1. Banana Fish This my most anticipated anime of summer 2018? Why, you ask? Honestly, do you really need to? It’s from the director of Free!...Yeah no, though I do find that an interesting choice. However there is a myriad of other things that make this anime look particularly promising to me. First of all there is the source material. Banana Fish started its life as a hardboiled action series that was being published in a shojo magazine in the late 80s. That alone already made me intrigued and as luck would have it I hade the opportunity last weekend to read the first volume while I was at a con. Suffice to say if they’re going to stick close to the source material it’s going to be quite something. So who is actually in charge of the adaptation? Hiroshi Seko. The same guy that also did series composition and screenwriting for both Ajin and Inuyashiki and wrote the screenplay for the massively underrated gothic horror zombie flick The Empire of Corpses. Lastly this anime will be airing in Japan on the Noitamina block. A special programming block on Fuji TV which airs anime geared towards those outside the mainstream anime audience. My successrate with this particular programming block is almost 100% making me feel very confident that this show will be to my liking at least to some extend. What makes this show stand out more than anything else though is that it is, in fact an adaptation of a manga from the late 80s and while these modern adaptations of older manga have a tendency to more often than not fail miserably, I do think a good studio can produce an actually solid modern adaptation of an older work. So who is the studio producing this? Studio Mappa, the personal animation studio of the god of anime Masao Maruyama and in my opinion the single greatest anime studio out there. That being said one concern I do have as a result of reading the first volume of the manga is that the story, at least at first seems rather thin. After two hundred pages all I gathered was that life in NYC sucks and there’s a drug that drives people insane. It’s certainly original as far as anime and manga premises go but I do hope the story we’ll eventually get will be a bit meatier, so to speak.