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 After thirteen years it was repealed with another amendment.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.