Episode One-Derland – 91 Days

Plot: When Angelo Lagusa was a child, he witnessed his father, mother and little brother get viciously mowed down by members of the Vanetti family. He managed to escape, and went on the run for over seven years.

He resurfaced in the city of Lawless under the name Avilio Bruno, seeking revenge against the Vanetti family for what they did. Deep in the prohibition era, Angelo recruits his old friend, Corteo, into selling bootleg booze to the Vanetti family in order to get closer to the Don’s son, Nero.


NOTE: This is another series I finished a while ago but realized I never posted the Episode One-Derland of it, so I’m posting it now. Full review coming down the line. Thank you!

This series reminds me a lot of Baccano! If it were a much more serious and didn’t jump around in time lines all the time. It’s hard to find anime that explores this particular time period and does it in a way that both sends up to its predecessors and makes a name for itself in the genre, but I think 91 Days has a great running start.

As a first episode, it hits all of the right marks. While wishing vengeance for fallen family members is nothing new, the setup is solid, and it is a good introduction to all of the important characters so far.

Angelo, now named Bruno, started out as a gutsy yet nonchalant kid who clearly loved his friends and family. The instant his family is killed, you can see the drastic shift in his behavior. They don’t immediately go down the road of him swearing vengeance upon the Vanetti family or becoming a cold-blooded killer. Like any kid in his situation, he ran to the last safe place he felt he had, his friend Corteo’s house, and wept silently until he decided it was best for everyone if he went on the run.

When we see him as an adult, he’s become the silent, colder and more calculating person you’d expect to develop from that type of trauma. In one instance, he’s clearly somewhat snapped.

Corteo is a very responsible, smart and mature kid at first, needing to care for his sick mother while living off of whatever he can manage as well as some kindly offerings from Angelo’s parents. After he heard of what happened to Angelo’s family and saw the impact that it had on Angelo, we got a glimpse into his character growth. Before the Vanetti family came, Angelo, Corteo and Angelo’s brother, Luce, were discussing a candle. Corteo explained that it’s the paraffin from the candle wax, not the wick, that burns, so putting out a candle with your fingers wouldn’t hurt.

Angelo told him to demonstrate, but Corteo was too scared to do it. Angelo, however, did it without a thought. At the end of the first segment, Corteo puts out a candle with his fingers without hesitation.

As an adult, Corteo is still very responsible, smart and resourceful. His mother has since passed away, and he’s bootlegging booze to get enough money to send himself to school. Despite pressure from the Orcos, a rival mafia family to the Vanettis, pressuring him to sell booze for them, he refuses, but agrees to do it for Angelo when he pops back up.

Finally, we have Nero Vanetti, who is both cold-blooded as hell and very smart. We don’t get too much insight into him as of now, but he is obviously a very strong and prominent adversary for Angelo.

The art and animation are beautiful. While the character models can sometimes be a little ugly, mostly at medium to far distances, the backgrounds and settings are gorgeous and really hook you into the era. The animation is also very fluid, and includes some beautiful angles, colors and lighting.

The music is great and loaded with that old-time 1920’s sexiness. We don’t get enough alto sax nowadays.


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Recommended Audience: No sex or nudity (yet?) but there is blood, murder and violence. I’m going to give this a 13+ but I bet anything this gets higher over time.

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