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Cowboy Bebop

Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman

Cowboy Bebop is an anime program aimed at the seinen demographic. The show originally had a brief run in Japan in 1998 on TV Tokyo. A few months later, Cowboy Bebop aired in its entirety on a Japanese cable network between October 1998 and April 1999. The program was brought over to the United States in 2001, and became the first anime program to be shown as part of Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" block.

The show is set in the year 2071, and revolves around a crew of bounty hunters traveling around the solar system in their spaceship, the Bebop. Most episodes of the series focus on one particular bounty that the crew is trying to apprehend, but there is usually also a focus on the past of one of the main characters. The characters' pasts are gradually revealed and brought together as the series progresses. In all, there are 26 episodes of the series; there is also a Cowboy Bebop film that was released. Many of the episode names are references to classic rock songs (such as "Sympathy for the Devil," "Honky Tonk Women," and "Toys in the Attic").

There are four main characters in Cowboy Bebop, and the first two introduced are Spike Spiegel and Jet Black. Spike is a former member of the Red Dragon crime syndicate, while Jet is a former member of the Inter-Solar System Police. They are later joined by Faye Valentine, an amnesiac awakened after being in a cryogenic chamber for 54 years. The final addition to the crew is Edward, a young computer genius and master hacker; while the character may have a male name, Edward is actually a girl.

When watching Cowboy Bebop, the viewer can definitely tell that the animation style was inspired by the realistic-looking animation that was present in Akira. The major difference, however, is that Cowboy Bebop also utilizes computer graphics.

The musical score for Cowboy Bebop is jazz and blues based, which isn't what a viewer would expect from this kind of anime program. Many viewers would probably expect to hear a hard, driving soundtrack or a soundtrack in a more electronic vein. However, the jazz and blues soundtrack works incredibly well in Cowboy Bebop, and really adds to the overall mood and feel of the show. The music is performed by Yoko Kanno and The Seatbelts.

In addition to the anime series, there are two Cowboy Bebop manga series adapted from the anime, and two video games (one for the PlayStation, while the other is for the PlayStation 2 console).

Personally, I would recommend Cowboy Bebop to anime viewers who are 16 or 17 years of age and older.


Title
Episodes
Release Year(s)
Director
Studio
N.A. Licensor
Cowboy Bebop261998-1999Shinichiro WatanabeSunriseBandai Entertainment
Cowboy Bebop: The MovieN/A2001Shinichiro WatanabeSunriseBandai Entertainment
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Content copyright © 2013 by Lesley Aeschliman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lesley Aeschliman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact BellaOnline Administration for details.

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