Subject: Thoth also watched Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
Posted on: 2019-11-26 22:15:34 UTC

Well, after singing the series' praises endlessly, what do I think of the Cowboy Bebop movie, made by pretty much the same people a few years down the line?

It's... fine.

That's about it.

Okay, I can say a little more. This film isn't some kind of epic conclusion or anything—it's basically a 120-minute standalone episode of Cowboy Bebop with movie-grade production values. Kind of like Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos, except it looks good, has good production values, isn't terribly written, doesn't create any plotholes...

Okay, maybe it's not anything like the Sacred Star of Milos, except that they're both taking the established characters and kinda going off and doing their own thing with them without tying into a broader plot. Which is good, because the Sacred Star of Milos might be the most embarassing thing Studio Bones has ever produced, but also because that's most episodes of Cowboy Bebop, so the show is much more amenable to this sort of thing than Fullmetal Alchemist was.

So it's mostly just Bebop being Bebop. Same cast, same crew, same director, a lot of the same people on writing and production, four morally-grey bounty hunters and one guy who's worth a whole lot of money if they catch him. Spike and Ein and Jet and Ed and Fey are all the same characters they were in the show, and they're as well-written as they ever were. The dub cast is back, meaning that this is still the one anime where you're legally not allowed to claim that the sub is a better way to watch it.

And yet.

There's just... something not quite right about it. I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's the stakes—there's too much on the line, and I maintain that Spike Spiegel was never meant to save the world. Maybe it's the setting, a city that feels just a little too bright and solid with too little of that everpresent seediness that the world of Bebop seems to bathe in. Maybe it's something in the shots, the composition. I don't know. But there's just something about this film that marks it as not quite the show it was based on. I don't know quite what.

Mind, it's still good. Just not quite as good as what came before.

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