Posted by Lenlo on 18 November 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Another week, another episode of Banana Fish, this time with 100% more depression! This week Ash starts to break, Yut gets what he wants and Eiji steps up to the plate. Lets jump in!

So in general, this week was weird for me pacing wise. Certain sections felt slow while others passed at a blistering pace. This week alone hit multiple plot points and resolved them in the same episode. No doubt this is an effect of the sheet size of Banana Fish’s manga and how much is getting adapted for this series. I enjoy that there isn’t much downtime, something is always happening in Banana Fish. But we have no idea what or how much is getting cut. If anyone has any idea how much is being cut, then please let me know down below. I am very curious how this adaptation is doing on that front. Now though, let’s get into details, cause a lot happened.

The first thing I wanna talk about is Eiji, and his apparent willingness to step up. I’m glad for this, I have been saying he needed to do this for weeks. But did anyone else think his going to see Yut was incredibly stupid? Eiji had just escaped Yut a few episodes ago, holding him at knife-point. Yut has made it expressly clear that he wanted Eiji dead. So why would walking into his base of operations, with one of his right hand men at your side, be a good idea? Honestly, the only reason I can think of that Yut didn’t have Eiji killed right then and there was Sing. I suppose it makes some degree of sense, since Eiji is still naive about all of this. I just don’t understand why the worst Yut did was tell him to jump out a window.

Speaking of Yut, he had a lot of fun this episode with Blanca. I enjoyed their interactions, from the seriousness of asking Blanca to work for him, to the interruption in the bathroom. They have good chemistry on screen, though it’s probably helpful that Yut finally has someone equal to him, whom he doesn’t hate. I am curious how it’s all going to shake out as well, with Blanca acting as his bodyguard. No doubt this is Banana Fish’s justification to get him to the party with Ash and Dino, but he promised it would only be protection. Nothing else. So he won’t be hunting down Eiji anytime soon. I do have one question though. Does anyone else think Yut’s assassination was set up? It seems to convenient to me, and Yut isn’t normally that careless. To happen right when Blanca visits? Seem’s a ploy to me.

Now what isn’t a ploy is Ash losing his goddamn mind. I gotta say, I both loved and hated this scene. On one hand, seeing Ash in a place of weakness, entirely emotional, was fantastic. The scene was just excellent. On the other hand, I was profoundly uncomfortable watching it. Perhaps that has to do with how blatant Ash was with his words, but getting through this was tough. I suppose that means the scene accomplished what it set out to do though. Making the viewer uncomfortable, really pushing how twisted Ash’s upbringing and Dino really is. I can’t decide if Banana Fish is brave to put this out there, or going for shock factor like Goblin Slayer. I am leaning towards former personally, because Banana Fish doesn’t glorify it. Banana Fish makes it very clear this is a terrible situation for Ash.

Continuing with Ash, I also enjoyed seeing Ash rebelling against this new role of his. He goes with it, doing what Dino asks, to protect Eiji. But he seems to know and acknowledge that he is dooming thousands of people to die. It is a bit weird compared to the cold face he put on with killing people in person. But he did display some regret that he was forced to do that when around Eiji, so I suppose its consistent. This really does seem to be hurting him more than being a prostitute again would though. He had accepted that fate, but this is so different he likely can’t process it. I think Banana Fish has done something good here, with Dino basically trying to break Ash until he is his successor again. It makes for better anime than fan-servicy prostitution arc in my opinion.

I also believe that this makes for a better upcoming rescue arc that storming a brothel would have. Seeing Eiji at the helm of the plan makes me think it’s not going to work. But the fact that Cain and Sing are back and ready to roll makes me happy. I thought Cain was underused back during Arthur’s gang war arc, so good decision by Banana Fish here. But with all of them, I don’t see what plan Eiji has for sneaking into the party. What is he going to do, point a gun at Dino? Sneak Ash out? Hopefully either way this ends up being our final arc though. Banana Fish has 5 episodes left and I don’t want to see it attempt to start and end another arc after this. I don’t care what pacing it has, that would be a travesty.

So all in all, a good episode. Ash’s breakdown was well done. And once again he is in a position of powerlessness, only this time it looks like he truly can’t save himself. Not because of a lack of ability, but because he is afraid for Eiji’s safety against Blanca. All of our story threads are convening here. With Yut, Blanca, Dino, Ash, Eiji, Sing and the Government officials all gathering in one place. This is going to be a rather eventful party, all things considered.

But what do you think? Was Ash’s breakdown to much for you, or not enough? Is Eiji finally compelling, or is it to little to late? Let me know below, and I will see you next week!

3 Responses

  1. Avatar Chii says:

    A lot has been cut and truncated again. In fact, these last few episodes had all adapted almost one whole volume. For this episode, Max and Ibe lost some screen time and several interactions between Sing, Eiji, and Ash’s gang got cut. While I don’t agree with some of the content they have chosen to keep in, I think generally, they’re making smart choices with the cuts. But it’s always a bit sad to see Sing lose lines and many details are inevitably lost. The manga actually makes it clear at this point what Eiji’s plan for sneaking into the party was. It was either cut for time or to create suspense… or both.

    You’re right that Sing’s presence in that room was the safety net for Eiji’s naive decision. Yut Lung and Sing’s relationship is hard to describe but there is an air akin to friendship there. It was a very delicate relationship that broke easily, but it was importantly, one that Yut Lung never wanted to destroy. However, his pettiness towards Eiji made him blurt out information that would eventually cause Sing to betray him and this is representative of the fine line that Yut Lung walks – all of his attempts at making genuine bonds get destroyed because he cannot rid himself of his own hatred.

    In the manga, Ash was always pretty explicit when describing his experiences. I initially thought they weren’t going to keep all the explicit dialogue since they had cleaned up the earlier things, but nope. However, I personally think it’s being used to good effect. That breakdown scene was tonally different from the manga and I think this is an instance where the anime exceeded the manga. In the anime, Ash absolutely lost it and how explicit he suddenly got with things adds to how wrecked his mental state was. Since Banana Fish did kind of brush off Ash’s abuse at times by making him seem to shrug everything off without too much scarring, I know quite a few people were waiting for this moment. This scene was a long time coming so I really wouldn’t call it shocking, but indeed, it was incredibly difficult to watch.

    While Ash has consistently felt remorse for those he has killed, the main reason Ash was really sick with himself over dooming thousands of soldiers was because he was reminded of his brother Griffin. He understands the pain all too well when his brother came back from war as a vegetable and he cannot believe he is affecting thousands of families in the same way he had been hurt. In that scenario, it hit way too close to home for Ash.

    Unfortunately… there is another arc in the manga. It’s an arc that many manga readers have been speculating will get cut since the character didn’t appear in the opening and because there’s still currently 5.5 volumes left to adapt. But it’s hard to tell whether it actually will because it does somewhat affect the final confrontation. I hate to say it but… I’m dreading these last few episodes.

    • Avatar Lenlo says:

      Well thats a shame. I’m sad so much got cut for Sing and Eiji, as Sing has been woefully underused in my opinion. He could have worked to fill Shorters slot, and that would have made for an interesting “Do they accept him” narrative. Instead he is just kinda… around, when he is needed.

      I wish they had fleshed out Yut and Sing more. I got the jist of it, but there was never a real “This is where they fell apart” moment I don’t think. Rarely any flat out tension between the two, at least on screen. Some jabbing in regards to Ash sure, but nothing like what I would have expected. Nice to see I was right on Sing saving Eiji though.

      I havnt read the manga, so cant comment there, but like I said the scenes did a great job. I felt disgusted watching them, and that was no doubt their intended purpose. That scene did more for getting me to care about Ash as a character than most else this season. Because for once we saw him completely vulnerable, just opening everything up and laying it out there. Yeah it was expected, I figured he would crack at some point. But the surprising part was how explicit Banana Fish was willing to go for it.

      Sad to hear there is another arc though. Honestly, I hope it does get cut, cause there is no room to adapt that much content in these remaining episodes and still get a satisfying conclusion. If it has that much left to adapt, than I am with you. These next few episodes have me worried.

      I appreciate you taking the time to respond though! Its interesting reading what this series is like for someone who knows the source material. You always provide good information Chii!

      • Avatar Chii says:

        I won’t say too much on that matter because of spoilers but Sing does play a bigger role from now on. Though yeah, it’s still a shame that he’s losing some characterization due to the pacing. Hopefully it’ll get rectified somewhat in the future episodes.

        I get where you’re coming from, though I do think that was kind of the point. We don’t feel like Yut Lung and Sing have much of a relationship, probably because Yut Lung doesn’t know how to approach it. It was barely there, enough for us to get the picture but not enough to for us to believe it was anything genuine or substantial. And now that Sing knows Yut Lung was working with Golzine, it’s just gone.

        Ah, that makes sense. I guess as a manga reader, even though I had expected them to clean it up, I wasn’t too surprised at the how explicit it was since it was kinda the norm in the manga.

        Before, I pretty apprehensive about that arc getting cut mainly because it kinda affects the final confrontation. But now, I’m really hoping that it does get cut because there is other content that desperately needs focus since it greatly impacts the ending. But I guess we’ll find out in two weeks. If episode 21 has a new character… well, they’re adapting that arc.

        Thanks! I really like your write-ups on Banana Fish so I’m always happy to write to you about some things the anime has missed, changed, or made unclear.

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