Banana Fish Ending Explained

Even though the story is dark and sad, Banana Fish has a strong following.

People love this series because its main character talks about how sexual attack affects people.

Ash’s personality and Eiji’s unwavering support tug at the audience’s feelings and turn them into devoted fans.

This cartoon is the one I always tell people to watch. It might be cruel of me, but it always makes me happy to see how it affects other people.

The unfair, gritty reality of Banana Fish, which led to its tragic ending, makes people feel a lot of unwelcome sadness and still haunts them to this day.

The final scene is likely to be hard to digest, and that’s why I’m sharing some of my thoughts on the story. 

There’s no “right” method to view it. However, it’s significantly more nuanced than it appears since it’s the result of the entirety of the events of the entire series.

Let’s talk about Banana Fish Ending.

Did Ash die at the end of Banana Fish?

All the loose ends are tied in the last episode of Banana Fish. The hostages are saved, Foxx and Golzine are killed, and all proof of the Banana Fish project is destroyed.

Also, Sing decides not to fight Ash and talks Yut-Lung into giving up on them.

Everything seems to be going well as Eiji goes to Japan and Ash walks to the library while reading the letter that Eiji gave him, until Ash gets stabbed.

In the manga, after being stabbed, Ash goes to the library to keep reading Eiji’s letter and bleeds to death there.

MAPPA shows that in the anime, his position is known, but the ending is left open. But based on what we know from the sources, he is thought to have died.

Ash’s Sacrifice

Ash’s decision to die could appear to be contrary to his statement in episode 13 in which Ash states,

“I’ve never been afraid of the death of my loved ones, however, I’ve also never dreamed of it.” 

There were occasions when a portion of Ash thought that death was the better option, and, as Ash said, he did not actively seek death. 

However, it was demonstrated, as in episode 18, that he’d decided to commit suicide in a flash to protect Eiji, and the end isn’t any different. 

This interpretation is based on the story “A perfect day for a banana fish,” written by J.D. Salinger. The story’s name is the inspiration for the series, as well as the novel “In the Catcher’s Rye”, as well as the final episode’s name and reference for the final visuals of the whole second season. 

The main theme in “A perfect day for the Banana fish” is the fact that Seymour, the principal character is a martyr so that an innocent child, Sybil, can lead an entire life without him. 

“The Catcher in the Rye” is notable for its themes of sacrifice and safeguarding of innocence. 

After Ash is stabbed with a knife by Lao, Ash realizes that there are still enemies to him and that should Eiji return to America to search for his attacker, Eiji would be in danger once more. 

One way of completely ensuring the safety of Eiji is to ensure that the target of people’s hatred is gone so that nobody would have any reason to attack Eiji once more. 

Thus, Ash sacrifices himself so that Eiji is never wounded ever again. 

Ash also requested God in the last episode to save Eiji’s life, and an alternative interpretation could be that Ash is acknowledging God’s response to his prayers and accepting the cost that must be paid to make Eiji recover.

Why Did Ash Have to Die in the End?

In a chat with Banana Fish’s creator, Yoshida, she explained why Ash was always supposed to die in the end.

She said that even though her main characters are forced to kill because they would be killed otherwise, they are still killers in the end.

When someone takes someone else’s life, they need to pay for it with their own. Because of this, Ash had to die in the end.

Yoshida also said that the original idea behind Banana Fish was that people who die young are sad, like how Ash lived his whole life in 17 years instead of the 70 years.

He went through more pain, love, and experiences than most people do in their whole lives. He had lived his life, so it was only natural that it would end at some point.

Can Ash truly be a man?

Banana Fish Ending Explained

Banana Fish refers to the terrible loss that strikes people who believe they’re not worthy of love. It also draws focus to the significance of personal mental well-being. 

Ash loved his loved ones so tenderly and deeply that he’d constantly blame himself in the process. Ash can smile because he’s content knowing that Eiji was and is protected. 

And he does it without thinking about happiness on his own because Ash was unable to forgive himself for his “misdeeds;” he believed that he didn’t deserve a happy ending. 

Ash was a victim of himself. The self-destructive and sacrificed mentality dictated his destiny, but it wasn’t necessary to be this way if he could have overcome his shortcomings.

There are many different ways that Banana Fish is about love and those who have a dark side that harms people when we attempt to safeguard our loved ones.

It is also on the positive side which brings others joy and healing. It’s about people who didn’t know love, and also about people who discovered it. It’s also about self-love, and how to love ourselves, despite our flaws and flaws. 

If only Ash had a sense of self-love and realized how important he was to himself and to be true to himself. If he had this, it would not have resulted in this manner.

In all likelihood I have provided two interpretations I have come up with and there are many more I haven’t even touched on. 

I blend the two interpretations I offered as I believe the ending was the result of Ash’s sacrificed tendencies and self-loathing. 

What do you think of the final scene? 

The ending is just one of the many aspects of Banana Fish that is open to all interpretations. 

According to the perception of each person, the message that it conveys could be positive or negative. 

However, it is important to recognize that it is good and bad, it’s a dichotomy, similar to the dichotomy present throughout the story.

What’s Up with the Ending?

Why does Seymour kill himself? This may be one of the most discussed questions about short stories in the last fifty years.

There are many different ideas, and we don’t know which one is “right.” It’s possible that Salinger wrote his story with a certain purpose in mind, or it’s possible that he left it vague on purpose.

As we argue in “What’s Up with the Epigraph,” it’s also possible that the “answer” to this question can’t be thought of in a reasonable way.

In any case, here are a few ideas about Seymour to snack on:

1. Innocence, Children, and the War

Let’s not forget that Seymour’s mental problems are a result of the war. He has what we would probably call today post-traumatic stress disorder, but this term didn’t exist when Salinger wrote.

We can guess that Seymour has seen some terrible things while in the service and is having trouble changing to life at home.

We can see that he has mostly shut himself off from the rest of the world and is no longer comfortable talking to most people.

Sybil gives him a glimpse of the world as he would like it to be: innocent, interested, and pure.

But when he talks to the woman in the elevator, he remembers that this is not how the adult world is. Seymour kills himself because he can’t deal with life and can’t do normal things.

2. Seymour Is Enlightened

This idea makes more sense if you’ve read some of Salinger’s other works about Seymour, and especially if you’re looking at “Bananafish” as part of the collection Nine Stories.

Zen Buddhism is a regular theme in Salinger’s work, as the beginning of Nine Stories hints at. The first story in the collection, “Bananafish,” and the last story, “Teddy,” both deal with this idea, though “Teddy” does so in a much more direct way.

In “Teddy,” a very smart young kid is kind of like a Zen master. He talks about how in a past life he flirted with enlightenment, and he lightly predicts his own death.

The fact that the main character dies at the end of both “Bananafish” and “Teddy” is interesting. At first, these deaths may seem to have very different feelings.

Teddy calmly sees his accidental death as a step toward enlightenment, and even the shocking finish doesn’t upset him. But what about the ending of Bananafish?

Is it a painful finish that is very different from Teddy’s? Or is Seymour’s death also a step in the right spiritual direction because it is calm and accepting?

In the book “Teddy,” for instance, the main character, Teddy, says that death is a lot like waking up. When Seymour puts the gun to his head, Muriel is sleeping in the bed next to him. This is no accident. She is still sleeping while he wakes up.

Think about the bananafish idea. In “What’s Up with the Title?” we say more about this idea. The short story is that the bananafish may be a symbol for how much people care about things.

Seymour doesn’t want to be like the bananafish and give in to his physical needs, so he kills himself. Many people say that he dies physically, but not spiritually.

3. Seymour is Sexually Attracted to Sybil

Pedophilia is a possible, but not very satisfactory, reason why Seymour might have killed himself. He’s interested in Sybil, and he even kisses her foot.

Then, he feels bad about what he did and kills himself to protect Sybil’s innocence. It’s doubtful that Salinger meant this to be a line of thought, but there you go.

What would you change about the ending of Banana Fish?

Ash ought to have lived. I don’t mean to be negative, but the end was lovely, but it was most tragic. The story doesn’t make sense. 

It seemed to me as if it was a force. The author herself stated that she viewed the characters in her novels as literary devices this is the reason she would kill them off. 

Ash’s death is not in line with his persona. In the letter he received, Eiji told him that the individual could alter his destiny. 

Why would he want to die “peacefully” when his “soulmate,” told him that to him? 

Ash has also stated that if Eiji were still in Japan and he was sick, he would be concerned and would not have allowed himself to be killed for this reason too. Ash has also been in worse conditions than a tiny cut. 

You might think that it’s impossible to tell whether he’d be satisfied with the writer’s words, however, Ash was able to remind Eiji of his joy and the letter was certainly not an end-of-the-world letter. It was merely a reminder of the way he’ll remain with him “forever”. 

Let me add that changing the ending could have extended the story, and also paved the way for a sequel.

which would be beneficial to the author as well as MAPPA studios since BF was a huge success both as an anime and as a manga. I hope they are right about the anime. 

The show was said to be unique. The end of the series was unfinished with the animator dropping a lot of clues suggesting the possibility that Ash existed. It is completely plausible if he lived; Ash has been known to test the boundaries of what is thought to be humanly plausible. 

There are plot holes that could be the reason for the mystery. I hope they alter the outcomes from Episode 24 to have enough material to create an additional season. It shouldn’t be a problem. 

Animation studios are known for their hit show “Yuri On Ice” which is an original animated series that has no manga counterpart. They have the resources to present the viewers with a compelling narrative in BF Season 2. 

The storyline is all about the right of permission because the creator stood by the ending. After all, the director and studio were not happy with the way it ended as does a significant portion of the BF fans.

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About the Author

Garima Singh

Moshi Moshi everyone! I'm Garima, an anime enthusiast with a passion for sharing my love of anime with others. I've watched over 1000 anime, and I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting shows to watch.

I love everything about anime, from the stories and characters to the animation and music. I'm also a big fan of anime culture, and I love to learn about Japanese culture and history through anime.

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