Finding the rainbow–or every Ash & Eiji scene with gay ass lighting

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”

Banana Fish: the negotiations of a show, a love story & things that hurt

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”

Art style & fashion in shojo manga: a brief look

My interest in things like beauty and fashion trends and shojo manga have overlapped multiple times. This has made me notice certain things, but before starting, I want to make some clarifications.

First of all, I’m not by any means an expert. Not everything I’ll cover is exclusive to shojo and its influencers either. I simply want to focus on a couple of particular works and artists that happened to be featured in shojo magazines because, well… That’s what interests me! Consider this as a kind of laid back post by a fan. 

Continue reading “Art style & fashion in shojo manga: a brief look”

Identity & self-worth in Hanshin & Iguana Girl

Whenever I see the name Moto Hagio, “paranormal and scifi” and “complicated family relationships” instantly come to mind (and of course, “The Heart of Thomas”). The shorts “Iguana Girl” and “Hanshin: Half-God” certainly fit there, but I wasn’t expecting them to feel so personal

Both stories play with altered realities and the perception of oneself, to the point you’ll sometimes have a hard time discerning what’s actually real. Spoilers ahead!  Continue reading “Identity & self-worth in Hanshin & Iguana Girl”

Eiji’s the sun: staying by his side

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”

On Your Side: Support networks in March comes in like a lion [Anifem]

March comes in like a lion is not always an easy show to watch. I’ve lost count of all the times it’s brought me to tears. The protagonist, Rei Kiriyama, is probably the most relatable and moving representation of anxiety and depression I’ve ever seen. He’s the one thing that brought me to this show, but he’s not the only reason I stayed.

While it might seem like March centers on shogi, the game itself isn’t quite as a relevant as what it means to the players. Shogi works as a centerpiece that brings all these people—with their different life experiences—together, but what really sticks out is what the game does to its players. Continue reading “On Your Side: Support networks in March comes in like a lion [Anifem]”

An Unforgettable Holiday: A look at Japan’s love for Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is mostly remembered as a Golden Era Hollywood legend and a fashion icon. Her star image embodies enduring beauty, grace, and kindness–both on and off the screen. She survived World War II, which later influenced her to become a humanitarian. As a pre-teen ballerina, she helped the resistance in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, and her harsh childhood motivated her to dedicate her later years to children as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. (Fun fact: Hepburn is an EGOT, and her Grammy was for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.) Continue reading “An Unforgettable Holiday: A look at Japan’s love for Audrey Hepburn”

The Moon & The Lynx: playing with gendered character archetypes

One of the most interesting things in Banana Fish to me is how it plays with “traditional gender roles” in fiction. I’ve talked about some of the ways this is done with Eiji before, like how he’s equated to a past female love interest in a situation where Eiji’s role would usually go to a girl. In recent episodes, we also see him in “damsel in distress” situations, like when Ash’s rescues him while escaping Dino’s mansion, or when Yut-lung captures him because of his connection to Ash. However, Eiji’s not the only boy who gets roles that usually goes to women. Continue reading “The Moon & The Lynx: playing with gendered character archetypes”