Cowboy Bebop Anime Review

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It’s an episodic series about bounty hunters in space. That’s about it really, if that peaks your interest then have a look.
The ending is cathartic and conclusive which is more than what can be said for most series which are inconclusive infomercials for the source material. There are a few movies which are stand alone stories which add nothing to the plot and little to the characterization. The characters don’t change that much throughout the series and the resolution of each of the character arcs is there but it is rushed with many episodes spent on self-contained (mis)adventures that are mostly good but not always (e.g. there is one episode in which the characters spend an entire episode searching for a person in a futuristic city and there was an episode in which they tried to tackle AI and virtual worlds and made a mess of it). When the series finally gets around to dealing with the characters it feels like it is going through a checklist. The music is pretty good. The opening is memorable and doesn’t deceive the viewer for shock factor like modern anime madoka magica do. The jazzy energetic music and the colourful action sequence set the tone of the series until the ending which takes a darker and edgier tone. The last character arc takes more than one episode and it is by far the best. The rest of the soundtrack is particularly good too. Although the series itself does sometimes suffer from tone whiplash as it tries to cover a different subject in each episode; Most notably in the one in which a bounty hunter who dresses like a cowboy competes with Spike to catch a thief turns into a comedy in stark contrast with the rest of the series. Even if the character arcs are rushed and the characters’ personalities remain constant, when a change does eventually happen it is not reversed, there is no magic reset button (I am looking down at you Madoka).

It is a well executed rule of cool starter anime, much better than attack on titan. Use it with care to indoctrinate your friends into the religion of anime. I won’t go into the history of its creation but it was made to appeal more to western audiences . It is supposedly chockfull of references to famous scenes in American movies (but I am no movie buff just an anime and manga otaku so I couldn’t recognize any of them myself). It aired in English in the United States before airing in Japan; I have no complains about the English dub. This series has all the cool stuff about anime: well choreographed action scenes, quirky characters and interesting premises and some slight philosophical themes. And it has none of the fetishes, you can show them those when it is too late to stop watching anime.

I give this anime a 6 out of 10. What? The animation is pretty, the characters are badass and the soundtrack is pretty good but those are just the icing on the cake: The cake is the content and there isn’t much of it, most of the characters
who are not the main cast, are there just for dramatic effect as it all gets resolved in one episode and the main cast itself
for most episodes feels like side characters with frozen development who are there because it would be weird to have an entirely different cast in each episode. All that said I suggest you to have a look at it for its historical value and because it is classy I will not deny that (And Faye Valentine is hot I am off to look for some fan art and cosplayers).