Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Hazy memories of Cowboy Bebop

 I had been thinking of watching an episode of Cowboy Bebop or two since it’s been at least fifteen years since I watched it. However, after giving it some thought, I’m not sure it’s possible to watch that show piecemeal. My memory is that the entire show is one single complete thought. 

I distinctly remember when I first watched the series was initially wondering what was the big deal and why did so many people rave about it? Other than the soundtrack, of course. The music is clearly awesome and the people who worked on the show clearly dug the tunes.

But what I learned was that Cowboy Bebop is a slow burn. It takes its time to let what it’s telling you sink in.

Spike Spiegal isn’t just the protagonist of the show. He is also the central theme. The other characters, particularly Jet and Faye, are counterpoints to him. Which is pretty impressive since they are also fully realized characters.

But being fully realized characters is what makes them foils to Spike. It is what makes them so powerful. Jet and Faye are able to come to some level of resolution with their pasts and their flaws and who they are. And Cowboy Bebop is a tragedy because Spike cannot.

Does Cowboy Bebop have a killer soundtrack? It does. Does it have solid animation that is enhanced by incredible designs? Yeah. But I think its biggest strength is that it tells a tragedy that never flinches from.

(And, yes,  I am sure people have put together a select viewing list so you can watch the series in a time budget. I don’t think it would be the same)

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