Banana Fish – Ep. 20

2019 has begun and I’m still trying to catch up on 2018 anime, Banana Fish included…fantastic.

Obviously, that’s on me. I wanted to finish this show by New Years but go figure, I was doing some stuff for the holidays and finishing all the single-cour anime from Fall took priority. I know I don’t actually need to apologize but gah, I do feel bad that my tardiness remains an issue for the blog. The one bright takeaway I have is that it could admittedly be worse. At least I came back to this show unlike others I’ve blogged before…

Anyway, this sure was an eventful episode. A rescue mission, a chase scene, and a hostage situation all rolled up in one. Frankly, I’m most surprised the first event went so swimmingly. I mean, look at everyone’s disguises. You can’t seriously tell me no one recognized Eiji until he spoke out loud. The dude just slicked his hair back and worse glasses. Does everyone have Clark Kent powers or something? Also, as ballsy as it was for Eiji to be the one to confront Golzine, it probably would’ve better to hand that job to someone who can actually fire a gun. Again, I can’t believe this worked. Then again, I’d take any excuse to see Ash and Eiji together for a little bit longer.

In between the rescue mission and the chase in the tunnels, one bit that stood out to me was the introduction of Lao, one of Sing’s men. Surely, this guy has a bigger role, right? I mean, why introduce a new character twenty episodes in? Maybe Ash wanting to keep his reason for killing Shorter a secret will be his undoing? The only consequences he’s dealt with so far is some hostility from Sing and his personal morale reaching an all-time low for a bit. I want to be skeptical though because darn it, how many twists and turns is Ash going to have to suffer through until this story is over?

For now, Ash has enough to worry about with who is currently trying to kill him.

Considering how cunning Yut-Lung has been before, I find it rather alarming how cocky he was getting this episode. To start off, this episode has him decide to catch Ash all by himself, just to get a leg up from Golzine. That’s admittedly to be expected. There was no way the alliance between these two mafia leaders could last forever. Even so, this severely limits Yut-Lung’s resources and it only makes Ash’s counteroffensive run more smoothly. You’d think Blanca might balance the power play out but Yut-Lung ends up making a huge mistake by ignoring some of his suggestions. Ash makes his stand at the American Museum of National History, Blanca anticipates it’s to buy his allies and deploy fear tactics against intruders, and Yut-Lung ignores that warning and sends his men in anyway. Big surprise, it doesn’t go in Yut-Lung’s favor. And after that, he gets captured by Ash so that the latter can negotiate with Blanca to release his friends Yut-Lung managed to capture. Great job, Yut-Lung!

As for Blanca, this man continues to be a wild card. It does seem like the man is completely unwilling to kill Eiji. The first time was probably just a job to him but now, he might be really curious why the boy means so much to Ash. Whatever the case may be, it was incredibly amusing watching him restrain Yut-Lung from attacking Eiji during Golzine’s party, all under the guise of him obeying the rules of his contract. Also peculiar is when Blanca apologizes to Eiji for shooting him a few episodes back. Admittedly, he seems like a very courteous person in general (as courteous as assassins can be) but that does support the idea that he really views Eiji as more of a curiosity than a threat.

I’m curious which villain will backstab the other first. Golzine does have a lot more firepower but it wouldn’t surprise me if Yut-Lung finds some way to kill him instead. Or maybe Ash will take one of them first. Either villain could serve as Banana Fish‘s “final boss”. One thing is for certain: things are clearly starting to feel crowded. Someone has to go.

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