Posted by Lenlo on 14 October 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome to an all new episode of Banana Fish! This time with a new OP, ED and progressed plot points. Lets jump in!

So before I get into spoilers, let’s talk about the new OP and ED. The OP is Freedom by Blue Encount, while the ED is Red by Survive Said The Prophet. Personally, I am not to fond of the new OP. It’s good, but unlike the first one Found & Lost also by Survive Said The Prophet, it just doesn’t captivate me. It’s something I am going to listen to once, say its neat, then skip each episode. Meanwhile the 2nd ED hits me just as hard as the first, Prayer X by King Gnu. It’s different no doubt, and Prayer X is still probably my favorite ED of the year, but it works. Maybe its just Blue Encount, as to me their song feels more like generic rock while the others feel more unique. Either way, Banana Fish is doing good on the music front.

So now that we are past my spoiler line, let’s start with the continuation of Ash, Eiji and Shorter. Personally I am glad Shorter’s death is still reverberating through the series. I get some people might want to just move past it, as some series a death stops being relevant after the arc is over, but Banana Fish is not that kind of series. It was a big event with big consequences. What surprises me most about it though is that its Ash reacting the worst instead of Eiji. Sure Ash knew Shorter longer, but Eiji is still new and naive in all of this. It feels odd that he doesn’t seem to be having any issues with it, beyond how it affects Ash. I suppose it could be a matter of mental strength vs physical strength between the two. But if so, it’s not working.

What is working is Yut Lung, whom we only got to see for maybe 2 minutes this episode, yet progressed a lot. I assume in the actual manga his story played out slower, letting us see some of it. However I am ok with this sudden reveal, as it both moves the plot forward quicker and makes for a shocking reveal. It’s a good example of the story not waiting on Ash and going on without him, instead of going on hold like other series. It also helps build Yut up as a threatening 3rd Party in this conflict as we see what he is capable of. Things such as poisoning his brother and taking over his gang, or effectively kidnapping Eiji out of jealousy and locking him away like a princess in a tower. I look forward to Ash meeting him again.

Speaking of Eiji, let’s take a moment to talk about what’s going on with him. Lately I, and Eiji apparently, have both felt like he has been useless. I said it before, but early on Banana Fish established Eiji has having skills Ash didn’t, as being useful. In the first episode he pole-vaulted over a wall to get help after all! I think, with Ash wounded and caught in an evil hospital, it is not Eiji’s time to shine. It is his time to get out of Yut’s clutches, maybe win over Sing. Then go and get Cain, whom he saw/met at the end of Arthur’s fight, or Ash’s gang and go save him. He can’t be the ruthless gunslinger leader Ash is, of course not. But he can be the personable, well loved and intelligent 2nd. Eiji deserves more than what he has gotten so far.

Speaking of Ash’s predicament, it’s time to get into the FBI and Dr.Mannerheim. I don’t see, and personally don’t want, Ash getting out of this alone. He is wounded, probably drugged, and assumed dead while trapped inside a hospital with an evil doctor. I said in the previous paragraph that I think Eiji should be the one to help Ash and I meant it. The doctor himself doesn’t seem very dangerous, he is an old guy with a medical license. Probably the only person Eiji could realistically take on. Or at least avoid when saving Ash. There is still the question of what Dr.Mannerheim wants. According to the Senators, he found Ash “Interesting”. I am terrified to learn what that means, but it most likely has to do with his IQ, which I already mentioned I am not a fan of. Guess we will see next week.

So, all in all, how did I feel about this episode. I thought it worked. We have our next mini arc with Dr.Mannerheim established, Yut is progressing and Eiji is still being Eiji. I am still concerned about possible pacing issues coming up considering how many volumes Banana Fish has and how quickly we are going. There are definitely scenes or sections that could benefit from more time to just sit and relax. Still, when Banana Fish works, the pacing feels great. It’s never resting. It’s just when it doesn’t work it’s pretty obvious. For instance I expected more time with Ash in the hospital before everything went to shit. Still, I am enjoying Banana Fish and look forward to it every week. So I suppose that’s a win?

What about you, what did you think? We have officially passed the half-way point and it definitely feels like it. I don’t know about you but I will without a doubt be reading the manga once this season is over.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Blade says:

    Honestly, I loved the BLUE ENCOUNT song. Compared to the most fast-paced erratic songs they had for Gintama, this one feels slower yet carries a similar emotional heft as found and lost did last season. I might be in the minority but I really love FREEDOM.

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