91 Days – From Beginning To End: A Viewer’s Journey Through The Murky Path of Revenge

91 Days is at its core a mafia story about revenge and illegal alcohol. In 2016 this anime received a lot of hype prior to release and early episodes certainly made it feel worthwhile. However, could Angelo’s story of vengeance really hold audience’s interest for the whole season?

91 Days is available on Crunchyroll.

91 Days Episode 1: A motive for revenge.

91  Days Title

This was a promising first episode for 91 Days.

We’re introduced to a young man and his motives for revenge. His friend is good with chemistry (helpful for making illegal alcohol and blowing things up apparently). We have all the usual mafia idiocy of overly macho men talking big and then having to follow it up with knife/gun fights.

The tone is pretty serious in this episode (so don’t think Baccano) and the opening credits play more like a black and white movie than an anime. I’m definitely interested at the moment in this but will really need more of a connection with some of the characters if I’m going to get right into this.

91 Days Episode 2: Complicating the act of revenge.

91 Days Episode 2 - Revenge for a fallen comrade.

Like with a lot of mafia shows, almost every character in this story is unlikable.

They are thugs and hypocritical and lack empathy for anyone outside of their own little circle. That said, I don’t dislike 91 Days so far.

It is far more serious in tone than the other shows I’ve picked up this season and I just don’t see how this situation will end well for anyone, but it has created tension and drama in the first two episodes and established a clear motive for our protagonist, even if his plan seems a little complicated (assuming he has a plan and isn’t just winging it). Definitely going to keep going with this.

91 Days Episode 3: Revenge and consequences.

91 Days Episode 3 - Avilio wants revenge.

91 Days continues to be a solid period drama and while little happens this episode, we do get to explore the fallout from the dead bodies at the end of episode 2. Which is kind of a nice change from most stories where they focus entirely on the revenge rather than the dealing with the death of a character and the issue of the corpse.

There are some seemingly significant moments with each of our main characters as we learn a little bit more about their thinking and approach and it looks like we are continuing to move towards Avilio’s revenge, though we still aren’t getting too many hints about whether he has a grand plan or if he is just taking things as they come. While this is moving slowly it is definitely engaging.

91 Days Episode 4: Put the revenge on hold.

91 Days Episode 4 - No revenge this week for the mafia anime.

I found at episode 4 I am enjoying 91 Days less and less. I still do want to see how the revenge eventually is resolved but watching Avilio and what’s-his-name roam around the countryside and running low on cash wasn’t exactly fascinating.

While this episode is full of what might be touching character moments, the plot has literally screeched to a halt and I’m just not that invested in the characters. Oh, and kids who pay for a juggling act with grasshoppers are probably the reason they tell you not to work with children.

91 Days is still an excellently made show, but I’m feeling that if it continues at this pace I’ll probably let it go and marathon it once it is done because in this 20 minutes I didn’t get much out of it.


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91 Days Episode 5: Gotta catch them all.

91 Days Episode 5 - More death for the sake of revenge.

They return to the city this week and I have to admit I’m going to need to rewatch 91 Days from the beginning because at this point I really can’t keep the families and their names straight. Which makes this episode with the plot heavy on betrayal, deals and backstabbing particularly hard to follow.

Although, we could simplify. Nobody likes Nero and Avilio would be better off just letting nature run its course (as his friend tells him Nero is going to die even if he does nothing). But that’s not good enough for Avilio who is apparently the completionist of the gangster world and won’t be satisfied unless he gets them all.

I did enjoy this episode more than last week but as I said, the details of the show are starting to get confused because I probably haven’t paid close enough attention.

91 Days Episode 6: The road to revenge never did run smoothly.

91 Days Episode 6 - Bold proclamation.

I really think this is going to be one of those shows where everyone ends up dead.

91 Days just keeps twisting this straight revenge story so that everyone is playing everyone else and you can just see a massive body count when we get to the end of the line.

That said, this episode was really interesting. It moved quickly from Nero and Fango making a deal, to Nero negotiating with Orco, the inevitable double cross and fire-fight, and then the final sequences where it is absolutely confirmed that Fango is completely crazy (and not in a fun kind of way).

I like that you never know when Avilio is playing someone or being honest (or being honest in order to play someone). There’s some clever writing and some great work with the voice acting.

91 Days Episode 7: Dead men walking.

91 Days Episode 7 - Everyone wants someting.

I’m pretty sure this episode of 91 Days affirmed my conclusion from last week; everyone in this anime is going to end up dead.

This episode more or less confirms that the ultimate end for all these betrayals and intrigues is a bullet. It really feels like this show only has one reveal to go and that is who is the extra person involved in the killing of Avilio’s family (and will he still be alive for Avilio to kill when he finds out who it is).

Until then, we’re just going through the motions of having Avilio pressing just the right buttons to have the others more or less self-destruct. Maybe there will be a better twist coming, otherwise it really will be just watching this to see the inevitable end of this revenge tale.

91 Days Episode 7.5: Recap episode – enough said.

You know, Cheer Boys did the whole recap thing awhile back and I expressed my dislike of recap episodes that add nothing new then. At least when it did it, they added some narration and they were following a high point in the series.

91 Days follows the killing of Frate (which might have been emotionally interesting but is hardly a major plot progression) with a recap episode that literally gives us nothing new. It did however make me wonder why Avilio hasn’t changed his haircut throughout his entire life. That is the level of engagement I had with this episode.

Now, 91 Days has put itself on the back foot because if the next episode doesn’t do something good, I am going to go from finding it interesting enough to being frustrated with it.

91 Days Episode 8: Problems with revenge.

91 Days Episode 8 - Changed by revenge.

Corteo is going to be a problem. Okay, he is a problem. He’s a problem for the other characters and he’s a problem as a character. I won’t spoil the developments in this episode but I do want to address the problem of Corteo as a character.

He is Avilio’s friend. He wants to help him but has no desire to be involved in the shady world of the gangs. Which all makes perfect sense as does his hesitancy at certain times. What doesn’t make sense are his actions this episode (no specifics to be mentioned).

It’s just impossible to figure out what he is attempting to accomplish so when it goes wrong you just roll your eyes at the inevitability of it all and you still don’t know what Corteo wants. Does he still want to help Avilio? Are his actions somehow supposed to help him? Or has he just slipped off the deep end?

91 Days Episode 9: Revenge and its cost.

91 Days Episode 9 - Didn't see it coming when seeking revenge.

Corteo is captured but not yet killed. Kind of surprising really.

This week felt like the story of 91 Days was done diverting us from the central narrative by watching gang in-fighting and seemed to get right back to Avilio and his revenge. Who is the elusive letter sender? Who is the fourth killer? With that focus back front and centre the story was far more compelling than I’ve found it in recent weeks and by the end, when Avilio figured out who was behind recent events at least I was actually really engaged with this story.

While at times the characters seemed a little off visually this week, this is probably the best episode 91 Days has delivered for awhile.

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91 Days Episode 10: Revenge or suicide?

91 Days Episode 10 - Revenge or suicide? What's on your mind?

If I wasn’t sure before this episode more or less confirmed that Avilio has no intention of surviving his revenge quest.

With that piece of information in mind, his actions throughout the whole series make a lot more sense because at no point could I see what his exit plan was going to be. This isn’t to say that his death is guaranteed, but it does make it clear that beyond his revenge he has no plans, and the number of death flags raised this episode make it very doubtful the anime has any plans to save him last minute.

Who else will end up dead? Or more importantly, will there be anyone or anything left when the flames from this revenge burn out?

Corteo’s death this episode is not tragic as it is definitely the result of his own choices and has been inevitable for awhile now, but the execution of this death was perfect for the tone of this story. While this episode is slow moving it hits all the right notes to draw us back into the story after a middle that seemed to lose its way.

91 Days Episode 11: Burn it down.

91 Days Episode 11 - No future for those who seek revenge.

Turns out we have one more episode of 91 Days, but this was a highly entertaining episode. The first half was all semi-ironic statements about planning for a future (that we should all know by now was never going to exist) and the second half was metaphorically about burning everything down (though less flames and more knives and bullets involved).

I do question how incredibly lame you have to be to have two guys stabbing someone else multiple times and still not actually succeed at killing him, and worse, allowing yourself to be killed by the wounded beast. Anyway, this episode brought us to the conclusion that everything (right from the killing of Avilio’s family) has been for nothing because nothing is going to survive the war that has now been ignited.

I’d ask if Avilio is happy with this outcome but the answer to that is obvious. I still think this whole story would have been more affective with less episodes as the middle really felt stretched out, but I am very satisfied with where we are going for the conclusion.

91 Days Episode 12: The conclusion?

91 Days Episode 12 - Where revenge leads.

Now the weakest part of this series so far was the diversion from the whole revenge thing to go on a road trip. So, for a final, how about we get a taste of the war going on and then send our main characters on an echoing road trip again only this time it will be really depressing? Sounds fun, doesn’t it?

While I appreciate that all the way through, 91 Days has attempted to ensure it was building consistent metaphors and themes, being reminded of my least favourite moments from the mid-season and the general feeling of failure and pointlessness that permeated this episode really just made it a little bit flat.

I’ll admit, this anime is going to be hard to review because it is a good anime but there have been moments all the way along that I haven’t liked as much..

91 Days Episode 13

91 Days Episode 13

It feels like it has been forever since 91 Days was on, though I guess that is hardly true. Still, my series review of this tale of revenge was a long time ago so I wasn’t really sure what to make of the release of an episode 13 in the middle of the Summer 2017 season.

I guess there isn’t really a lot to make of this. Instead we see three fairly disconnected stories that do fill in some character gaps or relationships that we knew about but didn’t really get to see in the series, but ultimately nothing here is needed for the series nor does it radically change your view of anything or anyone.

For a stand alone, it kind of is nothing. Not bad or good, it just kind of floats along and really if you didn’t already know the greater narrative there would be nothing at all to this. With some attachment to the characters and knowing how some of these relationships end up, it has a little more impact, but still is hardly going to knock your socks off.

So for die-hard fans of 91 Days, this one might be worth checking out, and given it is only a standard episode length it isn’t a huge time investment, but it is hardly something you need to rush out and watch.

Images from: 91 Days. Dir. H. Kaburagi. Shuka. 2016.


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