Winter 2019 Anime: Official Twitter Hashtags & Pages
2018 is almost out, guys and girls, and that means that another anime year is ready to take its place.
Since its first publication in a shoujo magazine in the 1980s, Banana Fish’s manga has received critical acclaim and took the industry by a storm. It is one of the most impactful manga of all time in Japan and the reason for it is its boldness to take risks and address heavy subjects such as drugs, rape, violence, corruption, and the most shocking one of them all: pedophilia, which gave the show a maturity that is rarely found in the anime world.
The story revolves around Ash Lynx, a beautiful teenage sex slave rebelling against his abusers. Despite its cleverly crafted storytelling and crime drama, Banana Fish has also gathered labels such as BL, shounen-ai, and yaoi, which deeply misinterpret the content of the whole series. Even the original shoujo demographic labels doesn’t do this series any justice, but you should probably experience it yourself in order to fully grasp what it has to offer. With its thrilling action, raw brutality, complex villains and roller-coaster of emotions, the heavy content of this show is not sugar-coated for anyone with a faint heart.
So, if you are looking for anime that resemble this absolute masterpiece of a show, get ready for a list that has intense drama, action, crimes, gangs and that tend to be a bit more mature than your average anime show.
Set during the Prohibition era in Lawless, a town thriving on black market sales of illicitly brewed liquor, Angelo Lagusa has witnessed his parents and brother getting slaughtered by the Vanetti mafia family. After changing his name and leaving his hometown, several years later he receives a letter from a mysterious sender, prompting him to return to Lawless for revenge. He then infiltrates the Vanetti family and seeks to befriend the Vanetti don’s son, Nero, in order to set his vengeance plan in motion.
Banana Fish and 91 Days both take place in the 20th century America, more specifically one takes place in New York City during the 1980s and the other in the 1900s during Prohibition. Both involve mafia, crime, gangs, and are heavy on the action and violence. They have unique stories and equally smart protagonists with a rough childhood that makes them seek revenge against the mafia. The main difference would be that 91 Days deals mostly with drug crimes and violence while Banana Fish addresses much heavier topics like sex trafficking and pedophilia.
Kenzo Tenma is a renowned Japanese surgeon that works in Europe and follows a great life. He has a beautiful fiancée, a good job with a big promotion on its way, but everything changes as he comes to deal with a great dilemma: should he save the life of a very influential and important person or the life of an innocent child? As he chooses to save the child, he later on realizes that his decision damages not only his prospects but unleashes a chain of horrific events, with murders pointing out to the very child he once saved.
From the first episode of Banana Fish, I was reminded of Monster. This is yet another masterpiece of the anime industry and personally to this day, I haven’t seen anything that can equal the greatness of its story. You might not get it from the start, but both anime touch pretty deep and dark sides of society, like human experimentation and sexual abuse that hardly get any attention in mainstream anime these days. Monster also takes place in a foreign country and addresses a more mature audience.
In Tokyo’s downtown district of Ikebukuro, Mikado has just moved from the countryside to attend the same high school as his best friend, Masaomi. On his first day in the city, he witnesses the urban legend of ‘Black Rider’ and starts realizing that each resident of Ikebukuro is quite unique and frightening. But as other supernatural events begin to occur and appear to be connected, ordinary citizens like himself,cannot escape the crazy commotion breaking out in their city.
If you are looking for a related story that involves gangs, action, and violence Durarara!! is a must-watch for you. Even though the time periods are completely different, the overall atmosphere of both shows is very similar. I also find the humor and mystery of both stories to be very alike and can we mention that they both involve badass people on motorcycles?
In the city of Ergastulum, Nicholas Brown and Worick Arcangelo, known as the ‘Handymen’, are mercenaries for hire who take on jobs no one else can handle. One day they are asked to take down a new gang muscling in on the territory of a top Mafia family. However, the criminal scene seems to be undergoing a profound period of change that threatens to destroy the delicate balance of power.
Yet another story with loads of action, killing, gangs, mafia and drugs. The main protagonist had a rough childhood and ended up growing up to be really smart and good at fighting. Even though Gangsta. can be described as a bit more light on the stomach with less deaths and violence than Banana Fish, both touch upon the subjects of sexual and physical abuse being inflicted on one of the main characters.
During the 1930s, mafia groups fight for supremacy in American cities. The novel train Flying Pussyfoot is starting its legendary journey that will leave a trail of blood all over the country. Young Firo Jacuzzi, the leader of a gang of thugs, thieves Isaac and Miria, as well as the ambitious scientist Szilard and his aide Ennis who are looking for the immortality elixir, all ride the train. However, they find themselves involved in an uproar caused by gangs and serial killers as well as other stories that link and unfold on this fateful ride.
Baccano! is an award-winning light novel that tells a great story of alchemy, survival, and immortality. Despite the fact that both series take place in America and revolve around mafia wars, Baccano! has a more supernatural approach to its story. If you like intriguing storylines with mysteries and loads of gunfights, you should definitely check this out.
Shion is an intelligent and highly educated elite resident of the city-state No. 6, one of cities that were built after the world was destroyed from a bloody war. Thanks to his encounter with the mysterious twelve-year-old Nezumi, he realized that there are many people out there who live in the desolate wasteland beyond the walls of the supposed utopia. Shion then decides to take care of him and protect him which causes him to lose his status as an elite and relocate to the lower town where he becomes a normal citizen. Four years later, he finds himself back in Nezumi’s company and in the midst of a dangerous conspiracy that leaves a trail of blood in its wake.
This is another anime that features the dark side of society. No.6 has the sci-fi element to it that makes it look quite different from Banana Fish, but the overall action and tragedy of both shows share many similarities as well as the way the characters are connected to the conspiracy. Another thing that makes these two very alike is the relationship between the main characters: as they spend time together they eventually fall in love with each other, although the relationship is never the focus of the story, but you can clearly see it lingering behind.
Atsushi Nakajima has been kicked out of his orphanage and is on the verge of starving to death. While he is almost dying by the riverbank, he saves a rather eccentric man named Osamu Dazai who attempts to drown himself in broad daylight. He ends up accompanying him in an investigation for a man-eating tiger that’s been terrorizing the population and that Atsushi seems to be associated with. As various weird events take place, Atsushi is forced into joining the ‘Armed Detective Agency’ that takes on unusual cases that the police cannot handle, alongside his numerous mysterious co-workers.
Bungou Stray Dogs is a mystery story that revolves around its detectives and their supernatural powers. There is a lot of action and the similar vibe of gang–mafia wars happening plus the main characters have more or less similar personalities. Banana Fish tends to be more serious and mature where Bungou Stray Dogs is more about superpowers and the main protagonist getting over his insecurities.
Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowel were best friends that lived on the streets until one day they picked a fight with the wrong people and their freedom was suddenly taken away. As they have no other choice, they join the largest and most infamous mafia syndicate in the area, Millenion, where Harry has ambitions of making it big and Brandon supports him in order to save the woman he loves.
Gungrave is based on a third-person shooter video game, so you can imagine that there are some pretty epic fights and action into it. Shootings, killings, drugs, the mafia, gangs and two good friends that fight and help each other. The main characters experience friendship and betrayal by the people around them but their intelligence and combat skills makes them borderline invulnerable to their enemies.
2008 – 2009
In South America, Hana is a 9-year-old girl who lives in constant fear of her abusive family and Michiko is a convict who breaks out of a high security prison for the fourth time in search of a man from her past. Claiming to be her mother, Hana is taken away by Michiko while riding her motorcycle. They start their journey together to look for Hana’s long-lost father, try to learn to co-exist and get along together, and stay one step ahead of the police and afro-clad Atsuko.
If you like the western looks that Banana Fish had to offer then you will love the sun-drenched land of Diamandra in Michiko to Hatchin. This is another anime that includes action, gangs, violence and main characters with a rough and troubled past that seek answers. Also, the similarities between Ash and Michiko’s personalities is something that make these two shows very alike.
Fukuoka might look like a peaceful town at first glance but crime runs rampant behind the scenes. Amongst the dangerous individuals and professional killers that live in the city, Zenji Banba is a laid-back and observant detective who is investigating the work of other hitmen companies in the area. As Xianming Ling, a cross-dressing male hitman who is tired of his pay and company, is offered the job of taking out Banba, he doesn’t even attempt to kill him but instead offers the detective another option: to join their forces.
Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is for those that enjoy the widely male cast and slight underlining BL vibes of Banana Fish. A lot of great action scenes are convoluted in both shows as well as violence, deaths, gangs, corruptions, dark organizations and kidnapping. If you liked the way Ash and his gang outsmart the people around them then you will love the dynamic between Banba and Ling.
This list is sure to satisfy your thirst for gang and mafia wars or conspiracies that are heavy on action and violence. Some of the plot twists will make you question life, some of the dramas will make you cry like a baby, and some deaths will just make you cringe and weep. Whatever it is that you are looking for, MANGA.TOKYO hopes that you can enjoy this list to the fullest.
2018 is almost out, guys and girls, and that means that another anime year is ready to take its place.