More than Friends, More than Lovers: Exploring Ash and Eiji’s Love

18 thoughts on “More than Friends, More than Lovers: Exploring Ash and Eiji’s Love”

  1. I loved reading this! It really gave me an idea of what to expect going into Banana Fish. Since this series is rather old and hard to find information online about other than just back of the book summaries that really don’t tell you much. I was worried that the yaoi and BL genre tag was getting slapped on Banana Fish for the wrong reasons. That just because there happened to be mentions of some gay things or just because the main male characters are close that suddenly it must be yaoi or BL. Glad to know I can look forward to reading and watching all about Ash and Eiji’s relation amidst all the gang drama and action. Though I glanced over the spoiler section >.> I didn’t want too much spoiled for me lol

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  2. This is beautifully written. Thank you. It was therapeutic to read. I just found Banana Fish this week. I do not know if that is a blessing or a curse.

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  3. Oh dear
    Reading your essay was somehow therapeutic, I just read the manga for the second time (the first time was in my 15’s) and broke me in some many levels (because, teenager). This time I read the manga for the anime, and I knew I shouldn’t have to, and it broke me even more, maybe because I’m older now and I work with LGBTI themes. I keep imagining good endings for them, because I can deal with the fact of Eiji’s endless mourn, or founding the foreshadowings of the sad finale of Ash… but it’s just too sad. On the other hand, I feel so bad for Sing and Eiji’s relationship, it’s like Sing wanted to take the place of Ash in Eiji’s life and make him “forget”, but they’re sharing a life (the spin off doesn’t explain if they had or not a romantic relationship) out of blame and guilt.

    Ahhh my heart hurts 💔
    Thank for you work, I need it, desperately.

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  4. ** spoiler ** That was …. perfect …. after watching episode 1 of the anime I was like : I NEED TO READ THIS …. and I NEVER read old manga because of the drawings … somehow … this time I was able too .. and not just able, I was hooked, I couldn’t leave it at all for 2 weeks till I had finished it. And oh man … I’m a crisis counsellor with kids … I’ve heard nasty stuff … heart breaking stuff … and yet the reaction of Ash after he’s been raped just broke me. He was acting\saying things I’ve heard so many young people tell me … and how Eiji just hold him. That was so beautiful. Throughout the manga I didn’t want to see that ending … my heart was inventing its own little world where Ash and Eiji would just fly to japan. I cried, I was mad I was pissed (still am) why couldn’t those boys be together ? It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve finished reading the manga … and when I think about banana fish, my heart still aches and I can’t believe I will have to go through it again with the anime … but I cannot not watch … I believe it’s the best love story I read. Thank you for your essay … reading it was like putting back some of the pieces that broke

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  5. I just wanna thank you for writing this masterpiece. It just takes the words out of my mouth and maybe even better. My words would probably have downgraded the wonderful relationship between Ash and Eiji if I tried using my own words. I can’t help but agree as I continue reading your opinion and remarks. It just gives me that tingling feeling of joy and heart break. Also listening to that INTENSE 80’s song made it all the more painful and worth-reading as it depicts and represents their overall relationship. I didn’t even think about it not until you linked it and I tried listening to the music. It REALLY REALLY FITS THEM. I wanna cry my eyes out.

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  6. This article heals me. As a fan of the 49s I started reading the manga as a transition from queer 1970s to queer 1980s manga. Then I heard about the anime and started reading faster. I just finished tonight and your article is literally the only thing consoling my broken heart right now.

    Love your take on everything. Well researched, super well written–you have my thanks.

    Now to create a prayer circle that they give the anime adaptation a little more liberties in terms of how romantic they allow the boys to be,

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  7. Oh wow, this is a really well written article about both of them.
    You can tell, that you did a Lot of research, the pictures were chosen really well and it was in General a good read, even though it opened all the old wounds, lol.
    I wish my english was better, so I can describe even better, what I feel about this.
    So, thank you for writing this!

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  8. Hello, I love this article so much! I was wondering if I could translate it to Portuguese with your permission, may I? When the anime is over i’m going to post the translation in a group/page with all the credits for you. Sorry to disturb you.

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  9. I just finished watching ep 24 of Banana Fish. I am a plethora of emotions for many of the reasons you wrote about. Bah. Still, they’re both ingrained forever in my heart. That being said…an alternative ending…I wouldn’t mind one.

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  10. Thank you for writing this. My heart still aches over Banana Fish’s ending, but your words are helping me appreciate the story as a whole–to appreciate the pure love that Ash and Eiji shared for one another. I think I will still forever long for a happy ending though. ugh my heart is bleeding

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  11. I’m late to the party, but I just finished Banana Fish today (I have not read the manga). It was an emotional whirlwind, and I was struggling to find closure. Reading your article was extremely therapeutic. I still have not found closure, but it was helpful to read the intelligent insight you had on the series, and to know that you also have trouble finding wholehearted closure as well (my misery loves company). The excerpts from the art book and The Garden of Light also helped to create a fuller picture of Banana Fish, and allowed me to pull out and view the work from a less emotional perspective and more from an objective (?) one. It helped to create a deeper and nuanced understanding of Eiji and Ash’s relationship, and I’m grateful that your analysis left me with something positive to take away from the series.

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