Where could I even begin with Cowboy Bebop? The immaculate music? The gorgeous Sunrise animation? The engaging stories? The cool yet relatable characters?
Yoko Kanno and The Seatbelts created pure magic with the soundtrack. From the moment “Tank!” starts to the moment “The Real Folk Blues” ends, every bit of music in the series is absolutely perfect and each fits its respective scene(s) perfectly.
Sunrise is my favorite animation studio, and Cowboy Bebop is a shining example of why that is. Every movement and every bit of background is detailed and refined. The only faults in the animation quality are the digitally animated assets, and those look like trash regardless of whether they’re made in 1998 or 2017. To their credit, Sunrise did the best job they could to make it as least-jarring as possible.
Each episode is a condensed movie without losing any of the quality that comes with being a movie. Cowboy Bebop brings forth emotions from the viewer that come from across the spectrum. Some episodes are as lighthearted as can be, while others are dark, sad, intense thrillers. Whatever emotion a scene is supposed to bring to the viewer, it does so without a doubt.
What could I possibly say about Cowboy Bebop that hasn’t already been said by any other anime reviewer/commentator of the past 20 years? If Jason Demarco is willing to run it until hell freezes over on Toonami, that should tell you something. I cannot think of any other anime so well done, from top to bottom, that deserves a 10/10, 5-star, etc. more than Cowboy Bebop.
A rarely seen bunch, yes, but Antonio, Carlos, and Jobim are probably my favorite comedic characters in anime. Every scene they’re in is great. The group is one of the little things that makes Cowboy Bebop that much better.
My single favorite episode of anime is episode 19 of Cowboy Bebop, “Wild Horses”
It combines everything I love inside of one of my favorite anime. Amazing showcase of late ’90s Sunrise animation? Yes. Great anime desert shots (that Sunrise did spectacularly between this and Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory)? Yes. Great music placement? It’s Cowboy Bebop, what did you expect. Everything about this episode is so clean. It doesn’t overburden us with too much information. It perfectly portrays the crew of the Bebop as a family, albeit somewhat dysfunctional.
I love it so much, that I recently bought it on VHS (which also includes episode 20, the fan favorite “Pierrot le Fou”).
The first ending theme for Psycho-Pass is just as amazing as the first opening theme. Everything about the first season, especially the first half of it, is so well constructed and that includes the opening and ending themes and their respective videos.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (Yoko Kanno – “Lithium Flower”)
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex is one of the most well constructed shows in existence, making Psycho-Pass look like child’s play. From the first moment of an episode to the last, you experience the emotion the director wanted fully and the music is no exception. There is a reason that it, along with a few select other anime, are “American classics.”
Cowboy Bebop (Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts – “The Real Folk Blues”)
Speaking of anime that are, for lack of a better term, “American classics,” it’s probably the best of any of them. Cowboy Bebop is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best anime ever produced, and its ending theme (and opening, for that matter) is indicative of that. If a show so deeply entrenched in music and musical references didn’t have a great ending theme, it wouldn’t make sense would it?