Cowboy Bebop

Review time! Around the year 2070, after a slip gate accident destroyed most of the moon and caused Earth to be near uninhabitable, humanity has taken to the stars and has colonized several of the other planets and moons of the Solar System. Lawlessness abounds, so the Inter Solar System Police has contracted bounty hunters to hunt down criminals. One such is Spike Spiegel, a smooth man with great aim and killer martial arts. Along with his partner Jet Black, a former ISSP officer, they man the Bebop, looking for the next big bountyhead. But they are soon joined by a host of eccentric characters, including an intelligent Welsh Corgi named Ein, the beautiful but scheming and often prickly Faye Valentine, and the goofy but brilliant hacker named Ed (who is actually a girl). As life is rarely simple, everyone on the Bebop has secrets in their past, either wanting their previous lives to stay buried, or uncovering their own buried history. For Spike, it all comes back to Mars, an old comrade turned enemy in the form of the aptly named Vicious, and the woman he loved named Julia. This is sure to be a bumpy ride. Cowboy Bebop is a classic in the anime world, and I can see why: the characters are surprisingly deep, the stories themselves are often fraught with pathos, and the action is fast paced. The music is in a league of its own, with a variety of different styles, each befitting the episode at hand. The intro is, of course, one of the best themes in anime, and should never be skipped. Humor is sprinkled throughout to keep things light enough so the show isn’t oppressive, but some episodes do get very heavy. One curious thing about the show is that the main “Plot” of the show only happens for a handful of episodes, and the main antagonist is only in 5. The rest of the episodes are all mini-adventures, which is not to say they are filler (though some could be called that), as many of them help flesh out the characters. There is one scene of nudity in the show that is used for a specific narrative reason which caught me off guard, but that was the point of that scene. Given the choice between Dub and Sub, I highly recommend you go with the Dub, if for no other reason then to hear Steve Blum in his big breakout role. His ever cool voice nails Spike’s personality and shows how he got to be one of the most famous names in voice acting. So get everyone and their stuff together and jam, for one sci-fi ride you won’t forget. Until then, I’ll see you, space cowboy!

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