Islands in the Stream is the eighteenth episode of the Banana Fish anime. Also, one year has passed since Ash met Eiji.
Yut-Lung, Golzine, and Blanca issue an ultimatum to Ash: return to Golzine's fold with Dawson and the research he has collected on banana fish, or Eiji will be killed. Ash, accepting that he cannot defeat Blanca and wishing to protect Eiji, agrees to their terms.
Colonel Holstock witnesses his driver shot before the vehicle is in crashes into an oil lorry and exploding.
A sleepy Ash is roused by Eiji, Ash wonders who assassinated senator Kippard right in front of him. Ibe arrives with Max where the latter discusses his report with Ash on Banana Fish after Max shows it to a psychopharmacologist. The news reports the death of Colonel Thomas Holstock on Highway 87. Ash is sure these murders are no accident and comes across the novel “Islands in the Stream” by Ernest Hemingway at which point he connects the dots that these ‘accidents’ are in reality skilled assassinations being depicted as such. Not only that but he concludes they are the work of Blanca.
Blanca completes a call before looking to a photo taken of Ash and Eiji. He notes that things are going to get busy for Ash.
Within the White House a man notes the foundation is in ‘his’ hands, and asks an ‘Excellency’ what they should do.
Blanca casually reveals Ash’s hideout to none other than Golzine himself who views it through a camera lens. Blanca tells him Ash’s local is opposite Golzine’s office. Yut joins them and Blanca reveals he has a surprise in store, and tells Yut he knows Ash well, since he’s the one who taught him.
Ash stands, parts the curtains and wonders whether his guess was right when nothing occurs. Ash immediately tells Eiji to stay back when he enters with mugs for them both but is suddenly shot across the right shoulder by an unseen sniper. Ash dives on top of Eiji as targeted bullets are fired around them. He orders Bones and Kong to turn off the lights when they arrive, Ash carries Eiji and tells them all to run. Ash watches them tend to the nick on Eiji’s arms but out of necessity can only focus on the gunmen. He has no doubts anymore as to who the sniper is, and now who his target is.
Ash receives a call from Blanca himself, Ash curses at him before Blanca tells him to hold on. Yut is placed on the phone where he tells Ash that he has received their warning, that they have hired Blanca to target Eiji. He tells him negotiations will be tomorrow night at 9pm, Pier 8, warehouse 12.
A younger Ash is shown asking Blanca about a book. Blanca withdraws his offer for Ash to read “Islands in the Stream” until he’s a bit more grown.
Ash stands alone in his window. He wonders why it had to be Blanca to return after all this time. He feels he is no match, not against him and wonders what should he do, more specifically what can he do. Ash see's to Eiji and asks him how his injury is. Eiji is lying upright in bed and assures him it’s nothing. Ash places his hand on his forehead to check for a fever, he tells him gunshot wounds can cause fevers.
They talk and Eiji asks if Ash won’t come to Japan with him, wanting to show him his country and that Ash wouldn’t need a gun to live. Ash feels he won’t have anything to do in Japan, killing is all he knows. Eiji tells him what Japan is like when Ash asks and shares that he is from Izumo City of Shimane. After discussing it Ash shares that he would like to go to Japan someday and that Eiji would love to take him.
Ash overlooks Eiji sleeping and silently notes he would never forgive anyone who should hurt him, regardless of who it is. The next morning, with a temperature of 101.3, Eiji has indeed come down with fever but opts to sleep it off.
Ash tells him that Ibe is coming and that he’s going to visit Max. Eiji smiles, being very keenly aware and thinking that he knows Ash is lying, since whenever he lies he becomes terribly calm.
Ash arrives at the warehouse where spotlights reveal armed thugs with Golzine and Yut present. Ash answers Yut that with Blanca being on a whole other level, it’s not about winning or losing. Blanca himself appears behind Ash in the door way to thank him for the praise.
Ash questions whether Yut can even fire the gun that he is now aiming at him, though Yut clarifies it’s not for him to shoot rather for Ash. Yut promises he won’t lay a finger on Eiji if Ash shoots himself in the head. Without any shadow of hesitation, Ash simply takes the gun and aims it at his head and pulls the trigger. Yut gasps though Golzine and Blanca both understand the visceral implications of Ash’s action and stand in silence. Ash remarks there are no bullets so asks Yut for one, though he knocks the gun out his hand. Yut has to know how that act was so easy for Ash to do for “a guy like” Eiji. Though Blanca lays a hand on Yut’s shoulder explain that Ash doesn’t genuinely understand what he's saying.
With this scenario Blanca asks Yut what the conditions are now. Yut’s demands include handing over all the information Ash has gathered on Banana Fish and professor Dawson. If this is not done in 48 hours Yut tells him Eiji will die, and once that’s done, Ash will be going back to “the monsieur.’ Golzine informs Ash he will go back to where he was, working for him as the lowest of prostitutes, that he’ll experience things no prostitute could ever endure. Yut gloats that whilst Eiji would be free to return to Japan, Ash will lose everything: the truth he sought, his brothers revenge, and his friends trust and his freedom. Upon hearing these terms Ash again surprises Yut by agreeing to them. Yut accepts the deal at which point Yut, Golzine and Blanca take their leave.
Ash asks Blanca to wait, asking to let him punch him before he goes. Blanca obliges though Ash cannot land a single hit and is effortlessly defeated by Blanca. Golzine and Yut give Blanca a moment alone with Ash as he requested.
Alone Blanca tells Ash he understands his reasons but needs to give it up, “A rabbit and a lynx can't ever be friends.” Blanca advises Ash to go back to Golzine for wealth, power and everything; all he has to do is give one thing up.
Later, Ash knocks out a guard, he told Ibe that Eiji will be safe and leaves everything to Alex before going to retrieve professor Dawson. Before, he asked Ibe once all this is over will he take him to Japan, he wants to see the country Eiji was born in.
Eiji runs out in his pyjamas before being taken back in which Ash oversees. Both Max and George are stunned to see Ash pull a gun on them to gather their information on Banana Fish of which he delivers it and professor Dawson to Yut as per their agreement. Golzine commends Yut for his wonderful work and Blanca proclaims his work here is done observing Ash in the back of the car.
- Ash Lynx
- Eiji Okumura
- Max Lobo
- Mr. Smiles
- Colonal Holstock
- Dino Golzine
- Shunichi Ibe
- Alexis Dawson
- Steven LLOYD
Main Article: Episode 18 Islands in the Stream/Image Gallery
- Islands in the Stream is a book that Blanca is reading that younger Ash comes upon and asks what it's about, to which Blanca responds with "wait until you've grown up a little."
- "Islands in the Stream" is a novel by Ernest Hemingway
- Manga Vol 12
- Manga Vol 13