Banana Fish by Akimi Yoshida follows the story of Ash Lynx - a child prostitute turned teen gangster, and his personal war with the demons who created him. You follow Ash and his dear friend, journalistic photographer Eiji Okumura as they stalk the dangerous streets of 1980s NYC in search of revenge, justice and a chance to finally rest.
Banana Fish is my personal all time favourite manga. While it isn't perfect, it's something that came into my life exactly when I needed it. And it's never really left me. I don't think that story ever leaves anyone, honestly. I discovered the series when the anime began airing in mid 2018. I devoured the manga in a single weekend, I couldn't do anything but keep reading it. It's an action packed 80s blockbuster. Full of thrills and chills and some of the worst agony you could possibly put a character through, a genuine tragedy. But it's also a story of hope and love. Hope for a better future, despite your past. I'm a sucker for stories with a theme of hope.
If you haven't read it yet, and you're ok with the many content warnings, then I think you should. There's also the 2018 anime adaptation of the same name, which takes place in the modern day. While it is a total treat for existing fans of the series (and MAPPA did a delicious job of animating the project, depicting the many people of colour and elevating the queer themes), I do think the politics are handled better in the original. Please thoroghly research the content warnings for this series before jumping into it though. Here is a short trigger warning list but honestly if you are triggered by literally anything you should not read this manga haha.Artwork collection
Here are two of my most favorite Banana Fish official arts. To respect Akimi Yoshida I'm not going to fill this page with every official artwork scan I have saved, just a few expectional and rare ones. The first because I really love it and the second because it's such a great artwork but it's SO RARE especially in colour. I'm quite sure this was from a phone card? The phone card artworks were very... interesting. I sure do wish I could get my grubby paws on some of them. or the baby Ash plush bc that thing is cursed and I love it.
Here is my original Banana Fish shrine circa 2018! It's crusty and awful but I can't bring myself to get rid of it haha.