Animes Like Banana Fish – Banana Fish is a contemporary anime adaptation of the beloved 1980s manga series, making it one of the boldest and most captivating shows of 2018.
The story revolves around Ash Lynx, a young runaway plucked from the gritty streets of New York City by the notorious mafia kingpin, Don Golzine. Remarkably, Ash rises to become the leader of his gang at just 17 years old. On the other hand, Eiji Okumura, a Japanese photographer, becomes entangled in Ash’s life when their fates intersect.
Akimi Yoshida, the creator and artist of the original manga in the 1980s, skillfully explores a blend of shoujo and shounen genres, incorporating elements of teen romance or shounen-ai.
Initially intended for a young female audience, the manga’s appeal transcended age and gender boundaries, garnering critical acclaim and commercial success. The legacy of Banana Fish endures, leaving fans wanting more.
For those seeking captivating narratives akin to Banana Fish, consider the following alternatives.
List Of The Best Animes Like Banana Fish
1. 91 Days
The story unfolds in the town of Lawless, where a young Angelo Lagusa witnesses the brutal murder of his parents and younger brother by the Vanetti mafia family.
Seeking revenge, he adopts a new identity as Avilio Bruno. Years later, a mysterious letter prompts Avilio to return to Lawless, setting the stage for his confrontation with Nero, the son of Don Vanetti.
This anime shares thematic elements with Banana Fish, featuring mafia, gangs, intense action, and characters shaped by traumatic pasts.
2. Great Pretender
Makoto Edamame Edamura’s life takes a criminal turn as he becomes a pickpocket and scam artist.
However, a chance encounter with a fellow con man named Laurent Thierry leads him on a globe-trotting adventure.
They embark on a mission to out-swindle each other, culminating in a daring scheme involving a West Coast mafia boss.
Like Banana Fish, Great Pretender explores mature themes, tragic backgrounds, character development, and gripping drama, making it a must-watch for fans of intense storytelling.
Incorporating these alternatives into your anime watchlist can satisfy your craving for gripping tales of crime, intrigue, and complex characters, reminiscent of the bold narrative style of Banana Fish.
Mafuyu Satou, tightly holding his Gibson guitar, steps out of his dimly lit apartment to begin another day of high school.
While taking a brief nap in a quiet corner of the gymnasium staircase, he encounters his fellow classmate, Ritsuka Uenoyama, who reprimands him for neglecting the guitar strings. Impressed by Uenoyama’s musical prowess, Satou implores him to help fix the guitar and teach him how to play.
Uenoyama agrees and invites him to join a music session with his bandmates: bassist Haruki Nakayama and drummer Akihiko Kaji.
Similar to Banana Fish, both series share a touching dynamic between a stern character and a more innocent one, delving into dark pasts and challenging themes.
If you’re seeking pure romance between two male characters amidst tragic events, I highly recommend exploring this other anime, as it’s a central focus in both narratives.
Set in the early 1930s, the transcontinental train, Flying Pussyfoot, embarks on a blood-stained journey across the United States. Meanwhile, in New York, ambitious scientist Szilard and his assistant Ennis search for missing vials of an immortality elixir.
The mafia war escalates, worsening the situation. In 1711 aboard the Advena Avis, alchemists are about to learn the price of immortality.
Adapted from the acclaimed light novels of the same name, Baccano! intertwines initially seemingly unrelated events into a larger tale of alchemy, survival, and immortality.
Isaac and Miria, the friendly would-be thieves, connect various individuals, each harboring their own hidden ambitions and motives, forming lifelong bonds and far-reaching consequences for everyone involved.
Baccano!, akin to Banana Fish, both stories unfold in America and revolve around mafia families and gunfights. Despite Baccano’s supernatural touch, they emit a similar mafia ambiance. If you enjoyed Banana Fish, Baccano is a must-watch.
5. SK8 The Infinity
Reki Kyan, a passionate high school student, lives for one thing: skateboarding. When night falls, he heads to S, an illegal underground race inside a mine where skaters compete in highly dangerous situations.
A defeat resulting in the destruction of Reki’s skateboard and arm halts his practice entirely.
While at work, Reki meets his new classmate, Langa Hasegawa, a half-Canadian and half-Japanese boy completely inexperienced in skateboarding. Langa is in desperate need of money. After both visit S under Reki’s boss’s orders, they run into trouble and are forced into a bet that requires Langa to race.
Unbeknownst to Reki, the enigmatic transfer student holds a surprising advantage that might alter the race’s outcome.
While Banana Fish captivates, you may desire a recovery or rebound anime after watching it. This recommendation takes that into account.
SK8 The Infinity, akin to Banana Fish, both have significantly different storylines. The connection between the main characters is strikingly similar.
Although Banana Fish leans more towards psychological, mafia, action, and thriller genres, despite being categorized as B.L., it might not accurately capture its essence. On the other hand, SK8 offers a different experience.
After the war era passed, humanity sought refuge in six seemingly peaceful city-states, one of which was the utopia known as No. 6.
Shion, an elite resident of this city, underwent a significant change in his life when he met Nezumi, a mysterious boy from outside the city’s walls. Nezumi revealed the desolate reality beyond the supposed utopia.
Despite the risks, Shion took Nezumi in, resulting in dire consequences for them both. This marked the beginning of a complex relationship that confuses the lines between friendship and romance.
No. 6 is similar to Banana Fish in some ways, both share many similarities. For a profound viewing experience, it’s recommended to start with No. 6 before moving on to Banana Fish.
The emotional impact of Banana Fish is so profound that it can be challenging to start another anime immediately due to tear-blurred vision.
7. Black Lagoon
Rokurou Okajima, a diligent office worker aspiring to climb the corporate ladder, faces an unexpected surprise during a business negotiation in Thailand.
This drastically changes his life as he falls into the hands of the Lagoon Company, a merciless group of pirate mercenaries. Instead of begging for his life, Rokurou makes an unconventional decision to join the crew.
Now as a member of this ruthless crew, Rokurou struggles with life in Roanapur, a city dominated by corruption and crime. Amidst this chaotic backdrop, he faces off with Revy, a bold and skilled colleague with firearms.
Fans who appreciate action-packed stories without superpowers and involving gang affairs will find similarities with Banana Fish.
Also Read: Animes Similar To Black Lagoon
8. Tokyo Revengers
The peak of Takemichi Hanagaki’s life was in middle school, enjoying respect, close friends, and a girlfriend.
Fast forward twelve years, and he becomes a shadow of his former self, taunted and constantly apologizing to his younger boss.
A tragic news report of the Tokyo Manji Gang’s brutal murder of his only past girlfriend and her brother only deepens his despair.
Tokyo Revengers is similar to Banana Fish, both offer thrilling narratives with emotional depth as the characters face challenges.
The dynamic between Takemichi and Mikey in Tokyo Revengers is reminiscent of the interaction seen in Banana Fish, evoking similar captivating feelings in the audience.
Dr. Kenzou Tenma, a leading neurosurgeon, faces a pivotal moment when a crucial decision shatters his successful life.
This choice leads to a moral crisis, challenging his journey up the hospital hierarchy and altering his perspective forever.
Monster is similar to Banana Fish, both delve into the darker aspects of society, exposing crimes, corruption, and conspiracies often overlooked by mainstream media.
While Monster focuses on a deeper detective narrative, Banana Fish explores gang themes and revenge, catering to a mature audience seeking thought-provoking storytelling.
10. Bungo Stray Dogs
Atsushi Nakajima, an 18-year-old orphan, experiences the presence of a mystical tiger disturbing his orphanage. His life takes an unexpected turn when he saves Osamu Dazai, an eccentric man involved in investigating the same mysterious tiger.
Their collaboration unfolds as they tackle unusual cases beyond the reach of the conventional police force.
Bungo Stray Dogs is similar to Banana Fish, both interweave gang-related themes and characters striving for significant objectives.
While Banana Fish revolves around the drug trade, Bungo Stray Dogs focuses on finding a place to belong, appealing to those interested in narratives involving gangs and personal quests.
Nicholas Brown and Worick Arcangelo, known as the Handymen in the city of Ergastalum, are mercenaries who handle jobs no one else dares to touch.
They work for powerful mob syndicates and law enforcement agencies. Their lives take a turn when they add Alex Benedetto, a targeted prostitute, to their ranks.
The decaying city they call home is undergoing a transformative phase that threatens the delicate balance of power.
Gangsta is similar to No. 6, both are packed with intense action, fights, crime, and complex characters. The protagonists in both series have tumultuous pasts but are highly skilled in combat.
12. Cowboy Bebop
In the year 2071, humanity has colonized the galaxy, leading to crime and chaos on various planets. Spike Spiegel and Jet Black are bounty hunters who chase criminals throughout space.
While Spike appears carefree, he carries a burdensome past, and Jet manages his own traumatic memories. They are joined by Faye Valentine, Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, and Ein, a bioengineered Welsh Corgi.
Cowboy Bebop is similar to Banana Fish, both explore deep themes of trauma and carry a poignant emotional weight.
Although their settings and stories differ on the surface, both series delve into the enduring impact of a character’s past, resulting in tear-inducing experiences.
Also Read: Animes Similar To Cowboy Bebop
Brandon Heat and Harry MacDowell, close friends almost like brothers, undergo a brutal awakening to the harshness of the world.
Their previous lives involved small-scale brawls, romance, and petty theft. However, they soon realize that happiness is fleeting in this unforgiving world.
Millennion, the infamous mafia syndicate, welcomes them into their ranks. Harry aspires to rise within Millennion’s hierarchy, while Brandon seeks to protect what he holds dear and satisfy Big Daddy, who has taken custody of the woman he loves.
Gungrave is similar to Banana Fish, both delve into the world of mafia, gangs, and intense action. The protagonists in both series are adept at handling firearms and face complex dilemmas while striving to protect what’s precious to them.
14. Ikebukuro West Gate Park
Ikebukuro, a vibrant Tokyo district, is a place where various businesses and rival gangs thrive. Among the intriguing characters inhabiting this dynamic environment is Makoto Majima, renowned as the mediator skilled in mediating disputes between factions.
Makoto possesses a deep understanding of the intricacies of this district and is dedicated to maintaining peace with his loyal allies, the G-Boys, who play a significant role in his efforts to resolve issues.
The G-Boys, led by the charismatic and resilient Takashi Andou, rule as the most influential gang in Ikebukuro.
However, when a new force known as the Red Angels approaches the G-Boys’ territory, tensions escalate dramatically. Faced with adversaries from both within and outside, Makoto confronts increasingly complex challenges in navigating the streets of Ikebukuro.
As he continues to resolve conflicts, he gradually unravels a sinister plot that could plunge this district into total war, threatening its very existence.
Similar to Banana Fish, although Banana Fish has its own merits, if you’re seeking a deep narrative about gangs and the underworld, Ikebukuro West Gate Park (IWGP) is an intriguing choice.
While Banana Fish unfolds in New York, IWGP is set in the vibrant landscape of Japan, promising a different flavor of intrigue—don’t expect gunfights, but anticipate an exhilarating adventure.
15. Devilman Crybaby
Devils cannot manifest without a living host. However, if an individual’s willpower is strong enough, they can overcome these demons and harness their powers, becoming a Devilman, a formidable force.
Akira Fudou, meek and compassionate, has always had a heart full of kindness. So when his childhood friend, Ryou Asuka, seeks help to uncover the existence of demons, Akira accepts without hesitation.
However, a surprising revelation awaits Akira as they attend Sabbath, an amoral and debauched party. Amidst scenes of murder and chaos, demons take control of the partygoers, transforming their bodies into grotesque monsters, and pandemonium ensues.
In a bold attempt to save his best friend, Akira unwittingly merges with the demon Amon, becoming a Devilman with the power to combat the remaining demons.
Although Devilman Crybaby leans more toward the supernatural, this anime is similar to Banana Fish. Both anime series delves into the darker aspects of human nature, presenting intense violence and graphic scenes.
Both also feature two main characters whose relationship becomes a captivating subplot, and they are guaranteed to evoke strong emotions, leaving you deeply moved by the conclusion.
For those of you who love Banana Fish Anime, and are looking for anime similar to Banana Fish, then the list above is a recommendation for some selected anime similar to Banana Fish, which you might be able to watch. Thank you very much for reading this article, and see you in the next article. Enjoy watching and have a nice day.