Posted by Lenlo on 17 August 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

This is it, this is what I needed this week. Banana Fish has become my weekly dose of great drama. This week we meet up with Max’s family, Shorter learns just how terrible gangs are, and we meet a new villain. Lets jump in!

Starting off with the general stuff, what blew me away the most this week were the VA’s. Naturally, as some punk who can’t speak Japanese, I can’t appreciate the finer details. But there were so many scenes this week where, even if my basic appreciation for the language, I noticed it. Makoto Furukawa for instance as Shorter did a phenomenal job. His breakdown near the end was simply a treat. Then there were Ash and Eiji’s conversation, or Shorter meeting with his friend as he slowly fell apart. Even Yut’s sudden tone switch after being found out. Banana Fish did a great job selecting its VA’s, because I am hard pressed to find I don’t actually like. At least among the main cast. And their English ability? Max yelling his son’s name so well surprised me. Just, all around, Banana Fish deserves some recognition on this front.

So, for details, lets start with Max’s family. I love them. His wife is funny, hair-trigger and all. I had completely forgotten they were going through a divorce! I am confused as to why they are on the West Coast while Max was in prison on the East Coast, that feels convenient. But its a small nitpick. I do think finding this out made figuring out they would be in danger less of a surprise though. I knew they were in trouble the moment they got a long opening scene with our leads. They are to lovable, and Banana Fish’s world is to cruel, to not involve them. That said, I am looking forward to Max’s wife kicking but and taking names. We already know shes no nonsense and can use a gun. I really hope she goes against the “damsel in distress” trope.

The other new character Banana Fish gave us this week is Yau, or as we learn, Yut-Lung. Similar to Max’s family, I knew he was more than he seemed the moment we saw him. The entire intro was so contrived, and his design to… different. I figured he was some kind of antagonist the moment we saw him and I am glad Ash noticed to. It also explains why those thugs in the beginning were such bad shots, which I initially found unbelievable. They were supposed to miss, it was a setup to get Yut introduced to the group! I love these kinds of subtle details. The best part of Yut though is how observant he is. I am glad Banana Fish gave him that small shot, noticing Eiji coming up behind Ash and him not caring. He pieced together quickly just how important Eiji is. Dudes smart.

Speaking of Ash and Eiji, their conversation was another amazing part of the episode. To get right into it, my favorite part was how Ash spoke to Eiji. He didn’t lie, he didn’t try to make Eiji angry and force him to leave. Ash just laid everything out, said he cared for Eiji, respected him, and didn’t want anything to happen to him. That he saw them as equals. This is a level of mutual respect you don’t see often in anime. Usually shows take one of the first options I mentioned, lying to someone or making them angry to force them to leave on their own. So when Banana Fish goes this route, showing outright how much Ash cares for Eiji, I can’t not love it. Banana Fish has been subtly building their relationship in small scenes this entire time. Makes me wish actual romance shows would do it.

Now there is one complaint I have about this episode, in regards to Ash. Why is he so computer literate? Where did he get the cracking software? Ash grew up on the street under Dino for a large portion of his life. Before that he apparently lived out in the country, with his brother. Where did he learn about “Inert Alkaloids” or get encryption cracking software? Why does he know what a GPU is? This wasn’t properly explained in my opinion, and sort of came out of nowhere. I would have expected Max or even Eiji to know about this stuff before Ash did. I get that hes smart, Ash is a clever kid and Banana Fish makes sure to show that intelligence a lot. But these are relatively specialized skills/items that go beyond just being smart. I hope Banana Fish is careful with Ash’s knowledge going forward.

Finally, Shorter and his outburst. Oh man. We got so much character from this. I already mentioned the voice work during the breakdown. And as amazing as it was, theres more here. I love the pulling on of the racial tensions, telling Shorter to choose “his people”. I am glad that Banana Fish was willing to go down that road of race. Its also a completely different problem for our leads, one of an attack from the inside. They have dealt with guns and knives up till now, but a traitor? It helps that Shorter is such a loveable character so you just want to root for him. But easily the standout part was Shorters lines about the Lung being the same as Dino. How he was raised to respect them, how great they were. Only to see how bad they really are. God I love Banana Fish.

So all in all, another fantastic episode from Banana Fish. After the luke-warm break of last week, I am so happy that Banana Fish has jumped right back on the track and returned with some great drama. The fact that none of it is contrived, pointless misunderstandings between characters or overheard half-finished conversations, makes me so happy. These are real issues. Gangs threatening families, gang violence and blackmail. These are all legitimate points of intrigue and drama, and I am interested in every single one. Even Yut, the new villain, looks like they will have some kind of arc after Shorters outburst. And we’ve only known him for a single episode! After the complete fallout of Steins;Gate 0, Banana Fish is saving this season for me.

But what about you? Any aspects this week I forgot to mention that you loved or hated? I know I skimmed over Ash’s reaction to Max’s family, but I am hoping Banana Fish expands more on that next week. But I guess we will have to wait to find out. See you next week!

One Response

  1. Avatar Rosa says:

    A bit of disclosed information about Ash: the guy has an IQ of a genius and a incredible memory. This was previously shown at the jail with Max, when he clearly talked about the column he used to write in great detail. Ash is as clever as they come.

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