Cowboy Bebop ~ A Tragic, Ephemeral Beauty Rarely Seen…

Hello, everyone. Next up for review is an old series famous for its transient themes and having strong artistic directions with those of the beat and jazz movement of the 1930s-1940s and the rock era of the 1950s-1970s in America. It’s the old classic, Cowboy Bebop (1998). Synopsis is as follows:

Enter a world in the distant future, where Bounty Hunters roam the solar system. Spike and Jet, bounty hunting partners, set out on journeys in an ever struggling effort to win bounty rewards to survive. While traveling, they meet up with other very unique people. Could Faye, the beautiful and ridiculously poor gambler, Edward, the computer genius, and Ein, the engineered smart dog be good additions to the group?

Jet Black, Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine, & Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV

The whole feel of the series is mature and doesn’t feel quite as science fiction as others of the same genre in its time. Rather, I’d say that the genre that fits Cowboy Bebop is a drama set in an universe with the feel of the beat, jazz, and rock movements. The 26-episodes series takes an episodic direction in story-telling, in which of the episode have a different story and yet they intertwine with each other in morals throughout the series. ‘Ephemeral’ is actually a fittingly word for these stories: we go through the story and learn from the core themes and morals, before moving on to the next story. Despite the short duration of time in an episode, Cowboy Bebop actually does very well with its pacing of the stories with multiple good uses of brief, silent moments with lightning fast action.

And yet, all these stories just wouldn’t do it without our main characters and supporting characters. There are numerous supporting characters who all are unique and human in their own way, but the spotlight is on our four main characters, Spike, Jet, Faye, and Edward. I’ll probably talk more about them in their own posts later, but there’s this great post about Faye Valentine from hearthesea (hope you don’t mind me linking your post, hearthesea!) that I highly recommend reading. But the real focus may very well be on Spike and his past. Now, I’m not going into any spoilers for those who haven’t watched this show, but I do believe that this may be the “dying fall” of the climax of the series and ending the series on an extremely sad, but nice note…

Cowboy Bebop is a great series to watch at late night (that’s my preference for this kind of show, but it varies for each person), and the entertainment plus aesthetics values are great. While it is fictitious, it will make you think and relate to life in several ways, but in a nice or serious way. Overall, Cowboy Bebop deserves its famous reputation and I highly recommend watching this. I just kinda wish that the creators would give us more stories in the universe of Cowboy Bebop, but this series and the spawning movie are great enough in their own rights. There have been rumors of continuation, but who knows? Someday… Maybe, someday…

Props to those who got my reference to the director! :D

EDIT: Here’s a very nice site on Cowboy Bebop. This site has some great analysis and essays on Cowboy Bebop. There are spoilers, so you have been warned!

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6 Comments

Filed under Anime, Cowboy Bebop, Reviews

6 responses to “Cowboy Bebop ~ A Tragic, Ephemeral Beauty Rarely Seen…

  1. You’re right – this is a great “late at night anime.” It seems to just “feel” like it was meant for night-watching.
    You might be interested in knowing that We Remember Love is going to revisit each episode, one by one: http://ghostlightning.wordpress.com/2011/06/03/a-masterpiece-of-remembering-love-cowboy-bebop-episode-01-asteroid-blues/

    • Yep, it’s just perfect for late night since the whole feel and mood of the series is dark and mature. And, yes, I do know that We Remember Love will be re-visiting Cowboy Bebop. Thanks for pointing that out!

  2. Thanks, Dreamer. Good to see more appreciation for this lovely series. I also prefer to watch many of the episodes at night — it just seems to fit really well. (I was particularly pleased that it was raining when I watched ‘Ballad of Fallen Angels’.)

  3. Haven’t seen this yet, and this is my first time reading a Cowboy Bebop review. I’d say that “the drama set in an universe with the feel of the beat, jazz, and rock movements” description appealed to me.

    Thanks for your review I’ll add this to my plan to watch list.

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