Cowboy Bebop (Kaubōi Bibappu)

For some reason I only skimmed this show a few years ago but I never dully watched it. The name has always stuck out to me because of director Shinichirō Watanabe and his involvement with Space Dandy which is one of my all time favorites. Well I finally decided to watch the show and Mr Watanabe, I will be checking out the rest of the shows you directed too.

While the show was done around 20 years ago, it still shines when compared to stuff from today. You can definitely see the same influences in Space Dandy too except Dandy is more comedy than noir. I sat there watching and thought “Dandy does that too.” Each episode is a self contained event except for the random 2 part episode. What was done is that every episode is filmed as a separate mini movie.

The show revolves around 2 bounty hunters, Spike a former criminal and Jet a former cop and captain of the Bebop. This unlikely duo sets out to capture bounties and maybe make enough money to get some food. Along the way the pick up some very random and strange companions who actually have bounties on them. Faye Valentine who is a crooked casino dealer with a lot of debt, Edward who is actually a young female hacker and Ein, a corgi with artificial intelligence. As you watch, you’ll notice that even though each episode is kind of self contained, that they also serve a purpose in showing parts of their history.

Cowboy Bebop tackles some issues like loneliness, the character’s past, abandonment, fate and other issues. Each of the characters has their own flaws and issues that are tackled during the course of the show. While loneliness seems to be the main theme for all the characters, it seems like they all form a bond where they need each other. Even the music plays up this theme with a lot of jazz and blues music.

I can see why the show won a bunch of awards, it’s just very well done in every way. The comparisons between this and Dandy go right down to the ending. If you like one then you will most likely like the other even though Bebop is more serious than Dandy. If I see the name Shinichiro Watanabe or BONES in the future, then I will be checking out whatever they produce. Cowboy Bebop goes to the top of my list of recommendations.



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