Banana Fish – Ep. 22

You know, there was one upside to falling behind on Banana Fish: temporarily sparing myself the cruelty this show was about to dish out.

Evidently, both Max and Jessica are safe for now. Max does get captured by Foxx but since he’s Golzine’s one lead to the photos, he is kept alive. A bit surprising since I thought for sure, Max was going to die with how everything was playing out lately. And sure, maybe him dying is still a possibility but given what the show opted to do instead in this episode, killing him off sounds rather excessive now.

I got it to hand it to Yut-Lung; it is really smart of him to coerce some of Sing’s men into killing Eiji. No doubt, they’d be willing to do so since they haven’t forgiven Ash for killing Shorter and Ash continues to make the mistake of making his reasons behind the act a secret. To my surprise, Lao actually backs out as he thinks Eiji is innocent in all this. A bit noble of him to do though the fact that he neglects to tell Sing about this has me thinking that he was hoping Ash would still get punished in some way. Blanca also makes an interesting move here as he decides he truly can’t make Yut-Lung see reason and leaves to find Eiji and Ash. It’s the most natural conclusion with this dynamic though I’ll admit that I’m a bit bummed to see it so short-lived. Blanca and Yut-Lung’s disagreement about Eiji was a great way for Banana Fish to naturally converse on whether Eiji is Ash’s greatest strength of his greatest weakness. 

So about the ending itself. This far into the show, there’s been a lot of close calls for Eiji. Hell, this isn’t even the first time Eiji has been shot by someone. And yet, this scene still manages to punch me right in the gut. The build-up is terrific as we cut from Sing’s men loading their guns to Eiji and Ash having another talk about possibly going to Japan together. Most cruel is that Eiji proceeds to teach Japanese to Ash, the very last word used in the lesson being “Sayonara”. It might be a bit on the nose but it’s still an effectively cold move to pull on the viewer.

Goodness, watching Ash repeatedly shoot the attackers longer after they die is just as chilling. I haven’t seen him this merciless since emptying an assault rifle on Abraham.

Is this really the end for Eiji though? I’m inclined to believe he dies here but since the ending is a cliffhanger, I am still clinging onto the hope that he’ll make it. It wouldn’t surprise me if Banana Fish ends with Ash dead and Eiji alive instead. I’d say I’d like them both alive but let’s face it, that’s probably not going to happen. See, that would make the ending too happy

Other Thoughts:

  • Some interesting character development with Sing as he begins to second guess his abilities as a gang leader. He is sort of like a cross between Ash and Eiji; he’s a capable enough of a criminal but perhaps, he’s better off on a different path.
  • Foxx offering Ash to help defeat Golzine and throwing snide comments at the latter is kind of interesting though if anyone would backstab Golzine, I’d prefer it to be Yut-Lung. Again, I don’t get the need for this character.
  • Of course, Foxx rapes Ash. Enough with that, Banana Fish. On the bright side, Eiji comforting Ash with no words and just a hug was perfect.
  • Oh good, Robert survives. Pff, why did Foxx’s men stop pursuing him?
  • No, no, no. Don’t just casually mention Jessica’s rape trauma in a single line of dialogue. Care to elaborate on that?

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