Banana Fish – Ep. 16

Oh yeah, I should probably finish Banana Fish

You’ll have to excuse my tardiness. Falling behind on Banana Fish was not my plan but it just sort of happened anyway. Life got a little bit busier and tiring for me and as always, I had to prioritize my attention, time, and energy on newer shows to keep blogging afloat. I was hoping to compensate by cranking out Quickies but the thing is that I still need to find time to watch it and that sadly was trickier than I wanted. Fortunately, I’m now on break for the holidays so I can now give Banana Fish my fullest attention. All I ask of you, the reader, is to bear with me and to please refrain from giving spoilers. I actually have no idea how this anime ends and I’d like to keep it that way.

Anyway, here I am at Episode 16. Ash breaks out of the mental institute and decides to escort Alexis so that he can use him as living proof to the press of Banana Fish’s existence. Max and Ibe infiltrate the building to rescue Ash and the entire hospital staff is on lookout while Golzine sits by and watches, refusing to help them. That all may sound intense but the reality is that this episode may be one of Banana Fish‘s attempts at comedy.

Ash may be making his daring escape but a lot of what happens get pretty absurd. Alexis’s soulless body proves to be a nuisance that Ash has to chuck and carry around (and I do mean, chuck). Golzine idly watches everything as an act of spite towards the people who wanted to remove him from the Banana Fish agenda. He’s essentially trolling is what I’m trying to say. Even though Max and Ibe are here to help, they unintentionally make it harder for Ash to leave the building. At one point, you have Ash and Alexis on the top of an elevator and Max and Ibe accidentally halt the elevator during a fight with a guard, causing the former two to topple and hang onto the edge for dear life. In another, Max chucks an unconscious guard down a garbage chute…which Ash happens to be climbing down from. I think you can take a hint to figure out what happens from there.

None of this is even the oddest scene however. No, no, the peak of wacky hijinks is when Ash, Max, and Ibe stumble upon a security guard and a nurse having sex and Max comes up with the “brilliant” plan of knocking them out and taking their uniforms. And of course, Ash is the one who gets the nurse’s uniform…what on Earth did he use to puff up his chest?…

I’m not sure how I completely feel about all this. I realize that absurdities is par for the course with Banana Fish but this episode leaned so heavily in that direction that it started to feel a bit baffling. Like, is this really part of the same show where Ash was forced to kill one of his best friends and later gunned down everyone in Golzine’s mansion as revenge? Were it not for involving the same characters, I’d think I was watching a very difference show. That said, I did find the events that transpired funny. I particularly laughed a lot over Ash, Max, and Ibe’s inability to find each other for much of the episode. The tone may be strange here but at least this episode got out of me the reaction it was aiming for.

Hopefully, things will take a more serious tone as Ash decides to temporarily part ways with Max and Ibe to look for Eiji. If I recall, Eiji is with Sing so I’m not terribly concerned for the former’s safety. In fact, I’m more worried about Ash as his bond with Eiji continues to be both his biggest strength but also his biggest weakness.

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