Kenjiro TsudaTakuya EguchiDaisuke OnoTakashi Kondo
91 Days
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2016: D
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2016
Director: Hiro Kaburagi
Writer: Taku Kishimoto
Actor: Daisuke Ono, Kazuhiro Yamaji, Kenji Hamada, Kenjiro Tsuda, Kotaro Nishiyama, Masuo Amada, Soma Saito, Takahiro Sakurai, Takashi Kondo, Takuya Eguchi, Yuichi Nakamura
Keywords: gangster, anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Website category: Anime 2016
Review date: 25 August 2017
91 dayz
It's a 1930s gangster story, set an Illinois town called Lawless. The production values are impeccable. It's been lovingly animated, with a recreation of the historical period is so good that it doesn't just look right, but also feels right. The mobsters's dialogue, characterisation and actions are note-perfect. It's an intelligent series for mature audiences.
Unfortunately I didn't really care about the characters and I was basically just waiting for them to die. I didn't mind watching the show. I could admire it. However I'd have no real opinion on who I'd like to survive in any given episode. Any of them? All of them? They all deserve it. Fango the lurid psycho is at least entertaining, but these are people who'll barely even notice regard the collateral deaths of women and children. If the target's with his mistress, you might as well kill her too. That sounds convenient. There might occasionally be an interesting moment of characterisation, though, e.g. a religious man saying his prayers while walking his victim to the execution spot.
Ep.1 has a man being killed while he's with his wife and children. They saw the killers' faces, so things don't look good for them. There's only one survivor, a little boy called Angelo Lagusa who flees into the woods.
Seven years later, this boy is calling himself Avilio Bruno. He knows who killed his family, although there's still one name missing from his list. He wants revenge and there's going to be a lot of blood before he's finished.
Avilio is the main obstable to enjoying this show. (I admired it, but I wouldn't say "enjoyment" was usually part of the experience.) Avilio is a blank. We can tell that there's a lot going on underneath, but he wears his face like a mask. He seems dead inside. He doesn't smile. We never know what he's thinking, or how his revenge objectives might have shifted based on what he's learned. Admittedly the mask cracks in the emotions of ep.12, which could theoretically have been powerful, but he's no more sympathetic than his targets because we've been given nothing to sympathise with.
Does this show contain any fun? Fango's a laugh, I suppose, while a huge Mexican hit man makes ep.4 funny.
There's a recap episode, ep.7.5. I often enjoy the fresh angle these summaries give you on the story and characters so far, but I fast-forwarded this one because frankly I didn't care enough. Too much in this show is opaque. We're watching the killings and having to guess about the important stuff underneath. It's clearly a production choice, but it's one that cools me somewhat on the show.
Otherwise, though, it's good. It's very well made. It's been done with integrity. I like the ambiguous ending, in which a complicated relationship was being torn in opposing directions and it's possible to find a less obvious interpretation of what happened. I don't know if I'd recommend this show to everyone, but it's aiming for a grown-up audience and there are a lot of people who'll think it's excellent. I'd even agree with them, at least by a lot of measures.