This week’s episode of BANANA FISH gets right back into the thick of things with Ash and the rest of the Banana Splits picking up their crusade against Dino and the Funky Bunch. This is very much a return to form with the plot moving away from Ash and his inner demons and back to delving into the Banana Fish mystery.
Ash is out and about and back to hunting down everyone responsible for Banana Fish. Ηowever, he can’t shake the feeling that he is being watched… Meanwhile, Yut Lung and Dino strike up an alliance of sorts that could prove dangerous for the Ash and the Banana Splits.
A Quiet Moment: After Ash returns to base, he and Eiji share a moment alone on the roof. In a series so full of dramatic and often violent moments, this is one of the quietest scenes in the series. It’s just Ash and Eiji having a moment of peace after everything they’ve been through and it’s a pretty emotional scene, which is only made better by the lack of any background music.
Social Commentary: Ash relents that foreigners tend to have a rather skewed view of the United States, believing that NY and LA and other large metropolitan cities are all there is to the country. Ash relents that there is far more open land and country than there are cities and that most people have never seen the true extent of the country… which as an American I can say is a fairly accurate assessment.
Transitions: After Yut Lung has his brother killed, we see him sitting alone with his brother’s bloody corpse. The scene then transitions to Kippard eat, either an omelet or omurice with a smattering of red ketchup on it that definitely mirrors the bloody corpse we saw a few moments before. This isn’t the first time this has happened in the series; whenever there is a particularly gruesome death the scene will transition to another character (usually Dino) partaking in some rather similar looking food.
Themes & Trivia
Meaningful Title: All the episode titles have been references to novels and short stories by famous American authors. This week’s episode is no different, borrowing its title from the Ernest Hemingway short story The Killers, written in 1927.
Brugmansia: While chatting with Dino, Yut Lung notices one of the plants in his garden, the Brugmansia, which he states has a similar effect to that of LSD and Dino’s Banana Fish drug. Brugmansia is one of seven species of flowering plants from the genus Solanaceae and can be toxic. These plants are only found in cultivation and there are no known wild growths. While there these plants have been used as topical treatments, ingesting them is toxic and is the practice is rare.
Circle Line: Eiji mentions having ridden the Circle Line ferry, which is a Manhattan based cruise company that gives tours of the NY harbor area.
Stephen King: Eiji makes a reference to horror writer Stephen King and his tendency to set most of his works in isolated towns and countrysides (he neglects to mention the author’s obsession with Maine).
Aslan: Ash tells Eiji the true meaning of his name, ‘Aslan’ which was given to him by his mother. He states that Aslan is a Hebrew name that means “dawn” a reference to when he was born. But, it also has Turkish origins, meaning ‘lion’, which is fitting given the abundance of animal imagery associated with Ash in the series.
Peyote: As explains that Banana Fish may be derived from an alkaloid plant such as peyote, which is a small spineless cactus native to Mexico and southwest Texas. When ingested peyote induces psychoactive responses from the body, such as auditory and visual hallucinations.
BLAAAAAAANCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I have been waiting for this character to finally make his appearance and I am so geeked that he is finally here!! Next to Max, Blanca is my second favorite character in the series, because he is just so awesome! Other than Dino he is one of the most influential characters in Ash’s life and by far the biggest ‘threat’ he’s faced so far. I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE HOW THE ANIME HANDLES MY BOY!
Fangirling aside, I like that we’re getting a bit more details on the Banana Fish drug and its origins, especially since the series doesn’t just drop information in your lap, rather, it takes the time to explain it! And for what it’s worth, most of the science is pretty sound.
As always, I love the quiet intimate moments Ash and Eiji share with one another, since they add levity to the series. The subtext is strong with these two, but I like that the anime follows the manga’s example by not definitively stating whether their relationship is romantic or not.
I Feel Like Somebody’s Watchin’ Me~
This was another great episode. We’re well past the point of no return, but we’re still speeding full speed ahead. With the introduction of Blanca we’re going to get some more insight into Ash’s past this time from a different perspective. I continue to be impressed by the anime’s reverence for the source material and I can’t wait to see how they handle the rest of the series!
I’ll be back next week with another BANANA FISH review, but in the meantime, be sure to check out MANGA.TOKYO’s other amazing Fall 2018 reviews!!
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast