Posted by Lenlo on 31 July 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome to another week of Banana Fish! I don’t have any clever hooks for this one sadly, it’s just too good to lampoon. This week we have more attempted prison rape, both of which end badly, and more info on the elusive Banana Fish. Lets jump in!

So general stuff out of the way first, Banana Fish continues to nail the pacing. So far, it never feels like nothing is happening, like a scene is just filler. For example, comedy. In a lot of anime there are little gags thrown around to keep everything light. Most don’t mean anything at all, and are often an entire scene. Banana Fish uses comedy to bookend its more serious scenes, to signify that we can relax for the moment. Like Shorter revealing himself as the waiter at the restaurant. Or the Afro Prisoner barging in on Max and Ash. The comedy doesn’t exist for the sake of the gag nor are they sprinkled throughout to just to keep the tone light. I love how Banana Fish’s comedy actually serves a purpose. So yeah, I gushed on its writing, lets get into the actual meat now shall we?

The first big one is Griff. So far Banana Fish has had 2 major deaths in 4 episodes. Whether that’s going to be a running tally, or just to make us think no one is safe, its working. I was expecting Griff to come out at the end with a happy ending, or at least to get that heartfelt reunion with Max. Instead he gets shot down during Arthur’s raid on Dr. Meredith’s? It was so sudden, just like Skips death. It makes it clear that, in Banana Fish, death comes quickly. I like it. The only people I think are safe from death, meaning terrible things can still happen to them, are our main character Eiji and Ash. Outside of them, I now fear for the life of every single character. This kind of early investment from Banana Fish will no doubt really help sell any future tension.

Speaking of Dr. Meredith’s, I love Shorter as a character. I really hope he becomes a consistent part of the cast. Him, Max, Ash and Eiji as our main group is a recipe for an amazing story. Shorter is just silly enough, without going overboard, to play the goof of the group. It helps that Banana Fish took the time to establish him as a competent street thug first, during the Ash rescue. It’s easier to go from that to goof, than it is to turn a goof into a competent threat. I am still a little concerned about the 80’s stereotypical China-man portrayal that Shorter had going on. Now at least though it looks to have been on purpose, something he does explicitly to turn people away. Plus it shows he’s a thinker! Good job Shorter, you’ve saved the day twice, and I love ya for it.

Getting back to Ash, he had an exciting time in prison this week. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting after Max and Ash’s little spat last episode, but this works. I figured they would just fight it out, which they do eventually. But this felt a bit to much like Max was abandoning Ash. Nothing new for Ash probably, but I am sure Max doesn’t like the parallels to Griff. It was nice to see Ash taking charge again though. After what happened last episode with the inmates, and Ash’s tendency to lure people in by faking it, it almost slipped my mind that he’s the real deal. It helps that the action scenes in Banana Fish are great. Its all so simple, and MAPPA is really focusing on that characters movements. With no flashy attacks needing to be animated, the characters become even more important. Love it.

The part that most surprised me about Banana Fish’s action scenes though is just how brutal they are willing to go. Yes, MAPPA already let a child get shot and Ash get raped. Both of those surprised me to, which makes me expect Banana Fish will continue to surprise me. But stabbing a guy in the dick? I got to admit, that’s some good payback Ash. It was a nice use of the fork we saw Ash take last episode on his way to solitary. I love these little consistencies between episodes. Im probably gushing a lot at this point, but I really do love Banana Fish. It’s what I wanted 91 Days a few seasons ago to be, and its succeeding in so many ways. And the thing is, we aren’t even in the main plot yet, since we still have to get to LA!

I forgot all about LA, “42 Westwood LA”, until Ash brought it up again. And now we know just how far we are going. Buckle up, Banana Fish is going on a road trip! Now I know how it’s going to fill 24 episodes and I couldn’t be more excited. Even the soundtrack, which I didn’t notice to much before this episode, is good. It’s not the level of catchyness that Megalo Box last season had, but its not intrusive. It works.

So all in all, incase it wasn’t obvious, Banana Fish is great. It’s currently my favorite of the season, and we aren’t even in the main plot yet I don’t think. What about you? Enjoying it, or is there to much boy love for your taste?

4 Responses

  1. Avatar KTravlos says:

    It is a great show indeed. And your point on 91 Days is spot on, though I liked 91 Days quite a lot. There is a tint of Baccano in Banana Fish, which is good. I tell you what,I am looking forward to the dub. If they do as good a job as Baccano had, this is going to be a gem.

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