Subject: Thoth watched Cowboy Bebop [and other pluggage]
Posted on: 2019-11-25 23:51:52 UTC

At the rate we're going, the plugs thread is going to vanish into the Oblivion of Page 2 sooner rather than later (I give it a week, two at most), so in hopes of anyone seeing anything I write I'm starting a new one sooner rather than later. Hope that's alright. You can totally post your plugs/reviews and stuff of Movies and Books and Whatever in this thread of you have any new ones.

Ahem. So yes. Cowboy Bebop. Note I'm not talking about the movie, Knocking on Heaven's Door, which is kind of its own thing (It's lodged in the middle of the last couple episodes, was written years after the series wrapped, and while it is excellent it's pretty standalone). I'm just talking about the series.

But man, what a series. Cowboy Bebop shouldn't exist. And I don't mean that like it's some kind of abomination, I mean that it's ridiculous to believe that something this good is real. I like a lot of things, and I tend to hype up the things I like, but... man. This is something else. I haven't been this drawn into a piece of media in... so long that I'm not sure I even remember.

And this was Shinichiro Watanabe's directorial debut. His very first series. That doesn't even make sense. It's a novice playwright turning in Hamlet. It's absurd.

For people who haven't actually seen Bebop yet, I guess I should explain what it is. Imagine Firefly, the anime, and then raise your expectations. It's about a crew of bounty hunters scavenging the universe for their next mark in an attempt to get the next meal into their mouths. And it is nothing more. The fate of the universe isn't at stake. Nobody has to save the world. There are no predestined heroes, and certainly no epic battles for justice. It's a space western, and it's full of all the grit, blood, violence, and moral ambiguity you might expect.

It's a show, first and foremost, about people. About a bunch of broken, damaged, but exceptionally likeable people. Characters who are richly developed, remarkably memorable, and effortlessly cool in a way that very few things can be.

But the other amazing thing about Cowboy Bebop is provided those people are involved, nothing is off the table. The show changes genre, style, and atmosphere as it sees fit: one week it's telling a dramatic story about its characters confronting their pasts. The next, it's an action-comedy that brings Ed to the fore. The week after that, it's a romantic tragedy. And then if it feels like you're getting complacent, it will go full-on horror with a setup centered around something strange, dangerous, and seeming omnipresent. Then it'll present you with a disturbing piece of cyberpunk straight out of Gibson. Followed on, of course, by a tear-jerking sentimental episode. And yes, I'm referencing real episodes with all of those sentences. The show may be largely monster of the week, but it never gets dull the way some shows in that format do because you absolutely never know what to expect when you hit play on the next episode.

And it does have an overarching plot, too. An overarching plot featuring a villain who is such a strong prescence that you might just forget that he's only present in a handful of episodes. The only villain I can think of that does quite so much with so little is The Borg from TNG, who were even more impressive on that front.

So... yeah. Cowboy Bebop is really good. It's incredible. You should watch it.

But then, you probably already knew that. What the heck. It was worth tossing in my two cents anyways.

Reply Return to messages