Eiji Okumura is the deuteragonist, as well as a main character along with Ash Lynx in Banana Fish.



Eiji is a slim Japanese youth with black hair and large dark brown eyes. Despite being an adult at the age of 19, he is often mistaken for a child, even in Japan. He is seen in a variety of clothing choices throughout the series, often with Ash's clothing. His personal style seems to consist of neat clothing such as collared shirts and sweaters, a pink unbuttoned shirt over his shoulders, sweater vests and such. This proves to be a contrast against the denim jackets, varsity jackets, hoodies and other things belonging to Ash that he wears later on in the series. In Garden of Light, Eiji's hair has grown longer and we see it sported in a ponytail; he has also adopted the use of glasses. Akimi Yoshida, the mangaka, based Eiji's likeness off of Hironobu Nomura.


Eiji has a very kind selfless personality. He is also inquisitive about things unfamiliar to him such as Ash's gun. As the series progresses, he starts depending on Ash. Eiji has, on more than one occasion, been described as an innocent, but brave. He can be quite naive about the world of gangs, and even American customs at times. He is quite perceptive and very aware of his surroundings one situation being when Eiji knew instantly when Ash was lying to him, because of his terrifying calmness. Usually, he is an understanding, reasonable person, but can have unwavering stubbornness and can even be moderately rude when prompted.

History Edit

Eiji was an accomplished pole vaulter before an injury interfered with that. It was part of the reason Ibe decided to bring him to New York with him. Not much is known about his personal life, or other personal interests besides pole-vaulting, and that he was offered multiple scholarships for it, and later on, photography. However, it is assumed he has led a normal life until the events of Banana Fish.

Story Edit

Main Article: Eiji Okumura/Synopsis

Relationships Edit

Shunichi IbeEdit

After getting into a slump because of an injury which halted his competitive pole-vaulting efforts, Ibe takes notice and takes Eiji along with him to America as his assistant. He affectionately refers to him as "Ei-Chan." Ibe acts as Eiji's guardian while in America.

Ash Lynx Edit

Along with Shunichi Ibe, Eiji first meets Ash Lynx when interviewing him at a bar about gang life. During their first encounter, Eiji asks to touch Ash's gun. Ash, although known to be distrustful of people and had never let anyone touch his gun prior to that moment, allows Eiji to hold his gun in Eiji's hands. This initial meeting already lays the foundation for the amount of trust they put in each other later on in the story, and sets apart how Ash treats Eiji in contrast to other people. Despite having known each other for a considerably short time, Eiji forms a close bond with Ash throughout the perilous situations both of them become involved in. Ash protects Eiji as much as possible, and even teaches him how to use a gun. Eiji becomes very dependent of Ash due to this. Later, they have been shown to have romantic feelings for each other, although they never truly act on them. Eventually, they became lovers.

Skip Edit

Eiji met Skip at a bar where Ash would hang out. Eiji and Skip both got kidnapped along with Ash trying to rescue them. Sadly while Eiji was out to get help from the police, Skip was shot in the chest by Marvin in order to protect Ash from being shot. After Eiji heard the news he started to blame himself for Skip's death but was reassured by Ash that it wasn't his fault.

Shorter Wong Edit

Eiji became very close friends with Shorter in the anime, and even began shedding tears because of the Banana Fish's effect on his brain that makes him afraid of Eiji. Shorter is also seen to be very protective of Eiji after being forced to hand Eiji over to Golzine. He threatens that if anyone tries to touch Eiji or bring harm to him then he would personally kill Eiji himself to save him from the torture before they can get to him and even promises Eiji that he will follow right behind him by ending his life straight after killing him.

Frederick Arthur Edit

Being the rival of Ash Lynx, and from the way Arthur treats them both he is against Arthur. Currently through the anime has not interacted with him as much.

Yut-Lung Edit

Yut-Lung, both in the manga and the anime, despises Eiji. This is because of his effortless penchant for comforting people despite his naivety and his plain personality. It is implied that this is also because Yut-Lung is jealous and resentful of Eiji's strong bond with Ash. Yut-Lung paralyzes Eiji while Shorter Wong helps for his friends to be safe. But as time goes on, he in secret helps Eiji and explaining certain things he may not understand. Eiji stages an escape and holds him hostage in order to do so.

Sing Soo-Ling Edit

After being saved by thugs, Eiji explained what happened to Shorter's death and why Ash had to kill him, Sing and Eiji become very close friends throughout the manga and anime.

Blanca Edit

He is unknowingly targeted by Blanca, and shot across the right arm from sniper fire from him as a warning to Ash.

Dino Golzine Edit

Dino captures him to make Ash come to New York and captures him too.

Etymology Edit

His kanji name 英二 (eiji) meaning "great, second".

 Episode Appearances Edit

(He is in every episode for, he is one of the main cast)

Image Gallery Edit

Main Article: Eiji Okumura/Image Gallery

Quotes Edit

  • (To Ash) Forever.
  • (To Ash)If I ever lose you too... I'll go crazy.
  • Ash: "Do I scare you?" Eiji: "Never."
  • (To Ash)Come back safely. I'll be waiting for you, forever.
  • (To Ash) If you feel responsible, the same goes for me.
  • (To Ash) "My words might not mean anything now, but just remember one thing. Even if the world turns on you, I'll always be on your side."
  • (To Ash) "Humans can change their destiny. They have wisdom leopards don't. Besides, you're not a leopard."
  • (To Skipper & Ash) "If I'm going to die anyways, at least I'll die trying!"
  • (To Ibe) "Ash is strong."
  • (To Ash) Don't apologize. That's something for us Japanese to do."
  • (To Ash) "Listen to your big bro for once, okay?"
  • (To Ash) I'd do anything for you.
  • (To Ash) "Go!"
  • (To Charlie) "Let him go!"
  • (Letter to Ash) "I know we'll meet again, no matter how far apart we are. You're the greatest friend I'll ever have."
  • (Letter to Ash) "You're not alone. I'm by your side. My soul is always with you."
  • (Letter to Ash) "You asked me over and over if you scared me. But I never feared you. Not once."
  • (Letter to Ash) "I'm really glad I came to America. I met lots of people. And more than anything, I met you."


  • One of Eiji's favorite foods is natto, a fermented bean dish usually eaten during breakfast, which he has made Ash begrudgingly taste.
  • Eiji has a dog named Buddy, whom he rescued from a trash dumpster.
  • Eiji is afraid of mice.
  • Eiji has been compared to multiple animals. Frederick Arthur refers to him as a Japanese bobtail and Blanca compares him to a rabbit. He also has some bird motifs due to Ash Lynx constantly mentioning him being able to fly. His sweater from the first episode and his phone case also have birds on them.
  • Eiji grew up in Izumo, a small town in Japan.
  • Eiji also is a pure character that will keep Ash safe from harm
  • Eiji is to Ash the only human worth protecting and is canonly confirmed his beloved.
  • Eiji's correlation chart with Ash after episode 24 on the official site changed from 親友 (Shin'yū) meaning "best friend" to being no correlation status with a black thick line, implying that their relationship is so close that it can't be described only with words.
  • Eiji is friends with the housewives from place he lives in — Mrs. Owen and Mrs. Coleman
  • Eiji’s first kiss might of been Ash according to Shunichi.
  • According to an interview with the author, Yoshida Akimi, and Fujimoto, Eiji Okumura was originally intended to be made a female, but she says the plot would have been too predictable as it would just have ended in a normal romance, stating that "when you write about two girls or two boys, there is a bigger range of emotions to explore."
  • His birthyear in manga, 1966, is listed on New York Sense.
  • Eiji, alongside Ash, appears in Akimi Yoshida's another manga, Lovers' Kiss.

References Edit


Banana Fish
Main Characters Ash Lynx | Eiji Okumura
Ash's and Eiji's affiliates Max Lobo | Shunichi Ibe | Griffin Callenreese | Jessica Randy | Alexis Dawson
Corsican Mafia Dino Golzine | Frederick Arthur | Abraham Dawson | Mannerheim | Blanca | Eduardo L. Fox | Marvin Crosby
Chinese Mafia Yut-Lung | Shorter Wong | Sing Su Rin | Lao Yen Tai
Street Kids Alex | Skip | Bones | Kong | Cain Blood
New York City Police Department Jenkins | Charlie Dickinson
Chapters 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 15 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40
Episodes 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
Music Found & Lost | Prayer X | FREEDOM | RED
Volume 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19
Side Stories Fly Boy in the Sky | Ura Banana | Private Opinion | Angel Eyes (Side Story) | Garden of Light | Angel Eyes (Art Book)
LOCATIONS New York | Cape Cod | Los Angeles | The National Mental Health Institute | Rownme Dalion Bank | Izumo | Pier Four