Stone cold gang leader or troubled teen with a kind heart?
- Episodes: 24
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Shoujo
- Airing Date: July 2018 – currently airing
- Studio: MAPPA
Banana Fish Preview (No Spoilers)
Aslan Jade Callenreese, better known by his alias Ash Lynx, is a former mafia sex slave turned street gang leader in New York City. He’s on a mission to get his revenge on mob boss Golzine, who forced him into this life in the first place and destroyed his brother’s sanity with a mysterious someone or something known only as Banana Fish.
Along the way, he meets Eiji Okumura, a Japanese rookie journalist who falls into his life and provides a warm kindness that Ash isn’t used to. Ash tries to protect his newfound friend while getting his hands dirty fighting Golzine and other threats. It’s a tragic and violent story, but one with a lot of heart—just like the main character himself.
Ash Lynx Highlights (Spoilers Beyond This Point)
1. A Charismatic, Unflappable Leader
Despite being an 18-year-old skinny pretty boy, Ash commands respect and fear from everyone in New York’s underground. He’s affable on the surface, but just underneath hides a stone cold determination that gives him the focus he needs to take out anyone who dares cross him.
Even the leaders of the black and Chinese gangs listen to him, knowing that he’ll stay off their turf and lend them a hand if they do the same. He has an army of fiercely loyal subordinates who he treats like family, just as long as they don’t betray him. In other words, he’s not to be underestimated.
2. The Fastest Gunslinger on the East Coast
Ash is mainly seen wielding a Smith & Wesson Model 27 revolver, which he gets plenty of opportunities to use in the series. He learned how to shoot when he was young as a means of self-defense against rapists and, by now, he’s such an expert that he can survive an ambush on a crowded train by strategically gunning down each assailant one precise headshot at a time.
3. Crafty and Intelligent
No matter what it is, if there’s anything he can do to give himself a leg up on his enemies, Ash will do it. He’s made connections all over the gang world, used his sex appeal to gain trust and get information, and even prepared a hacking program to get into a computer that contained secrets on Banana Fish. He may not have much of a higher education, but his street smarts and willingness to throw away his pride for any kind of an advantage make him a slippery opponent.
4. Kindhearted on the Inside
All of Ash’s gang members follow him not just because of his powerful aura, but because he genuinely cares about each and every one of them. And when Eiji arranges a Halloween party to prank him (due to Ash’s childhood fear of pumpkins), the group spends a fun evening acting like normal teenagers for once.
He also loves his estranged father, even though he’s too stubborn to say it outright. To keep up appearances and hide his loved ones from danger, Ash pushes his feelings down deep and faces his opponents alone if he can possibly help it.
5. A Troubled Soul Who Never Gives Up
Ash sees himself as an irredeemable murderer who coasts by on a façade of cool-headed seriousness. He can’t show his true weakness to anyone else for fear of them taking advantage of it but Eiji breaks down his barriers enough to see some of it trickling through in quiet moments.
Eiji notices that Ash cries in his sleep for his mother, envies Eiji for not needing a gun in his life, and loses a bit of his soul every time he pulls the trigger. Eiji supports him through all of it and gives his friend the strength to continue walking his bloody path until he can finally be free.
Ash Lynx is a very complex character from a complex show. He’s not a stereotype of any kind: American, gay, gang member, or otherwise. He’s just a realistic teen whose life has taken him on a difficult path.
What do you think about Ash? How does he compare to a more traditional boys love protagonist? Let us know in the comments, and thanks so much for reading!