Banana Fish is at its best when I hate it the most. It’s mean, it’s hard to watch, and it’s so cruelly poignant that it transcends its own brutality into art. Even when the plot is at its most far-fetched, the raw emotion is authentic and meaningful.
Episode 6: Up Close and Personal! 24 Hours with the Lisvalletta Police!
After the mad plot juncture of last episode, we are setting Esperanza aside for a brief recess, but it’s not quite filler, either. Double Decker delivers its staple amenities: narrative subversion, Doug’s raging coolness, and Kirill getting figuratively slapped around just slightly more than he deserves.
Episode 4: The Distance Between Fondness and Kisses / Not One of the Characters | 好きとキス距離／役者じゃない
Bloom Into You is nothing if not a slow burn, but even “burn” has been an exaggeration when protagonist Yuu hasn’t had even a modestly lukewarm shade of attraction toward Touko. But are we slowly starting to see the beginnings of what could potentially become the suggestion of maybe perhaps an almost flickering of a cheap votive candle’s worth of flame, if the lights are out and we squint really hard?
After four episodes of Seven-Oh world-building, cheeky detective trope subversion, and establishing character dynamics (suppositioned with the narrator practically admitting that certain characters are trolls), we are finally ready to break out The Actual Plot. Double Decker! is going in for the kill with explosions, confetti, gruesome murder and a narrator who doesn’t believe in Kirill even half as much as I do.
After a brief foray into science fiction, Banana Fish is back to what it’s best at: setting Ash loose in dungeons so he can kick ass, smash the patriarchy, and make everyone else look utterly incompetent in the process.
Nio Nakatani’s popular yuri manga-turned-anime has already drawn attention just three episodes into its 13-episode run. At face value, it’s hardly groundbreaking: a high school GL romance featuring a popular and intelligent student council president ‘seme’ with long silky black hair, and a younger light-haired ‘uke’ who stumbles around awkwardly and isn’t notably capable at doing anything except capturing the previous girl’s heart. But to hammer this show down to cliches would be to pulverize the delicate details that make Bloom Into You so worthwhile.