warning: Spoilers for the Anime/Manga and for the stories "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and "The Catcher in the Rye" by JD Salinger.
At this point everyone probably knows but I just love talking about it. When I first watched Banana Fish I went on and on to myself about how the plot is based on the morals and themes of JD Salinger's books and stories, specifically "A Perfect Day for Bananafish". The themes of these stories by JD Salinger are preserving the innocent and keeping them innocent. When I read the titles of the episodes after watching the first one that's when I guessed Ash would probably die. The first episode is titled "A perfect day for Bananafish" And the last episode is titled "The Catcher in the Rye". The story "A perfect day for Bananafish", is about a woman named Muriel who goes to Florida to meet her husband who is just returning from a war. The story also represents the struggle of communication with others, an example is Muriel and her mother have a phone call where Muriel doesn't hear her mother's worries and her mother doesn't hear Muriel's reassurances that she's fine. I felt like this is important to the story of the Manga/Anime so I just mentioned it. Anyways, when Muriel and her husband Seymour meet, their communication is basically non-existant. Muriel has no idea what is going on in Seymour's head and Seymour has no desire to explain how he feels. Through this miscommunication, Muriel doesn't know anything about Seymour's mental health and assumes he is perfectly find. Seymour is scarred from his experiences and war, and seeks refuge in the innocence of childhood and tries to "speak the language" of a child to try to return to that innocence. Eventually, Seymour realizes the world of childhood innocence is long lost to him, and wants to preserve it for others. While Muriel is asleep, he shoots himself. Knowing this about the story, I knew Ash was probably gonna die, along with the foreshadowing and context of the first few episodes. Now, relating to "The Catcher in the Rye", the main character doesn't die, however he makes sacrifices and changes himself for the sake of the innocence of another and assures the reader he regrets absolutely nothing. I referenced this to the character development throughout the story- specifically Ash's. The way he changed himself, the sacrifices he made, all for Eiji. He could have easily survived that stabbing at the end had he not silently sat in the library slowly dying. However, in his mind, it was the right thing to do in order to help Eiji and preserve his innocence, and he was most certainly very glad he did it.
I just wanted someone to share this with after months of keeping it to myself so thanks for reading I guess.