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  • [Summer 2018] Banana Fish Discussion Thread

    Widgets Magazine
    バナナフィッシュ

    A show about a gangster going to great lengths to find out why his brother went insane with only two words to go on: Banana Fish.

    Airs: Thursday, July 5, 2018

    Studio: Mappa

    ANN Entry
    My Anime List
    Official Site
    Amazon

    Nature made Ash Lynx beautiful; nurture made him a cold ruthless killer. A runaway brought up as the adopted heir and sex toy of "Papa" Dino Golzine, Ash, now at the rebellious age of seventeen, forsakes the kingdom held out by the devil who raised him. But the hideous secret that drove Ash's older brother mad in Vietnam has suddenly fallen into Papa's insatiably ambitious hands?and it's exactly the wrong time for Eiji Okamura, a pure-hearted young photographer from Japan, to make Ash Lynx's acquaintance...

    Notes
    As usual, please try to follow these two easy forum courtesy habits when replying:
    1) If you're the first person to post about an episode in any given week, please indicate in the first line which episode you're posting about.
    2) If someone has already posted about an episode before you, please quote that post (or a relevant reply to that post), or include the episode title in the first line. ("Re: Episode 1") Just make sure the episode is indicated.

    For more guidelines please refer to this thread.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Fukaziroh, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
    Watching: Chihayafuru 2, Perfect Insider, DB Super, One Piece, Toonami Stuff
    Simulcasts: MHA, STG, AOT, FRE, OVL, HBD, HSB, BNF, 7SR, GBL, HSL, AAB, DKD, RSL, HDL, 100, ADH, YUY, HRV, EOC, IIZ, NBS, AKJ, IDM-CGG, 1RM
    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

  • #2
    Episode 1

    How did he become a killing machine?

    This show didn't waste any time getting down to business there with that bar fight there at the end. Ash sure is going all-out to find answers about why Griffin ended up going berserk on the battlefield, and he's gotten himself quite a lot of trouble for it. Poor Eiji couldn't have come to the Big Apple at a worse time as he's caught up in something big. So far, it's off to a good start here as it lays the foundation down to lead into something with lots of intrigue. Seeing that this manga originally came out in the 80's that I like that they kept the style old school, and they add some nice bits of modernization there with the smartphones and the mention of CSI New York.

    So with that, trial rules apply as usual. Given how well-received the manga is that it's high on my interest list this season, but seeing how long it is, I have some reservations about how well the anime gets adapted.
    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Fukaziroh, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
    Watching: Chihayafuru 2, Perfect Insider, DB Super, One Piece, Toonami Stuff
    Simulcasts: MHA, STG, AOT, FRE, OVL, HBD, HSB, BNF, 7SR, GBL, HSL, AAB, DKD, RSL, HDL, 100, ADH, YUY, HRV, EOC, IIZ, NBS, AKJ, IDM-CGG, 1RM
    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Episode 1

      A 2018 adaptation of a 1985 that takes place in America and makes homophobic remarks despite apparently being a yaoi story is a weird thing. The title also sounds silly as all hell, especially with how cool the series is trying to be, but I guess it is just a Salinger reference, so I can't really fault them for that. We'll see how those other matters go. Some decent production quality as expected from MAPPA, but nothing special. Definitely got Yurio vibes from Ash at first glance. Yeah, I don't know. I wasn't a fan at first, but I think it may have a shot of being pretty good.
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      • #4
        Episode 2

        Vaulting into trouble.

        Things sure were brutal for Ash, or rather Aslan Jade Caldenreese, as he saw Skip get shot, and to add insult to injury he is arrested for a murder crime he walked into, all while a bunch of child porn was found at the murder scene. While Eiji was able to help things out, he was knocked out as well when he pole vaulted into a bunch of glass. Just his rotten luck that all this has happened as it was all a trap orchestrated by Golzine. Next time, Max makes his appearance as things just keep on getting ugly and while the truth is on his side, unfortunately for him Golzine has a bunch of hot shot lawyers that will make it tough to convict him.
        MyAnimeList | Avatar: Fukaziroh, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
        Watching: Chihayafuru 2, Perfect Insider, DB Super, One Piece, Toonami Stuff
        Simulcasts: MHA, STG, AOT, FRE, OVL, HBD, HSB, BNF, 7SR, GBL, HSL, AAB, DKD, RSL, HDL, 100, ADH, YUY, HRV, EOC, IIZ, NBS, AKJ, IDM-CGG, 1RM
        The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Episode 2

          Great, now it's conflating homosexuality with pedophilia. I bet next will be prison rape. Those things aside (which can't really be brushed aside entirely, because they're really shitty), I am becoming more invested in the characters and their struggles. It's still a bit of a melodramatic fantasy of brutal American gang culture led by a minor, but once you accept the conceit, it's shaping up to be a somewhat gripping exploration of this gritty world that has at least some overlap with reality. It's not something we get that often, especially done well, so I'll take it. Considering it took 33 years for it to get adapted, it seems like a miracle that this got made at all.
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          • #6
            Episode 3

            Prison buddies.

            So the one who killed Ash's brother while he was in a trance was Max, who is Ash's cellmate. And even in jail, Ash can't catch a break from Golzine as one of his henchmen is there in Garvey always causing trouble. Then there's that kiss there, that was pretty intense, but it wasn't so much a kiss as it is a way to secretly send a message to Eiji to meet Shorter at some restaurant in Chinatown. While I was prepared for there to be yaoi, the way it happened was quite unexpected. It will be interesting to see what happens once Eiji and Shorter meet.
            MyAnimeList | Avatar: Fukaziroh, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
            Watching: Chihayafuru 2, Perfect Insider, DB Super, One Piece, Toonami Stuff
            Simulcasts: MHA, STG, AOT, FRE, OVL, HBD, HSB, BNF, 7SR, GBL, HSL, AAB, DKD, RSL, HDL, 100, ADH, YUY, HRV, EOC, IIZ, NBS, AKJ, IDM-CGG, 1RM
            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Episode 3

              Well, definitely plenty of prison rape, but it didn't feel quite as much like they were conflating it with homosexuality as it did with the pedophilia in the previous episodes. And the first signs of the show's apparent yaoi themes comes through with a kiss between the protagonists, albeit one used strictly to transfer information in the face of potential surveillance of all other possible methods. Ash hams it up a bit more than he has to, but it would be nice for them to realize a sincere romance one day. Unless, you know, they decide Ash "turned" gay because he got raped so much or something...

              I am very curious about how much this adaptation is changing from its source material, considering how explicitly they've been about events occurring in the Iraq War, and in specific years that, along with the war as a whole, came decades after the manga. I guess they originally could've been in the last few years of the Vietnam War, for that ten-year gap before the "present day" to work, at least if it's the same situation of putting them in an actual war the US fought and putting ten years between that point and the main story.

              Clearly I have my problems with this series, but I'm also thoroughly engaged by the mysterious conspiracies already being woven throughout the plot. I think it could be really good if those are executed well going forward. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how they progress, and hopefully some of those other aspects fade from it.
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              Comment


              • #8
                Episode 4

                Only two days late, Amazon. Not pleased to see this trend start back up.

                I'll be celebrating if there's ever an episode where I don't have to get a little incensed by all the "fag" talk and relentless prison rape, but everything else about this episode was really strong. Killing Griffin off and -- despite everyone constantly saying "Don't tell Ash!" -- Ash immediately finding out were big steps to take so early in the series. I thought he might have a bit more to contribute to the Banana Fish mystery, but it looks like his brief moment of lucidity was enough to give the others what they needed to pursue it further. Between that and the implication that Ash will be released from prison soon (even though he's constantly getting into fights, usually for good reason but not always), it seems like we'll probably be ramping up the pace even more. I can see it being very eventful without being rushed, so I'm excited. Most of this episode was still in the prison setting, as would be expected while Ash is still incarcerated, and it was really only the scenes outside of that that were particularly fast and plot-progressive. The final scene with Max and Ash mourning Griffin was pretty moving, even if Ash isn't ready to accept Max as the good guy that he clearly is. I like the cast of trustworthy comrades being built up and the very real possibility of any of them dying at any time.
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                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Episode 4

                  He's dead, and it ain't Bull.

                  Ash sure was feeling it here, first getting attacked by one of Golzine's minions in Jail as somehow, Bull ended up being Ash's cellmate. But Ash is a tough guy, and any prisoner who dare attacks him gets their ass kicked. While that's bad, it's nothing compared to hearing about his brother's death as he went crazy, and one of Golzine's goons shot him dead. Nevertheless, he got out of jail and is back to deliver payback and gget to the bottom of the matters. This episode just goes to show how much agony Ash is in, all while Max is there to help keep him straight as he needs to do that more than anything.

                  I finally got around to watching this episode as it was inexcusably late to Amazon, and by the time it got put up, I was already in Canada where unlike with Crunchyroll, Funimation, or HIDIVE I couldn't watch it up there. Now that I'm back, it's back to watching this show as it had long secured its place on my season watchlist.
                  MyAnimeList | Avatar: Fukaziroh, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
                  Watching: Chihayafuru 2, Perfect Insider, DB Super, One Piece, Toonami Stuff
                  Simulcasts: MHA, STG, AOT, FRE, OVL, HBD, HSB, BNF, 7SR, GBL, HSL, AAB, DKD, RSL, HDL, 100, ADH, YUY, HRV, EOC, IIZ, NBS, AKJ, IDM-CGG, 1RM
                  The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Episode 5

                    Too soon for revenge.

                    Ash is now out of jail and tries to go at it alone in getting his revenge against Golzine for his brother's death after Shorter and Eiji tips him off about a club that's a factory for child sex, but he just blindly charges in, and fails to realize that taking him down impulsively is quite a bad idea. Not to mention, he should be finding out the circumstances behind Griffin's death before resorting to all that. If it weren't for Max and Ibe arriving in a timely manner, he would have been dead. So now, it's off to Massachusetts where Ash and Griffin grew up to find some clues regarding the Banana Fish drug as that is what he should have done rather than to act on impulse that almost got him killed.
                    MyAnimeList | Avatar: Fukaziroh, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
                    Watching: Chihayafuru 2, Perfect Insider, DB Super, One Piece, Toonami Stuff
                    Simulcasts: MHA, STG, AOT, FRE, OVL, HBD, HSB, BNF, 7SR, GBL, HSL, AAB, DKD, RSL, HDL, 100, ADH, YUY, HRV, EOC, IIZ, NBS, AKJ, IDM-CGG, 1RM
                    The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Episode 5

                      Damn, Ash is trying to wrap this series up early. If he was a little savvier, he'd would've known that you can't just take out the main antagonist with so much of the series left, and he could've avoided how that ended up. At least he did get a good shot in, even if it wasn't a killshot. Still, while the prison arc was important and not too long, I'm glad we're out of that setting and in an environment that allows for a lot more versatility and interactions between different characters.
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                      • #12
                        Episode 6

                        Living around the violence.

                        It's off to Cape Cod where Ash's background is explained living just outside the Boston area. He sure had it rough as he was around bad people and he had to get tough in order to survive. He made his first kill at the age of 8 leading him to his tough life where he would run away. And even there, Ash can't get away from Golzine's reach as he sends some henchmen to hold his parents hostage, and Ash fought back, but they were killed in the crossfire and they had to scram with the police coming. That was a nice way to learn more about Ash's background, as well as bringing him and Eiji closer together seeing that they have quite a long road ahead of them. That was the case literally as they drove all the way to LA to investigate their next lead.
                        MyAnimeList | Avatar: Fukaziroh, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
                        Watching: Chihayafuru 2, Perfect Insider, DB Super, One Piece, Toonami Stuff
                        Simulcasts: MHA, STG, AOT, FRE, OVL, HBD, HSB, BNF, 7SR, GBL, HSL, AAB, DKD, RSL, HDL, 100, ADH, YUY, HRV, EOC, IIZ, NBS, AKJ, IDM-CGG, 1RM
                        The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Episode 6

                          Goddamn, why is Ash the target of every pedophile? His dad's philosophy of "Let them do it, but make them pay" was also pretty fucked up.
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                          • #14
                            Episode 7

                            This is your brain on drugs.

                            Having arrived in LA, Ash learns that Banana Fish is the name of a drug with a mysterious ingredient that's not known publicly, and seeing that this show was modernized that instead of having to dig through a bunch of textbooks, he has the internet. Of course, Golzine is always hot on their trail, and this time it's a son of a Chinese mafia family that attacks them as he posed as Dawson's son with Abraham being his adopted uncle, and while he could fool a lot, he couldn't fool Shorter. In the meantime, Max's family has come under attack, and once again danger is lurking.
                            MyAnimeList | Avatar: Fukaziroh, Sword Art Online Alternative: Gun Gale Online
                            Watching: Chihayafuru 2, Perfect Insider, DB Super, One Piece, Toonami Stuff
                            Simulcasts: MHA, STG, AOT, FRE, OVL, HBD, HSB, BNF, 7SR, GBL, HSL, AAB, DKD, RSL, HDL, 100, ADH, YUY, HRV, EOC, IIZ, NBS, AKJ, IDM-CGG, 1RM
                            The only thing better than anime is sports. Get hit hard and you got JACKED UP! Or else it's a C'mon Man!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Episode 7

                              These guys can't catch a break. Max is finally able to see the son he lives for again, but being so close by just puts his family in a position to be taken hostage. Shorter is the only member of Ash's gang that he still has by his side as a trustworthy ally, but even he is being forced to betray the friend he has been so loyal to for so long because of Chinese mafia politics. Ash wants to push everyone else away to save them under the pretense of them getting in the way, but even if Eiji wanted to leave, he's an easy target right now as well. Considering Dolzine always has countless people with seemingly limitless power everywhere, it's hard to imagine how Ash's shrinking ragtag group can possibly win this.
                              My Top Anime | Manga
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                              My FP Reviews | Twitter
                              FPR Episodes | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook

                              Comment

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