Posted by AidanAK47 on 4 October 2016 with categories: 91 Days, Anime Reviews, Currently Watching:, Reviews by AidanAK47

When taking up the job of checking out every anime season you really can starve for something different. Variety is the spice of life and yet the entertainment industry seems determined to give us more of the same. So in the sea of average high school students gaining superpowers and harems I see an anime promising a classic Mafia drama and say sing me the hell up. The story is of a boy called Angelo, who joins the mafia to enact a plot of revenge against those who murdered his family. As the likes of Joker Game and Gangsta proved, doing something different does not automatically make it great. I will say that 91 Days succeeded in avoiding the failures of those respective series but sadly the result is a decent anime. While great to some this story does seem alright despite it really feeling like it should be more. It has it’s good moments, even some great moments and it makes no major missteps in it’s delivery. This is a solid series without doubt but I sadly never got as invested as I really should have been.

Part of the reason for this could be to the nature of the storytelling which goes the opposite route of most anime by having characters thoughts not be narrated by monologue and instead shown through actions. Certainly a fresh take but sadly the series tends to keep the audience too much in the dark about what is really going on in people’s heads which makes the finales emotional climax fall hollow as the characters actions don’t really convey the depth of their intentions or feelings. Another thing is the story’s tendency of foreshadowing developments moments before being revealed. Whenever a character gets development or focus it often means they are about to be removed from the plot entirely or are the focus of that episode’s twist. A police chief is introduced decides to take on the mafia one episode but in that very same episode he is scared off and hereby removed from the remaining plot. This kind of thing happens numerous times through 91 Day’s run and as a result the characters that remain end up being those we have the least attachment to. There is also the matter that this show is a slow burn that continues to the end here it finally fizzles out instead of exploding. Our main character is far too stoic to really relate with and thus like him the audience is equally unmoved by the events that unfold before him. Only at times when the perspective changes to another more relatable character does this show start to shine.

Studio Shuka managed to avoid major quality drops in the animation and art of 91 Days but it does remain a show that couldn’t really be called visually impressive. The greatest strength of this series is it’s ability to evoke the mood and atmosphere of classic mafia film to which it references and homages quite a bit. I consider this series to be a unique identity within anime but sadly not an outstanding one. Depending on your taste you could come to love this series and with a Baccano style dub it could gain a cult following, however I am afraid it didn’t quite hit the notes for me. It has merit for being what it is and I applaud the choice to try such a novel concept in animation but it never quite reached the potential it could have. In truth this proves that one can copy the style of Mafia movies but without the heart all you really have is something temporarily charming but fundamentally hollow. Much like every movie gangster feels when it’s his time to bite the bullet.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar Rowan says:

    Hello. I have to admit that I read the entire review. I just finished 91 days and it’s my fav anime so far (I dont watch animes so often anyways). I agree in lot of things about this review. I think it was too short for this kind of anime. I also agree that sometimes it was poor or needed more scenes or episodes to explain or make it more interesting.
    Im an artist, I draw and paint. I planned on making a second part of 91 days (manga). I dont know if you are gonna read this but I would like to contact you because I would like to know your opinion about my plan and story.
    I want to give Fio an important role and also Nero. I also want Avilio to appear in my story and show the vanetti’s situation after all this happened.
    Hope you can read it and I will like to contact you to talk or just to give me your opinion. See ya

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      Hello Rowan. I appreciate you coming to check out the review.

      On the matter of that manga you plan to to make, how much experience do you have with drawing manga? I don’t mean for this to be discouraging but if you are jumping into this it would be wise to consider what you are jumping into. You would need to be able to work well and fast along with considering the paneling of your story. Writing for a manga isn’t quite the same as writing a novel, you need to also consider how it’s read along with what is being read. Before going into something heavy, even if it’s a fanwork, it might be good to make a few oneshots first.(Those being a 1 chapter story of about 30 to 60 pages) Provided you haven’t done so already. Then that way you can get an idea how just how much work it is and whether you have the time to invest into in. You can be surprised at how long something can really take. For example this review above may look like something easy to cough out in a few minutes but more often than not these can take an hour or more to write.

      • Avatar Rowan says:

        Well, Im an Art teacher, I always draw realistic faces and landscapes. I used to draw a lot of anime and manga when I was a teen. I also write some stories on Word or paper.
        I never did a real manga and I don’t have so much idea about manga composition but I was thinking about writing all my ideas and then start trying to make the manga. It’s just a fanmade but it’s a new project for me to experience new ways to draw or compose an story.
        It might sounds weird but reading the entire review I think you wanted a more detailed story about this series like I do. So Im asking you if you want to know my own story about a possible ‘second part’ where Avilio is alive after all.
        My native language isnt english so I hope I didnt write something wrong and I also hope you can read my version or help to make it better because I loved your review and all the details about it.

        • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

          I do appreciate that you want my input in this but I feel you are underestimating the level of work involved. That is why I am suggesting starting with a work that’s smaller in scope first. While I can help by looking at your idea’s and suggesting some of my own, it would be all for naught if you started drawing and found that it was much more work than you bargained for. Researching manga creation and storytelling technique would be wise as well especially if your goal is to learn of new ways of story composition.

          As an example this video goes into detail about Akira Torayama’s manga technique.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJK7oysHoMw

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

9 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

DanMachi2 – 6 [City of Lust (Ishtar Familia)]

DanMachi, as an anime, grew up this week. From the show that brought you the cosplaying mechanic of the “Hestia ribbon” comes an episode dealing with largest taboo in hero anime, and in some ways, Japanese conservative culture as a whole. Watching DanMachi this week is like this: you have a friend who you hang […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 20 [Pretend Family]

After last week’s episode, I had high hopes for Kimetsu no Yaiba this week. Sadly, I think I came away from it with more criticisms than complements. Perhaps natural, since living up to last week was nigh impossible. But I wasn’t prepared for Yaiba to undercut its best episode either. Welcome to Yaiba, episode 20, […]

Dr.STONE – 7 [Where Two Million Years Have Gone]

Ah today is a good day. The day where Dr.STONE reinforces what I loved about it when I first read it. You see this week Science takes center stage, we meet the ancient sorcerer Chrome, and the legendary Kinro gets his fabled weapon. Enough with the preamble though, welcome to this weeks Dr.STONE and lets […]

Mononoke – 2 [Zashikiwarashi – Part 2] – Throwback Thursday

There really isn’t a good way to introduce this episode. Nothing is really going to soften the madness of what I just watched. As this week Mononoke has given us one of the darkest/creepiest yet most endearing episodes I have seen in a long time. So let’s just get on with it. Starting off, a […]

Cop Craft – 06 [Need For Speed]

Cop Craft mixes up many unusual elements such as porno magazines, gay policeman, car chases and even romance into its trip this week. The result is that while it’s light in content, it proves to be more entertaining than when it deals with serious plot. While at this point I still prefer the relationship between […]

Kanata no Astra – 08 [Past]

There sure is a lot to unpack in Kanata no Astra this week. Kanata no Astra loves to give clues, and with every reveal it opens up more questions and make it think how all these puzzles fit in a big narrative frame. I must say that I am enjoying the ride so far, it’s […]

Lord El-Melloi II Sei no Jikenbo: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note – 6 [A Girl, a Department Store, and a Gift ]

It turns out that next week will be the beginning of the adaption of the source material of volume four and five and this episode marks the end of original anime content. I rather like this episode as it breaks away from Waver solving cases and has a fun little shopping adventure with the three […]

Vinland Saga – 6 [The Journey Begins]

Another week, another dose of Viking murder, courtesy of Vinland Saga. This week we watch our baby boy grow up, learn a bit about Viking history, and get into the series proper. Let’s dive in! Starting off, as always, the production aspect. This week showed us some of the cracks in Vinland’s production. For while […]

DanMachi2 – 5 [The Hearthfire Mansion (Home)]

DanMachi, you have me scratching my head. It takes you less than 20 minutes of air time to wrap up a 4 episode built, fortune changing battle – and then you spend the next 20 discussing Hestia’s Homebuilding. And what’s more – it was a very enjoyable Fixer-Upper-At-Your-Enemy’s-Expense episode. Just…a bit puzzling pace. Let’s take […]

Latest Reviews

Serial Experiments Lain Anime Review – 78/100 – Throwback Thursday

Serial Experiments Lain is weird. It is a series unlike any other, wholly unique in anime, both modern and historical. Every aspect of it, from presentation to narrative, is best described as an experience. It is because of this that I believe Lain is a must watch, if only to experience a piece of anime […]

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]