Posted by Lenlo on 23 July 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Heads up Yuri on Ice, your place as the top homosexual romance anime is being challenged. This week Banana Fish charms us with a new character, disgusts us with a glimpse of prison life and teases us with a growing relationship. Lots to love, so let’s jump in!

So general stuff first, Banana Fish is moving pleasantly fast. The pace is juuuust right. Everything feels like its happening at a reasonable time, no characters are just sitting around waiting. Even Ash, in prison, is actively making things happen. There’s not a dead moment. It makes Banana Fish a treat to watch. Like My Hero Academia, it makes a 25 minute episode feel like it past in 10, though for different reasons. Banana Fish also does a good job with the music, which I only just noticed this week. The music from so many scenes just worked, it wasn’t intrusive, and when there was no dialogue it was catchy. I don’t know what it is lately, but anime in general seem to be stepping up their music game. But, general stuff done, let’s get to what you really want to talk about this week. The meat, pun intended.

First up, Max Glenreed, aka Max Lobo. Max is an interesting guy, from Journalist to a squadmate of Griffin, Ash’s brother. With these connections its clear Max is going to be an important recurring character. I figure him and Ash will patch it up, since Arthur and Papa Dino are zeroing in on Dr. Meredith and Griffin, and something is clearly about to go down. At first I thought some kind of older-brother dynamic was going to develop, but I’m no longer sure. I like that the opening soldier’s scene keeps coming back though, first with Griffin and now Max. It’s really helping to manage just how far back/deep this whole drug thing goes. It also shows Max’s character, since we saw him away from Ash, and get to see just how long he has been looking into Banana Fish. Basically, Max is a good character, and I likem.

For the prison as a whole, I was pleasantly surprised. I figured there would be some implications of prison rape and the like. With how Banana Fish has gone till now, it was expected. I wasn’t prepared for Ash though. First off, I love his attitude. Prison isn’t the end for him, he’s lived on the streets, he knows how to survive and do so in style. The cafeteria was gold. What I wasn’t expecting was Ash to just… go with it, in the library. I get that it was a plan, get sent to the medical room, get the pill, all that. But the sheer… blase attitude of Banana Fish in how it handles these scenes makes them so much more impactful than if there was dramatic or operatic music or something playing. Banana Fish truly does take the “less is more” and “show don’t tell” approaches to heart.

Speaking of Ash, we all know there’s one scene everyone loved. At first, I was very concerned with the Ash/Eiji kiss, for a lot of reasons. I was worried Banana Fish was going to start falling down the yaoi/shoujo fanservice hole. I feared that it had ignored Ash’s character in favor of a random kiss, since I figured Ash wouldn’t be that open/inclined to physical affection, what with his history. But, Banana Fish knew all this, and so managed to work in some affection with actual narrative purpose. It managed to let Ash be proactive while stuck in a prison. It’s a sign of how disappointing anime can be at times that this simple act of competence has surprised me so much. Every scene in prison built to this decision, with not a one being fluff. Thank you Banana Fish.

And even with all of that, even with such competence, Banana Fish manages to end on a cliffhanger. Backing up for just a quick moment, Eiji is a ball of sunshine, and his choice of dress is amazing. Continue being your flamboyantly colored self Eiji. Though the chinese restaurant had some concerning racial undertones, i’ll leave that alone for now and hope its a relic of being an adaptation of an 80’s manga. Now back to the cliffhanger. Glad Arthur is back as a recurring villain. I was concerned how he was going to get brought back, with Ash in prison, but with Ash sending Eiji out to protect the doctor, it all wraps back together. Way I figure, Eiji is going to spill, probably accidentally, or Ash will spill to protect Eiji. And then, then the hammer comes down on Dr.Meredith and Griffin. Then everything hits the fan. Probably.

So to close up, I am loving Banana Fish. Everything is piecing together. There isn’t a single wasted scene. I am curious where it’s going to go, to fill up a whole 2 cour season though. Right now we have Papa Dino and Arthur as our villains, and they are contained to New York. But this drug got all the way to Iraq, or Vietnam in the manga. Clearly this goes deeper than just them. So I just have to wonder how Ash is going to get mixed up, and if he’s going to leave New York. Will we get our cross continental road trip with Ash and Eiji? Who knows. But we have plenty of time to go.

What did you think? To much boy love for you? Or is the fact that it’s not the center-piece mellow it out for you?

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

9 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

O Maidens in Your Savage Season – 02 [Es Ee Ecks]

To someone on the outside looking in, the anime medium, or what it has become now, comprises of some incredibly good seasonal shows that never become truly great; behind these, we have a slew of solid ones followed by a sea of mediocrity. And all this covers a fifty feet deep pile of crap that […]

Kanata no Astra – 02 [Wilderness]

Welcome to the first week of Kanata no Astra, aka Astra Lost in Space in English localization. The double-length premiere remains a flawed but decent introduction for me, and this sophomore further underlines the strengths, as well as the potential weaknesses of this show going forward. For instance, many of the anime’s changes baffled me. […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 15 [Mount Natagumo]

Another week, the start of another arc in Kimetsu no Yaiba. This week our trio start to grow, we meet some new villains and some old characters make a return. Hope your not afraid of spiders, cause we have whole host to get through. Lets go! As far as production goes, I think this was […]

Fire Force – 2 [The Heart of a Fire Soldier]

Welcome to Fire Force! I’m your infernal host for the season (and hopefully many more), Amun. Fire Force kicks off as the highly anticipated sophomore work of Atsushi Ohkubo (known for Soul Eater). The most pressing concern I’ve heard so far is the show couldn’t possibly maintain the level of quality from the first episodes […]

Dr.STONE – 2 [King of the Stone World]

Hello everyone, it’s your friendly neighborhood Lenlo here. Ready for another season? Well you better be, cause this might be my favorite season of the year. Starting of course with Dr.Stone, a series I have followed since its first few chapters. So that said, open up your textbooks and let’s dive in! Starting off, production. […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 10/11 [Love/Infornography] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome one and all to a 2 parter for Serial Experiments Lain! Apologies for missing last week. Between end of season reviews, first impressions and a boxing match, I was a bit busy. But we are back on track with some Lain weirdness, so lets dive right in! Starting off, I once again was forced […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 14 [The House with the Wisteria Family Crest]

Welcome to another week of Kimetsu no Yaiba. This week we take a break as our trio get to know each other, have some dinner and meet best sister Nezuko. Let’s get into it! Right off the bat, I am rather split on this episode. Both in terms of production/animation and the actual narrative of […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 13 [Something More Important Than Life]

Another week, another episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba, though not a great one. Zenitsu gets less annoying, and the fights are fun, but the pacing is off and the narrative is questionable. That said, let’s get into some details and jump in! Starting off, like always, production. Animation wise, Yaiba was fine. The rotating room […]

Mix – 12/13 [Aren’t You Taking Him Lightly?/Because We’re Brothers]

I missed last week’s post due to a temporary Hearthstone addiction, so here’s a doubleheader for you. These episodes stepped away from the show’s recent focus on romance and character building, opting to broaden the cast in preparation for the East Tokyo summer tournament. Episode 13 actually covers the opening innings of Meisei’s first game, […]

Latest Reviews

Penguin Highway (2018) Movie Review – 89/100

You’re walking along in your neighborhood, going about your daily routine. It’s a fine morning. The sun is shining brightly. But suddenly, you see something strange. You squint your eyes; even rub them, to make sure it isn’t a mirage before exclaiming with excitement, “Oh, look. It’s a bird. No, it’s a plane! No no. […]

One Punch Man Season 2 Anime Review – 34/100

Often at the start of one of these reviews, I will wax philosophical about a series. Attempting to slowly draw you, the reader, in to whatever topic or anime I am discussing in that review. This time, none of that. This time, I have to come out and say from the beginning, that One Punch […]

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]