Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Cowboy Bebop: A Rockin' Show

So, recently I watched the show Cowboy Bebop. It's an anime, and I'm not usually a huge fan of anime, the high voices bother me, but luckily, there was only one character with an annoying voice on the show, and they acknowledged how annoying she was.

I loved the show because it had an amazing sense of style, combining Western, noir, sci-fi and action tropes into, what the show itself calls, "the show that will became a genre unto itself." It had a mainly standalone, episodic structure, which bothers me in somethings, but worked here. The reason for that is despite the fact that most of the plots were standalone, they still did a good job of developing the characters. An episode like 'My Funny Valentine,' in which a man from Faye's past appears is a good example of something that showed us a great deal about her, in what was essentially a standalone story.

I particularly liked the way that the character relationships were handled, which was really subtly. By the last episode, we can feel how close they all are, even though they never say it. You know it's killing Jet to let Spike go, and it's killing Faye too, but they don't come out and say, "I really care about you, Spike, and I think you're making a mistake." Instead they keep things internal, and I think that's much more true to life. The final episode was one of the best finales I've ever seen, recalling the brilliance of the last episode of The Prisoner. The scene where Spike goes through the syndicate building wielding grenades and guns, to the tune of "The Real Folk Blues," was pure brilliance, and the final scene was absolutely brutal.

I still think the single most brilliant sequence is Spike falling out of the building in 'Ballad of Fallen Angels.' Cutting between his memories and his fall in a way I'd never seen before, they created something completely new. And the choice of music is what made an already great scene perfect. A truly phenomenal series.

Related Posts
Cowboy Bebop: In Depth (1/23/2005)

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