This fatalistic expression is used when one feels helpless to control one’s immediate destiny. The foreboding overtone comes from the knowledge of what inevitably befalls a fish laid out on a cutting board.
(Style: spoken/casual/A=female, B=male)
A: Murata-san ne, shakkin ga kasanatte toosan sunzen na n da te. Ato wa ginkoo no dekata shidai to you koto rashii wa.
B: Soreja marukkiri manaita no ue no koi janai ka. Shinseki ka shiriai no tsute de doonika naranai no ka ne.
A: I hear that Mr. Murata is in great debt and is on the verge of bankruptcy. It all seems to depend on the bank now.
B: He’s doomed then. Can’t his relatives and friends do something about it?