I’ll die before I let them lay a finger on Eiji.
- Episodes: 24
- Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Shoujo
- Airing Date: July 2018 – December 2018
- Studio: MAPPA
Banana Fish Preview (No Spoilers)
Living on the streets isn’t easy. Aslan Jade Callenreese, known to everyone Ash Lynx, knows this first hand, as he ran away from his home, ended up as the personal toy of mob boss Dino Golzine, and the leader of his own gang at the young age of 17. Besides the pressure within his own gang—where some members want Ash to work for the Golzine family again—, the fights with other gangs who want the territory Ash controls, and the need to evade the corrupt cops of New York City, Ash also has to care for his older brother Griffin, who returned from the Iraq war a vegetable who can only mutter the words: Banana Fish. But he is not completely alone. His best friend is Shorter Wong, the leader of a rival gang who has decided that he rather have peace between their territories than keep fighting for other people's interests.
Shorter Wong Highlights (Spoilers Beyond This Point)
1. He Is Optimistic All the Time
While Shorter is no fool and doesn't go on blindly hoping that everyone will be good and friendly if they just talk, he doesn't like to believe that there's no hope at all for the future. When Ash gets involved in the Banana Fish conspiracy, Shorter is the one who tries to cheer up his friends most of the time with the idea that, no matter how bad things get, at least they are together and they will survive to fight another day.
2. He Never Gives Up
Just like Ash, Shorter has had a hard life. He may not have been chosen by a boss mob to be groomed and abused, but he knows he “owes” a debt to the Lee family for “bringing” him and his siblings to America and that debt can be hard on him. Still, Shorter doesn’t believe he’s inferior to others, nor that jail and crime are his only options. Even before the Banana Fish conspiracy disturbed the delicate balance of the gangs’ territories in New York, Shorter was one of the few friends Ash had who believed they could get out of the gang life.
3. He Is Loyal to His Friends and Family
Shorter was raised to understand that being loyal to his family was very important. But while for others that means to obey the "Family" that controls the Chinese-American gangs and crime families, for Shorter it meant to go against said Family if they threatened his true friends. When he finds out that the Lees are part of the conspiracy that left Ash's brother a vegetable, Shorter tries to help Ash only to be forced into spying on him when the Lees take Shorter's sister hostage.
4. He Is Strong-Willed
This goes hand in hand with the fact that Shorter Wong won’t give up no matter what. It’s not just a matter of Shorter being stubborn and not wanting to lose more friends if he can help it, but that even when he is forced to go against what he believes in,—be it by blackmail as to when the Lee’s made him spy on Ash, or by brainwashing, like when they injected him with Banana Fish—mentally, Shorter never stops fighting or trying to find a way to beat those who hurt his friends.
5. He Will Die for His Friends
Probably the most tragic part of Shorter’s character, and the one thing that makes him so memorable for the viewers, is that when Shorter says that he’d die before hurting his friends, he means it literally as we find out when he’s injected with Banana Fish and told that he has to kill Eiji. His will is strong enough that Shorter can stop himself from actually shooting Eiji, but even then, he knows he’s no match for the drug and so, Shorter begs Ash to kill him before he loses the fight.
Shorter Wong is the definition of "spotlight-stealing character". Because he may be a secondary character in Banana Fish, and one who had the choice to just leave the fight abandoning his friends, but at the same time, Shorter became a favorite so quick that no one really wanted him to die.
So we’d love to know what you think of Shorter: do you think he should’ve survived? What was your favorite scene with him? Would the story have changed if he had lived to the end? Let us know in the comments below