Banana Fish – Episode 11
Banana Fish takes a break from it’s heavy plot this week in favor of reminding us that it was originally published in a shoujo magazine as a boys love comic.
Which is something it needed, time to slow down and remind us that Ash is only human and to take time, explore and develop the relationship between Ash and Eiji. In which they have a ton of absolutely adorable moments, I am more than a little hard pressed to pick my favorite part of this episode.
The opening segment in which Ash returns to his headquarters and passes out asleep, sits up and says to wake him up in two hours and while all of his underlings are terrified of waking him up because he’s ‘scarier than a lion’ when woke up and Eiji just with zero fear walks over to this guy he has seen kill people and basically go “Hey you lazy bum. You said wake you up in two hours, now get up.” while this hardcore New York Gangsters cower in the background is a gorgeous sight.
The part of the episode where Ash talks about his Halloween experience as a child, running into the woods to spook his older brother and then seeing his own reflection as the phantom of a giant pumpkin head. How he’s been afraid of pumpkins ever since. Eiji’s reaction to break down laughing and say that Golzine should just fire all of his bodyguards and plant a pumpkin patch if he wanted to really scare Ash was wonderful.
Though perhaps the most emotional part of the episode. When Ash wakes up crying from the pain of having to shoot his best friend, he full on sobs like a baby against Eiji. Saying that he is scared of himself, because he claims that when he shot his rapist at the age of eight that he felt nothing. Despite the fact in that same sentence, he admits to crying when he had done it. It’s interesting, how he says to himself that he feels nothing for those that he’s killed and yet he sobs like this. I think the truth is that he doesn’t want to feel, but he does, it causes him pain.
Eiji questions in the episode the ‘real’ Ash, the Ash that lives in this world of gun fights and bloodshed or the Ash who pouted over being teased for being afraid of pumpkins. Is one of them real and one of them fake or are both of them real and co-existing inside the same boy. I feel like it’s the last part of that, the real Ash is a mixture of all of those kinds. Ibe reflects about when Ash was teaching Eiji to shoot, how minus the gun they just looked like two young boys playing. How around Eiji, Ash can be happy and have that small spark of childhood left in his eyes. A 17 year old boy that the world had brought down over and over again, can find some happiness in this Japanese boy and the relationship they have.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a episode of Banana Fish if there wasn’t also some kind of plot going on in the background of all the cute domestic highjinks. Ash hacks into Golzines computer, using his own personal password and screws with the dirty money being passed through many of Golzine’s businesses. Which, messes a lot with Golzine’s money flow and screws with his credibility with the other mafia dons.
I’m more then a little scared of what the episode was implying with it’s ending scenes. First off, leaving Arthur in charge of the mafia seems like a bad move on Golzine’s part. Still, he can be trusted to track down Ash relentlessly. Also, in saying that Eiji is Ash’s achilles heel implies that this show is not done torturing the poor Asian boy. Probably obvious considering we still have another half of the show to go. Next week we should start the new opening, not gonna lie, gonna miss this first one. I’m really fond of the song, hopefully the next one will be just as good.