We slow things down a little this week, delving into Ash’s childhood and his complicated past with his father. As usual, there were more than a few heartbreaking moments, but the additional character development was much appreciated. Of course, things pick right back up again towards the episode’s conclusion, which leaves you with a rather heavy feeling deep in your chest.
A trip to Cape Cod dredges up painful memories for Ash, as we uncover the secrets behind his strained relationship with his father.
Scenery Porn: This week’s episode takes us out of the city and into the lush landscapes of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. As you all should know from my other reviews, I am a sucker for beautiful landscapes and backgrounds, and this week’s episode is full of them! Beautiful sunsets bursting with color, gorgeous shots of the water… the world of the anime seems to just come alive and it’s all thanks to the simply delicious background artwork!
You two are too different: Ibe has an ‘argument’ with Ash over his relationship with Eiji, stating that the two of them are too different for anything to come of their association with one another. This is a sentiment that many in the series have and an issue that is brought up several times throughout the series.
The ‘Big Reveal’: After five whole episodes we finally get the ‘big’ Banana Fish reveal and it is probably one of the most unsatisfying reveals to date since we practically know what the damn thing was from the start! But, I guess a reveal is a reveal….
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 F. Scott Fitzgerald’s personal essay collection, My Lost City.
‘Oh My Darling, Clementine’: While driving, Max sings a riveting (it’s not) rendition of the American western folk ballad, ‘Oh My Darling, Clementine’. While the exact origins of the song are up for debate, some attribute its origins to the 1863 song ‘Down by the River Liv’d a Maiden’ while others say it has roots as an old Spanish ballad. Also noteworthy, the song is the trademark of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Huckleberry Hound.
Cape Cod: This week, we travel out of the city to Ash’s hometown of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, a hook-shaped peninsula that serves as a popular summertime tourist vacation spot. Cape Cod’s quaint villages, ideal fishing and maritime activities, and sprawling beaches make it an ideal locale.
‘A canary that can’t sing…’: When talking with Ibe about Eiji, Max compares the younger boy to a canary that can’t sing. Canaries are songbirds known for their unique call, however, when distressed or ill, these birds will cease singing.
Bluebeard: Ash’s father describes a local war veteran that molested Ash as a child, and was later convicted for multiple counts of murder after the remains of several children were found in his basement. The papers called him the ‘Bluebeard of Cape Cod’ after the character from the folktale of the same name, a wealthy and rather violent man who had a habit of murdering all of his wives.
This was a really emotional episode, full of sweet sweet character development. Each episode seems to piece together Ash’s fragmented past and the more we uncover, the more tragic he becomes. But, it’s more than that; the more we discover about Ash’s past, the more human he becomes. At the start of the series, Ash was this larger-than-life character, almost like a folk hero of sorts, who despite interacting with Eiji and the other characters, was somewhat unreachable. Now, while he still retains that unapproachable air about him, he’s a bit softer, much more approachable.
The reveals about Ash’s abuse prior to his stint with Dino, and his father’s reaction to it at the start of the episode might be a bit jarring for some viewers especially given the way Ash and his father seem to dance around the issue. But, rather than condemning Jim, I find him to be a rather sympathetic character, albeit flawed, but, you’d be hard pressed to find a character in BANANA FISH isn’t? (Dino and his men aside, of course) I don’t know, even when I read the manga, I could never find it in me to fully condemn Jim Callenreese for what he did to Ash, yes, his handling of the situation is what eventually put Ash into the hands of Dino, and led to his years of abuse at the hands of the pedophile…. And yet… I never believed him to be actively malicious, more so a man trying to make the best of an already difficult situation, in the best way he knew how.
Can’t Ever Go Home Again
This week’s episode definitely hit’s you in the feels, with one emotional sucker punch after another. As always, there are some triggering issues discussed in the episode, but, like most things in BANANA FISH, they only add to the complex nature of the story and the characters. All in all, this was another phenomenal episode!
NEXT TIME: Rich Boy (リッチ・ボーイ)
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast