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Cowboy Bebop

 

Grade: B

Genre: Comedy, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi

Reviewed: Dub from Cartoon Network; sub movie

Episodes: 26

Notes: Screencaps are from the movie

Introduction:

In this space-cowboy series, Spike and Jet are bounty hunters with spaceships capable of interplanetary travel. They usually go after big bounties and usually end up losing them or causing as much damage as the reward. Along the way they pick up Faye - a bounty hunter with a gambling addiction, Ed - a computer hacker, and Ein - a genetically engineered dog. Spike, Jed, and Faye are all harboring secrets from their past - the revelation or resolution of which may destroy their present or give them closure.

Animation/Music/Voices:

Overall, very good animation with some excellent computer generated graphics. Character designs are good although Ed looks more cartoonish and doesn't look as real as the other characters. Music is excellent, especially if you like jazz. For those who don't, the score is still very good and there are a couple of beautiful scenes where the music just takes over. The dub voices are also very good although Spike sounds a bit too cool and not as goofy as he should based on his looks and actions. Maybe the original voice has more range.

Review:

The animation and music is where this series excels, but look up most over-rated anime and you should see this alongside Evangelion. The series is mostly episodic with a weak pseudo continuing storyline of Spike, his girlfriend Julia, and his rival Vicious, and their involvement with the Syndicate. The episodic stories are not original, and the plots are pretty thin. Although they are generally well executed, the humor is usually more amusing than laugh out loud funny. The three main characters (Spike, Jet, and Faye) have limited interaction among themselves and there's little if any character development. They are loners by circumstance and choice and they stay that way until the end. Whether or not Faye or Jet will change because of events at the end, we'll never know. Faye is someone you want to slap, but by the end, of all the characters, she is probably the most sympathetic. Jed is the stable character, the one to lean on, but not much personality. Spike is the cool but goofy type, but his cockiness makes him hard to like. Of the minor characters, Ed is one of those weird nonsensical annoying characters present for comic relief. Ein, the super intelligent dog, could have been a great character, but he's completely underused. Julia and Vicious have minimal screen time and their characters and motivations are not developed.

If you're looking simply for a good time and some fun without any strain on your brain this is a good choice. If you care about a real plot and continuing storyline, or anything with a deeper meaning or philosophy, look elsewhere. Rated PG-13 for violence, drugs, and sexual innuendo.