Nature made Ash Lynx beautiful; nurture made him a cold ruthless killer. A runaway brought up as the adopted heir and sex toy of "Papa" Dino Golzine, Ash, now at the rebellious age of seventeen, forsakes the kingdom held out by the devil who raised him. But the hideous secret that drove Ash's older brother mad in Vietnam has suddenly fallen into Papa's insatiably ambitious hands—and it's exactly the wrong time for Eiji Okamura, a pure-hearted young photographer from Japan, to make Ash Lynx's acquaintance...
Banana Fish is an American gangster/mafia story written from a Japanese perspective, and man is it good! The original manga is written by Yoshida, Akimi and is hailed as a classic for many who've read it, but does this adaption serve the original justice? Well, here's my take on it.
Now before I start I want to clarify; THIS IS NOT A YAOI ANIME, YES THERES YAOI UNDERTONES BUT NOT ACTUAL YAOI (The undertones are pedophilia and are shown as such). This is more of a shounen-ai, but to a lesser extent to Hitorijime my Hero and such.
The story is simple; Our protag just wants
to find out what happened to his bro and at the same time escape the mafia. It has a good hook, and it's quite different than other anime airing this season making it a bit unique.
The original BF was written in the mid 80's and ending in the mid 90's, so the original took place in that time frame, but Studio Mappa decided to update the story to take place in the modern era... Which was both a bad idea and a good idea? A few plot points wouldn't work in the modern era, and I would much prefer this taking place in the 80's, but a modern audience wouldn't know much about 80's culture so it makes sense why they changed it.
Because the story is written from a JP perspective, some things are bound to be over-exaggerated and more so with the 80's and 2010's era clashing. The story doesn't feel like it takes place currently, but it also doesn't fit in the 80's so I like to believe it's world with both time periods fused with each other sorta like FMA:B.
The pacing is what sorta ruins a bit of the show for me, like its incredibly fast! Like woah that guy just died! Oh, wait another guy just died! What he's already in jail! Like slow down bro, I need time to process like just gimmie 5 seconds man. This is coming from someone who loves fast-paced things, but I feel like BF should slow down just a little, not too much but a tiny amount. Then again 110 chapters in 20 episodes is gonna be hard, to compare BNHA took 51 episodes to just reach chapter 98.
Possibly the best part of the series is our protagonist, Ash Ketchum from Pallet Town.
Bad jokes aside, Ash is a capable protagonist and always has been, he doesn't really fit into character tropes, which I love! He's a complex character done right, with him having the perfect balance of serious and kind moments.
Eiji, on the other hand, is also great! Not as interesting as Ash, but far from a character trope. He's a great foil to Ash, with him being the kind Japanese boy, but he's still more than that! He has actual skills and actually tries to get shit done with varying results.
Dinoe is a character that you will grow to hate, along with his crew. Don't wanna spoil too much but he is quite a different breed of bad...
An upgrade from the original, but still retaining key character traits in the designs makes me have a newfound respect for Studio Mappa.
The art is pleasing to the eyes, and the animation was solid. Although the art style isn't anything unique since YOI looks quite similar(same studio after all) the animation was much better. Nothing else to say really.
Music was great since it fit the mood and never broke immersion. Just listen to it right now, like DO IT!
Maybe I'm just nostalgic to BF but oh my lord has this adaption made me super happy! I'm always hyped to see what happen next with those cliffhanger endings, even after reading the manga! If this show keeps what it's doing now I can see my score changing to a 9.
Although there are only 3 episodes right now, the tone of the series has been set and I have a feeling my score is gonna still be similar.
tl;dr: Pedo gangsters are gonna get fucked over and there is also drugs and very good character development please watch it I beg of you.