As I stated on my previous post, I saw the second half of Cowboy Bebop on a beach last week on my dear IPod. And I saw the movie yesterday. I must say, although I now understand why so many people think Cowboy Bebop is one of the best things to come out of Japan, I have to say I was disappointed and I finally understood why it took me so many years to build up enough motivation to watch the whole thing. Here’s why:
The series consisted of 26 episodes, at least half of them are purely stand-alone, and the rest deal very mildly with Spike’s and the others’ background. With the exception of episode 5, the first half of the series is completely aimless. Sure, there’s plenty of action, but not enough to make it good. After episode 16, the episodes become darker, the characters’ background are explained a little better, and it all goes back to Spike for the grand finale.
The only thing that kept me watching was the hope that maybe Spike’s story would take center stage. And even if the series tried to achieve this, the focus stayed mostly on the bounties. The end was beautiful and sad, the point of the story was finally made clear, but the whole series felt like wasted potential.
As for the movie, talk about wasted potential. Don’t get me wrong. It was a fun movie to watch, very well made, very entertaining. But they missed a golden opportunity to address the best part of the series, which was, once again, Spike’s story.
So in conclusion, I would have loved the series had it been shorter and focused on character development instead of being so focused on stand-alone stories. As it is, Cowboy Bebop is episode 5 and episodes 16 through 26. The rest are a complete waste of time.
In regards to the live action version of Cowboy Bebop, I hope the people in charge of the project are willing to address the core of the story and not go for a minor plotline. Based on Devin Faraci’s article, that doesn’t seem to be the case, although it’s too soon to tell.