Banana Fish 15

May 18, 2009

Wow.  Again, I thought it couldn’t get any better than the chase through the sewers in the second half of last volume.  I was totally wrong, and this series once again surpasses my highest expectations.

To give you an idea, the chase through the sewer is still going on, but that was actually the most boring part of this book.  I have no idea how that works, but there you go.

So Ash is causing a diversion on the streets in order to draw attention away from everyone still caught in the sewer.  I was pretty confident this would just get him busted by Yut-Lung really fast, but then he ran into the Museum of Natural History.  And stayed in there.  The totally creepy atmosphere as person after person got sent in and just mercilessly and silently slain by Ash in the dark was just… it was beyond words.  Ash also had another plan going, which resulted in a hostage situation.  An AMAZING hostage situation.  I did not see that coming at all, and it’s unfortunate that it didn’t work more to his advantage.  Of course, maybe it did.  Maybe he planned that all along thinking that the guys in the sewer would get caught.

Literally, this series just gets more and more tense and action-packed in every volume.  This description is somewhat weak and inadequate compared to what was going on in this book.  I don’t know how to properly tell you how good it is.  Just believe me.  Most seinen action series can’t pull off these levels of unbelievable tension.

The end of the book was less interesting, though.  A new character was introduced that appears to be a slightly more evil version of Blanca, but he seems slightly unnecessary since Blanca hasn’t really been around long and still hasn’t shown his true colors yet.  But we’ll see what happens with him.

Also, it was totally bogus the way Yut-Lung bosses Blanca around and blamed him for almost failing his contract.  Yut-Lung repeatedly went against Blanca’s advice both in the last volume and in this one.  How can he then blame Blanca for what happened?  Bah.

There are a couple scenes at the very end with Max and Ash.  These two always manage to be hilarious as well as touching when they appear together, and this was no exception.  I love the really strange father/son relationship the two seem to have worked out.

The cover of this book relates to the Museum of Natural History part, but it’s intrigued me ever since I first saw it a few years ago.  I mean, what’s a dinosaur skeleton doing on the cover of a shoujo manga?  I guess I missed the subtle clue that let me know just how awesome this volume really is.

6 Responses to “Banana Fish 15”


  1. I know I keep saying this but I love this series so much, it is such a pleasure reading your reviews of these volumes! I’m so pleased you’re still liking this series! I feel like I keep trying to tell people how good it is, and there’s just no way to get that across. You’re doing a better job than I did.


  2. […] Reid on vol. 4 of Alice on Deadlines (Kuriousity) Connie on vols. 14 and 15 of Banana Fish (Slightly Biased Manga) Michelle Smith on vols. 9 and 10 of Beauty Pop (Soliloquy in […]

  3. Sara K. Says:

    Yet Volume 14 is around where this started going downhill for me.

    Maybe it’s because of the hiatus. There was a big break between when I finished Volume 13 and started Volume 14. When I cracked into Volume 14, I came with high expectations … and they just weren’t met. What had stayed with me the most during my hiatus was the fate of Shorter, as well as the ensemble (Max, Ibe, etc), and THE HORRIBLENESS OF BANANA FISH. So when these things weren’t present very much in Volumes 14-17…

    Notice that Ash himself was not on the short list of things which stayed with me most. Maybe that was the problem. Ash alone doesn’t carry the story for me. I have to know what is going on with the *Banana Fish*, which is the title of the story, thank you very much.

    On a different note, the very first scene in the first volume of Please Save My Earth also has dinosaurs. Weeping dinosaurs.

  4. Connie Says:

    Thanks! It really is hard to say why this series is so good. I’m not even quite sure why I decided to pick it up, because I was quite turned off the first time I saw it, plus all the good points I’m listing out would never in a million years make me pick up a shoujo series. It seems like more a matter of raving hard enough to see if someone will take a leap of faith. It really does pay off, though.

  5. Connie Says:

    I still have to read all the volumes of Red River I have before I let myself pick up Please Save My Earth, but it’s a hard impulse to crush when I know that dinosaurs cry in it.

    I don’t mind Banana Fish acting as the catalyst for the story parts in these volumes, but I do agree that it probably lost some of its original focus (some or all, I think no progress has actually been made since Ash took all that stuff from Max a few volumes ago). It seems like it has moved from Ash & Co trying to stop people from being subjected to Banana Fish to personal vendettas. I do like these back-and-forth action scenes better than the earlier ones, even if the scale has shrunk from Global threat to personal. Nothing has passed those scenes with Shorter, but I actually thought that the stuff in the sewers and the Museum of Natural History came pretty close with everything except actually killing a main character that you never thought would die.

    Ash alone doesn’t carry the story for me, but a big part of why I like it is because of how the other characters interact with him. It’s hard for me to love him unconditionally, and by himself he’s not all that cool, but I like watching Ash and Max, and I like seeing Ash and Eiji, and I like watching the mind games that Dino Golzine et al seem to wage with Ash.

  6. Sara K. Says:

    I also liked the natural museum sequence, but downgrading from global threat to personal vendettas doesn’t work for me. With a few exceptions, in order for me to love a story, there needs to be something epic going on with society at large as well as the main characters. For example, I enjoy Eroica as much for the irreverent depiction of the Cold War as the relationship between Eroica and Klaus.

    And in Boku-Tama, the weeping dinosaurs are just a brief bit, and part of the bizarre humor of the early volumes. I’m not sure that the dinosaurs were supposed to be funny – though they make me giggle.


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