Cowboy Bebop

Showcasing an eclectic cast, fresh design and out-of-the-norm music, Cowboy Bebop manages to alter enough of the anime formula to make it stand out from the rest. Showing heavy influence from 60's/70's cop and mystery shows, Cowboy Bebop details the adventures of a group of space-bound bounty hunters in concise, self-contained half-hour episodes. Intially, the series starts out with Spike Spiegel, a drifter with a penchant for martial arts and casual attitudes, and Jet Black, a former cyborg cop, taking jobs just to pay for the necessities. As the series moves on, they pick up Ein, a super-intelligent Corgi, Faye Valentine, a card-playing, gun-toting vixen, and Edward, an underage computer hacker.

Cowboy Bebop is packaged as small episodic pieces, where events are often wrapped up in the span of the episode. Small hints of the character's past and personalities are revealed over time. Initially, viewers can gather only minor hints at what makes the characters tick, but as the series moves along, more and more is revealed. Viewers can gather the characters' personalities by watching the series over a few episodes.

Musically, Cowboy Bebop is fresh change from most other series. Including heavy jazz, big band and swing influences, the music flows quickly during action sequences and slows down during casual sequences. The music really aides in giving personality and emotion to the episodes.

While it's apparent that the series is aimed more at the male audience, it's smooth action and blend of sci-fi and nostalgia really lends it for a good view. The inherent sense of humor written provides the occasional laugh. Maintaining both an episodic format and series continuity works in creating a series that can both be viewed over a period of time or an episode here or there. The producers have managed to fuse stylish action, humor and well-done animation into a fine series. Unless you want to be mentally challenged, this will be a series you will enjoy.

- - Vane

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