「敗けて勝って, その後で」 (Makete Katte, Sono Ato de)
“Losing to Win, and What Comes After”
On the road baby.
Last week I went on about how 91Days understandably but perhaps not ideally spent the bulk of its third installment establishing many details of the larger plot. It was functional and perhaps needed, yes, but what was maybe more necessary was the development of its core characters—which I feel are more integral than anything else in driving the story.
Well this week, I got my wish. This time around, the show very much sloooows down the pace to isolate time and focus on its core duo—Angelo and Nero. We got to witness our first real inklings of a strong relationship between the two. Each individual perfectly foils the other, though not too jarringly so that they can’t work off one another for some genuinely entertaining bits of dialogue and on-screen chemistry. We’ve seen before Nero’s hearty brimming energy and humorous inclinations, but here they’re deepened further—lighting up every scene in which he’s in. His bubbling charisma is so infectious, even Avilio is affected
Yes, that’s right ladies and gentlemen, Avilio emotes! Congratulations fam. We did it.
For the first time, we get to see Avilio convey some genuine human qualities. We see him smile, we see him open up—hell, we even see him entertain children. He expresses a side of himself which seems relatable. When we see him attempt to juggle back at the campfire, he’s showcasing that he’s got motives outside of getting revenge. In this case, he expresses—if but briefly—a curiosity and intention to make kids happy, or just juggle, who knows. Either way, he’s revealing that he’s not interminably consumed by revenge. This makes the strength and possibility of this burgeoning friendship seem all the more feasible—maybe Avilio gives up the scheme down the line?
And that’s the sad thing. As we know, this budding friendship is almost certainly doomed—something which this episode isn’t afraid to show. Each has now killed one of more of the others’ loved ones. This casts a shadow of impending gloom and tension over any moment of friendship shared between the two. And yet, we can’t help but want it to grow and blossom, even though such would make the eventual schism all the more painful.
That being said, I wished the episode downplayed the significance of the assassination attempt, or at least weave it into some sort of emotional arc for our protagonists. Though it does ultimate bolster a greater sense of camaraderie between the two, I think such was only briefly conveyed. The bulk of the entire affair, I feel, serves as not much more than a distraction to keep the trigger-happy viewers pleased. This friendship is one which the series will predicate itself on down the line, so it needs to be as strong as possible from the start. It’s not enough to just show them bonding—establish and explore some kind of tension or conflict (outside of all the secretive murder) which can resolved or expanded between the two for a more genuine and believable relationship. Make Avilio hate his guts at first, but then grow really fond of the guy. Though I believe that time would’ve been better spent on character development, I understand that the two have really just begun their exodus, and that hopefully much more is in store for their little road trip. This week’s 91 Days puts the show down a path it sorely needed to go. Though it didn’t deliver quite the way I’d hoped, it still manages to provide quality entertainment and character development.
Also, did early twentieth-century American candy look so…commercial