TOKYO, Japan — With the recent online buzz surrounding the “confronting” and “disturbing” content presented in the first episode of this season’s Goblin Slayer, Studio Mappa found itself left out in the cold, having taken a chance on a project outside of their usual comfort zone which unfortunately has failed to pay off.
Banana Fish, which follows the exploits of Ash Lynx, a teenage gang leader in New York during the mid 1980’s, was an opportunity for Mappa to blend their two core strengths — creating mature fleshed out characters and intense focus on the animation of pretty boys. However, internal documents reveal Mappa has ultimately been unhappy with the way the project has developed thus far. Multiple files from the desk of Hiroko Utsumi, the director of Banana Fish, has him belittling and harassing Mappa staff, citing their failure to make Banana Fish into an ultra violent sexually charged show that had initially been story-boarded. Utsumi additionally claimed that the studio’s “soft touch” had failed to drum up the adequate controversy he felt the show needed in order to pull a larger viewership.
“We included murder, drug abuse, child abduction, child sexual abuse, child murder, and even a prison rape for good measure and still no one is watching our show,” Mappa producer Manabu Otsuka provided in a statement following start of the new anime season earlier last week. “I’ve never seen a show like ours go full Shawshank before and then have not even a peep about it online. God I miss the 90’s.”
Otsuka’s statement, which goes into details regarding internal issues during Banana Fish‘s development, includes a portion of the show’s animation staff being laid off for “only being able to draw beautiful, androgynous men”, along with a threat from Otsuka which read “If i hear one more comment about how it should of been called Yaoi on Ice, I’m taking myself and the whole company, down with me.”
Despite apparent internal grievances, Banana Fish has received extremely favorable reception by those who have watched the show. However, due to the aforementioned lower than expected viewership numbers, Mappa has since stated that their next planned project, which was going to be a blend of Pokemon and Fist of the North Star dubbed “Project Pineapple Wombat”, has been postponed indefinitely.