Posted at 4:54 PM on March 14, 2006
by Euan Kerr
I took in the "Cowboy Bebop" movie on DVD over the weekend. It's the story of a disorganized bunch of bounty hunters living in a slightly futuristic mega-city. They're smart and cool, and live in one of those special worlds which only anime can produce. They are chasing a mysterious killer who is intent on releasing a nano-machine virus.
Sometimes anime ramp up to an apocalyptic ending where logic simply disappears and while you can see what has happened, you aren't really sure why. "Cowboy Bebop" provides a threat of apocalypse, but a reasoned climax too. I have never seen the television series, and I'm curious how it measures up. TV versions of such movies often seem to be lacking. The "Ghost in the Shell" movies for example are intriguing to watch (although the second one jumps around like a kangaroo) but the TV series was much less satisfying.
Anyone else have any thoughts?
Oh, and if you haven't had a chance yet, check out the piece that Sanden Totten did for us on the closing of Discount Video in Minneapolis. It has some intriguing observations on the implications of the shifts underway in the movie business.
"Cowboy Bepop:The Movie" pales in comparison with the TV series. From the animation to the soundtrack to the voice actors (both the original Japanese and the dubbed English tracks are good) the show surprises and entertains in a way that few American series can. It's influence on Joss Whedon's series "Firefly" was apparent to me the first time I saw it.
After you watch "Bebop" check out the director's new one, "Samurai Champloo." Think "Yojimbo" meets "The Sopranos." It's out on DVD now.
I will indeed. Thanks!
The series is definitely great. Cartoon Network's Adult Swim has been showing Cowboy Beebop as a regular staple since 2001. Despite the fact that the series is only 20-some episodes, it's managed to keep drawing enough ratings to keep showing up on their schedule. I've watched the entire series on DVD, but it's still a treat to occasionally sit down and watch an episode on broadcast TV sometime after midnight. How many shows can you say that about?
For Ghost in the Shell, I have to say I had quite the opposite reaction. I felt that the series was a cut above the movies. A much more complex and interesting plot, a lot more time to develop the story and concepts, a lot more action, and the characters are much more interesting.
BTW, the same composer did the music for Cowboy Bebop (TV and movie) and the Ghost in the Shell TV series, Yoko Kanno.
All must see Cowboy Bebop! The movie was OK, but the TV show was great!
I really like the original Ghost in the Shell. I think I enjoyed the subsequent tv show more. The second movie was so-so.
Also, Yoko Kanno rules!
I've found that the best anime shows have truly great sound tracks. I've found out about new animes by listening to internet radio stations that play anime and jpop music. The catchiest tunes have lead me to other great anime shows.