mold the serious tone of the show. With mafia shows it can be hard to distinguish certain family members from others, something 91 Days did quite well. It was also exciting to see TK drop another powerful track, as the OP for the series has been on my playlist ever since I heard it. The song is really something. Voice acting is also well done and reminds me of some other similar shows. Looks like they may all have some shared actors :D
91 Days is a quality anime with a gripping plot line, guaranteeing to keep you engaged throughout its 12 episodes. Sure, it has issues and the end is lackluster but still left that taste of satisfaction on the lips after the final credits rolled. I'd highly recommend this series to those of you who've enjoyed things like Gungrave, Hitman Reborn, Phantom Requiem or shows with a similar premise. It'll definitely scratch that figurative mafia itch some of us seem to have. As always, thanks for reading and be sure to check out the rest of my summer 16 reviews!
During 91 Days I felt like watching the movies Godfather, Lawless, Donnie Brasco and Public Enemies all at the same time, with a complex but solid plot, suspense backed up by factual consequences that keep you on the edge of your seat and solid characters that live up to the expectations combined with genuine mafia tactics and actions resulted in a good watching experience that felt like a breath of fresh air because 91 Days was different from other shows, it avoided being generic or cliched.
The story takes place in the prohibition times and it is about a young boy named Angelo who had
his family murdered by mafiosos right before his very eyes, leaving Angelo with no reason to live other than seeking revenge for the family he lost.
What appeared to be a generic “revenge” scenario turned out to be a complex but believable look into the workings of the mafia, filled with suspense, thrilling moments, betrayals and plot twists.
The veritable mafia manner of doing things such as making “lasagna” out of an adversary, ordering hits on family members, different mob families battling over territory, family members double crossing and betraying each other and the paranoia created by that were great additions to the series.
The story does have some flaws regarding its execution and methodical pacing but I am too lazy to get into details.
The characters come in great numbers but few of them get proper characterization or development, most of them being one-dimensional and some of them even coming off as cartoon-ish characters (Ex: Fango).
Angelo (the protagonist) is an empty shell of a man that lives only to obtain his revenge against the people who murdered his family. He is patient, clever, level headed and merciless not being satisfied with just killing his targets but wanting to destroy his targets and everything they wish, care and stand for.
At one point Angelo kills his childhood friend, the friend he considers family, in order to avenge the family he once lost. Angelo erased what family he had left just to achieve a distant goal, that goes to show how damaged and obsessed to the point of madness Angelo really was.
Angelo is determined to see his plans through to the end no matter the consequences, with each kill he draws closer to his final goal thinking once that goal is achieved he would be free and given a reason to live.
Nero is one of the people who murdered Angelo’s family and one of the man Angelo seeks to destroy. Nero is a man deeply devoted to upholding the crime family’s integrity, name and pride. While Angelo seeks to destroy and crush that family, Nero seeks to keep that crime family together, thus making them opposite forces.
In the end, the two main characters, after Nero’s family is killed according to Angelo’s plan, they are both able to understand each other on a deeper level.
Even though they both hate each other, they also understand and sympathize with each other. Nero was the only person that Angelo did not want to kill, as he said in the end “It is because I didn’t want to kill you.”
They both needed what only the other could offer, for Angelo it was salvation through death and for Nero it was redemption and forgiveness for his crimes.
I did not pay much attention to the aesthetics since the plot is very interesting.
The animation is pretty good but nothing special although it is fluid, the character design and overall art is good although it lacks dynamic and that “nice” color saturation.
Decent opening/ending themes and little background music, I personally did not miss it nor wish for more.
I highly enjoyed this series, it felt like a breath of fresh air in a world polluted by cliched and generic shows. Even with its flaws, 91 Days was absolutely worth the watch.
Since some viewers seem to not understand the ending, here is a short explanation:
Angelo tells Nero to drive to the ocean, they both know what will happen there, it is a matter of “where” rather than “if” or “when”. Once they arrive to the ocean, they start walking along the beach, Angelo showing his sympathy towards Nero, confessing he grew to like Nero and did not want to kill him. As Angelo walks in front, Nero pulls a gun and after hesitating, he pulls the trigger and kills Angelo, not because he wanted to but because Angelo needed to be freed (as shown a few minutes earlier when Angelo said “You should have killed me 7 years ago”). On the car ride away from the beach, Nero looks down and smiles at a can of pineapples sitting in the passenger’s seat, reminiscing about the time when Angelo bought all those pineapples on their first trip together. The ending scene shows the footprints in the beach sand being washed away by waves, suggesting closure, like turning a new page.
91 Days is a show that goes beyond the revenge story, showing mafia wars and the darker side of men. I highly recommend watching this show.
Okay, I never expected it to be good but it surely exceeded my expectations, usually i find genres involving mafia, guns, gangsters.. etc. to be just pure action and fireworks anime, which for me is kinda dull and overused, maybe that's the reason i wasn't really looking forward for this one, but it convinced me by around the sixth or seventh episode, i guess what made it different from black lagoon or any similar anime from the same genre, is the intense execution of the story, the goal of the story, which was actually being carried out throughout the whole series, it never diverted, usually
stories related to revenge, vengeance, specially in recent years, you see an exciting plot and a potentially good series but things get ruined halfway because most of them divert, or just totally try to distract the viewers, sometimes it makes me feel like the existing plot's main purpose was to attract viewers without actually going along with it fully, there are many anime ive seen that revolve about the idea of vengeance but i can't remember seeing one that went through with it to the very end, well this is a one thing, other trait that made it stand out between all the similar shows from the same genre was the genuine drama and the real tragic atmosphere that many recent works lacked, gangsta being the newest one.
the story doesn't attract people who've been disappointed before with something similar, but once you actually see it everything changes, but that gives it a good old 7.
Character: great set of characters, very unique indeed, realism was kinda lacking not noticeably if i say so myself, the variety of characters that stood out in a short amount of time was something worth complimenting, i felt very close to the two main characters and i felt the all around intensity of their relationship, i know it sounds corny but i think i connected very well with everyone.
I've seen few fantastic works this summer but this one was definitely the most enjoyable, without a doubt, it had pretty much everything an anime from its genre should produce, Dark atmosphere, actual genuine drama, and a good story with a great execution, absolutely no attempts in tricking at any way. I just loved it.
an 8 for me isn't a big deal but not always actually, i have grades for "9" and its actually the most charming grade i could give to a show, it expresses many emotions between bewilderment to honor, i give 8 in an attempt of doing my list justice, "8" is the savior and the most graceful grade, it symbolizes the great and the less great, when its too good for a 7 or a bit deficient for a solid 9, thats when an "8" comes in.
This show is best of 2016/Summer, to me. You will see details and reasons below.
Story is so great. A drama in a city. Heavily supported with character development. There are no unique stylistic on storytelling, it just goes. And the end of story (no spoilers here) forces you to face with the absurdity (as in Camus) of life and motivation and meaning of living (and you can sense this in the dialog between Nero and Angelo in camp in the ending episode).
Art is so unique. The show has specific color schemes and drawing has unique styles like details on
face. Addition to color schemes, just saying there are no particular color schemes based on context. However, the choice of lighting in intense scenes overcomes this.
Opening band is Sigure, same band in first season of Psychopass. I somehow like their style of vocals. Opening is good, ending is also good (and needs a goddamn lyrics video btw). OST's are okay.
## Character and Character Development
CD is very great in this show. When I say "CD is good/great", I mean that characters have their own limits based on their personality. And in this show, only handicap is Angelo's decision on Nero, but it had a reason (you will see in the end).
(This is a spoiler-free review adapted for this site)
[Synopsis]: Seven years ago, a dispute within the mafia lead to the violent murder of the Lagusa family save for their youngest son who escapes into the night. Years later, hollow and lusting for revenge against the Vanetti Family, young Angelo Lagusa (Kondou Takashi) is offered an opportunity to fulfill his ambitions when he receives a mysterious letter detailing the family members involved that night. Returning to Lawless, a town steeped in the black market liquor sales of the prohibition, Angelo takes up the name Avilio Bruno and befriends Nero (Eguchi Takuya), the eldest son of don
Vincent Vanetti as he takes the first steps towards exacting his terrible revenge.
Being the organized crime drama that it is, 91 Days hosts a fairly substantial cast of characters in order to really flesh out the mafia dynamic of each of the families and provide a genuine feel to the cast. And that’s what most stands out about the characters of 91 Days, their authenticity. The show focuses heavily upon Angelo and his relationship with his close friend Corteo as well as Nero as they each subtly develop as the narrative progresses. While the supporting cast isn’t given this same kind of attention, the number of named characters, of family allegiances, and minute character details brings them to life. None of these people are good or evil – they all operate based on circumstance, because of their past, the family, and their future. They might not all stand out distinctly in the long run, however the atmosphere they provide and the legitimacy of their portrayal is striking and adds immensely to the story.
To talk briefly about Angelo, he’s a husk of a person. He lost everything when the Vanettis killed his family and ever since has fostered a deep-seated hatred for them that drives his revenge. He isn’t all that diverse of a character as he keeps his emotions quite muted and though the show at times eludes to his underlying feelings or humor he mostly conducts himself in a stiff and methodical manner. This isn’t somebody who has been driven mad by his hate but rather someone who feels they have nothing left to live for, who desperately latches onto this chance of retribution in order to give their life meaning again.
Angelo’s humanity, whether he fully throws himself into his vengeance or finds a new way to live again, is what is held in contention throughout the show – at times wavering and solidifying with each dramatic movement. To Angelo, his very existence is pain. His cleverness makes him interesting to watch as well and the way in which he goes about manipulating others and steadily carrying out his plans paints an engaging story even early on in the show.
Nero is an interesting character as well. As the eldest son of the Vanetti Family, he embodies the mafioso ideals of family above all else. The Vanetti’s continued existence and image mean everything to him. His relationship with Angelo, known as Avilio to him, influences both characters a good deal and is one of the major cruxes of the show. In the same way that the supporting cast doubles and triples down on their excellent portrayal of the 1930’s mobster atmosphere, Nero breathes life into the narrative through his strong sense of family and responsibility.
Perhaps more than anything else, 91 Days is a show about presentation. The setting, the character designs, the color palette all ooze that iconic mafioso charisma and panache. The most outstanding visual quality of the show is its directing which features great shot composition, a film-esque sense of perspective, and great subtext which feeds into the show’s foreshadowing and complicated appeal. Homages to other famous gangster films as well as The Godfather were also included, emphasizing the passion and vision behind the show’s visuals.
The animation has a lot of emotive movement which further emphasizes the authenticity of the cast however the character designs can admittedly look off-model at times and low quality. Small details such as attention to gun handling and reloading bring everything together atmospherically in a believable and immersive way. The various backgrounds and scenery of the show look fantastic and while they are delivered in a slightly different style, their subdued colors and earthy tones fit the setting incredibly well.
The story starts off to a thrilling beginning, opening on the appropriately brutal murder of the Lagusa family and young Angelo’s escape from the residence. It was a strong hook into the show, starting off with the flashback to 7 years ago and ending with a bootleg deal gone wrong while establishing the setting and various mafia names and interests. From the get-go, 91 Days makes it clear what kind of show its going to be – a bloody period piece delivered in a muted aesthetic with a western-style dramatic narrative. It follows up on this over the rest of the show substantially well, launching right into Angelo’s revenge plot very early on and featuring tons of world-building details such as family politics and territory disputes.
While not all that thematically complicated, the show’s use of foreshadowing and imagery is put to good use and underscores its presentation-centrique style. 91 Days is slow and methodical in how it unfolds, placing a lot of its appeal in its grounded atmosphere and stylish cinematography. It’s not so much thrilling as it is tense and high-strung, slowly building to a grand finale at the end of the show but for the most part avoiding doing so on a scene by scene basis. This generally will mean that 91 Days will expect a bit of patience out of its viewers and might seem to drag on or loose focus for those that aren’t as invested. While it’s slow to unfold, the show lives for its big, payoff moments which happen frequently enough. These are big developments in the plot and sometimes quite interesting twists in the story which keep things entirely engaging as the show builds towards its ultimate conclusion.
The soundtrack of the show was great. In more lighthearted times it was jazzy and upbeat but once the drama and intrigue set in it was able to match the tonal shift. This is what I feel the soundtrack did best. While its tracks weren’t individually memorable, the music’s ability to match the show’s different modes and accentuate the story at each turn was impressive. As the narrative sat brooding, as it climbed, and as it climaxed, the music was there at each stage emphasizing the scenes exceptionally well, especially towards the end.
[Final Thoughts and Rating]:
91 Days was thrilling and dramatic and absolutely overflowing with style. While it wasn’t as engaging at every step of the show as it was at its peaks, those big, dramatic moments that strung everything together were highly entertaining.
I gave 91 Days an 8 because of how each of its elements, its characters, its story, and visuals, all fed into one grand, immersive presentation. While the characterization of the cast was kind of subdued, they were a good deal of fun regardless of this. The show had a handful of unexpected twists and a great ending which tied together its most decisive elements.
I think because of how heavily the show relies on its sense of style and subject matter, that those viewers who know they enjoy the kind of gangster, mafia stories will undoubtedly enjoy the show more than others. That isn’t to say it can only be enjoyed by those people as I myself don’t have a history with those films or shows but it certainly lends itself better to some audiences. It’s got a lot of great drama and should entertain anybody looking for a solid revenge story.
(It's 2AM and this is my first anime review. Bear with me.)
THE SHORT OF IT:
Let me say this straight. 91 Days is an anime you should watch for the thrill of it---ignore the animation quality slips that newborn-studio Shuka is still outgrowing. This is a highly story-driven, character-development heavy show with a very twisted but still realistic plot that likes to seduce you into thinking you got her all figured out. 91 Days is quite the summery masterpiece, although with (jarring) flaws; and it is the gritty mafia, Prohibition era revenge anime you want.
Fair warning, however. There will be blood, but the murder-happy beware! This
isn't Re:Zero or Hamlet!
OVERALL (rounded up 8.5) - Technically I've placed 91 Days as 10 on my list although here it's 8.5. That's because I'm being more critical here for the sake of review. I'm a writer who's always looking for a good story and 91 Days delivers a freaking great story with just enough meat for people to analyse or to just enjoy. However Shuka's growing pains are still, well, pains.
STORY (10) - I sat with excited anticipation for every episode, my emotions shifting wildly like Angelo drives his car (you'll get what I mean if you watch). Like I said, it's one to watch for the brilliant, bloody plot.
ART (6) - I love Shuka like I love my phone. It's fast and fluid and wonderful when you first get it and the unboxing experience is heart-pumping. But like a phone, the more you store in it, the slower and clunkier it gets... But it still runs like a charm sometimes! And that is baby Shuka as they pour everything into the story. Question is: do you accept that your phone is dying? Or do you replace it?
SOUND (9) - The OP and ED are cinematic and touch up 91 Days like sprinkles on ice cream. The OP acts like 2 minutes for you to gird ye loins. The ED is the first few seconds after the rollercoaster comes to an end, as you figure out how to walk again. The OST was great, but as a story-junkie, I lost track of it at times. But when they really want you to listen, oh my do you really listen.
CHARACTER (10) - Amazing. Actual writer goals. Shuka's writers for 91 Days are brilliant at character development---whether it's over 1 episode or over the whole series. Realistic, dirty, crazy, family-loving, friendship-bound: each named character is multi-layered. Just as they should be.
ENJOYMENT (9) - Originally a 10, then I wrote the explanation for the Art rating. As I've said, it's a thrill to watch. The episodes all seemed too short. They left you wanting for more story, more of these characters, more of this world and situation! If you can forgive Shuka for the animation, the joy is grand.
Anyway the show is good. It's definitely for you guys who like mafia stories with Japanese characterization. The art is okay at close-ups but really sucks at portraying landscapes. I dig opening song but that's just about it.
It's an anime that you'd have fun more if you follow the week's progression instead of actually binge it, but nonetheless it's still a good anime.
The storytelling can be jumbled up sometimes. Mafia movies always related to how many characters they try to introduce, but in the end, only some of them can stand out, and in this case, Avilio/Angelo and Nero are
both in the spotlight.
Throughout the episodes you will see Angelo's attempt at revenging his family death, the Lagusas, that he knew was done by Vanneti family. The story revolves around internal conflict and mafia politics as usual, yet they all seemingly not the main point of the story.
The true point of the story relies on how Angelo acts as a character. The wounded character shows his sleek plan towards 12 episodes only to see what his revenge actually does to him at the finale. I must tell you, it's something quite shocking yet to be expected in this kind of story.
P.S.: I hate Vango for some reason, mainly because I think he doesn't deserve to be in this universe. Shows like Baccano should've done him more justice.
91 Days is a pointless revenge story which leaves an aftermath of pointless deaths in the end. I love it.
This is basically the story of Angelo plotting his revenge against the local mafia family for killing his parents and brother. He takes up a false name and infiltrates the family in order to bring his revenge to fruition. You can easily see it in the OP that it will result in a final duel between Nero and Angelo. From the summary, is a good ending expected? Hahahahaha. No. That's the point which the shows hammers in from the start. Revenge is pointless and leaves
both parties worse off than when they started.
Fair, considering their low budget. Wonky character models here and there. Distracting, but overall, not unwatchable.
Great background music. Jazzy. Sometimes silly. Very post-WW2.
During moments when he's not obsessed with revenge, Angelo starts seeing things from the other end. His family was killed not because of anything personal, but it's just business. The gang he hates so much are pretty much just regular guys. Eating normal food. Discussing normal stuff. Fighting normal turf wars. They're not the abominations Angelo thought they were when he started.
The story is intertwined with mob wars and intra-family conflict. You're already fighting off a rival gang who wants your territory, and now there's a large outsider gang joining in as well. Do you fight or do you negotiate for peace? Everyone in the family has their own opinion on this issue and they're really vocal people. That guy who's warming up to the rival gang. Is he a cowardly traitor or does he think peace is a good option? The other guy who wants to fight. Is he a warmonger traitor or does he think that nothing good comes from conceding to rivals? Everyone thinks about the family's "good", but what is "good" to begin with? Just because you're family, it doesn't mean you're safe. What you think is good for the family, another thinks it's cancer.
The pressure both from without and within can be seen on the character's faces. The more stressed out characters get black sleepless rings around their eyes.
Enjoyment and Overall: 9
Great story hampered only by art and money. It's very good and worth watching. Could've been a masterpiece with a greater budget. But it's an A+ effort from a small studio.
Very few anime these days tend to do something different from the norm, and when something does do so, it’s very easy for it to fail. But even if they are failures, their ambition to do something different is respectable. 91 Days is not only a unique anime, but a good one too. It’s fairly rare to find a series that takes place in a western setting with mafia characters taking place during the post-WWI era. 91 Days takes that setting and adds a story of revenge to it, and it’s a story that is handled great and executed well. 91 Days manages to be
a thrilling and stylish mafia story from beginning to end.
The story focuses on Angelo Lagusa, who’s family died in a mafia dispute, is now hungry for revenge and is willing to destroy the Vanetti family, the ones who killed his family. Changing his name as Avilio, he becomes the Vanetti don’s son’s right hand man, only to break the family from the inside. Overall, the story is handled pretty well and a lot of sub-plots get introduced along the way. The series not only focuses on Avilio’s revenge, but also focuses on the Vanetti’s relationship with each other and other competing families. The main story about revenge gets put in the background during the second third of the series, but the series still manages to entertain with its subplots. But it’s the last third when the main story comes back, and that’s when the series reaches its heights. The ending might be a mixed bag for some, but I appreciate how it was executed and it’s the type of conclusion I wanted from this series. However, if more of the main plot was present in the series, the series as a whole would’ve been more enjoyable.
If you’ve seen the key visuals, watched the PV and read the synopsis, it should be well apparent that the series is a very unique one and it’s hard to find something like this. The anime takes place during the prohibition era and the series does a good job in depicting that setting. Characters act and behave how they should be in that era, and buildings and clothing match the setting. The tone of the series is mostly dark and gloomy and it consistently stays like that for the rest of the series. Humor is quite rare, but there are some slightly funny comments made by certain characters, but overall, the series still retains its serious tone. The pacing is a generally speaking alright, but it is a little inconsistent. Things slow down a little in favor for more building and more development for its subplots, but the pacing picks up in the final third, however things do appear to be a bit rushed. But overall, 91 Days does a good job with their setting and tone.
The characters in 91 Days are really good, unique, and well handled. Our protagonist, Angelo Lagusa (or his alias Avilio Bruno) is a really well-handled character who’s thirsty for vengeance. His goal and believable and understandable, even if what he does isn’t always the good choice. He has flawed characteristics that make him a complex character with immoral, yet not incorrect, goals. Our other main character is Nero Vanetti, who is the son of the Vanetti’s don and Avilio is his right hand man. He has a cheerful personality, but he gets serious when he needs to be. He is a really good character and is used well in the story. His and Avilio’s relationship is showcased well and he becomes more complex in the second half. The series features a lot of other characters that are likable or well handled, like Corteo and Fango. Some of the supporting characters were a slight bit weak, but overall it was alright. Just remember: Fango makes the best lasagna…
The studio of 91 Days, Shuka, doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to their consistency in art quality. As seen in their previously made Durarara!!x2 series, the series had plenty dips in its quality. However Shuka, for the most part, keeps the art quality in 91 Days consistent and pretty. First of all, the character designs are really well done. All character designs match their setting and personality. I liked the fact that Avilio had a simplistic look to him, despite being the protagonist. The setting looks great and the buidlings are matching its time period. The backgrounds are pretty well detailed and its bleaker color palette works nice and complements the tone of the series. The character detailing is alright and lighting is really good. Overall, the art quality manages to stay consistent most of the time and so far is Shuka’s best looking series.
Just like their art quality, Shuka is also well known for their animation quality drops. However, 91 Days is an exception as the animation quality also manages to be just as consistent as its art quality. For the most part, the series is animated fluidly and there’s no noticeable animation quality drops. 91 Days isn’t that action-heavy, so there’s not many moments where Shuka needs to put extra effort in. But when action is present, especially gunfights, the animations stays consistent and looks really good. The backgrounds are pretty well animated and the lighting is put into good use in the series too.
The seiyuu cast also does a really good job in representing their characters and adding more to the atmosphere of the series. Kondou Takashi did a great job as Avilio as he was able to showcase his character’s vengeance and hostility, while making his character have subtle expressions. Eguchi Takuya, who is one of my favorite seiyuu, did a great job as Nero and got his cheerful attitude perfectly well. He does a really good job during his character’s serious moments too. The supporting cast is also made up of pretty talented seiyuu like Sakurai Takahiro, Ono Daisuke, Nakamura Yuuichi and many others, and they all do a very good job. Overall, the cast does a great job in depicting their characters, especially the two main characters.
Voice Acting: 8/10
The music in 91 Days is also really good and elevates this series. The OP, “Signal’, is done by the same person who did that extremely popular Tokyo Ghoul OP, and he did a very good job with the OP for 91 Days. It’s almost on par with “Unravel” and it’s better than the Psycho-Pass OPs. The vocals are top notch as expected from him, but the music is good too. The ED, “Rain or Shine”, doesn’t have much lyrics to it, but it really matched the series, plus the vocals are really good. The background music in 91 Days is pretty good and matches the context of the series. It has more of a western and 20-30’s feel to it, and it matches the atmosphere of the series well and makes scenes have more impact.
I had high expectations for 91 Days as I like anime with a westernized feel to it, and when I found out that it’s a revenge story that takes place in the prohibition era, focusing on mafia characters, I couldn’t hold my excitement. After feeling slightly underwhelmed from Joker Game, I thought that 91 Days can be the next Baccano for me. Luckily, 91 Days didn’t disappoint as I found it almost as enjoyable as Baccano. The main story was really intriguing and I really liked the characters and setting. And the final third of the series was really intense and was a satisfying payoff for a series like this. Though the pacing wasn’t the most consistent and some of the sub-plots weren’t as exciting as the main story, overall I got a lot out of 91 Days.
In the end, 91 Days manages to live up to its potential and it is just what you would want from this series. Revenge stories aren’t quite common in anime, especially ones that take place in the post-WWI era, so seeing an anime like this was a fresh breath of air. Though the series isn’t perfect, especially with its pacing, but the series manages to be an enjoyable ride from beginning to end. The final third of the series in particular is amazing and all the buildup leading to it payed off well. Avilio manages to be one of the best protagonist of the series and his motives are complex and his hunger for vengeance was well depicted. 91 Days is easily one of the best series of the season and you’re missing out if you’re skipping this one.
+ It handles it’s prohibition era and mafia setting perfectly well.
+ The main story, focusing on Avilio’s revenge, was really well done and is really satisfying.
+ Amazing final third as all buildup pays off well and things get really intense
+ Both Avilio and Nero are well handled characters with contrasting personalities.
- Pacing remains inconsistent things start to slow down in its second third, and the conclusion is slightly rushed.
- Some of the sub-plots are slightly underwhelming, especially compared to its main story.
I dunno why is this anime getting all the hate, cause for me, it's definitely one of the gems of '16 summer. An advice from a tired anime fan- don't listen to people on this site, you yourself are an amazing person and only you should be the judge of everything in your life, including anime. So, watch it yourself first, later, come back to read some butthurt reviews.
So I've heard people say that the story is so overdone and that there is no point in even creating this anime. I agree that it may not be the most original idea around. But
what makes a good story? Is it time travelling? Is it something that you have never seen before? Not necessarily. You see, most of the time the charm of the story lies not in the premise itself but rather in the storytelling. And let me tell you this- this anime is told in a very grim way, subtly shaping its characters. It is paced well. Even though you can probably tell what's going to happen next, you still find yourself striving for more, waiting for another week to pass by. There are a lot of psychological elements, so you always keep your eyes open, catching those little details that make the story all the more enjoyable.
Not the greatest thing around, but it does help set the mood. There are poorly executed scenes, but they aren't really an eyesore, believe me. I've seen worse. To be honest, I liked the character designs. The scenery could have been more detailed and stuff, I agree.
It's not distracting, fitting to the times that the anime portrays, and compliments the scenes very nicely.
There aren't a lot, but the are great. You know that feeling when you're playing a game and you go down the genocide path, become an evil guy and have to fight good guys in order to win? When you're facing a boss and you're hoping that he'll win? That's how I felt when I watched 91 days. Our protagonist most of the times seems more like a villain, but he has his share of quirks, that are nice and shape his personality. He isn't just revengeful spirit- he has some deadpan humor, he has some human feelings, he makes decisions that make you question yourself and whether or not you're really hoping that he'll get what he wants. Nero is a very charming character, with his share of quirks as well, plus, it's anything but boring to watch those two, each with different ideology and purpose, interact. And it always leaves you wanting more!
It had it's downfalls, but it was very enjoyable. If you're a kid that can only enjoy it when everything's spelled out for you, when there's a clear line between good and evil, when harems ensue, this isn't for you. This show is for an adult audience, an audience that appreciates a splendid story telling and subtle characters. I feel sorry for people who rated this anime badly, cause it only proves that to this day anime community is infested with people who can't appreciate something different than you're everyday mediocre anime.
Can I just say that the ending was epic? To be honest, most of anime these days is either unfinished, so it leaves you hanging, or it's ended in a very distasteful way. This ending is fulfilling and gripping, overall 10/10.
Seriously, just give it a try. Prove that you're not a weeb 12-year old that only watches anime to fap to some flashing panties. ///you can hear a bunch of triggered weebs crying out in the distance, clutching their anime figurines to their chest, repeatable hitting the report button.
The very funny thing about this show, is the fact that the name itself doesn't seem to make much sense. But, many would guess that this is the amount of time that our MC will actually revenge his fucking family by killing everyone that's associated with the murder. But really, It makes no sense, nor does it imply anything about it. But what really get me to actually watch this anime, was because it have been so long since i first see an anime with so much realism in the plot involving the revenge thing, and the setting of it. Or some may says that
this anime kinda reminds me of Baccano or some shit because of the artstyle.
On the very first sight, all of us (and myself) may have thought that this anime was just a simple ass story about a guy who seek revenge, and will most likely kill them when he have made it in the end. However, the way the author wrote this story is pretty interesting in many ways. Including many different factors involved in the relationships between the MC, the killers, and his childhood friend, Corteo. The complications doesn't stem from the plot in itself, but its setting and the relationships between families, people and the MC. The very odd thing about this anime though. That would be the unfitting artstyle for western characters in the show with japanese fucking looking facials, and their looks basically. And the Fango guy who looks like some dude from the carribean, or a pirate movies. In addition to that, the relationship kinda got me confused, and pretty much surreal as fuck. At times it does makes alot of sense, but later on in the story, especially halfway towards the ending episodes.
The artstyle may lack consistency as you progressively watch the anime, and you may also noticed it as well that the animation aren't that good in comparison to other show with good budget and shit. But this never been a problem to me while i watch this anime. Since I actually came to watch for the sake of the plot, and its twists in it. And dont forget about that amazing movie vibes with its cinematography, and cinematic techniques involves. Half of its OST is very fitting to the setting and the characters, but some of the OST sounded more eastern than western. But that's very rare when they decided to put those OST in.
Given the extremely structured plot in the mafias system, and its organization may confuses some watchers that haven't familiarized themselves with how the mafia and world in the past with them there works. So basically, many of its organization would call themselves, and its follower, their family. There're 4 main family that you've gotta familiarize yourself in order to really understands what's happening in this anime. Basically, there's the Vanetti (ones that killed our MC's family), Orco, Galassia, and the Lagusa families.
Thus, 91 day was a pretty well done one with the way they uses different elements in the anime, to either cause a conflicting thought of having an actual friendship > getting his revenge, different actions made my others that triggers different results, and the apparent character development and its effects of that in the story. And because this anime gives out a very movielistic vibes, i would recommend you to watch it in marathon in order to saves the vibes that the anime production gives out while you're watching, and to not get confuse about the shit that went down, or wtf just happen. I sometimes feel the lack of interest when i planned to watch 91 days as well, but that's different when i became watching it of course. But hey, that might just be me, but this anime is pretty entertaining man. Definitely give it a go if you're into these sort of genre.
P.S the plot is complicate as fuck, i wouldn't really say that it's simple. There are tons of twists to the ending as well. Be prepare for that once you start watching it.
91 days is a series with an interesting premise. It's a crime drama set during the US prohibition. I'll let you al know right from the outset, I'm not going to know how historically accurate it is. I am basically familiar with what happened during prohibition. There was an amendment making alcohol illegal, Crime rates surged as it became a criminal commodity. After thirteen years it was repealed with another amendment. I don't, however, know the specifics. The point is, if the series gets something historical wrong I probably won't catch it. The anime was handled by Shuka, a studio best known for producing Durarara
sequels. Six of the nine series they've produced were based on Durarara light novels. Two of the others were 91 days and a recap for 91 days. So, I haven't looked at anything by them before. The series was written by Kishimoto Taku, the same gentleman who wrote the anime adaptation of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi. Of course, that was an adaptation and this is an original work. Let's take a look at how he does with this one, shall we?
Angelo Lagusa's life changes completely on one fateful birthday. His parents and brother are murdered by Mafioso that his father has ties to. He manages to escape, takes on a fake name and learns to survive. Seven years later, he receives a letter from someone claiming to be his father's friend. The letter is unsigned and gives the names of three people. Supposedly, the people who killed his family. With the letter in hand, Angelo returns to the town of Lawless, which is probably entirely fictional, in order to take violent revenge.
The biggest issue with the narrative is with the flashbacks. There are quite a few and they generally don't contribute anything. They just kind of waste time. The final episode also jumps around quite a bit. Again, it doesn't really contribute anything to the narrative. You just see an event, then an event that took place prior and then return to the event and then see another that took place before. There's no narrative reason that the episode shouldn't have just been in chronological order and it's the only episode that jumps around that much.
On the positive side, the narrative is really compelling. While the whole revenge narrative is nothing new, 91 Days gives us one that's well told, overall. It has some strong sources of tension surrounding Mafia work and Angelo's hidden agenda. It also keeps things interesting by having Angelo come up with complex, clever plans in order to carry out his objectives.
This is where the series falters a bit. The main cast does have quite a few interesting characters with developed motivations. However, the supporting characters are largely generic mobsters Angelo himself is kind of the standard hero for revenge narratives as well. About the only thing that sets him apart is his dynamic with Nero, which, in all fairness, is quite interesting.
The artwork is nicely done. The backgrounds have nice details, particularly when it comes to cityscapes. The action sequences are solid. The characters are varied. The various objects like guns and vehicles are well drawn & animated.
This series has some strong acting. Kondou Takashi and Eguchi Takuya both give strong performances. Tsuda Kenjirou is really good as the complete and utter nutter, Fango. Saito Soma also does really well. The music is nicely done as well. Kaida Shogo did a good job.
The dynamic between Angelo and Corteo is a bit suspect. They both seem to value the other over themselves. Whether it's an incredibly strong friendship or beyond that is debatable.
91 Days isn't among the best series I've ever seen. That being said, it is really good. The narrative is compelling. The major characters are interesting, mostly. The acting and art are both strong. I would recommend it if you're the type of person who likes revenge narratives or if you're into historical dramas. My final rating is going to be a solid 8/10. Next week I'll look at Sket Dance.
91 Days in my eyes is not as impressive as many claim it to be however this does not mean that those opinions are 'incorrect' or invalid.
I found this anime very interesting for an episode or two, the initial character development was intense and enthralling however once that effect had worn off, i was left bored. The story seems as though it could've been great but it just didn't keep my attention throughout. I enjoyed the art style and the main protagonist Avilio Bruno however it didn't make up for what I see as a lackluster way to portray it.
In my opinion the only
interesting character was Bruno, many different sides of his life were shown before the events of the show, however as some other reviewers have stated, the side characters were very one dimensional and didn't seem to progress as much as I would've liked.
To conclude, I personally would not recommend this anime but if you like revenge and violence then it may be worth a try.
91 Days came so goddamned close to being great. Unfortunately, due to a few significant faults, it's merely good.
It's hard not to admire 91 Days for what it attempted, though. When it began, it immediately drew comparisons to Baccano, another mobster anime set in Prohibition-era America. In spite of this, though, 91 Days and Baccano are very different anime. Baccano was a romp, full of larger-than-life characters, absurd anime tropes, and fantastical plot elements. 91 Days is the exact opposite - it's dark, dry, and incredibly grounded. The only reason 91 Days draws this comparison so much is because it is the only anime that
it shares this setting with (and one of precious few about gangsters at all, let alone during Prohibition).
So it's hard not to admire 91 Days for taking such a unique setting. Better yet, though, it's such an anomaly in today's anime industry in that it is almost comletely void of anime-isms. There's no comic relief, exaggerated character designs, no goofy reaction faces, no shoehorned-in fanservice, and no overblown grandstanding while the protagonist sets off his revenge plan (as opposed to characters with similar arcs such as Light Yagami and Lelouche Lamperouge, for example). 91 Days sets up a consistently dark and realistic tone throughout, something it shares with almost no other anime. There's nothing here that would even be out of place in an American TV drama (on which note, I recommend the dub - the acting isn't amazing, but the tacky accents fit the tone far better than the rather pedestrian Japanese performances).
The plot revolves around Angelo Lagusa, under the assumed name of Avilio Bruno, infiltrating the mob to avenge his family, who they murdered. He is spurred onto this revenge quest by an anonymous letter identifying three of the four mobsters who killed them. Angelo then has to get close to the three killers he knows, and identify the fourth, all without his cover being blown.
This creates a solid hook to keep up invested the series - watching Angelo devise his way through the mob keeps the tension up, whilst creating mystery over who the fourth person was and who sent the letter.
It plays out as a suspenseful thriller, as Angelo's revenge plot pits multiple mobsters families against one another, leading to a staggering death toll. You can expect multiple named characters to die in every single episode.
This is one of 91 Days' greatest strengths - once the setup is out of the way, it moves at an absolutely breakneck pace, enough to keep you consistently engaged but never to leave you behind. Every episode* will kill several named characters, introduce more, add a plot twist, and make it all organic to the story.
*ᵉˣᶜᵉᵖᵗ ᵉᵖᶦˢᵒᵈᵉ ⁴ ⋅ ᵀʰᵃᵗ ᵒᶰᵉ ʷᵃˢ ʷᵉᶦʳᵈ⋅
While this pacing does make the show consistently engaging, it does come with a major drawback. The lack of any breathing room in the plot leaves little room to flesh out the characters, leaving most of them little more than a single character trait. While they are still passable, stronger characterisation could have made the drama in this series so much more engaging, especially when personal grudges drive most of the story.
This hits the hardest when it comes to the ending.
The non-spoiler version of my opinion on the ending is this: It is not good.
The spoiler version is far more in-depth, so if you haven't seen 91 Days yet, please look away now (because in spite of its flaws it is still very much worth watching).
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While everything up until the final episode had been a nonstop rush of characters being killed, betrayed, betraying, and so on, by the time the final episode rolls around almost everyone is dead and Angelo's secret is out.
The only thing we're still waiting for is for Angelo to kill Nero, Nero to kill Angelo, or both.
Does this happen? Well, your guess is as good as mine, because the ending is left ambiguous.
Most of the episode revolves around Angelo being tied up, switching from being in one person's custody or another, and eventually being hauled off with Nero where they have heart-to-heart conversations about why they did what they did.
The problem with this is that it hinges on our investment in the friendship between these two, which the series absolutely has not given us any reason to be invested in, no has it given us a reason to be invested in these characters at all.
It ends in an ambiguous scene that begs the question of whether Nero actually went through with killing Angelo, with hints that Nero may have died shortly thereafter as well.
A better question is why we should care.
Another better question is, what was the point of making it ambiguous?
Yet another better question is, why not have the two confront each other, leading to one or both of their deaths in a tense and dramatic scene? This is, after all, what the series was building up to for its entire run.
If it hadn't decided to lean on its weakest element for its conclusion, 91 Days would have been an exceptional anime. It's almost frustrating how close it came, considering how out of step it is with anime as a whole.
Final Words: A unique anime with impressive tone and pace that lets itself down with poor characters and an unsatisfying ending. Still definitely worth a watch.