Posted 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.

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

Hello and welcome back to Banana Fish! A new season, a 2nd Cour and the continuation of a personal favorite. This week we close out Arthur’s story, though not without some bumps along the way. Lets jump in!

So, starting off, Banana Fish didn’t quite live up to last season this episode. Banana Fish was by no means bad, I still quite enjoyed the episode. It just fell a little below Banana Fish’s average. Take for instance the animation this week. There were a lot of slips, a number of scenes that just didn’t look right or roughly drawn faces. When the animation worked, it did great things. The direction of the scenes really pulled it all together, and I have some screenshots below of some of my favorites. But many of them just felt… unfinished. It is possible that with all of the action this week, Banana Fish focused mostly on that. It makes some sense, as the actual knife fights and train scenes are some of the better looking parts of the episode. But overall it was disappointing to see Banana Fish slip up like this.

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Posted on 23 September 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome to the halfway point for Banana Fish. This week Ash prepares for his final showdown with Arthur, he has some moral quandaries, and gets terrified by pumpkin pie. Lets dive in!

So, general stuff first, Banana Fish’s pacing this week felt a bit fast to me. Banana Fish covered a lot of ground, from introducing new gang members, to explaining Dino’s grand plan and conveying Ash’s moral position. I have said it before, but the fast pacing only really works in the actiony parts. When bullets are flying and lives are at stake. In times like that, the fast pacing helps emphasize how hectic things are. In the slower moments like this however, the fast pacing just feels like Banana Fish is rushing everything. For example, I would have liked more time with the new gang leader Cain, assuming he is going to be a semi-important character later on. It doesn’t hurt Banana Fish much, because the actual content being rushed through is still good. I just think it could have been better.

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Posted on 16 September 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome to another week of Banana Fish. This week it slows down, gives us some heartwarming character scenes and the beginnings of a gang war. Lets jump in!

So, starting off, the general stuff. Overall I enjoyed Banana Fish this week, but we have started to see issues with the breakneck pace it’s had until now. Banana Fish tried to cover so much this episode that the tone felt all over the place. One scene we are enjoying some light hearted banter and fun between Ash and Eiji, then the next there’s a tragic heart to heart over Shorter. Throw some serious paranoia in there and it just feels… off. Individually each of these scenes were great, I enjoyed each one. But the pacing Banana Fish has had really hurts it in these slower moments. There’s just not enough time to really soak it in before something else happens. It’s a shame because in the action segments, the pace helps everything flow, so nothing drags. But slow moments are supposed do that, at least a little.

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Posted on 9 September 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Banana Fish, so consistently good that I am running out of interesting ways to start these posts. This week we have a jailbreak, miscommunication and a blond haired Rambo. Lets jump in!

General stuff first, Banana Fish was all go this week. Really, its sorta been that way for awhile, but this episode was explosions and bullets and death, oh my. There were some small issues with the animation I noticed this week. It was stilted in places, and really any scene without Ash didn’t seem to get as much attention. It’s nothing back breaking, as the entire episode still works and didn’t hurt enjoyment much, but it did catch my eye. Luckily Banana Fish’s thin line design and sort of muted colors, in contrast of normal anime’s bright and vibrant ones, makes it very hard to notice most of the time. The music also continues to be on point, really adding to every scene. Every instrumental Banana Fish puts out knocks its scene up another notch in quality. Non-spoilers out of the way, time to go into specifics.

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Posted on 2 September 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Ladies and gentleman, for the first time writing these posts, I legitimately do not know where to being. This week Banana Fish proved itself, unequivocally, the best drama of the season. I am willing to admit, I started crying a bit this week. So let’s just jump in.

So, right off the bat, I was not expecting what happened this week. This felt like a finale for another anime, which since we are nearing the end of the cour sorta makes sense. But the fact that Banana Fish was willing to kill off one of its central characters in the 9th episode? And in such a brutal way. I am impressed. Banana Fish does a great job of making sure none of the characters feel safe. Sure, Ash and Eiji may survive, but at this point there’s no guarantee they will get through in one piece. That 4 characters have died in 9 episodes only enhances that feeling of unease. Its this kind of buildup that makes every confrontation with the villains tense. Because, unlike say a Shounen like Fairy Tail or Naruto, Banana Fish has proven that actions have consequences in its story. Consequences like say, Shorter.

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Posted on 26 August 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Another week, another top-notch episode of Banana Fish. This week Shorter steps up, we find out what Banana Fish really is, and we head back to New York. Lots happened, so let’s dive in!

So, I have to say I love the pacing of Banana Fish. I recently learned that Banana Fish actually has one more volume than Naoki Urasawa’s epic that is Monster. Yet Monster got a 74 episode adaptation and, because of this, flagged in some parts. So with all of this content, odds are Banana Fish is going to keep this breakneck pace for its entire 24 episode run. And personally, so long as the quality of the writing is still there, I love it. My one worry is that, with 19 volumes getting compounded into a 24 episode run, the finer details will get lost or ruined. For instance, since we are going back to New York, it already feels like some sort of climax is approaching. I have no idea where Banana Fish will go after this. But I have faith. Now onto this episode’s highlight reel!

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Posted 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.
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Posted on 14 August 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Banana Fish, Banana Fish, does whatever a crime drama does. Drives a van, shoots a father-figure, lookout its Banana Fish. Simpson’s references aside, this week Banana Fish gives us a dark look into Ash’s past and both starts and completes our road trip. Lets jump in!

Starting off, this week was probably the weakest so far for me. That doesn’t mean it was bad, Banana Fish has been consistently great, so being simply ‘good’ is still praiseworthy. However I do have some issues. My big one has to be the father. He was introduced, his conflict with Ash brought out, and then resolved in a single episode. I get that was supposed to be the mini-story for the episode, but it just fell flat to me. We never really learned why he hated Ash so much, only at the end for him to come out and love him again? We had incomplete information going into that ‘finale’, and it hurt it. I think one of the reasons this feel short however comes to how this adaptation is being done. This sort of attitude, while still around today, fits much better in the original 1980’s setting.

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Posted 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.

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