Posted by Lenlo on 6 August 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Banana Fish, oh Banana Fish, how you like to hit me in the feels. This week Ash finally gets out of prison, we learn just how depraved Dino is, and everyone preps for a road trip. Lets jump in!

So general stuff first, as per usual. Banana Fish’s pacing continues to be spot on. 5 episodes in and we have basically finished our first arc, so to speak, and we did so with a bang. It nails the minor climax to this NY arc before we go on a road trip, having completely established our major players on both sides. I am a bit confused how Max just so happened to get out of prison the same day as Ash, but am glad he is staying with the story. The animation also continues to be great. Im not sure if its just the style, really thin black lines instead of anime’s normal thicker ones. But it just works. Ash’s jacket and hair fluttering in the wind, and Shorters hair, always look fabulous to me. I love it all. Now onto the meat.

First off, Ash, Shorter and Eiji make a great trio. It helps that each of them are on their own good characters. But their chemistry together is great. Shorter is someone Ash’s own age whom he respects, Eiji is their moral center (for now) and Ash is of course our lead. I am curious how the Shorter/Eiji relationship is going to play out though. Whether Shorter, who was probably Ash’s main friend for awhile, will feel any jealousy towards Eiji or if he will just be happy for them. The OP signals a… worrying future for Shorter, but I have faith our favorite mohawk boy will see it through. With Ibe and Max acting as supporting, probably expendable, characters this road trip is shaping up to be awesome.

As far as the other side, our antagonists are solidly Arthur and Dino. Arthur now, Dino as the end game. Arthur has, throughout Banana Fish’s first 5 episodes, established himself as a serious threat. He’s not an idiot, he managed to trail Eiji back to Dr.Meredith’s, and has successfully taken Ash’s place by Dino. Add to that his preparation for Ash’s attempt on Dino’s life, which we will get to, and we know he’s not just some stupid street punk. I suspect that Dino is going to send Arthur, or he himself will decide, to follow Ash and co. He is going to be the antagonist that our leads face the most. Or at least for a while. Personally, I can’t wait to get some history on Arthur, and see his inevitable knife fight with Ash alluded to in the OP. The guy is, while an ass, an interesting villain.

Now, I mentioned Ash’s attempt on Dino’s life. I loved this scene. Ash’s planning, his knowledge of Dino’s itinerary, everything. Most of all that, the truck scene. His hair and jacket flying in the wind, standing atop a speeding truck, pistol aimed steady. I gotta say, Ash has got cajones, though we already knew that. Now, normally I would have found Ash’s accuracy with his revolver on a speeding truck… annoying, because it breaks the realism of such an anime. However Banana Fish has done two things to make it work. First, it established Ash’s accuracy all the way back in episode one and made sure we knew it. So it wasn’t an asspull. Second, Ash didn’t hit his target. He only wounded everyone, failing to kill Dino and Co. So however good he is, such a situation was still to much. Looked amazing as hell though.

There was one more standout scene this week, once again featuring Ash, and it was the ending. That final shot, Ash on the rooftop, finally giving himself time to mourn and be the child that he is, was beautiful. We get to see Ash when he isn’t in “go” mode. That he isn’t always this stoic, unfazeable, unstoppable young gang leader. He’s this kid, who hurts with a terrible past, that puts on a front for the world. It makes me wonder, who all has seen this before? Shorter maybe? Eiji got to see glimpses of it in the hospital and bar. But everything about the scene just worked for me, because it was something that had been building for awhile now. Skip, Griff, now Eiji and Shorter getting stuck in his mess. It makes me happy that Banana Fish has room for these emotional scenes between all the action.

So, to close out, Banana Fish is 5 for 5 on episodes I have loved so far. Its riding high on its first arc, and everything is ready to go. If Banana Fish can manage to keep this up through the rest of the season, it will easily be my favorite of probably the year. It’s odd, I actually don’t see to many people paying attention to Banana Fish. As if the Boy Love tag is turning everyone off. A shame, because it looks like they are going to miss out on something amazing.

Now, there was so much to talk about this week, including Dino’s work in the underworld and Max’s journalist history, that I just couldn’t get to without doubling the length of this post. So suffice to say, Banana Fish is worth your time. But about you, how is Banana Fish doing for you? Im curious if i’m the only one this in love with the show.

4 Responses

  1. Avatar Bellaswan says:

    Banana Fish had a sizable fandom back in the days. Even now, I think its still has its popularity, though some are quiet lurkers. I tune in every week for your write ups.


    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Well I appreciate it. Good to know someone readsem.

      I know the old Manga has some reach, bit of a cult classic in the west atleast. I was curious about its popularity anime wise though because of things like how much I see it on reddit, or hear people talk about it around the community.

      Those who watch it, love it. But a number of people seem to write it off because of the boy love aspect, which so far, has been capital L Love and not the lazy fanservice kind. Im quite a fan.

  2. Avatar Rosa says:

    Dude, you are in for a ride. Banana Fish is a beloved manga for a reason, and the story just grows and grows better as it goes on. I could suggest you to read the manga as soon as the anime is over. There is a lot of nasty little details that were obviously cut to fit into 24 episodes. The story is extremely moving. Just prepare you for the feels this story has in store for you.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Ive said it before, but sometimes I regret choosing not to read the manga so I could enjoy this piece fresh. I will definitely be reading it once this is over

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