3, 2, 1…Let’s Jam (Again)
Nearly 20 years have passed since the world was first introduced to the crew of Cowboy Bebop, and some of us are still watching. This is a series that helped redefine what science fiction anime shows could be.
The misfit trope is something that has become ever more popular over the years. You take approximately four to five social black sheep and force them into a room, spaceship, or whatever together, and watch what misadventures ensue. It makes for quality entertainment. Just take a look at the past four years in nerd culture. We welcomed, with open arms, the Guardians of the Galaxy and said our tear-filled goodbyes to Codex and the crew from The Guild.
Two premium examples of eccentrics coming together for a common goal, and finding their ways into our hearts. It’s exactly that concept that Cowboy Bebop perfected. Sure, they weren’t the first band of ragtag beatniks to come together, but they were certainly the best (at least in this humble nerd’s opinion).
Not only did Cowboy Bebop re-invent the misfit concept, they also introduced us basement, anime nerds to the cool world of jazz and blues. Who knew music could have such an impact on the way we watch things? Oh wait, I did. I knew that. Shinichi Watanabe also knew this fact. It’s why he so seamlessly was able to integrate the rhythms of the hep space-jazz band, The Seatbelts into each and every episode. The music adds such incredible depth to the story that, even when there’s a lack of dialogue, a story is still being told.
Back In the 90s’
1998, a year of short-lived animes, not to mention a tragic lack of quality science fiction ones. Cowboy Bebop was hardly an exception to the rule of longevity. Seeing as it only lasted one season. But here’s the catch, that’s all it needed. Anything more and we wouldn’t have grown so close to the characters. Their stories would have grown stretched and worn, and the audience would have eventually become emotionally detached.
Fast forward 19 years and that single season still holds up to the trials of time. That’s the thing about good science fiction, it will always be relatable. To this day I am still able to sit down and watch the series, in its entirety, in one go. And still, I feel the same sentimental attachment to the eccentric bounty hunters that I felt when first watching.
So once again, it’s time for Big Shot! See you space cowboy…