Over the last couple of days, I watched all 26 episodes of Cowboy Bebop. It’s ridiculous that I’ve been borrowing these DVDs from Pi for the last year and just finally watched them, and now that I’ve seen them I wish I’d bothered to watch them sooner. I don’t have a lot to say about, but I do have a few things I wanted to say.
The biggest thing that this series has going for it is style. Lots and lots of style. The animation isn’t innovative or anything, but the whole thing is fantastically choreographed with a groovy soundtrack. I’m considering trying to find a soundtrack, I liked it that much.
The setting is very much space western, as you’d probably guess from the name. If you saw any of Firefly, Cowboy Bebop reminded me a lot of that, though they’re far from identical. The story follows a loosely knit gang of bounty hunters who experience very mixed luck. The most common story element by far was food, or more specifically the lack thereof.
I laughed often, too. In most anime, I’d find a character like Edward incredibly annoying to the point of grating. But in Bebop, Edward actually did her job and regularly amused me without ever getting annoying. While Edward’s humor was ridiculous, the humor from everyone else was much drier — just like I like it. In this respect, its dialogue again reminded me of Firefly.
I actually watched the dubbed version, so that I could do other things at the same time. I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t watched any anime for awhile and I’m comparing the dubbing to awful video game voice work I’ve been dealing with lately, but Bebop’s English audio seemed really good. There was nothing annoying about it. Also, compared to Spirited Away‘s dubbing, I thought Cowboy Bebop’s dubbing was at least as good.
As for the DVDs themselves, they were fine, but I wished the chapter indexes had been more fine grained. Finding certain scenes I wanted to re-watch took me way longer than it should have on a random access device, because I still had to scan through half the episode looking for something. That’s a general gripe I have about most DVDs, though, so it’s not something that *just* these DVDs did wrong: Most DVDs piss me off as soon as I want to find a specific scene.
If you’re an anime fan and you haven’t seen Cowboy Bebop, you should absolutely see it. If you liked Firefly, you might consider checking out Bebop. And if you just don’t like anime or cartoons, then you’re not going to like Cowboy Bebop, either.