Morimoto, a young professional woman in Japan, is tired of fending off her parents’ questions about her being single. They want her to marry a man and settle down, and they’ll insist on nitpicking her choice of groom to death. In an unexpected move, another woman in the office—who has a crush on her—offers to be her wife in a sham marriage, which might make her parents back off. But this “fake” marriage could unearth something very real!
The first thing we see in given is a dark room, with barely a little ray of light entering through an unseen window. A quiet, somber boy picks up a guitar, pats his dog–whose happiness and enthusiasm contrasts both his mood and the atmosphere–and leaves his apartment, keeping his sad gaze down. Continue reading “given: A heart can be a beautiful retro Gibson guitar”
Here it is, a post no one asked for but I wrote anyway because it was quick, easy, and this is how I have fun! (I already had this documented!)
Banana Fish does interesting things with lighting–like providing Ash shadows to hide when he wants to, framing Eiji as the light in Ash’s life or some Cain Blood’s scenes with lighting (and tones) that pays attention to black skin. Continue reading “Finding the rainbow–or every Ash & Eiji scene with gay ass lighting”
Few series have made me feel as much and as strongly as Banana Fish–a work that’s full of things I love dearly, just as it has things that I either dislike or downright hate. It can be described as an action thriller, a crime drama, a story of cultural connections, abandoned children and new-found families, and many things more. At its heart, there’s a love story. Continue reading “Banana Fish: the negotiations of a show, a love story & things that hurt”
Not talking about the direction Banana Fish‘s going right now is honestly just self-care. Ash and Eiji never fail to bring me joy though, so!… Let’s talk about love instead.
Whenever Eiji tells Ash that he wants to be with him, there’s a constant: Ash’s shock. It’s there as a close-up when Eiji tells Ash he’ll “stay by his side” (if he doesn’t mind) or that he’ll “go crazy if he loses him too” (after what happened with Shorter). It’s also there in Ash’s shielded eyes and the way he pauses when Eiji asks him to come back safely, and that “he’ll wait forever” for him. Continue reading “Eiji’s the sun: staying by his side”
Nakamura has fallen in love-at-first-sight with one of his classmates, Hirose — but there’s a problem: they haven’t actually met yet…and Nakamura is a total klutz who might bungle things before they even begin!
In many ways, Go for it, Nakamura! is what I’ve always wanted. The story introduces Nakamura as a gay, introverted, octopus-loving boy with complete naturality. Those are just established facts, and when the story wants conflict, it chooses to explore the octopus-loving angle. Continue reading “Review: Go for it, Nakamura!”
The classic LGBT+ story by the creative master of Rose of Versailles!
Born as “Claudine” in a female-assigned body that doesn’t reflect the man inside, this heart-wrenching story follows Claudine through life, pain, and the love of several women. Master shoujo mangaka Riyoko Ikeda explores gender and sexuality in early twentieth century France in this powerful tale about identity, culture, and self-acceptance.
Lately, Seven Seas has been licensing a bunch of either classics or LGBT+ manga; Claudine happens to be both. Originally published in Margaret in 1978, this is is one of the works of the legendary mangaka Riyoko Ikeda–most well known for her shojo masterpieces The Rose Of Versailles and Dear Brother. Continue reading “Review: Claudine”
(Note: if you’re coming from the anime, you can find more words on its portrayal of their relationship in this tag)
When I have to describe the nature of Ash and Eiji’s relationship in just a couple of words, what usually comes to mind is “platonic romance.” It might sound like a silly contradiction, but stay with me.
In some ways, Ash and Eiji are unlike anything I’ve seen. In others, they remind of romantic tropes I’ve seen in my years watching and reading (hetero) romances.
Banana Fish is a notable queer shojo classic, however, in some ways–not unlike other queer works–its male leads can be both be a product and fall victims of the time in which they were conceived. For this reason, things like the main character’s sexualities can be a delicate and complicated discussion. Still, Ash and Eiji’s relationship remains remarkably touching… and notably romantic. Continue reading “More than Friends, More than Lovers: Exploring Ash and Eiji’s Love”