Episode 3 offers a bit of a reprieve from the darker elements of BANANA FISH, with a lot more comedic moments, BUT, there are still some pretty triggering scenes this time around. Also, there is a little treat for the fangirls out there that I’m sure you don’t want to miss, so without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s episode of BANANA FISH!!
Japanese Original Episode Title: 第三話 河を渡って木立の中へ
Ash is in the big house, and his stint in prison offers even more danger, but an unlikely ally may have some answers about the mysterious “Banana Fish. With the help of his fellow inmate Max, Ash might just manage to survive, that is unless Papa Dino’s man on the inside doesn’t kill him first.
Lighthearted Opening: After last week’s downer ending, this week’s episode starts off with a bit of comic relief courtesy of one of my favorite characters, Max Lobo. When Charlie asks him to look out for the recently incarcerated Ash, Max is less than enthusiastic about the job, bemoaning his task in a highly comical and over the top way.
Prison Rape: Ash is attacked by one of Papa Dino’s men, Garvey and a few of his men. When Max finds him, he is naked, with his hands tied and bruises all over his body.
Somethin’ for the Ladies: There is a kiss scene in this week’s episode between Ash and Eiji, and I swear I can hear all the fangirls out there losing their minds over it… Since Ash is stuck in prison where ever means of communication is heavily monitored, the only way he can get a message to his people on the outside is by secretly passing it to Eiji… via the kiss.
Themes & Trivia
Meaningful Title: All of 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 Ernest Hemingway’s 1950 novel, Across the River and into the Woods. The novel tells the story of an American colonel, Richard Cantwell, who fell in love with an Italian countess while stationed in Italy during WWII. It is told through a series of flashbacks, in which Cantwell recounts his time during the war. This work is noted for being inspired by a woman Hemingway met and fell in love with during one of his trips to Italy.
LSD: The drug sample Ash dropped off with Dr. Meredith contains Lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD for short, a hallucinogenic drug that was between the 1960’s to the 1980’s.
I was really curious to see how they were going to portray Ash’s intelligence in the anime, since in the manga most of his mental prowess lies in his ability to utilize a computer (a big deal in the 80’s), which given the new updated timeline of the anime, rendered his “special skill” useless. But, they managed to find a new way to depict Ash’s superior intellect, through his spot-on critique of Max’s literary accomplishments. Not only is he able to accurately describe the issues with Max’s work, but, he also references other writers who he feels better covered the same material, which prompts Max to marvel at how ready Ash is for a ‘street hoodlum’, as most don’t read political novels, let alone newspaper columns.
In fact, I really love the whole dynamic between Ash and Max, it’s almost like that of siblings, with Max kind of serving as the annoying older brother to Ash’s exasperated younger brother persona. However, that dynamic changes significantly after the reveal and I like how the guilt kind of eats away at Max until he finally snaps. It’s so different from how he was earlier in the episode, and it’s made even more interesting seeing how his complete heel turn is brought on by Ash, who serves as a constant reminder of the sins he committed in the past.
So, the elephant in the room: the kiss between Eiji and Ash. Firs,t let me say this again for all the people getting ready to jump on the BANANA FISH bandwagon because of the kiss, THIS IS NOT AND NEVER WILL BE A BL SERIES! That kiss is literally the only one in the entire series and I will be extremely disappointed if the powers that be see fit to add another one. But, that aside, I want to note that the kiss while pretty risque is not depicted in a romantic way. In fact, it’s played up as a comedic moment, everything from the characters’ reactions to the music, all suggest that this is not a “romantic” event. So, yeah… that’s how I feel about the kiss…
This was a much more lighthearted episode than last week’s darker and edgier emotional suckerpunch, however, it was not without some pretty heavy moments. BUT, all anyone is going to really be talking about is the kiss, so, you know that’s going to be a thing for awhile. All in all, another great episode, definitely a lot easier to digest than last week’s episode, while still moving the plot right along…
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast