91 Days Anime Review

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Review Overview
  • Story7
  • Animation8
  • Character Development8
  • Music8
Total Score7.8

Though not the most original story, it was certainly well written. I would classify this as a really well-written fanfiction.

Rated 7.9 on MAL and IMDb, “liked” by 96% people on Google, and rated 7.7 at ANN91 Days is a thrilling crime fiction, some would say tragically under watched.

Set during the Prohibition Era (1920-1933) in the fictional city of Lawless, Illinois, 91 Days follows the journey of Angelo Lagusa (under the pseudonym Avillio Bruno for most of the story) as he tries to infiltrate the organized crime family, the Vanettis, in search of revenge for his murdered family.

With Angelo’s revenge as the main theme, the anime explores the friendship between Angelo and one his chief adversary, Nero Vanetti (if we can really call him his adversary — you see, the story has a lot of ambiguity on that part). It also explores the relationship between Angelo and his childhood friend Corteo. With all that in the background, 91 Days continues to be a gripping tale of Angelo’s revenge.

Major spoiler. If you’ve watched the anime, you can select the text to read it.

Which ends with Angelo coming out victorious, destroying the Vanetti Family as he had intended, only to meet a tragic end.

Anime details:

Anime Name: 91 Days

Directed by: Hiro Kaburagi

Produced by: Toshio Iiduka, Toshihiro Maeda

Written by: Taku Kishimoto

Music by: Shougo Kaida

Studio: Shuka

Manga Adaptation: None


When I saw 91 Days for the very first time in the summer of 2016, honest to God, the very first thought that came to my mind was that maybe the producers were doing this to see how much they could rip off from The Godfather franchise without getting sued. I’m serious! The opening scene had a reference to the famous “Baptism” scene in the first movie of The Godfather trilogy. We see the protagonist Angelo shooting Fango with a towel wrapped around his hand, the towel acting as a rudimentary silencer, which is exactly what Vito Corleone did in the second movie of the trilogy while shooting his enemy. Angelo’s backstory is exactly that of Vito Corleone’s, with some of the facts changed a bit. The wedding ceremony we see in the first episodes is exactly the one we see in the first movie, Godfather (1972). The background music in the first episode has parts which are from The Godfather Waltz with the ending note upped an octave. Even the logo has the same font as the Godfather one! And we just have to discuss the characters and their similarities to the characters found in the Godfather trilogy:

Once I found out all these similarities, I was really shocked, scandalized, devastated. You see, I’m a bit weird about plagiarism. And by weird, I mean I hate it. And this anime felt like plagiarism to me. Because you see, there are anime studios which are actually working hard on creating a good story, creating the right setting and character development, and there comes this anime, with all the cool Godfather themes and characters. I honestly decided to drop this anime just when I saw the first episode, but then I decided that I would stick with it till the end and give an honest opinion.

And when I finished the anime, I came to realize that there is a very thin line between something that is ripped off of something else and something which is inspired by something else. And 91 Days falls in the inspired category.

Behind all those “ripped-off” themes and everything else that is there, 91 Days still provides us with a gripping tale of revenge and friendship. This anime came from Japan and not the USA, and yet it shows, with great accuracy, exactly what happened during the Prohibition.

Another thing that impresses me about this anime is that it features an all-male cast with the main character having no female love interest and even then it doesn’t have to go down the ‘yaoi’ path to irk the interest. The scenes of the two main characters bonding as friends, the occasional action sequences, and of course, the trademark ‘mafia’ elements of elaborate plots capture the attention of the viewers and refuse them to let it go until the story ends.

Fango’s psychosis was shown brilliantly. But it lacked texture and seemed kind of forced. So did some of the sub-plots that Angelo made. Some of the characters like Barbero and Fio seemed promising but hardly got any character development. The road trip scenes were really enjoying.

The animation lacked the vibrancy that is often associated with modern anime. Though this was done in accordance to the theme, it does feel a little dull once in a while.

The music for this anime was amazing. The opening song “Signal” by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure is one of the best openings I’ve heard in the whole summer. The ending theme “Rain or Shine” by ELISA was well done, but it didn’t match the brilliance of the opening. The BGMs served the purpose too.

Though not the most original story, it was certainly well written. I would classify this as a really well-written fanfiction.

That being said, I would still urge the viewer to watch the anime. If you are a Godfather fan, you might just feel nostalgic. If you haven’t watched The Godfather, then this might serve as a good primer.

Van Wider

Van Wider is our light novels expert who covers other genres as well. His level of skill in leafing through manga and light novels is probably unsurpassed by the lot of us at Nihonden. He writes in quick summaries that are always easy to gulp down.