The Vanetti family has died and Angelo Lagusa has his revenge. Where is there to go from here? I would argue episode 12 exists to put the existential nail in the coffin. We have seen what Angelo has done, but will Nero become like him? The most fascinating thing is that Angelo is essentially given the opportunity to fight against Nero one last time and yet turns it down. Nero comes to him when he calls him and kills his guards to get him. What follows is a story about a man who could’ve killed the other in revenge who didn’t and wondering if Nero, the man whose life he has ruined, will now do the same. I shall begin this story with a reference to a classic anime/manga series: Monster. A doctor saves the life of one child viewing his life as equal to someone else. What follows is the destruction of his career and the eventual horrific revelation that the child he saved was a sociopath who went on to be a murderer. The doctor makes it his life mission in order to stop the ‘monster’ he created. I imagine Nero feels the same in this regard: has he simply shot Angelo then none of this would have happened.
The most powerful scenes in the ending hit you once you’ve seen it all. The somber confrontation between Angelo and Nero as Angelo essentially admits he wish he had died, that he finds no joy in his life now, and Nero’s own painful confrontation of him. Nero says a very powerful phrase that reminds me of much different anime: “You don’t need a reason to live, you just live.” It gives you the impression that Nero holds a different fate than the one I have imagined he would be forced to endure. Even though his legacy is gone Nero actually manages to survive to the end of the series. Though the Galassias know he is alive and I imagine will hunt him down for the rest of his days, I don’t think Nero possesses in him the quality to just lay down and die. Despite that I resented his actions regarding Corteo I find I am rooting for him to survive in the end.
Angelo is the one I feel the most torn for. His entire fate is left in limbo and his will to live is essentially null. Thanks to Corteo’s death and the end of his revenge he has nothing to keep him together and we even see him shed tears as he wonders why Nero didn’t just shoot him with the rest of his family. I want Angelo to be happy but first off, we definitely don’t even know if he is alive. The end of the series mirrors how it all began, with Nero shooting towards him and not bringing his definitive end.
I don’t know what to say about this series other than wow. I really feel I lucked out being able to cover it because despite all its flaws it was definitely one of the stronger contenders for my recently covered shows. The characters were distinct, the revenge plot worked out but didn’t at the same time, and the ending hit about as hard as I wanted it to. The show definitely echoed the thought of futility and nobody stayed innocent or was even truly the protagonist. At times Nero was someone that couldn’t be related to, at times he was the most heroic figure of anyone. Corteo was the most innocent and still murdered a man while Angelo was dark the entire time but had the most heart wrenching sympathy inducing motivations that we saw consistently from his perspective.
91 Days definitely deserves a watch. I think comparatively it is fun to watch Baccano! and then this show, to see the completely different tones and the absolute juxtaposition of ideas. Is it the best anime ever? I’d say that in its genre it is certainly one of the better shows, Japan does not take on the mafia role very well without giving people insane names and strange concepts to deal with. I felt the tone of the show was authentic to Prohibition America and felt pain and suffering for much of the show. All in all, I can’t say anything negative enough to knock it out of the contenders of top 1940s era anime. On top of it, you won’t find a more bittersweet and gratifying end to a revenge story.
Oki’s Rating: 8/10
Should you watch it: ONLY IF YOU WANT TO BE BROKEN INSIDE so yes