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Banana Fish: Anime Review

For many of you who have yet to feast your eyes on Banana Fish I have a proposition; set aside whatever task that you are up please do me a favour by walking over to switch on your laptop or browse in your handy-dandy cell-phone for the ttle "Banana Fish" and seat comfortly for an epic show. By far one of the best anime so far for in 2017 bagging the Tokyo Anime Award after avid fans casted votes to top at number #1 in a list of 100 anime titles from a total of 524 titles beating others. The anime consists of 24 episodes but I succeeded through in 2 days consumed by the bitter ending after the fall of the heavy scarlet drapery usually after a stage show whilst a streak of salty tears of frustration, agony and sadness. 

In clockwise: Shorter Wong, Eiji Okumura, Soo-Sin-Ling and Ash Lynx.

Banana Fish debuted in May, 1985 the manga actually published under “Shojo” genre although by the intensity of the storyline, extensive action sequences as well as heavy dialogues when the said demographic expanded towards both the male and older female audiences. Right after, the manga was marketed to "Seinen" genre series as Banana Fish becoming one of a few “girls manga” that endorsed men to read without the impression of discomfort due to the implication of “Boys Love” category. The beautiful relationship between Ash and Eiji being pure without being romanticized or sexual but their love for each other was unmistakable; a selfless love. Their struggles alongside the those involved would definitely tugged the heartstrings of the viewers during the arduous journey to put an end to the chaotic medicine.  
Aslan Jade "Ash Lynx" Callenreese a 17-years-old head honcho of a street gang became cognizant of a mysterious elixir as known as Banana Fish after a man closer to his death passed the vial in his hand. Not before long, Ash uncovers a web of lies linking to a world of corruption among a group of hierachy governments when threats to his safety and those around him whereas a former member had plans to usurp the young leader's position. Upon the shocking revelation of the illegal drug that of which performed an uncanny role resulting to his older brother, Griffin Callenreese, crippled state of mind -physically and mentally. In blinding rage and mutiny, Ash once and for all revolted against his longtime guardian, Dino “Papa” Golzine, the fiery clash resulting in a war between different gang factions. Due to his cynic history, Ash never revealed his true nature to anyone else until the presence of a boy named, Eiji Okumura, their blossoming friendship throughout their unceasing evade from the grasp of those hightailing them.  
Eiji Okumura, a college student and a former competitive pole vaulter, the valid reason for him to travel to New York City being a assistant to Ebi Shinuchi a seasoned photographer to interview a street gang leader-Ash Lynx. Raised under a humble abode with a doting family, the flustered male in a couple of shakes exposed to a series of near deaths trauma forced to witness the brutality outcome of the lives of gangsters in the fullness of time Eiji shrug off his gullible self to stand by Ash someone he eventually comes to cherish deeply and vice versa even as danger lurks in every corner. At the same time, Eiji perceive the other’s mental instability to come to terms with his situation but cemented their unbreakable bond going as far as to carry missions alongside Ash’s followers during the later episode to rescue the apprehended teenager from Dino Golzine -who’s unsettling obsession over Ash became plain obvious. Almost at the end, Eiji declares an idea for Ash to accompany both Ibe and him back to Japan in hopes to introduce a peaceful sanctuary instead of the tumultuous mode of living in the streets but a sudden chaos interrupted for the pair to be separated until at the last episode where the concerned boy brandishes a letter instrituced to be given to Ash along with a flight ticket.   

As per episode the plotline develops into a darker and gruesome route; my heart weighing heavier as the anime comes closer to tragical ending. Without warning, you are deeply engrossed by their cause whilst sitting on edge every time an action scene appears on the screen that of which never fails to amaze before long you create a bond with each one of the characters as they literally seep under your skin. Banana Fish is definitely one of those stories that will haunt you for a long time after watching the anime or reading the anime -I’m still insecure about reading the manga knowing the outcome- I rate this show 10/10 by the eventful plot from story progression which is neither too fast nor dawdling with unnecessary filler, character development perfectly executed; invoking a riot of feelings from within.
The story might be touchy to some of the viewers since it highlights on child pornography/gang rape and minor sex although the anime avoided any graphic details enough hints surrounding the main protagonist for everyone of us to conclude. Of course, There is just a single kissing spanning only a couple of second in between our lovable Ash and Eiji early episode as we discover the latter’s mix feelings regarding his new companion at the same time we delve into the matters of same sex-relationship being the most influential work in a “Boy’s Love” category. When we enjoy a certain anime, the second nature in us scour for the opening/ending OST in which Banana Fish delivers great music that puts a shiver inside you and set on replay button while reminiscing about them.  

I am currently shedding tears because that is how much Banana Fish deeply affects me the whole storyline integrated within the pores of my soul, it is truly wise to give this anime a try because you will come to love (hopefully) it. The comedy stabilizes the gritty series giving it a proper balance; you can bet that I will be building a Banana Fish shrine so that my swollen eyes sweat profusely every time I glance upon those beloved characters. Of course, as for now I must take a step back for me to gather up my runaway emotions ever since watching this anime the world underneath my feet has tilted.
Thank you everybody for taking the time out of your busy schedule my review and we shall soon meet again. Written by Rugi Chan

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