HOW HUMBLE DO BOUNTY HUNTERS COME?

Is jazz dead in 2071?

COWBOY BEBOP

SUNRISE! The year is 1998 and what a big year it was for TITULAR DIRECTOR Shinichiro Watanabe. Never heard the name?  SACRILIGIOUS! Synonymous with anything legendary in the anime industry.

The solar system has became a slack jawed, back road, haught of skinny malnourished criminals looking for a fistful of WOOLONGS, and the only thing that stands in their way is the 5 strong crew of the goodship “BEBOP”; an ex hitman of the RED DRAGON SYNDICATE tong, a retired INTER SOLAR SYSTEM POLICE (ISSP) agent, an eccentric young hacker, a gambling addict conwoman and a genetically engineered PEMBROKE WELSH CORGI.

Schematics aside, “COWBOY BEBOP” is one of the most influential pieces of anime ever, and it remains as relevant and visually compelling as it’s first release.

Through the looking glass,

  1. Was COWBOY BEBOP superior to content in anime at the time?
  2. What came before it that influenced what it is?
  3. What came after that in itself influenced?

as mecha anime seemed to be dying or already dead.

The only great pieces to come out of the industry were mediocre at best.

(Clockwise from lop left to bottom left): Initial D, ONE PIECE, Spriggan, TRIGUN, Yu-Gi-Oh!, GUNDAM WING: Endless waltz.

1.

Amongst cars, childhood card games, and the popular pirate swashbuckler ONE PIECE, COWBOY BEBOP had philosophy, science fiction, noir, martial arts, gangsters, crime and everybody smoked.

Said WATANABE to, bebopattic.weebly.com, when asked;

“Actually, In my cowboy universe, tobacco is incredibly cheap. And if I go to say a little bit more, how do you know it’s really tobacco? We’ll leave it at that. (laughs).”

Where the other influential pieces at the time (NEON GENESIS: EVANGELION) succeeded in sombre, COWBOY BEBOP brought LIGHT to a DYSTOPIA.

COWBOY BEBOP was definitely SUPERIOR to other content during it’s year of release.

2.

Seeing its success in the WEST over 20 years ago, SHINICHIRO blended WESTERN POP CULTURE into COWBOY BEBOP.

Did his homeland of the EAST influence his work?

Far from it; 

Such pieces as Dirty harry, john carpenter films, spaghetti westerns, noir, hongkong action, and jazz are accredited in interviews with IGN.

3.

Besides saying the obvious truth that COWBOY BEBOP has influenced work since it’s release,

It has joined the pantheon of the greatest anime ever created.

  1. LUPIN THE THIRD; CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO (HAYAO MIYAZAKI; STUDIO GHIBLI – 1979) Which served as the basis for “COWBOY BEBOP”
  2. GHOST IN THE SHELL (MAMORU OSHII; PRODUCTION I.G. – 1995)
  3. NINJA SCROLL (YOSHIAKI KAWAJIRI; MADHOUSE – 1993)
  4. AKIRA (KATSUHIRO OTOMO; TMS ENTERTAINMENT – 1988)
  5. SPIRITED AWAY (HAYAO MIYAZAKI; STUDIO GHIBLI – 2001)
  6. NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (HAYAO MIYAZAKI; STUDIO GHIBLI – 1984)

If it wasn’t for COWBOY BEBOP the western introduction into ANIME would be bleak.

Not even watanabe knew of it’s success in the west.

In an interview with otaku magazine he said:

OUSA: Cowboy Bebop was originally broadcast 15 years ago in the US… Did you anticipate the longevity of it, and how does that make you feel?

Watanabe: I am happy to see fans still remember Bebop. Back when we were making Cowboy Bebop, one thing I told the staff was “let’s make a show that does not feel dated in ten or twenty years,” so I am happy that that has actually taken place. But of course they laughed at me when I said that back then and they said “good luck.”

nuff said?

     “SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY…”

HYPERLINKS FOR 90s ANIME HEAVEN:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AnimeOfThe1990s

11 Forgotten Anime Series From The 90s That Still Hold Up Today

http://bebopattic.weebly.com/

BIBLIOGRAPHY

https://www.anime-planet.com/anime/years/1998

http://bebopattic.weebly.com/watanabe-interviewhouston.html

Cowboy Bebop’s Shinichiro Watanabe and Dai Sato Talk Genre, Storytelling and Sigur Rós

https://au.ign.com/articles/2017/11/24/the-many-inspirations-of-cowboy-bebop-director-shinichiro-watanabe

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