Cowboy Bebop Review

The best anime has to offer.

If you’re a fan of anime, then you can probably stop reading right now, because you’ve already heard of (and have most likely seen) Cowboy Bebop. If you’re just getting started in anime and want a reason to fall in love with it, then you definitely need to take a look at this series. Honestly, this is one of the best anime out there, and a personal favorite of mine. Even though I’ve seen every episode probably a dozen times, to this day if one of them comes on TV, I feel compelled to watch it. Cowboy Bebop is simply the epitome of cool, which is kind of a weird thing for a geek to say.

The series follows a crew of mismatched, down-on-their-luck bounty hunters aboard a spaceship called “The Bebop.” The crew consists of carefree ex-syndicate enforcer Spike Spiegel, haunted ex-police officer Jet Black, amnesiac con-woman Feye Valentine, pint-sized eccentric hacker Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV and super-smart Welsh Corgi Ein. All together, the crew covers pretty much everything you could ever want from an anime. Originally the series only consists of Jet and Spike, who seem to have a good thing going until, slowly but surely, they manage to reluctantly pick up more comrades as the series progresses.

Cowboy Bebop
One of the most dysfunctional families in space.

What’s really great about Cowboy Bebop is that there isn’t one thing that pushes them together into a cohesive group. Their only shared goal is trying to make a buck bagging bounties, and while they might be good at it, their luck seems to have other things in mind for them. They also never get to a point where the audience could consider them true friends, instead simply remaining comrades or perhaps merely symbiotes. Though the series takes time to focus on each of the characters and their past, it is Spike who appears to be the series’ core protagonist, and a number of episodes to revolve around him and his sordid past.

The series also contains some top notch voice acting throughout it. Some of the actors include Steve Blum, Beau Billingslea, Wendee Lee and Melissa Fahn, all of whom have extensive resumes voicing numerous characters from cartoons, anime and video games. But it’s not just the amazing voice acting that brings the series to life. Yôko Kanno creates an amazing soundtrack for the series, which combines a unique blend of blues and jazz. Honestly, this soundtrack alone is worth the watch. It doesn’t just end there though: Cowboy Bebop manages to combine science fiction and nihilistic noir in a way not seen since Blade Runner. Still, there is almost a retro feel to the series. Cigarette smoke, selfless dialogue and existential philosophy fills the screen in every shot, but Cowboy Bebop isn’t just one of those self-indulgent, heavy-handed series. With episodes where the crew faces off against the likes of “The Teddy Bear Bomber” and a floating super soldier in a tailed tuxedo and top hat, the series definitely has its funny moments, not to mention the amazing guns battles and fight sequences, which rank among some of the coolest in anime.

Cowboy Bebop is layer on layer of details and references, which puts it ahead of the pack. Perhaps the most outstanding aspect of Cowboy Bebop is the ending. While I don’t want to spoil anything, I will say that it is close to perfect. The series ends exactly the way it should, and while you will be saddened to see it go, your spirit will be at rest afterward. So, if you can only watch one anime in your life, I would recommend you pick up Cowboy Bebop. You won’t regret it.