Hello animation fans, it’s your old buddy M4L signing in and today I’m here to do a review of Cowboy Bebop, that’s right, the Cowboy Bebop. If you are a veteran of anime you have seen it, if you are new to anime then you have heard about it, either way you know what Cowboy Bebop is and most likely know what it has done for non-toyetic anime the world over.
In the late 90’s when anime was being geared toward children in the United States and shows like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z were ruling the Saturday morning cartoon airwaves bringing in millions upon millions of dollars worth of revenue there was not much in the way of anime that older teens and adults could sink their teeth into, then came along two series that would change the landscape of how anime was viewed and how anime would be marketed. One of the two series I am talking about is Cowboy Bebop, the other would be the infamous Trigun. The story that was told in Cowboy Bebop was much more mature and violent that the stories that were being told in toyetic anime that was dominating television, the plot revolved around a group of bounty hunters that cruised around space waiting for jobs to come their way, often times the story had the main characters (Spike and Jet) trying to apprehend somebody or even killing them, there were also multiple alcohol and drug references throughout the series which made it nearly impossible to get the show aired on U.S television until Cartoon Network placed it on their Adult Swim block in 2001. Still, that didn’t stop people from purchasing the DVD’s to get their fix of this series that was unlike anything else being aired at the time, people were even trying to find streams of the show on the internet back when online streaming was a virginal way of finding entertainment. The bottom line is that people wanted to watch Cowboy Bebop and they were willing to spend a lot of money or a lot of time to do it.
As the story of the show progresses they pick up a couple new crew mates on their ship, the first of which was Faye, a troublesome gambler who joins the crew uninvited and likes to come and go as the pleases, the other character being a young girl named Edward, who is an orphan who turned out to be a great computer hacker. Faye’s character became a personal favorite of mine throughout the series, her stark attitude, sheer sexiness and underlying innocent side helped her to really hit home with me and there were multiple times throughout the series where I couldn’t help but to feel sorry for her, especially in the episode “Speak like a Child” where the crew comes across and old tape of her when she was a teenager. The series featured multiple moments of sheer emotion that helped the characters in the series connect with it’s viewers, one episode in particular had Jet meeting up with an old flame who he always kept close to his heart but after a set of extraordinary circumstances he was forced to let go for good, another instance would be in the final episode where Spike watches the woman he loves (Julia) get shot and killed just feet away from him. It’s events and storytelling such as this that helped to set Cowboy Bebop apart from any other series that was being aired or that was available at the time.
Now it’s time to talk about the technical aspects of Cowboy Bebop for a moment. First I want to start off with the animation in this series, I for one found it to be top notch for it’s time period, sure a lot of anime series that are out now destroy the animation in Cowboy Bebop but this series aired in Japan back in the late 90’s which means it was probably animated sometime in 1997, so with that in mind the artwork and animation is exceptionally good. The music behind Cowboy Bebop has really garnered a lot of attention, it’s opening theme “Tank” is used throughout multiple different venues for sports and other major events and it’s ending theme “Real Folk Blues” is considered to be one of the best ending themes in anime history by fans of the medium. I’ve often read people commenting that they have both seen and heard Cowboy Bebop, reading something like that is a great testament to the music in the series, but it’s also a great testament to the sound effects and audio used throughout the series as well. While watching this series it’s pretty easy for me to say that you will have a lot of fun getting involved with the recurring storyline as well as the hilarity of some of the stuff that takes place both on the ship and off, give it a try if you have yet to board the Bebop already and let me know what you think, my ear is always open.
Art & Animation – 8.75/10
Music & Sound Effects – 9.0/10
Story & Writing – 9.0/10
Fun – 8.75/10
Overall – 9.0/10
As always I want to thank those who took the time to read my blog, it’s much appreciated and you can always check me out at http://www.twitter.com/manga4life as well as TZ and JD.