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”

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”

Banana Fish #13: The Snows of Kilimanjaro

I usually start these posts mentioning the novel the episode’s title reference with the possible connection it could have with the episode in question. However, Ash already explained that better than I ever could. In fact, most of the episode is very straightforward with a special focus on action–showing two gangs briefly side with Ash for the first time and culminating in the death of one of the main antagonists–so this post will be shorter than usual.

Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” (1936) is one of the most prominent literary references in the original material. I’ve been including the publishing dates of all the novels the show has referenced thus far because I suspect the staff might have picked them with this (among other things) in mind. After all, most episodes reference either Hemingway or Fitzgerald. As contemporaries, both have quite a history of friendship and rivalry, but I digress.  Continue reading “Banana Fish #13: The Snows of Kilimanjaro”

Banana Fish #12: To Have and Have Not

There have been so many Fitzgerald references lately that for a moment I thought this was yet another one, but after double checking, I realized that it’s actually referencing our other Very Happy friend, Ernest Hemingway!

In short, “To Have and Have Not” is a 1937 novel that tells the tale of a good man who’s forced into questionable activities by circumstances beyond his control. Continue reading “Banana Fish #12: To Have and Have Not”

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 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 #8: Banal Story

We’re back to Ernest Hemingway references. “Banal Story” is a short story published in 1926, which basically presents a struggle between “romance” and “realism.” It would make sense to associate this with the revelation of banana fish’s origins, its effects and its creators, which is one of the main focuses of this episode.

The struggle could come with the “romance” in a scientist who couldn’t bring himself to destroy a new creation. The “reality” would be in the catastrophic consequences that could come with allowing this drug to exists–without mentioning the damage it already caused.  Continue reading “Banana Fish #8: Banal Story”