Cowboy Bebop (1998 IMDb)

Categorization

Grungy solar-system SF.

Subject

A loosely knit group of unsuccessful bounty hunters barely get along.

Commentary

This is that rare combination of great style with depth and substance, particularly to its characters, as opposed to its plotting. Jordan Stokes has written extensively about the depth of the show, including a 2016-06-17 article on Overthinking It titled “The One-Eyed Spike and the One-Handed Jet”, about the apparent use of the philologist Georges Dumezil's inferred stone age archetypes and the motif of debt. As a result of the focus on character, the light-hearted side stories (e.g. the mushrooms, the cowboy) are often better than the coherent drama. Shrewdly, the show ditches its comic relief character to get on with the final stage of that drama. Some great music, and like the similar but inferior Outlaw Star (1998), the visuals have come to represent the mature analogue form of the art.

References here: DT Eightron (1998), Outlaw Star (1998).

Japanese production animation series

Sequel:

Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven's Door (2001 IMDb)

Commentary

Set mid-series and true to style. Visually impressive.

Japanese production animation movie