Cowboy Bebop

Genres - Action, Science Fiction  |   Sub-Genres - Anime, Tech Noir  |   Run Time - 30 min.  |   Countries - Japan  |  
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Synopsis by Andrea LeVasseur

Originally broadcast in 1998 with 12 episodes on TV Tokyo, Cowboy Bebop also aired in 2001 as part of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming with an excellent English-dubbed soundtrack and all 26 episodes. The action-packed and hyper-styled animé is a very human drama in a futuristic setting about crime-fighting adventurers. Set in the 21st century, the Earth is a wasteland and the solar system has been fitted with hyperspace gates -- sort of an expressway for spaceships -- where criminals and gangsters continue to proliferate. Enter the misfit bounty hunters of the rickety ship called Bebop. Spike Siegel is the ultra-cool Bruce Lee-style fighter, who harbors painful memories that he covers up with a cynical wit. Jet Black is a former cop and a decent mechanic, who carries around memories of his own troubled past along with his mechanical arm. Faye Valentine is a femme fatale and compulsive gambler with a massive debt, who yearns to discover her identity prior to her cryogenic freezing. Along with the self-styled computer hacker girl called Ed and the data dog, Ein, the bounty hunters try to earn their keep and get through the day. The visual style is unique in the animé genre, using inspiration from old pulp adventure stories, film noir, and Westerns. Along with the original jazz compositions from The Seatbelts, the soundtrack incorporates rock & roll and blues references. Style reigns in the world of these futuristic outlaws, but not at the sake of substance. The tragi-comic family of the Bebop crew deals with the realities of loneliness and isolation, as well as shoot-em-up action and bittersweet romance. Alternately poignant, destructive, and hilarious, Cowboy Bebop has become an exceptional science fiction series. The series would be followed by a feature-length adventure, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie in 2002.