Banana Fish

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Abbreviation(s): BN
Creator: Akimi Yoshida
Date(s): 1985 - 1994 (Japanese manga)
1999 - 2007 (English manga)
July - December 2018 (anime)
Medium: Manga, Anime
Country of Origin: Japan
External Links: (English) (Japanese)
at MyAnimeList (manga)
at MyAnimeList (anime)
at Wikipedia (manga/anime)
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Banana Fish[1] (stylized in all caps) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Akimi Yoshida. It was serialized in the monthly manga magazine Bessatsu Shōjo Comic -- also know Betsucomi -- from 1985 to 1994, and collected into nineteen tankōbon[note 1] volumes by Shogakukan.

Following the relationship between Ash Lynx, a teenage gang leader in New York City, and Eiji Okumura, a Japanese photographer's assistant. Though Banana Fish is not a boys' love (BL) series, critics have noted the series' depiction of homosexuality and homoeroticism as having been influenced by (and in turn having influenced) the boys' love genre.[2][note 2] The series is further noted for achieving crossover success between audiences of shōjo manga (girls' manga) and shōnen manga (boys' manga).


An English-language translation of the manga was published in North America by VIZ Media; initially the first seven volumes under the VIZ Graphic Novel imprint (with flipped pages) from January 8, 1999 to November 13, 2002, and later completely under the VIZ Shojo label from March 3, 2004 to April 10, 2007. The series also ran in both of VIZ's now defunct manga magazines, Pulp and Animerica Extra for several years.

The series was adapted into a 24-episode anime television series by MAPPA between July 5, 2018 – December 20, 2018. The anime was announced as part of Akimi Yoshida's 40th anniversary commemoration project in October 2017.



Ash Lynx is a beauty, a genius—and a murderer. Since childhood, he had been in the care of Dino "Papa" Golzine, the mafia boss who turned him into the ruthless killer he is now. At first, Ash was just a pretty face for Golzine’s pleasure, but now estranged from him, a 17-year-old Ash runs his own gang with an iron fist.

Eiji Okumura is a young Japanese photographer. Traveling to New York as an assistant, Eiji is set to work on a report about kids living in the streets. There, he meets teenage gang leader Ash and is mesmerized by the boy—who in turn is curious about Eiji's different lifestyle.

But this is the dark underground of New York, and recently a series of murders has surfaced in the city, connected only by the words "Banana Fish." With personal stakes in this mysterious battle, it is up to Ash, Eiji and their allies to discover what exactly "Banana Fish" is, where it came from and how to get rid of it—before the world as they know it descends into chaos.


Aslan Jade Callenreese, known as Ash Lynx, was a runaway picked off the streets of New York City and raised by the infamous godfather of the mafia, Dino Golzine. Now 17 years old and the boss of his own gang, Ash begins investigating the mysterious "Banana Fish"—the same two words his older brother, Griffin, has muttered since his return from the Iraq War. However, his inquiries are hindered when Dino sends his men after Ash at an underground bar he uses as a hideout.

At the bar, Skip, Ash's friend, introduces him to Shunichi Ibe and his assistant, Eiji Okumura, who are Japanese photographers reporting on American street gangs. However, their conversation is interrupted when Shorter Wong, one of Ash's allies, calls to warn him about Dino. Soon, Dino's men storm the bar, and in the ensuing chaos kidnap Skip and Eiji. Now, Ash must find a way to rescue them and continue his investigation into Banana Fish, but will his history with the mafia prevent him from succeeding?

Main Characters

  • Ash Lynx (アッシュ・リンクス, Asshu Rinksu) the alias of Aslan Jade Callenreese (アスラン・ジェイド・カーレンリース, Asuran Jeido Kārenrīsu), a seventeen-year-old leader of a gang of teenagers in New York City.
  • Eiji Okumura (奥村 英二, Okumura Eiji), a nineteen-year-old Japanese college student and former competitive pole vaulter, Eiji was forced into early retirement due to injury and now works as Ibe's assistant.
  • Max Lobo (マックス・ロボ, Makkusu Robo) the alias of Max Glenreed (マックス・グレンリード, Makkusu Gurenrīdo), a Vietnam War veteran, freelance journalist, and former New York City Police Department officer.
  • Dino Golzine (ディノ・ゴルツィネ, Dino Gorutsine), a kingpin in the Unione Corse who aims to expand his power by selling Banana Fish to the United States government.
  • Shorter Wong (ショーター・ウォン, Shōtā Won), a Chinese American gang leader who controls Chinatown.
  • Griffin Callenreese (グリフィン・カーレンリース, Gurifin Kārenrīsu), Ash's older brother and a veteran of the Vietnam War.


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Notes and References


  1. ^ Tankōbon (単行本, "independent/standalone book") is the Japanese term for a book that is not part of a series or corpus. See more in Wikipedia page.
  2. ^ Though Banana Fish is not a yaoi series (male-male romance), it significantly influenced the genre through its depiction of homosexuality. See more in Depiction of Homosexuality on Banana Fish Wikipedia page.


  1. ^ Derived from the J. D. Salinger short story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish". B., Naja (July 14, 2018). "Manga Review: Banana Fish". Manga Tokyo. Archived from the original on January 3, 2020. Retrieved August 22, 2018. 
  2. ^ Bridges, Rose (July 29, 2018). "Review: Banana Fish Episode 4". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 15, 2021.