From Here to There to Japan One Day

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop was directed by Watanabe Shinichiro, who also is responsible for directing Samurai Champloo. I really enjoy this anime, but I times I can find myself cringing over episodes that are not digitally remastered. This is only a little complaint, especially because this anime is hitting the ten year old mark. Still, I adore the dose of blunt truths and cynicism shown by most of the main characters.

There’s a Cowboy Bebop movie which is less known as “Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” in Japan but over here it’s simply Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. As with any popular anime series, there is always an accompanying set of manga books. I like the manga not just because it’s Cowboy Bebop, but it is simply easy to read manga. The chapters are divided into stories, so rarely are they in continuation of each other. It’s easy to pass the time away without being too taxing on the mind unlike other manga. There are three volumes in the first set of manga, simply entitled “Cowboy Bebop”. The second set on release is called “Cowboy Bebop: Shooting Star”, it consists of two volumes with previously untold stories.

The year is 2071 and the remaining human population live on space stations and have colonised the planets of Mars and Venus. This is because fifty years previous to this, a horrible accident occurred on the Moon. A portal designed for more efficient travel for space ships, exploded near the Moon causing meteors to rain down upon the planet Earth annihalating nearly five billion people. The accident decimated the majority of the planet’s surface. Remnants of the people of Earth live underground as meteor showers are a daily occurrence. Bounty hunters called “Cowboys”, try to eke out a living by apprehending various wanted criminals and gangsters throughout the galaxy.

Spike Spiegel is a bounty hunter, who has a shady past behind him. He’s a former member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate of the organised crime underworld. He has dark green hair, auburn eyes and wears a blue suit with a strikingly yellow shirt. Spike’s rogue f

ighting style is quite similar to Mugen’s from Samurai Champloo, it’s a flowing, but also somewhat lazy-looking fighting style. His natural right eye is replaced with an artificial cybernetic eye. It’s suggested that his eye was replaced after the massacre with fellow crime member Vicious. The love triangle between Spike, Vicious and Julia is what spurned Spike to try to leave organised crime. After escaping the clutches of the Red Dragon Syndicate, Julia never met up with Spike, for reasons unknown until the end of the series. Spike is very obtuse in his dealings with Faye Valentine, it is implied that his more than platonic friendship with her could romantically develop, but he is still burdened with his thoughts of Julia, even though several years have passed.

Jet Black is a former cop turned bounty hunter, who allows Spike to live with him on the Bebop space ship. He is a strong, well-built character and bears a wicked looking scar over his right eye. His left arm was lost in a investigation when his partner betrayed him, and so Jet had a cybernetic arm fitted so that he may never forget that his partner had forsaken him. Jet is the most responsible person of the Bebop crew, as he has to resort to hiding emergency money in the pot of his bonsai plant. He does this as they’ve regularly had to do without food as Faye usually steals the money and gambles it and loses it all spectacularly.

Faye Valentine is the loudest, rude and most obnoxious (at times) of the Bebop crew. Faye has dark blue hair and is rarely seen without her trademark yellow clothes and a tied red stole. She spent fifty four years in a cryogenically frozen state, having amnesia upon awakening to this new and unusual world, her naive nature landed her in the debt of the person she first trusted. She has a gambling nature but it is suggested that her frantic need to bet everything she possesses is to pay off her inherited debt. Faye is by far the laziest member of the Bebop crew, she eats all the food and takes money even if she played no part in apprehending the criminal. In time, she begins to think of the Bebop ship as a home, and the crew as a family. Faye thinks of herself as more than a friend or an annoying sister to Spike, even if she doesn’t know it herself.

Edward was introduced into the series as the hacker genuis who lived on the planet Earth. Edward is actually a young girl who is in her early teens and lives on her own. She is found to be barefoot and everyone presumes her to be male because of her name, and her lack of femininity.  This young girl is an effervescent source of comic relief throughout the course of Cowboy Bebop. Edward was brought up in an orphanage and when she virtually hijacks the Bebop ship, she blackmails the crew into taking her on board. For the crew of the Bebop, the decision to recruit Edward to their ranks, is something they have yet to regret.

This song is the opening theme tune to Cowboy Bebop. It’s called Tank and is recorded by Seat Belts. I love this melody as it’s jazzy and fastpaced.

After that highly charged opening, I shall leave with a piece of video to help you relax. It’s called Green Bird and it’s written by Yoko Kanno. I particulary love the vocals and the piano solo in this video.



3 Responses to “Cowboy Bebop”

  1. […] Klara talks Cowboy Bebop. Great ending to the show. […]

  2. […] or Tenkuu no Escaflowne, directed by Kazuki Akane, who is also associated with Samurai Champloo, Cowboy Bebop and also Ergo Proxy. Once again this anime used to be one of my childhood indulgences, every […]

  3. […] latest news is that plans have been announced for a Cowboy Bebop live-action movie, according to Anime News Network. It seems that Fox Studios have decided to […]

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