Posted on 23 December 2018 with categories: Anime Reviews, Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama, Reviews by Lenlo

Some days, I wonder what it is with America and anime about organized crime. Baccano!, 91 Days, Blood Blockade Battlefront, all set in America, all involving criminal underworlds. Today, I get to add another to that list in the form of Banana Fish. Much more grounded than the others, it’s story dates all the way back to the 80’s. The Vietnam war has recently come to a close, and Organized Crime is being forced to adapt to new times. Banana Fish takes this story and adapts it for the modern age, with smartphones and the Middle East. It attempts to touch on all these weighty subjects and conflicts, but in the end, can only manage a story about two young men, in over their heads.

Welcome to Banana Fish. Lets jump in.

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Posted on 22 December 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Hello one and all, and welcome to the Finale of Banana Fish!

Starting off, let me say, I was surprised with the ending. I will keep the spoilers to a minimum above the ‘Read More’ line, but suffice to say Banana Fish successfully tricked me. I loved it. As far as the other 28 minutes of the episode go though… well, its up in the air. First, I want to direct you to this reddit post, which goes very deep into some symbolism and the dichotomy of Banana Fish. I disagree with it in some areas, but still a good read if you care about the series. Second, to get it out of the way now before I start tearing into specifics, I enjoyed this ending. I would say it was a net positive for Banana Fish. With all of its problems in the second half, at the least we got a definitive ending. Something becoming rarer and rarer these days.

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Posted on 15 December 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome one and all penultimate episode of Banana Fish! This week we lose 2 antagonists, Blanca gets a history and Ash asks for help for the first time. Lets go!

Opening, I have to say, a lot happened this week and Banana Fish just nailed it. No part of it felt particularly rushed or cut. Sure, parts came as a surprise, such as Dino’s fate, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t work. If anything, the surprise of who are final villain is made it work even more. I was not expecting the episode to go down how it did. Of course, I am talking about Foxx and Dino, which I will get into deeper in just a moment. Now, I suppose this justifies Foxx’s introduction so late in the series a bit. I still think that compared to say Arthur or Yut, he is a much weaker villain. I wish he had more time to build his character and threat. But for a narrative surprise? Good enough. Now, onto the meat!

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Posted on 10 December 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome to what is, to me, a very contentious episode of Banana Fish. This time Blanca gets sentimental, Ash learns Japanese, and Eiji sets Ash on a Warpath through no fault of his own. Let’s dive in!

Overall, this was a good episode. It flipped everything on its head and, assuming Banana Fish doesn’t backpedal on it next week, really committed to it. With what has happened to Max and Eiji this week, it goes without saying that stake’s haven’t been higher than when Shorter was done in. Banana Fish also really slowed itself down pacing wise this week as well. For the past few episodes, we have burned through content at a breakneck pace. Freeing Ash, right into another gun-fight, into being captured again. This episode Banana Fish freed Ash and then gave the characters some much needed downtime. Establishing the final stakes and their relationships. With 2 episodes left, to clean up the series and give us some kind of epilogue with the double length finale, this is a good thing. Now, onto specifics!

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Posted on 1 December 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Hello and welcome to Banana Fish! Apologies for missing last week, but the call of Thanksgiving Turkey could not be denied. This time Eiji fires a gun, Max gets groped, and Ash gets captured. Again. Lets jump in!

To start off, I have to mention it, the elephant in the room, the pacing. My god was the pacing fast. Early on in the series, this was a plus. It never felt like nothing was happening. But the pacing has only increased since then, as we burn through more and more volumes. Episode 20 alone we went from Ballroom Infiltration, to Sewer Chase, to Museum Fight, to prepping a new villain. At the least this should have been split into 2 episodes, so the leads could have time to cooldown between these set pieces. For me, this really hurt these two episodes. Banana Fish was jumping from cut to cut, scene to scene, without any artistry put into it. The tone broke down because of this and became a jumbled mess. Fast is good Banana Fish, but only if you stay in control. And in control, it was not.

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Posted 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.

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Posted on 10 November 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Ah Banana Fish, back in form this week. Ash and Eiji act like a married couple, Blanca show’s everyone whose boss and Yut continues to have no idea what’s going on. Lets jump in!

On a general note Banana Fish is really picking back up. The Gang War/Hospital were easily the weakest part of the series, excluding Arthur’s final fight at least. It just felt like a minor B plot compared to everything else that was going on. And as much as I enjoyed Arthur, an antagonist already setup as weaker than our lead is not compelling. Banana Fish seems to have realized this, because it has replaced Arthur with Blanca. A much more threatening, and charismatic lets be honest here, antagonist. It’s a fantastic move really and I can’t wait to talk about him. Before I jump in to that though, I have one question I want you to think about as you read through this. How many times has Ash been captured now? Because for such a Gary Stu, can do it all, every other arc is a rescue arc. Crazy!

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Posted on 3 November 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Ah, finally Banana Fish is back in form. This week we have murder, intrigue and a new terrifying character. Lets jump in!

With the hospital arc done, Banana Fish seems to have found its footing again this week. The hospital, while it had its moments, was largely dull compared to what came before. This new arc of cat and mouse however is much more interesting. With Ash being this unstoppable genius, having him on the back foot provides a much better story. Banana Fish can do a lot with it, especially considering it’s a much more personal one than the last. Add on to that Yut’s current story, and Eiji’s confusion as to where he stands, it gives Banana Fish a lot to work with. All it really needs is to make good use of Sing and all the characters will be moving in a good direction.

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Posted on 27 October 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Another week, another episode of Banana Fish. This time we have a quality escape, an expected murder and some odd comedy. Let’s dive in!

This week Banana Fish managed to, just barely straddle a very fine line. Being an escape attempt, Banana Fish had to make it both difficult, yet possible. I felt that Banana Fish straddled that line rather well. The security came off as competent, with good coverage, yet sabotaged from the inside by Dino. The fact that Ash and Co were routinely found and chased/captured really made the chase much more engaging than the guards also just barely missing them. Combine that with things like the infrared cameras giving Ash away and shutting down the elevator, and Banana Fish accomplished a good escape sequence. My only gripe is that, at parts, the felt out of place. I will get into more specifics on this later on, as quiet a few of the jokes worked and none were bad. It was just a matter of timing to me.

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Posted on 20 October 2018 with categories: Banana Fish, Finished Series: Slice of Life/Drama

Welcome one and all to perhaps the weirdest episode of Banana Fish yet. This week we have Eiji stepping up to the plate, Dino returns and Ash… puts on a show? Lets jump in!

So startin off, this current arc of Banana Fish is in my opinion starting to drag. With Arthur dealt with and Ash basically shut down, yet very little focus on Eiji, it feels slow compared to the pacing of the first half. I am just not as interested in what is going on with this current arc, because the only character in true danger is Ash, who has plot armor. Shorter’s capture worked because he didn’t have the title of main character. Another problem with this episode is the comedy, and how it just didn’t work this week. With the story starting to drag a bit, the comedy stops being a tension breaker and becomes filler. There is a specific instance of that this week, involving a song and candy bars, which I will get to later. For now, just know that I loathed it.

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