A commerical aircraft is about to land on Venus. But it got hijacked by 3 hijackers. Spike and Faye are on the aircraft, because those 3 hijackers are bounties worth 500,000 wongs each. They attack ...
The Empire of Britannia has invaded Japan using giant robot weapons called Knightmare Frames. Japan is now referred to as Area 11, and its people the 11's. A Britannian who was living in ... See full summary »
Johnny Yong Bosch,
Spike Spiegel is a bounty hunter in the far future with an easy going attitude and some deadly skill at martial arts. Together with his partners, Jet Black, and later Faye Valentine as well, they go from job to job across the galaxy looking for the high priced fugitives to bag. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cowboy Bebop is a truly post-modern show. Not in the tired "Scream" sense
self-awareness, but in its willingness to mix genres and blur boundaries.
the most basic level it's a Space Western. But Bebop is not content to be
merely that, so there are added dashes of film noir, gothic horror,
creature-feature, black comedy, screwball comedy, spy action, crime,
romance, tragedy, action, philosophy, science, spirituality, fatalism,
optimism, buddy-buddy stories, slapstick humour, parody-- just about
type of tale under the sun appears in some shape or form during Bebop's
It's a show where each episode really is different from the last. Were it
not for the recurring characters, it would be hard to believe that the
brightly-coloured blaxploitation parody "Mushroom Samba" could possibly
from the same series as the bleakly violent "Real Folk Blues".
The world that the series inhabits is distinctly post-modern, too; space
ships fly through hyperspace gates, but once on the ground their pilots
fight with twentieth-century handguns. Scenic bays would look for all the
world like they were taken from modern-day Japan were they not dwarfed by
Jupiter, the enormous gas giant looming in the sky like some enormous
And the music - tribal drums and chants give way to electronic pulses
give way to jazz sax and trumpets that give way to rock guitars that give
way to blues harmonicas... composer Yoko Kanno faultlessly turns her hand
an eclectc selection of genres and instruments, ably backed up by her
All of which sounds terribly impressive, but why on Earth should you
it? Because, buddy, it's one of the finest television shows ever
I have to admit I'm not a big anime fan. Most anime that makes it over
seems to be either about schoolgirls with supernatural powers who battle
evil, or adolescent boys who - for some convoluted reason - wind up
to pilot big giant robots. And whilst I'm assured that shows such as
Escaflowne (schoolgirls and magic) and Evangelion (boys and robots) are
actually rather good, they completely fail to get my blood pumping.
Enter Bebop. Ultra cool Spike, grumpy strategist Jet, trigger-happy Faye,
nutball Ed and intelligent dog Ein are as far away from the usual brats
bots anime as you can possibly get. Their motivation, too, is far from
usual anime fare. These guys aren't bounty hunters because they want to
fight crime and keep the peace - all they want is a wad of cash, and
hunting seems like the best place to make big money fast. Although they
do the right thing when pressed, they rarely forget their true
and if they do, their perpetual lack of food will soon remind them. Life
isn't easy, and when you're a bounty hunter it's even harder.
Not that the crew of the spaceship Bebop are one-note characters. As the
series progresses, our initial assumptions about the characters are
overturned. At first Spike appears to be the cliched laid-back slacker
just happens to be a mean jeet-kun-do fighter), but we then learn of his
fall from the criminal underworld and of a loss that killed him
Jet's the obvious gruff authority figure, until we realise that he
cares for the crew of the Bebop as if they were his kids (and seems to
dabbled in pot and psychadelic drugs when he was a teenager). Faye's the
usual feisty stand-offish female lead but only because her amazingly
past makes her push away friends for fear that she'll become attached to
them. Ed's just some nutty kid until we meet her crazy father and realise
that it could well be her deprived childhood that sent her over the edge.
And Ein? Well sometimes it's hard being a super intelligent Welsh Corgi
ship where nobody appreciates you, you know?
But not every episode is deathly serious - the character development is
mixed in perfectly with humour (both light and dark), fistfights,
shoot-outs, car chases, aerial fights, space battles and some of the
animation you'll see in an animated TV series. And all of this spread
only 26 episodes.
Yes, many people espouse the old "leave 'em wanting more" line, but so
of them actually do it; Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the perfect example
series that spends three or four years being top-notch TV then freefalls
to apparent apathy from both the cast and writers. Bebop avoids this by
wrapping every dangling plot thread up in just one season of television.
after the final jaw-dropping episode it's quite clear that the series is
most definitely over.
Never before or since have I seen a series of such astonishing variety,
intelligence and style. Ten out of ten.
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