“Cowboy Bebop” Remains a Perfect Visual Work of Art with Unparalleled Shades, Mournful Storytelling, and Colorful Characters | Entertainment
“SEE YOU LATER, SPACE COWBOY…”
Let me preface this review as I’m by no means a fan of anime or what kids might call a weeaboo. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up watching “Dragon Ball Z” or “Naruto” on Saturday mornings. I’m sure these are great shows, but the medium as a whole has never piqued my interest. Outside of “Pokémon” the closest anime-related medium I’ve seen is “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. So, let me state for the record that the neo-noir series “Cowboy Bebop” from animation company Sunrise and director Shinichirō Watanabe is the best anime you’ll find on this side of an astral gate and one. of the best media ever. Period.
Let us confide.
Spread over twenty-six sessions or episodes, “Cowboy Bebop” revolves around a group of motley, misfit bounty hunters, nicknamed cowboys, who try to make their way through the galaxy from one bounty to another. , while trying to escape their pasts. Set in 2071, nearly fifty years after a cataclysmic explosion that left Earth uninhabitable, the series follows the crew of the Bebop spaceship, which is home to the sarcastic, death-obsessed bounty hunter dressed in a suit of Blue recreation Spike Spiegel, amnesiac femme fatale Faye Valentine, ex-cop and bonsai lover Jet Black, eccentric young Edward with a penchant for hacking and a genetically engineered Pembroke Welsh Corgi with a human intelligence named Ein.
From Venus to Mars to the ruins of Earth, every adventure of the Bebop crew is unlike any other session, each of them painting a fully realized dystopian world that, while set in the future, feels entirely tangible. and grounded in reality. For nearly fourteen and a half hours, the show tells a comprehensive, cohesive story about these disparate characters whose adventures range from hilariously random to completely deranged, with pinches of melancholy spliced throughout the narrative. There’s an overall story centered around Spike’s past, but the real heart of the series comes from the interpersonal relationships of the Bebop team.
At the start of the series, none of these characters are incompatible with their personalities, outlooks, and even dress styles, unable to mesh with each other. Reluctant to work together, they grit their teeth to do the dirty work just for a quick Woolong (the motto of the series). They see life as a cesspool where everything that happens happens. However, as the series progresses, the Bebop team goes from gut-hating to the idea that they can’t live without each other, which is a nice development to watch. .
In essence, the beauty of this show comes from the fact that these characters are all haunted and fleeing their pasts. They are chained by them, constantly denying and doing everything in their power to avoid facing their trauma. Their denial and inability to want to change or simply cope with their traumas are fascinating to watch as their static nature as characters is what establishes them as some of the most dynamic characters of all time.
Due to their inability to cope and the constant escape from their past and deeper issues, each member of the Bebop crew is portrayed as perpetually lonely, leading them to each other. However, through each other, they can confront their existential boredom and haunted stories. Sacrificing everything for the Betamax player in the galaxy or risking their lives for a Corgi, these lonely and colorful characters understand that they can always trust and fall back on each other, even in the vastness of space. Their consolation in their camaraderie is what finally allows them to come face to face and grapple with their pasts because, as the last line of the series suggests, “YOU ARE GOING TO BEAR THAT WEIGHT. “
“Cowboy Bebop” doesn’t even read like an anime; it is simply art through and through. From perhaps the best intro ever to a series, a plethora of soulful moments, iconic and jubilant jazz tunes from Yoko Kanno, genre perfection, spectacular animation, and epic, nuanced storytelling, this historic series has everything to please. It’s tragic, hilarious, elegant, and so much more. Combining influences from John Woo, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asimov, Elmore Leonard, Bruce Lee and John Wayne, the series is not restricted to any particular genre as as blurb in the opening titles reads as follows : “The work, which itself is becoming a new genre, will be called … COWBOY BEBOP.