Cowboy Bebop

Just started Cowboy Bebop via Netflix. It’s amazing. It’s clear how Firefly was inspired by this in so many ways. Theres not much to say at this point but it’s just spectacular on every axis – animation, story, characters. It’s really rare to see a science fiction treatment based in the Solar System and the terraformed moons and planets provide a huge canvas for the story. And yet you still have those 2001: Space Odyssey moments in the blackness and emptiness of space as well. The last episode I just watched even had a taste of Alien. It’s not all knockoffs but a really fresh take on these kinds of stories. Absolutely brilliant.

8 thoughts on “Cowboy Bebop”

  1. I’ll drop in with a few comments that shouldn’t ruin anything…

    1) If it’s not in your netflix queue, add the Cowboy Bebop Movie. It’s basically an quad-length episode and can slot in just about anywhere in the series.

    1b) From memory, there isn’t much of a story arc through the series. IMHO, it doesn’t need it. Now it would have been very cool to have a Babylon 5 style massive arc within an arc story line… but Cowboy Bebop lends itself well to the “adventure of the week” style. Again, that’s not to say there isn’t an arc to it, the arc just isn’t the driving force (again, IMHO)

    2) Don’t forget the spectacular MUSIC!

    3) Another part of the story/writing I enjoyed was the explicit lack of detail on how the future-tech worked. I always felt that the use of obtuse techno-babel was Star Trek’s biggest downfall. To quote Author C. Clark, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

    4) A Cowboy Bebop live action is supposed to be in the works… hopefully, if Spike is still going to be played by Keanu Reeves, it doesn’t turn out to be “The Matrix – IN SPACE!”

    5)Since I’m not sure if you’ve seen any spoilers on how the series ends, I’ll eagerly await your views.

  2. Steven infamously hates the ending of Cowboy Bebop. Perhaps because I had steeled myself for it, the ending didn’t bother me nearly as much (though there are some things I didn’t love about it).

    Otherwise, though, I totally agree. It’s one of the best series I’ve seen so far, and I second the movie too. I also agree that the music for this series is spectacular and it probably has the best soundtrack of any anime I’ve seen…

  3. yeah i’ve avoided Steven’s review so i have no idea about the ending. I was similarly entranced by Samurai Champloo but never got around to blogging my thoughts afterwards; but there wasnt exactly any major twist at the end of it, so i was less motivated to comment. I look forward to the 4th disc arriving tomorrow, and I do have the Movie in my queue as well.

    I love the varied landscapes of the solar system. Some of it you do have to just accept that theres no handy scifi explanantion possible – the terraforming seems impossible. But by keeping it vague, it works. I agree with you Bear that its a strength not to have technobabble.

    One thing I hope they discuss – whats the deal with Ein? I assume we will get closure on the Vicious plot thread but the dog is the main mystery.

  4. I like the ‘shroom episode; especially Ein’s reaction. I laughed a lot. I was troubled, though, by the fact that almost all the major characters are sociopaths in one way or another…

    1. that’s the episode im on – was halfway thru it but fell asleep. Will try to finish disc 4 tonight…

  5. The ending is very samurai, and it can be jarring for someone watching it with a western mindset. Personally, I think it is one of the best endings ever, and I’m astonished that anyone can see the series as anything but one giant arc.

    The one suggestion I always have is to watch it with the Japanese audio and subs. It is a totally different experience: it makes Spike a different person, and keeps Ed cute instead of insufferable.

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