91 Days is NOT Baccano!

I recently finished watching 91 Days – a mafia-style revenge story that’s nothing spectacular. I found the show middling at best, and don’t really have much to offer in terms of what I thought about it.

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Gee, I wonder what type of story this will be.

However, the whole time leading up to its release, before I ever got around to watching it and even still to this day, it was constantly being compared to a superior work of a similar setting, Baccano!.

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(Plays Best Jazzy Tune Ever)

This is the not the first time something like this has happened in the anime community, nor will it be the last. But I’d really appreciate it if we could cut down on making parallels between shows that have cemented themselves as the magnum opus of a certain setting or type of story, and similar shows only just coming out.

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Taking the world by surprise, and blowing their minds

I’m not entirely against comparing works with one another, I do it myself, but I feel it’s really unfair to heighten everyone’s expectations about a show before it’s release by comparing it to a classic consensually agreed to be a notably distinguished and celebrated work. There’s no way it could live up that hype.

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No Baccano! Season 2 make Angelo go crazy

It would be better to drop all preconceptions and biased anticipations beforehand, and give the show some time to breathe. Then when decide afterward whether it’s worth comparing, because otherwise you’re setting yourself up for disappointment if you get excited every time you spot similarities between an upcoming show and an old favourite of yours.

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(sigh)

Comparing other works is great, because it helps discern what you like to see from what you don’t want to see in a variety of different genres and settings. It’s an efficient way of going about deciding whether you feel continuing the same type of show you’ve seen a thousand times already, as well as helping you find similar shows with neat spins or refreshing takes on things you’ve gotten tired of seeing.

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Also not Baccano!

But when it’s used in such a way that you put something you haven’t even batted an eye at to the same pedestal as something you consider a masterpiece, you’re just going to end up being let down. Reserve low expectations, especially when you’ve already seen the best that that type of story has presented, but maintain hope that the next one will be good in its own right too.

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Yeah, that’s probably not going to happen…

~ Ace

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7 thoughts on “91 Days is NOT Baccano!”

  1. I remember there were a few Baccano comparisons when 91 Days first started airing but then they kind of died out as most people watching the show realised that other than a vague similarity of time periods the shows were nothing alike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, as a phenomenon within the community, I agree that it didn’t last very long after the show had released the first couple of episodes, but what I took away from it was the potential negative backlash this sort of thing can (and does) have on any show facing the same problem.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh definitely. If you go in expecting Baccano and get 91 Days you’re not going to be happy. Then again, 91 Days (despite some of its flaws) is not a bad show if you go in expecting a slower character piece rather than one full of energy and visual spectacle.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. While I wasn’t blown away by 91 Days, I wouldn’t say it was bad either. There’s plenty to like about it. I generally have a positive disposition to the setting and style of mafia stories. Baccano! had great characters and I loved almost every single one. But I didn’t particularly care for any of the characters in 91 Days, so I didn’t quite no how to feel by the end.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think a lot of the comparisons here probably came from how starved people in the anime community are for mafia/gangster-based fiction and more specifically a continuation of Baccano. I enjoyed 91 Days a bit more than you as I found it as a serviceable throwback to the gangster fiction and films of the past that I hold so dear but it’s definitely a different beast than Baccano in how it’s grounded in reality and history.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, that was one of the big draws of the series, and probably why so many people drew parallels between it and Baccano. Though, it didn’t do any favours for me when I was watching 91 Days and people were making comparisons between Fango and Ladd Russo. I see the similarities, but felt it Fango to be a serious downgrade, and ultimately does a disservice to both characters when you try to match them.

      Liked by 1 person

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