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91Days – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「Signal」 by (TK from Ling Tosite Sigure)

「いつわりの幻影」 (Itsuwari no Gen’ei)
“Phantom of Falsehood”

If you haven’t yet jumped into 91Days, you’re doing yourself one hell of a disservice.

Last week I raved about 91Days’ premiere—lauding its superb production, unique setting, lively characters, and excellently paced plot. The show’s sophomore episode continues to build on all of these qualities—elevating them to just the right levels to both impress us, and let us know it can only get better.

The episode does a remarkable job of expanding and fleshing out the world we were just introduced to. If you were a little confused about what exactly was going on last episode (which I was a little lol), we slow down the pace and get a better look at all the big players. Three main families—the Vanettis, the Orcos, and the Galassias—are all battling for power and turf, and often overstep their boundaries, amounting in an abundance of conflict. What’s amazing about 91Days is that exposition is never relayed in an explicit or unnatural manner—details about the world are skillfully weaved into the dialogue and plot points. We learn about the world without ever bringing the momentum of the story to a complete halt. As a result, the pacing proceeds in a quick and stable manner, even in this early in the series and with so much about the world to learn.

Our story primarily takes place from the perspective of the Vanettis—or at least some of the family’s key players. We introduced to group of genuinely likable and sympathizable characters. In particular, the episode’s (especially the cold open) does wonders in fleshing out the personality and appeal of Vanno Clementine. His frustration at the lack of his family’s refusal to take action over the cold murder of a member (especially a kid) feel completely justified, only worsened by the peace-intended marriage of a loved one (or a potentially unrequited love?) to a downright jerk.

And then BAM that’s all completely turned over its head during the episode’s third act (which, by the way, boasted some gorgeously impressive cinematopgraphy). Despite the quality of the episode’s character development, I thought it a little weird our protagonist was not given as much attention as our supporting cast was. I realized that they needed to be properly fleshed out as early as possible—I thought Vanno Clementine was to play a key role during the rest of the series. And while this was true, it was not to in the way that I imagined. To make all these characters likable, heartfelt, and fun only to—in one jarring revealsuddenly make them the antagonists?? Are you kidding me??

Or to, out of nowhere, completely gray out the boundaries of moral standing. Since the Vanettis are actually a pretty cool group of dudes, could it be that Avilo’s parents actually maybe deserved their deaths? But even then, was the murder of a child necessary? Could the Vanettis responsible actually have been haunted with regret and guilt by that death in particular all those years? Even then, the murder of a child is still the murder of a child, right? Could the Vanettis actually be secretly sinister, in contrast to all the development this episode made? How will Avilo handle his dilemma in the final scene? Will be played up as somewhat a villain as the show goes on? I mean, he straight up murdered a character the show was deliberately trying to make likable.

Agghhh, there’s just so much to chew off of here—so much to speculate, so much to debate over, and most importantly, so much to get excited by. At the very least, we know that nothing’s set in stone. Nothing is morally black and white. Nothing is in the clear. This early on, and the plot is already blown to these kinds of mind-bending levels.

Also, I love how the series is unabashedly dark, graphic, and even a little bit sexy. Though anime has never really had concerns with any of these qualities, I love how justified and appropriate it feels for the world, tone, and subject matter of 91Days. It’s never these things for merely the sake of being them—it’s all functional. Even Fango’s unconventional sexual tastes serve to twist and dement the character.

91Day’s second episode manages to organically provide a myriad of exposition, while at the same time, refusing to slow things. The series refuses to be predictable or stale, as the episode ramps up the intrigue this early in the show, but in a way which feels natural. The exposition provided in the episode’s first half brilliantly feeds into the concluding excitement in a twist which I did not see coming (and shit was even foreshadowed without me even realizing). 91Day continues to exceed my expectations.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「Rain or Shine」 by (ELISA)

Epilogue:

July 17, 2016 at 2:05 pm
20 comments »
  • July 17, 2016 at 3:32 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Definitely looking better with each episode.

    It does feel like Avilo will, despite being the “protagonist”, probably end up becoming a dark and twisted one overall, especially given his ONLY current goal is simply revenge for his parent’s and little brother’s deaths, unless we do learn some sort of twisted truth behind the murders. As you brought up in the first episode, families of those targeted by the mob are usually kept out of mob affairs unless the “crime” against the mob is just THAT bad that such an example needed to be made and message left behind. Or perhaps there’s more discourse without said mob family(s) than we’re seeing.

  • July 17, 2016 at 4:09 pmyoloalchemist

    I already didn’t need the 3-episode rule for this one, but then this episode comes and shatters my expectations, in a good way. Yes the show does refuse to be predictable, and I think that’s where some of its power comes. In the end I was like, it could only be that Orco guy who tipped off the Vanettis about Avilo, but then why? What does he have to gain from that?

    I really liked Vanno. Even if he was evil before (which is doubtful), he downright wasn’t in the least this time around. Just goes to show how dark and all consuming revenge can be. Speaking of which, I really underestimated Avilo. All along I actually believed he wasn’t capable of murder because he didn’t do it before, or that he was gonna make a complicated approach to gain the trust of the Vanettis and destroy them from within. No, his revenge has seeded itself in him down to his very core. It was all an act, to get Vanno to be alone. Dark as his revenge is, I absolutely loved how he’s so straightforward with it. Just find the ones who killed his family and then BAM, one shot, one kill, no need to drag it out and make it more complicated than it needs to be. Although, as this episode clearly displayed in the end, such approach is terribly reckless, adding more to its unpredictability.

    Wow, this show is something else.

  • July 17, 2016 at 4:55 pmmf9769

    Superb second ep. Although I did see the twist coming, I was surprised that they would just have Avilo off him this early. At the same time, he’s the odd man out, seeing as the other two are a major mob boss and his son. Makes sense that he’s the first one of the three murderers to die. The questions raised though, are engrossing, and that makes this show my favorite of the season. Do they regret killing Avilo’s family? Vanno certainly appeared to regret his first kill, and based on his age, the killing of Avilo’s family could have been it. Will Nero figure out what’s going on? He seems to be a fairly intelligent character, and logically, he’ll be the third person Avilo tries to kill, after Vanna and the Don. Nero could put two and two together and realize that both dead men are the two that went with him to kill the family, and remember that one son got away. Or perhaps Nero’s a magnificent bastard, and is the one who sent Avilo the letter in the first place, in order to off his father, figuring that he’d kill Avilo, and thus become Don, and get rid of someone who wants him dead at the same time and no one would ever know. Great show.

  • July 17, 2016 at 5:45 pmdaikama

    Good episode though I’m not sure if it’s quite up to the first one. Things are definitely moving along. Didn’t expect for 1/3 of his revenge to take place so soon, but single cour and his two other targets are not going to be so easy = need time for that.

    Definitely some questions to be answered. First and foremost is the end. Something else I didn’t expect, and kudos to the show for keeping up the surprises. Still, uh, that’s one pretty clean crime scene. One guy gets shot 3 times at point blank range and… no blood. You’d think there would be lots of blood (pool & splatter). Vanno didn’t bleed at all either. Reason I bring this up is because when the one guy’s body (Serpente???) disappears at the end, if there were two separate blood pools (for each body as one would think), then it’s at least some evidence for ML make his case (what happened to “Serpente” is another question to be answered). I’m sure the show wanted to put ML in a bigger “pinch”, but felt a bit too scripted to go that far IMO. Whatever. Definitely looking forward to seeing how ML gets out of this one.

    The other families vying for territory is a nice addition. Adds another level of complexity and the potential to make things more interesting. Wonder if ML will try to manipulate one of the other families to aid his revenge.

    I really like the how the show has handled ML’s booze making friend, Colteo. Does a great job with conveying the sense of him being dragged further & further into ML’s scheme. I suppose it’s possible he knew all along, but some darn good “acting” on his part if so. Who sent the letter is another question. Yeah, “dad’s best friend”, but who is that? I’d have to think they have some connection to the mob as well.

    Nitpicking, but the ML covering/wrapping his Colt M1911 pistol with some cloth rag is kind of silly. Have to think that would interfere with the slide operation or maybe even interfere with the hammer and jam it. Again, nitpicking, but not great attention to detail (they did go to the effort of some detail on the box of cartridges after all). Ye old revolver covered in a folded newspaper works better if you want to go that route.

    Given how it plays, out, I think the ML really didn’t want to kill Fango. There’s a large enough target area here for a head shot given how close ML is to Fango (10 ft./3m? Less?). So even if he didn’t want to kill the woman, he could IMO take a shot – especially after he see Fango grab his revolver and aim it at the ML. Honestly, that was stupidity on ML’s part. He could have easily been shot & maybe killed. ML even decides not to take a longer range shot at Fango as Fango runs away. So to me it seems that ML is sticking to only killing his revenge targets… so far. Not sure whether he falls down the “slippery slope” or not going forward.

    All in all a good episode with maybe some minor questions. Only two episodes, but this show is certainly making a strong case for being one of the best of this season.

  • July 17, 2016 at 9:35 pmRick Anime

    I agree with the blog this show has been full of surprises. I am definitely on board with this show :)

  • July 17, 2016 at 11:33 pmHanover Fist

    When Vanno was shooting at Serpente I thought I heard the clink of bullets against stone, and I don’t remember any blood around Serpente’s supposed corpse. Possibly Vanno was only giving him a warning and didn’t actually kill him. So now there’s a witness to Avilo shooting Vanno.

    This show is amazing. :D

  • July 18, 2016 at 1:30 amlaila703

    this could be a stupid question but how many episodes is planned for this !!is it 91 episodes ? and can i just say the opening blow my mind i felt like i twas watching a movie .

    • July 18, 2016 at 3:08 amHanover Fist

      Only 12 eps. :/

  • July 18, 2016 at 3:34 amUrahara

    Did he try to kill Fango and failed ? or he let him go as a part of the plan ?

    • July 18, 2016 at 5:04 pmSherrisLok

      Does it really matter? He wasn’t very keen on killing him in the first place. Might as well do a sloppy job.

  • July 18, 2016 at 3:38 amxClueless

    It’s been a long time since I watched the Godfather movies, but I have to say the anime is creating the same vibe, be it intentionally or not, pretty well. I was literally on the edge of my seat by the end of the episode. Can’t wait to see how it all pans out… Thanks Jig for the post!

  • July 18, 2016 at 4:05 amBlue

    I admit, I actually went back and watched the first episode to see if I could recognise any of the shooters. It was hard since I’m not good at identifying voices. The guy who crouches down and does the sign of the cross might be Vanno, but the whole time I was really suspicious of Avilo’s letter. I mean, how can he be sure that the information in it is accurate?

    • July 18, 2016 at 6:46 amUrahara

      We KNOW Vincente was there because of the distinct facial scar , maybe he has seen him someplace and identified him with it

  • July 18, 2016 at 11:29 amMei

    @JIG It’s Vanno Clemente, not Clementine.

    I enjoyed a lot these two episodes and I can already tell this is gonna be a good ride. Though if I can be honest the thing that irks me a lot about this show be the high level of inaccuracy.

    I was born in Sicily and got naturalized as an U.S. citizen a couple of years ago, not to mention that my family has always been Italian Americans so the setting, the mafia, the stubborness of the characters and the lingering eerie vibe re all things I’m very used to and in a way I was eagerly waiting this anime.

    But we can’t simply have good things.

    All the names and last names are awfully ridiculous, every Italian speaker can tell you right away that they pretty much picked an Italian dictionary and randomly picked up names.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    But this is not the first time nor will be the last one that they lack accuracy and while I’m sure I’ll enjoy this anime regardless, it can’t help but leave a bad taste in my mouth.

  • July 18, 2016 at 4:08 pmSherrisLok

    What a way to finish off!

  • July 19, 2016 at 5:24 amMiamiNights

    Who wrote that letter!!!>??? It was odd that Serpente was missing w zero blood. I instantly thought vanno shot blanks and was plotting, but the episode laid bare his hate for the Orcos and Galassias. Who else knew they were going to the cemetery?

    Either way the second episode continues to show the potential the show has. let’s hope they don’t muck it up.

  • July 19, 2016 at 7:28 amlaila703

    i feel like angelo will develop some kind of relationship with vanno and by the end of this he will be torn apart bitween friendship or vengeance , either way one of them will die .

  • July 19, 2016 at 9:15 pmgp1301

    In a story involving mobsters: Nobody is a hero, they’re all villains. Mobsters’ stupid decisions can create a monster far worst than them.

  • July 23, 2016 at 2:01 amKF

    Fango has the face of an S and is an S but he can be quite an M…

    http://randomc.net/image/91%20Days/91Days%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2023.jpg