Part 4 – American References in Anime: Underground Societies, Political Corruption, and Law Enforcement


Continuing on with the series of Americans influences on anime, we continue with a theme that Americans love: violence. Well, particularly continuing the theme of gang-related anime. After all I, well, I love it (so does Star). But today I’m going to highlight two.

Image result for banana fish gangs

Banana Fish

The first of which is Banana Fish. If you’ve been around the blog you already know how much I love this anime/manga. And a big portion of why I love it is thanks to the gang and drug storyline. Like honestly, it incorporated the best parts of the New York underground. It showed how dynamically different the gangs are, and also just how many are in one city. Not to say that other places don’t have multiple gangs all fighting for power, but New York is notorious for how many there are and which control which areas of the city. But the one thing Banana fish has done incredibly well, is represent the relationship between gang life, the police force, and politicians. I think a lot of people are familiar with Gangs of New York, and how it deals with corrupt politicians. Now, while the book and movie are certainly grotesque and aim to depict America in the worst lights, you always have to think there is truth to it. Banana Fish takes a step in the same direction and shows how Papa Dino intends to sell the drug to the U.S. government as a weapon of war. Which if that doesn’t represent how truly fucked up the U.S. government is, I don’t know what will. Not only that, but multiple politicians frequently engage in Papa Dino’s child sex ring which of course leads them to ruin when it gets exposed. But again, the sad part is that we all know that the relationship between mafia’s and politics/governments aren’t simple things of fantasy. This is honestly just how corrupt these systems can be.


Image result for bungou stray dogs

Bungou Stray Dogs

The second anime I’m going to look at is to look at the relationship between mafia’s and justice systems. That could be anything right? Well, this time I’m talking about Bungou Stray Dogs. While perhaps not the first one everyone would think of, I think it’s a good example of a justice system vs. a mafia. The justice system, is, of course, the beloved Armed Detective Agency who works on cases that are too dangerous (or rather supernatural) for the regular law enforcement. They too often find themselves cleaning up the city of gangs, and most often the Port Mafia, who we get to see in all it’s glory throughout not just plot, but through Dazai backstory. Because that’s right, Dazai, a current member of the Armed Detective Agency who is now acting for justice, used to be a lead member of the Port  Mafia. Which, y’know, is always great when law enforcement has insight into the mafia’s they are trying to quell. Anyway, it’s a good show, and it shows some serious brutality (season 2, flashback portion. Just watch it). And it’s one of my faves to watch for some nice, honest, gang action. Plus there are some portions that show that sometimes the law enforcement has to team up with the mafia’s for a second for the greater good.

So yeah, clearly Star & I are very obsessed with gang and mafia-related anime. Do you all have any you enjoy? Let us know in the comments below! Til next time.




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