Banana Fish #11: The Beautiful and Damned

“The Beautiful and Damned” is a 1922 novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Among all its themes, what’s most relevant here is the marriage and the many hardships the couple faces. Curiously enough, it’s also set during the World War I. It’s not the focus, but considering how this episode ends with a declaration of war between Ash and Arthur–and the first few episodes referenced novels that were involved with the world wars in one way or another–it’s still worth to mention.

Episode 11 dedicates a considerable amount of time to show us how Ash and Eiji settle into living alone together. When Max offers to take Eiji away, Ash refuses, and we know that Eiji will be moving in with him in the apartment he buys towards the end of the episode.  Continue reading “Banana Fish #11: The Beautiful and Damned”

Banana Fish #10: Babylon Revisited

This week we have some revenge, bitch! Well, not entirely. Our main villains are still evil and well, but burning the mansions of your enemies to the ground is a good first step!

“Babylon Revisited” is an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel published in 1931. Although it deals with multiple themes, what I find most relevant here it’s the intense guilt caused by the loss of someone important. Continue reading “Banana Fish #10: Babylon Revisited”

Banana Fish #9: Save Me the Waltz

Instead of writing this post, I contemplated posting a ten-hour loop of that screaming meme and calling it a day. However, I do have some things to say about this episode that doesn’t involve screaming. Well, not too much anyway–so let’s stick to the usual format!

“Save Me the Waltz” is a novel by Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, published in 1932. It’s the first and only novel she ever published, and it’s often examined for its historical value and the things its autobiographical nature reveal. In this case, I’m inclined to believe this work was chosen for the context in which it was written, rather than by the content itself. Continue reading “Banana Fish #9: Save Me the Waltz”

Banana Fish #6: My Lost City

The title “My Lost City” refers to an essay by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which forms part of a collection of personal essays–written from 1920 to 1940–by the same title. The essay uses New York to juxtapose persistent idealism with the awareness of a far more unforgiving reality. However, what’s perhaps more relevant here are not the feelings for the city itself, but the feeling of something lost; the speculation of whether or not it can be recovered even if there’s a certainty that it just won’t be possible. Continue reading “Banana Fish #6: My Lost City”

Banana Fish #5: From Death to Morning

The reference in this week’s episode title is a little tricky. “From Death to Morning” is a collection of short stories by Thomas Wolfe, released in 1935. Many of these stories include war and death. Many also explore loneliness, despair, and other related Very Fun things (at least one of those takes place in New York).

If you’re into 20th century American literature (or if you have been following these write-ups) you might have already noticed that all the stories Banana Fish references have certain things in common (besides being terribly depressing). Continue reading “Banana Fish #5: From Death to Morning”

Banana Fish #4: This Side of Paradise

“This Side of Paradise” is a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald published in 1920. It follows its protagonist from childhood to his early twenties, including his time in college and his life post-World War I. While I can think of a couple of ways this novel might be fitting, the origin of the title itself might be more relevant (or more direct) here.

“This side of paradise” comes from a phrase in “Tiare Tahiti.” It was written by Rupert Brooke, who was famous for his poems about World War I in the early 20th century. The phrase basically says that heaven is awaiting after death, but it’s followed by a line that conveys that times are harsh and there’s little comfort in the idea (“there is little comfort in the wise”). This can easily reference Griffin’s death and the effect it has on Max and Ash. Continue reading “Banana Fish #4: This Side of Paradise”

Banana Fish #3 Across the River and Into the Trees

Last week I said that introduction time was over, and in a way, it was. Banana Fish‘s premiere is a compelling hook that introduces practically all major players (and banana fish) and gives you the first taste of its world. However, I should clarify that we’re still in the introductory phase of the story. Fundamental positions and dynamics are still being established and strengthened on both sides. Continue reading “Banana Fish #3 Across the River and Into the Trees”