91 Days Series Review [ Spoiler Free ]

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If you're a fan of Baccano!, you're in for a treat...

There was no surprise when I looked at the summer line-up of the anime season, that 91 Days would become a show for me to watch. All the elements that characterized it: the 1920s prohibition setting, the art style and character designs and the potentially interesting thriller/revenge story that intertwined it all. I am a massive fan of Baccano! and I am constantly searching (alas, in vain) for something that will live up to the wonder that that show offered me.

Story

91 Days Series Review [ Spoiler Free ]

I find it quite rare for these type of shows, especially in anime, to be done well. 91 Days I think does try to do well and provide the audience with a show worth watching. And they are generally successful on this front, although admittedly I am less keen now than I was at the start. 91 Days does have its issues but I think it shows some basic fundamental strengths that are key to holding the whole story together.

The basics are important. You can have wacky animation and a great soundtrack and lots of narrative twists and turns but you need the basics in check for that to have any effect. You need a strong, stable cast and solid storytelling and the ability to keep the audience engaged. I feel that although some areas can be lacking, 91 Days manages to more or less achieve this and is able to tell a coherent tale alongside its heavy atmosphere and convoluted family relationships that it also demonstrates.

You can have wacky animation and a great soundtrack and lots of narrative twists and turns but you need the basics in check for that to have any effect. You need a strong, stable cast and solid storytelling and the ability to keep the audience engaged. I feel that although some areas can be lacking, 91 Days manages to more or less achieve this and is able to tell a coherent tale alongside its heavy atmosphere and convoluted family relationships that it also demonstrates.

The show is set in the prohibition era, in and around the mafia controlled city of Lawless, which is under constant turmoil due to the internal struggle between the two main mafia families for control of the bootlegging industry. In the midst of this setting is the story of Angelo Lagusa (or Avilio Bruno, his secret identity) whose whole family, including his younger brother, was shot down and killed by the mafia seven years ago. Out-of-the-blue, he receives a letter detailing those who plotted against and betrayed his father, and so he sets forth on his journey of revenge.

Characters

91 Days Series Review [ Spoiler Free ]

From the beginning, the main character of Angelo Lagusa is very clear in regards to his main goal to essentially kill the majority of characters in the show. You see Angelo incorporate himself into the Vanetti family, become trusted by them, develop relationships and even share a laugh with them, all the while knowing that this can’t last, because Angelo is aiming to kill them.

This is definitely a unique and difficult position to portray in a story and I think the tension and mystery that 91 Days keeps up is really successful and intriguing. From the first early moment in which he shoots someone and then manages to throw the blame off himself, you are hooked into not only what Angelo is doing, but how. There is a constant intrigue and desire to know more about how Angelo plans to commit his revenge, all the while knowing that if he does, he will be betraying most of the cast.

Animation and Music

91 Days Series Review [ Spoiler Free ]

Both the animation and the soundtrack of the show are solid, yet nothing outstanding. They fit within the overall atmosphere of the show yet do nothing to add to it. The production quality of this show does noticeably decrease in the last few episodes, with a lot more ill-defined faces and static shots. The character designs are all unique enough that you are able to distinguish between them, which is important for a mafia based show in which there is usually a multitude of characters with no discerning traits other than their tommy guns and lawless attitudes. In any case the main characters of Avilio, Corteo and Nero are memorable and easy to pick up on as the show continues.

Final Thoughts

91 Days overall does a good job at fitting into such a niche genre, yet also doing enough to make it stand out. I think the plot is interesting, even if it does have its flaws. As with many mafia-style shows, the sheer amount of characters and the relationships between them can make it difficult to follow, and this is a problem that occurs in 91 Days. The reintroduction of characters that were only mentioned in the first half, and therefore aren’t very memorable, can make the story difficult to follow in the second half. With these slight inconsistencies, it is difficult to say, whether the show ended better than it started. However, I do think that 91 Days is a solid example of what makes these style of shows unique and interesting, and I would be very happy if I could find more anime like that.

The reintroduction of characters that were only mentioned in the first half, and therefore aren’t very memorable, can make the story difficult to follow in the second half. With these slight inconsistencies, it is difficult to say, whether the show ended better than it started. However, I do think that 91 Days is a solid example of what makes these style of shows unique and interesting, and I would be very happy if I could find more anime like that.

You can watch 91 Days for free and legally on Crunchyroll.

8

The Good

  • Interesting thriller/revenge story
  • Unique designs for the main characters
  • Well executed tense atmosphere that continues throughout the show

The Bad

  • Can feel repetitive/overly convoluted
  • Some side characters aren’t very memorable
  • The animation does decline in quality in the later episodes
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