Anime Underground The 13 Best Anime Like Banana Fish  

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Banana Fish is a modern anime adaptation of a 1980's manga - and it's one of the boldest, most intense shows to air in 2018. Ash Lynx is a 17-year-old gang leader whose violent childhood has made him into a cold, ruthless criminal. He stands to inherit a mafia syndicate from Papa Dino, a man who once forced him into human trafficking - but when Papa Dino gets ahold of the substance that drove Ash's brother insane, Ash goes his own way. With the mafia at his heels, it doesn't seem like he has any room in his life for genuine human connection - but when Eiji Okumura enters his life, he might just have to open his heart.

With only 25 episodes, there just isn't enough Banana Fish for many fans. While you can totally go ahead and read the classic manga, you can also watch anime similar to Banana Fish. What you liked about the show will help determine which anime like Banana Fish you should aim for. Did you enjoy its focus on gang warfare? Watch 91 Days or Gangsta. Looking for anime with a powerful focus on the love between two men? Try Yuri!!! on Ice or No. 6. 

If you've seen any of the Banana Fish recommendations described below and think that they're a good next watch, vote them up to help out fellow fans. 


Gangsta is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 13 Best Anime Like Banana Fish
Photo:  Manglobe

Gangsta is a story about people who live on the margins. The characters are sex workers, gang members, and "Twilights" - people whose parents took an illegal drug that gives them incredible strength, but also leaves them dependent on those drugs to survive, and damages their bodies. Banana Fish also deals with some of the same illicit themes - including a designer drug called Banana Fish that infiltrates every aspect of the story.

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No.6 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 13 Best Anime Like Banana Fish
Photo:  Studio Bones

In both No.6 and Banana Fish, two young men from wildly different worlds meet, and over time they develop a serious relationship. The one whose life has been largely trouble-free gets drawn into a dangerous world outside of his own protected one, but finds that he feels truly alive this way - meanwhile, the one who has always lived a life of chaos and strife finds himself loosening his armor a little and letting the other into his heart. The actual circumstances of the characters lives are different, but their emotional arcs are the same.

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Parasyte: The Maxim is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 13 Best Anime Like Banana Fish
Photo:  Madhouse

Parasyte: The Maxim and Banana Fish are both modern adaptations of manga that originally came out in the '80s. That means that both of them have an old-school vibe that isn't usually found in newer anime. Besides the series' origins, both of them feature a teenage protagonist who is embroiled in something far bigger and far more dangerous than they can imagine. Both of them also experience dramatic personality changes - Ash starts the series hardened by trauma, and part of his character arc involves learning to open up and be vulnerable despite potential risks. Meanwhile, Shinichi begins the series as an ordinary person with ordinary fears, but a combination of repeated battles and being infected with a parasite makes him unable to feel emotions or connect with people - leaving him with the same problem that Ash has.

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Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 13 Best Anime Like Banana Fish
Photo: Satelight

Zenji Banba is a detective whose job is to interfere with hitmen before they can make their move. Xianming Ling is a cross-dressing hitman who is fed up with his employers not paying him. When he's assigned to take out Banba, he does the unexpected and asks Banba to join forces with him. These violent themes, combined with the deep character work and Ling's painful past, make this series an excellent next watch for fans of Banana Fish.

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