If you’re catching onto the bumpy Banana Fish narrative formula of bloody carnage/brief respite/bloody carnage, then you should know after last week’s bloodbath it’s time for a break. But “breaks” in the jam-packed Banana Fish are really a matter of perspective. We wouldn’t want you thinking for even a second that Ash Lynx is going to catch a break.
After waiting an extra week for the next episode, we are officially rolling into the second half of the series. It’s Halloween night, and Ash is going trick-or-treating. Well, it’s like trick-or-treating, but instead of going around getting candy from strangers, he’s single-handedly massacring an entire mafia faction. His costume is that he’s a badass and he’s armed. Ooh, spooky.
Ash and Eiji knock a few off Dino Golzine’s chess board. It’s a study on fears and monsters. A tale of blood, of murder, of the fleeting moral condition of humanity, and of natto and other scary things.
Episode 10: The Beautiful and the Damned | 美しく呪われし者
“Beautiful” and “damned” don’t even begin to describe Ash “Fucking Up Your Shit” Lynx. If last episode was Rambo explosions and machine guns, Ash has gone full Light Yagami now, and you’d better believe he’s fully armed with military-grade cleverness, and baby, he’s gonna make it hurt.
“A wounded tiger is the most dangerous beast of all,” remarks Yut-Lung. Presumably that’s proverb for “Man, those dudes are fucked.” Ash Lynx has got bullets to pop and bodies to drop, and boy ain’t taking prisoners.
Well, goddamn. The cards are in Dino Golzine’s hands now, and his favorite card game is torture-dungeon-murder. (Guess how you play.) This episode was so brutal, it transcends snarky commentary. Luckily, two can play at the game of being an asshole, so I’ll try my best.
I love the sassy title of this episode, but don’t believe it for a second. Sure, things don’t exactly go as planned for some, and for others, things go as planned but still suck. But the game is on, and the players have upped the ante. We aren’t quite finished with our Banana Fish sleuthing this episode, but we’re also rolling in a range of baddies who, for the record, are probably all out to kill one another in addition to our team of heroes, so no one’s safe and things are getting charmingly nasty.
Welcome to California! Not only has the game board expanded, so have the number of players. The most important introduction is the titular “Rich Boy”, but a few more side characters popping in to say hello make this a relatively chill episode. The cogs are definitely moving in the background, but first thing’s first: detective work and gay jokes.
Pack up, boys and girls, we’re road tripping! Banana Fish pretends to chill out for a filler episode, kicking the audience out of the vehicle in the middle of fucking nowhere (officially known as Cape Cod) for some backstory and character development. Ensue the usual hilarity of unleashing city folk into the boonies – murder, knife fights, horrifying recollections of child abuse. Weirdly, the guns don’t seem out of place, though. This is America.
Banana Fish continues to brutally launch itself through a hefty plot, no mercy and no prisoners. It’s clear we have a lot of plot to cruise through, and the ride is going be bumpy with minimal breaks for downtime. It’s a two-way pull: Ash and Eiji are simultaneously being pursued, and doing the pursuing. There’s a lot going on, but so far, the direction is smooth enough to not reduce viewers to motion sickness. For a gang drama with a growing cast, that’s no easy feat, but the main driver is Ash – though Eiji is ready to ball up and take the wheel.