June 11, 2004

Cowboy Bebop Episode 1

Cowboy Bebop

"Asteroid Blues"

Given the overwhelming, mostly unanimous popularity of Cowboy Bebop, I'm pretty sure anything short of straight A+'s will provoke some sort of outcry. But what can I say? I like a challenge.

Cowboy Bebop is probably one of the most popular anime series ever created. There's a few large factors that made it as popular as it is, and they're all evident, even in this first episode.

I think the first thing anyone ever mentions about Cowboy Bebop is Yoko Kanno's score. There's a pretty incredible diversity of musical styles evident, and Kanno shows off her amazing ability to create a soundtrack that is an integral part of the action on screen, but at the same time doesn't dominate (a common gripe with Yuki Kajiura's scores, among others).

The other great thing about Cowboy Bebop is the great production values, which leads to the shows other strong points. The music, I've already mentioned, but the visual design of the world is extremely good. Really unique spaceship designs, and the various planets and space stations traveled to really look different and alived, and you get a sense of history behind all of the locations.

Then there's the action scenes. While a great amount of attention has been paid to every bit of the show, it really shines during the fight and chase scenes. Spike is Bruce Lee with guns. The show really does a good job showing Spike's fluidity of motion when he's fighting hand to hand, and then pulls out some slick gun battles to top it off. Then you've got the fun dogfights and chases through all sorts of locales, and out in space.

Cowboy Bebop is a lean, mean show. There's not much excess. Everything that's in there has been carefully looked over and tuned. On top of that, it manages to keep a good sense of mood and feel (one of the big Achilles' heels of most anime series). Not to mention, this is a great first episode, that really pulls you in and makes you want to know more about our mysterious heroes (tedious introductions and backstory are replaced with dropping you straight into the action) and the world they live in.

I guess I can keep most people happy with this first one, at least.

Rating: A+

Posted by Kei at 12:43 AM | Comments (6)