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Anime review: Cowboy Bebop

I first saw some episodes of this in March 2008, at Fanw's. I bought the discs in May, and finished watching it... last week, a year later. I think this says something. It's a classic in terms of popularity, and got my interest at first, but didn't keep it. Perhaps a second and denseer viewing would go better, but... I never figured out what it was trying to be; it's like surreal bounty hunters in space. Some elements are relatively well grounded: warp gates are magic, but they let ships get around the Solar system quickly without buttloads of energy and drives not much more realistic than the warp gates. The space colonies are aesthetically awesome O'Neill colonies, Stanford torii, and domed over craters, and there's a nod to why space would be settled: an early warp accident wrecked the Earth, so people fled elsewhere. We get scenes in zero gee, though I don't think ever low-gee despite action on Mars and Ganymede, and I'm not sure the zero-gee-ness of the ship is consistent.

Mind you, it's a weak nod: Earth still has things like "free oxygen" and "atmospheric radiation shielding", vs. the warm comforts of *outer space*.

And then there's things like the old food in the fridge that mutated into an alien lifeform, and the weird kid who's a super uber hacker and otherwise something like a slow 3 year old.

It's mostly episodic, going after various bounties, with shallow arcs regarding Spike's ties with the Mafia and Faye's history as an amnesiac cryonics patient. No one, IMO, is particularly likeable or usefully talkative. It's sort of like a slice of life series, only instead of real families or idyllic Martian gondolas we have heavy weaponry and people who can fuel their ship but barely afford food.


Damien Sullivan

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