Have you been reading Shaenon Garrity’s Overlooked Manga Festival? Well, have you?
If you haven’t, here’s the deal. Ever week or so Shaenon picks what she deems to be a manga series that just hasn’t gotten its due. She then goes about making an extensive case as to why you should be reading said series and I have to say she makes a pretty persuasive case. Course, the visual aids don’t hurt either.
This week, she takes a look at Banana Fish, a classic shojo series about inner city gangs. Because, as she notes, “if there’s one thing teenage girls like, it’s gritty 1980s inner-city gang warfare.”
Ash Lynx is a teen gang leader in New York City trying to get out from under the thumb of crimelord “Papa” Dino Golzine. He’s also secretly caring for his older brother, who has been catatonic ever since he cracked in ‘Nam and blew away most of his platoon. But a chance meeting with a dying man clues him in to a connection between his brother and something–a person, an organization, a drug–called “Banana Fish.” Yes, English majors, like the Salinger story.
I tried this series way back when it first came out in left-to-right format but couldn’t get through it. Perhaps it’s time to try again.