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Cowboy Bebop – Review October 23, 2009

Posted by Cello in Anime (TV) Series Reviews.
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Cowboy Bebop showcases phenomenal jazz music and exquisitely detailed animation that perfectly captures the mean streets and spaceways of a future world that’s simultaneously strange and familiar, with technology that’s grungy and realistic. It is perfectly believable and you never question the outlandish scenario’s that Spike gets himself into.  The basic synopsis breaks down as such: It’s the future and mankind has developed space gates that allow easy travel in the solar system. Earth is devastated when a hyperspace gate near the moon explodes which forces survivors to move underground. Society has broken down, the police are unable to keep order, and bounty hunters capture criminals to earn bounties. We follow the bounty hunters.

We follow these characters though 26 episodes which range from serious to slapstick, from sci-fi to western. Cowboy Bebop excels in all aspects with fast-paced and engaging storytelling, memorable characters, and a soundtrack unlike any other. The characters of Bebop include some of the most beloved in anime history. The compelling characters at the helm make you interested in their dreams and situations.

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Well over 10+ years later Cowboy Bebop is still the standard as how you make a truly awesome anime series. When this came out, the animation was top notch. But what most impressed me about Cowboy Bebop’s animation was the variety of locals, and the lived in natures of every environment that is visited. Cowboy Bebop also presents a realistic view of the future. Spike and Jet travel in what to us would be a highly sophisticated craft, but to them is the modern day equivalent of a 1976 El Camino.  The concept of Cowboy Bebop is not original, but its execution is outstanding. The characters are not original, but how they interact with the world around them is.

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Finally we have the last few episodes leading to the ending. I won’t give anything away to the people who unfortunately haven’t seen this series, just it will blow you away. A stereotype of anime is that the English voices are never good. However, that is not the case here. Spike’s calm, cool, and collected voice fits perfectly with his character.  There are plenty of serious moments and totally hilarious moments to be had while watching Cowboy Bebop. The series is mainly episodic, but does have a strong storyline that unfolds during the series.

Some people may not like it because of the loose connections between many of the episodes, or because they were put off by an episode, but that’s what made the show great. It’s following a randomly thrown together group of misfits on their sometimes wacky, sometimes sad, sometime’s boring adventures in space while exploring the characters little by little and coming to a good, though somewhat open ending. is a must watch for anime fans as well as those who love a great story. The best thing about this series is it is not your typical anime. The characters don’t have special abilities or powers; they don’t fight demons; they don’t save the world on a regular basis; they live day to day, trying to survive their environment. Few things in life are so entertaining and fresh as this show.
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Comments»

1. DrunkenScholar - October 25, 2009

“Well over 10+ years later Cowboy Bebop is still the standard as how you make a truly awesome anime series.”

Agreed. The reason I choose to OWN so few anime series is because they cannot sit next to my cowboy bebop without feeling a little bit shamed. Damn fine review, sir!

I also love the overall music theme of the show. How each episode is called a session, and all the episode titles are either song titles or have some genre of music in the title. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you look back over the entire piece in retrospect it makes you smile, and say, “Heh. Neat.”

My ship works better when I kick it.

2. glothelegend - October 28, 2009

All time GREAT anime. The ending is certainly ambiguous, but I choose to believe that the glass is half full (I don’t want to give anything away, but there’s really only two things that you can assume, so you can guess what I’m trying to say.)

Spike is the man. It will be interesting to see Keanu play him (I actually think he’ll do a good job).

3. ironanno - October 31, 2009

I like anime series that actually have an ending and I don’t agree that Cowboy Bebop being too short is a valid criticism. Otherwise I agree with your review.

@glothelegend Keanu? Oh no. I don’t really see him as Spike but let’s hope for the best.

4. James - December 1, 2009

The ending is interesting part of the series. Cowboy Bebop had some GREAT episodes, fight scenes, and the movie. All great in my book. The series had that cyperpunk feel to me, which added to the greatness.

5. signorRossi - December 29, 2009

I am really eager to see how Keanu Reeves looks with Spike’s haircut. 😉
Seriously, I don’t think Cowboy Bebop is suited for ‘Live Action’, there are only few anime that would work as such.


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