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91Days – 04

「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

August 1, 2016 at 2:46 am
5 comments »
  • August 1, 2016 at 4:34 amIzaak

    Please note: in this episode Nero reminiscences what’s it like to have a little brother, a little sister, and a family, in front of the boy whose family he killed. And the boy has to pretend he never had a family if he wants to get closer to the Vanetti Family.

    It’s like poetry.

  • August 1, 2016 at 5:35 amKabble

    That dog was essentially doing all the emoting for me.
    I had to pause the episode for a minute after the dogs face after watching his master get hit by a car.
    That was priceless.

    • August 2, 2016 at 1:38 pmSherrisLok

      I feel sorry for the dog.

  • August 1, 2016 at 7:18 amdaikama

    Overall a pretty good episode, but not still not up to par with the first one. Also kind of a “tale of two halves” for me. The flashbacks & camp fire stories about Nero & Vanno continued to give Nero some depth/difference from stereotypical mobster guy. Got a bit of exposition such as who wrote the letter to Avilio, and while only three were mentioned in the letter, four people were there when Avilio’s family was murdered. Nice wrinkle to the story. I got a chuckle out of Avilio swiping Nero’s belt & wallet. That scene in general played out well. You do get a sense Avilio’s thinking about the younger brother he lost when he looks at the kids. So for the most part, all good stuff.

    However, for me things went downhill a bit after they left the camp. Just in general, I thought this episode had an odd vibe to it due to some “comedy” bits (or what I took to be comedy). Thus far, the show’s been pretty serious/straightforward for the most part, but this episode felt like they wanted to lighten the overall tone considerably, and I’m not sure it worked well. For example, Avilio hits “Goliath” with the car, which does knock down Goliath at first, but the car is trashed and Goliath pops back up before tossing some guys into the air as Avilio & Nero run away. Granted comedy is subjective, but to me it felt odd/out of place rather than funny. Frankly, I didn’t think Goliath’s character fit all that well with the story in general.

    There are some other odd things as well. OK, so Nero’s a pretty easy going guy, but when he’s warned that there’s an assassin after him (Goliath), time to (a) be cautious and drive out of town ASAP as advised (especially since Avilio stole the sheriff’s wallet), or (b) blow the rest of your money, get drunk and ultimately challenge to an arm wrestling match some really big dude that does kind of fit the description of the assassin after you. Yeah, he was drunk, but still… After ramming Goliath with the car, Avilio grabs the canned goods, but leaves the GUNS in the car (except a revolver Nero carries on him) because in terms of priorities evidently canned pineapple > guns when you have an “immune to cars” assassin after you. C’mon, 91 Days. Avilio is neither stupid nor drunk so no excuses. Well, at least he has ammo for his home-made slingshot…

    Goliath…Slingshot… I see what you did anime.

    So the net result is the worst fight/battle so far for me. Nero puts a hole in Goliath’s pancho with his first shot, then misses with the other five because of course. Couple canned pineapple slingshots because “forgot guns” + anime wanted to be cute with the aforementioned “joke”. Nero does put a knife in Goliath’s back so “surely” that’s the end of the Goliath. No reason to make sure the guy’s actually down for good or anything. >_> Finally, Farmer Joe takes down Goliath with 4 point-blank shots from his lever action rifle, and… cue bad Goliath -> Gorilla “joke”. *sigh*

    I’m neither suggesting that the show is bad nor that this should be all gun battles, but when they do take place the show can do better than this. IMO, there’s a downhill trend going on so far with the fights. No reason for that. Also, the attempts at “comedy” this episode felt out of place in general. Comedy is subject so YMMV on that. It’s still a pretty good, maybe simply good, show, but lately it’s not living up to the promise of its opening episode.

    • August 1, 2016 at 7:26 amdaikama

      Technical correction – sling, not slingshot in above comment.