What is a classic animated show? What elements does a classic have? And why is this show I’m about to write a big review on right now, a well-known classic?
Those are some questions that are a little hard to put into words, really, but not hard to produce. The classic Japanese animated television show called Star Wars: the Anime—*cough* sorry, what I meant to say was Cowboy Bebop. This series has what a classic should have: action/violence; humor; excellent voice acting; special effects; unforgettable characters and their backstories; and most of all…a unique story that audiences will never forget. Did I enjoy the show? Yes, most definitely. Were there flaws? There was only one flaw, but it’s rather small, really, but I will name it soon.
Here is the synopsis: In the year of 2071, bounty hunters named Spike Spiegel and Jet set up a crew with two girls (and a dog) and fly through the galaxies on their gigantic space ship to capture criminals to make money. Throughout their captures, they go on wonderful adventures in space and other planets.
Almost each episode begins with a clue with what will happen throughout the episode or chains of episodes in the series. This is very different than what I usually expect from other classics, like Naruto or InuYasha. (Well, InuYasha does have that same deal when it comes to filler episodes.) In Cowboy Bebop, though, there are no filler episodes, and each episode gives you a feeling that you are watching a short twenty-minute movie.
Now, although this series is somewhat cliché for a 90’s anime, the director Shinichirō Watanabe creates a spin and mature twist to this space and dystopian anime. For that mature twist, the screenwriter adds themes in this series, such as friendship, loss, greed, how to deal with money, and much more. For the character development in the story, each of the protagonists and antagonists get their own spotlight in each of the twenty seven episodes in this series. By using the helpful character development in this series, the director and screenwriter convey a masterpiece with memorable characters that the viewers will remember for a while.
In my opinion, the English voice actors really gave their all when it comes to Cowboy Bebop. Their voices in the show were so crisp and crystal clear for a 90’s anime, I thought I was watching a 90’s space movie! The voice actors don’t have the overly-used robotic tones like in the older English dubbed anime that were being translated at the time. Famous voice actors and actresses such as Steve Blum, the voice of Spike Spiegel, did a wonderful job playing his character and Wendee Lee, who voices Faye Valentine, really knew how to play their characters for this anime. To be honest, if the show did not have these voice actors, the show could have been poorly dubbed.
The animation is flawless and definitely takes a turn on how anime was drawn in the 1990’s. All of the colors used in Cowboy Bebop are mainly dark, giving the series a darker and more of a dystopian environment. Also, the action sequences flow really well with each other, giving the viewers some unforgettable fights, such as the first fight in episode 1 and the last fight in episode twenty-six.
Honestly, if I were to choose a favorite soundtrack from a television series, it would have to be this one. From the smooth, jazzy theme song to the background music, the composer Yoko Kanno chose really catchy and classic tunes from some famous jazz songs, such as Honkey Tonk Woman, Jupiter Jazz, Ballad of Fallen Angels, etc.
There are a lot of references in this classic, including Star Wars and Star Trek. When I first starting watching the series, I would fangirl to myself as I would spot the references from the two classic space shows I watched when I was younger.
Now, this one and only flaw I had with the series sounds a bit absurd and ridiculous, but I did not like the way a few of the characters were always leaving after an argument. After the episode, they would always come back and act like nothing ever happened. Sure it was surprising the first few times, but it got a little bore some after the fourth time it happened. I would not change anything about the series, except the flaw that I just listed.
After giving the rating some thought, I gave this classic anime a five out of five stars because of how well put together this show was. If I could, I would totally give this series more than five stars! With that in mind, would I recommend this anime to anyone? Definitely for all of you teenagers reading this review, even for those who have never seen anime. Like I stated earlier in this review, this series has a lot of similarities to Star Wars and Star Trek, which makes the series shine and grabs a lot of attention from multiple different audiences. Well, buckle your seat belts and join Spike’s crew as you fly through outer space and capture evil space cowboys throughout your journey in Cowboy Bebop.
“See you Space Cowboy”