I just finished watching the final disc of BeBop. Steven said he got “mugged” by the ending (his minireview here). I am frankly, dazed.
Interestingly, Madeline Ashby at Tor.com is beginning a rewatch of BeBop, which is pretty timely! I have to agree with everything she said about the series as a whole in her first post on the first episode:
Bebop has what most live-action SF television from English-speaking countries does not: a definite end date, a genuinely compelling story, great production value, interesting speculations on technology and a merciful lack of deus ex machina. Itâ€™s a series set in the future, not about the future, and is thus liberated from making any sweeping statements regarding the future. Perhaps for that reason, the world of Cowboy Bebop is neither a sun-dappled utopia nor an unforgiving dystopia. We watch it from the point of view of bounty hunters, so we see the dirty cops and the crime syndicate lowlifes and the momâ€™s basement-terrorists with delusions of grandeur, but 2071 remains a recognizable iteration of our current world. Ganymede fishing trawlers can be converted to achieve escape velocity, bounties on cross-colony fugitives can be paid from ATMâ€™s, hyperspace toll gates are vulnerable to bugs in proprietary software and need regular firmware upgrades. Its most optimistic prediction is also its most accurate: every colony from Io to Titan is full of signage in Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish. There are brown people, black people and pale people with dreds, turbans and mohawks. Watanabeâ€™s future is off-planet, and everybodyâ€™s there.
Given how strongly I loved this series and Champloo, I wonder if there’s a good label for this type of anime genre. What do space cowboys and samurai breakdancers have in common?
Anyway, my comment on the ending is as follows: