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Anime Review: ‘BANANA FISH’ a Crime Thriller Not Just for Women

Originally published in ’85-’94 in Shōjo Comic, ‘Banana Fish’ gets an anime adaptation in 2018.

 

I’ve never read the manga, so when I read that this was adapted from a Shojo manga, I was expecting a sort of typical reverse-harem anime with suggestive yaoi themes.

I could not have been more wrong.

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A soldier losing his mind and killing his comrades is quite a way to start.

It’s a heavy setting.

Banana Fish is a Crime-action story. Many of the situations and events that can be seen or even merely suggested in this episode do happen in real life; and that might be unsettling, hair-raising or even maybe downright interesting to some of us.

At the start, Griffin(the man in the picture above), Suddenly loses his mind and starts killing his comrades. After being subdued, one of his surviving comrades tries to talk to him; but all Griffin can say is ‘Banana Fish’, implied to be the name of the drug that made him lose his mind, the namesake of this series.

Two MC’s; Ash Lynx(17) and Eiji Okumura(19) are introduced.  Ash (who is Griffin’s younger brother) is a young gang enforcer in New York City, while Eiji is the assistant of a photojournalist tasked to do a report on street gangs in NYC.

Bfish-Sweetheart

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So far, they’ve suggested a dark past for Ash.

The focus of the anime has been Ash, we’ve yet to find out more about Eiji (Though one might detect a potential relationship between them? This is, after all, a Shoujo anime).

Hotline Miami Lite?

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While not very synth-heavy or vaporwave-themed, a few scenes have certain storyboarding elements and soundtrack that just give off that ‘Hotline Miami’ vibe. It probably does help that the themes and settings of Banana Fish aren’t unlike Hotline Miami, though.

Action-packed

Being a crime action series surrounding gangs and drugs, of course, there’s going to be conflicts and power struggles; That means we’re treated to plenty of fight scenes and decently-animated fights.

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The animation is appropriate for the setting. It might not be on par with some of the other anime of this season (such as Hanebado!), but that may change later on. I don’t think many of you would mind though, as Banana Fish is looking to be a story-driven anime.

Progressive?

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“Is that a gun in your pants or are you just happy to see me?”

“What?”

In relation to recent increasing awareness and acceptance of different genders and sexuality, Banana Fish might be able to depict a (non-hypersexualized) same-sex relationship. Ash and Eiji’s scenes together suggest some tension, this relationship is sure to develop into a core part of the story in time.

Riveting, to say the least.

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I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely following this series. I’m raring to see how this plays out. It’s a pretty interesting way to go about things, being a shoujo and a crime/action anime at the same time. What do you think? Leave a comment and let us know.

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If only you could slide into our dm’s, dear reader.

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Hafu View All

Racer, Programmer, Gamer. I also watch anime.

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