91 days is an original anime series directed by Hiro Kaburagi and produced by Shuka Studio. It is one of those anime series that is not based on a manga or light novel, which is pretty rare nowadays. Also, Funimation has released the English dub but I would suggest watching the Jap version instead, which I watched and the language version I am going to review.
The basic premise is about the tales of revenge. During the Prohibition era in the United States of America, in the town of Lawless, a family has been killed by a mafia family, Vanetti. The surviving boy, Angelo Lagusa, plots revenge against the four men who killed his family. By the turn of luck, he receives a letter from an anonymous person who tells him to come back to Lawless and also gives him the names of the culprits. Soon, Angelo disguises himself as Avillio and befriends the Vanetti’s don’s son and eventually joins the family to kill from inside.
The artstyle is quite simplistic with most the characters exhibiting quite a smaller range of facial expression compared to most animes. It tries to keep the balance between realism and anime-ish character as the setting is set in America and also darker in tone. The colours are fairly basic and most of the background is actually oil or water painted, giving it a very 1930-1940s look, but still very colourful. It contrasted with the character’s art which retains a more natural look, but it helps the latter to stand out.
Animation wise, there are some actions, since this is an anime series that features mafia. It employs a combination of 3D models and 2D characters. Most of the time only the vehicles are done in 3D but they try to retain the texture to 2D, which works out well most of the time, but the animation proves to be quite different to ignore. Sometimes the car will drive smoothly but the characters still retain the 2D traditional animation style. Otherwise, its a good mixture of both that helps to tell the story, and this anime never tries to be great at its graphics department as its aim in the first place.
The characters themselves are pretty diverse in personalities and looks. It helps a lot that they look different as now some of the characters only appear in some episodes and we don’t want to confuse them for another. Right away, Angelo stands out because of his cold personality, while the don’s son, Nero, is laid-back and always smiles. Each of them proves to be interesting in their own rights and their relations with each other are both simple and complicated. However, some of them seem forced, especially Fango, who is made a lunatic, but it’s just slightly. It’s just quite unfortunate that only a few are memorable enough, as some die off quite fast.
The story is actually a very simple tale of revenge by one man whose family is killed by another family. There are some twists and small reveals that act as the anchors to keep you watching, but most of the time they are quite predictable. It seems the creator wants it to be more cliche by employing characters of specified looks or personalities, which are basically typical anime stereotypes. The one thing it does better is exploring the complicated relationship between Angelo and Nero, whose difference is night and day. They also prove to be an interesting match-up that fits each other well. The story never gets too dark and there are more light-hearted moments in-between.
Music wise, it’s using the darker tone to set the atmosphere during the Prohibition era when bootlegging is common and mafia controls the cities and towns. Also, they fit the style of the revenge narrative by creating moody tracks. Unfortunately, only two of them are memorable and impactful. With that said, I really like the Opening of the anime, which differs from usual anime fares.