Seeing "Cowboy Bebop the Movie" was my first time out with Director Shinichiro Watanabe's gang of futuristic bounty hunters and now I'm hooked. In just a few short weeks since the screening, I've developed an appetite for everything Bebop. Religiously setting my VCR to record the episodes and searching out fan sites to download the soundtrack media.
Flipping through the hundreds of channels of late night digital television, you may have caught a glimpse of "Cowboy Bebop" already. It's one of the Japanese Anime series currently running on Cartoon Networks "Adult Swim". Now, before seeing the movie, I kept on channel surfing because despite my geeky nature, anime has never been an obsession for me. While I liked the production style and the character design, with a few exceptions, anime plots and stories have left me cold.
The "Cowboy Bebop Movie" changed my mind and I can't believe I ever overlooked it. "Cowboy Bebop" is animated jazz. Its fast and kinetic and it plays out like a detective matinee set in a fast forward future. Its hip, its cool and its fresh new fantasy reaching our American shores.
The movies' timely plot is about a city threatened with bio-terrorism and the heroes for hire that try to stop it. We follow the adventures of Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed, four freaky friends who have all become cowboy mercenaries that collect bounties for wanted criminals. The movie is re-dubbed in English with the same voice actors the US fans have come to love.
The soundtrack music and score is one of the strongest elements of "Cowboy Bebop". It's hip jazzy retro sound under Yoko Kanno's direction transforms Bebop's storyline into action bliss. The "Cowboy Bebop" movie features rock and soul songs by the Seatbelts, that adds a seventies texture to the ambience and cements "Cowboy Bebop's" cool. It's so good that I pray that some US record label will make a domestic pressing of the soundtrack CD's so I can listen to the music while offline.
The same creative visionaries that redefined what anime could be with series like "Macross Plus" hatched "Cowboy Bebop". They continue their efforts of developing a rich, detailed world, filled with fun characters you care about and a storyline that's as good as the stylish artwork presenting it. Even if you don't think anime is for you, go out to the theatres and give "Cowboy Bebop" a try. (3,2,1 - let's Jam)
For Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2003 - Purple - Air Date: 4/2/03
Cowboy Bebop The Movie
Japan - 2001