Banana Fish The Clever Shoujo Complex

People should be checking my temperature right now? 

Covering a seasonal series, when was that last? eons ago. Though I blame my close friend Naja for me checking out an 80s gem. Which needs more credit given than it’s getting. Plus who doesn’t want to know, what the hell Banana Fish means?

Think there’s something wrong with me.


Beginning of this year, I was very unsure if I’d venture into the seasonal scene again. Initially no but since that time, much as changed regarding seasonal and episodic reviews. Wait.. hold the phone? That episodic reviews and seasonal anime are of interest to me again and might stay that way. This summer season 2018, I’ve already checked out some series, which I’ll get around to talking about more. This season was of great appeal to me but again every season, seems to be something I’m always excited about. But being honest it’s Australian winter and this summer season is giving me life.

Appreciate your sunshine rest of the world!

A summer favourite I’ve decided to keep up with is Banana Fish, my interest in this series is thanks to blogger Naja. Everyone has a anime that is their baby, Banana fish is her’s. Listening to Naja’s infectious passion for this 80s manga by Akimi Yoshida. Our conversations over Banana fish instantly just made me so curious to read the manga. Can’t forget the moment it was announced this over 20 year series, was getting an anime adaptation.



All In Fair Interpretation 

 Adopted Young Ash heir of Papa Dino, whom victim of sexual abuse is out for revenge on this devil. Ash’s brother who was driven to madness of a dark secret. Falls into Dino’s devil hands. Ash finds an unlikely ally in young photographer Eiji. 

Naja will be proud of me intend to get my hands on the manga of Banana Fish. Viz media announcing at Anime Expo they will be reprinting this series, that’s exciting. I’ll be interested to make a comparison between anime and manga, at some point – again blame you Naja.

Far as impression go for Banana Fish in the first two episodes, Oh, I’m invested. Fantastic modern, retro feel the series emanates, set in New York – believe the manga setting is different. Banana Fish I felt had an exciting two episodes, waste no time getting into the plot – introducing our main duo Ash and Eiji. Where they’re the main focus point of this discussion, from reading others impressions. Scrolling through twitter, people have been labelling Ash and Eiji’s relationship as ‘boys love”. The series so far does nothing to define this notion, such suggested scenes Ash letting Eiji touching his gun – drunk, blushing Eiji staring at Ash.

There is not much fault you can excuse people thinking Ash and Eiji’s relationship will grow to love. Ash and Eiji’s interactions so far, have not rang alarm bells – “They’ll be an item”. The moments they have had would suggest otherwise but I’m not getting that vibe at all. Banana Fish is handling a clever, complex bond between Ash and Eiji, thats dips into the themes of ‘boys loves’. The series is handling heavy themes, sexual abuse, child exploration, quickly first two episodes put this on a platter for you.

The heaviness of Banana fish is tackling, find most interesting and something cannot stop watching now. In how I view Ash and Eiji’s relationship currently, Eiji will become Ash’s anchor. Ash is the central point, the one whom has suffered, Eiji comes along as this beacon of hope. That things might be different for Ash, say the story were to go lovers route, it would ruin it for me, in what there building already. This complexity of Ash and Eiji’s relationship outweighs itself constantly, will they be lovers? friends? Nothing is established fully and who knows what direction the anime will go. Will Mappa stick to the source material of how there relationship was handled? I can’t vouch as I’ve not read the manga, Naja could.  At the same wouldn’t want to be spoiled.

I recommend reading Naja’s post discussing relationships in the use of labels, can’t things be as they are, using Banana Fish. My words can’t hold a candle to what she well wrote in that post. Everything she discusses, I fully agree, that why can’t Eiji and Ash’s relationship be what it is? This is why it’s always interesting to see people’s interpretation of things. But it’s surprising no-one has said noticed how clever Banana Fish dips into boys loves themes, but never establishes anything. Leaving all up to interpretation, where you look Victor and Yuri from Yuri On Ice same category as Banana Fish, but Banana Fish does it better.

I understand in others labelling Banana Fish as Yaoi or boys love. But sorry to say Banana Fish isn’t any of these labels. It just slide in and out of these themes cleverly but there is much more complexness around it all.


Don’t Undermine Banana Fish 

It would be a crime to undermine Banana Fish, just because of floating around by opinion only. ‘Boys love alert’, There is a much bigger picture here. In only two episodes we’ve barely scrapped the surface of Banana fish, What’s this hidden secret Dino has? Where will Ash’s revenge lead him, dragging Eiji? There is much good going right down, Creating a cool modern, retro setting, among a complex themed premise. Banana Fish reminded me a little like Gangsta, the dark backstreets, maifa syndicate. Ah makes everything feel gritty a little, but in a good way. Hip hop, urban backing music is sweet as too.

Honestly can’t wait to see Ash and Eiji’s relationship progresses through the hardships to come. As the main duo protagonist, there a cool pair. Ash gives a bad-ass hottie which will have the girls fangirl over, haha. I may have too, don’t worry. Underneath Ash is a putting on a brave face, hiding his weak side – it’s no wonder why. Eiji comes off as the ‘innocent one’ but will see how long that last. In episode two he exampled some gumption, pole volt over that wall. That bit really surprised me, loved it.

Banana Fish is the coolest thing to come this Summer 2018, so don’t miss out and give this clever shoujo a try!



This was a unplanned post but there were some thoughts wanted to get out. But Banana Fish is the bomb currently right now. Super psyched it’s 24 episodes. If your looking for someone who is crazy about Banana Fish, Naja is your girl. 

My first seasonal post in forever, feels pretty good. I would love it if you’ve been watching Banana Fish. What your feelings are on it? Did you think it was Yaoi and Boys loves at first glance? Do you think differently?

There will be some more impressions from me on the Summer season. I choose to do it based on two or three episodes. Like to get a feel for the series first.

I’ll see you all in the next post!! 



  1. I JUST STARTED THIS SHOW and now my life is a dumpster fire thanks to Naja. 😛

    Glad to see you tackle a seasonal title! Also, is it just me or does this show give off serious Devilman Crybaby vibes? It’s like that series and Yuri!!! On ICE had a beautiful baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, yes, Banana Fish. It’s such an amazing anime… As for the Devilman Crybaby vibes… Maybe it’s just because they’re both dark? But, yeah, Devilman Crybaby had me feeling numb after watching it but Banana Fish had me down for almost a month. They’re both real tearjerkers (especially Banana Fish).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not finished Banana fish yet so I’m ready with my box of tissues. Devilman crybaby is on my list too. I didn’t realise it was a tear jerker I’ll keep that in my mind. Thankyou for the comment 😀


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