A repost from another blog:
“Tonight, I decided to watch Cowboy Bebop, because it is almost universally acclaimed as the best anime ever made. What follows are my thoughts as I watch.
- I really like the color symmetry between rose turning red and the blood in the flashbacks.
- Opening credits: Music was not what I was expecting.
- Beginning: this reminds me a lot of Firefly, even though I only watched a few episodes of Joss Wheldon’s beloved show.
- Trying very hard not to be distracted by the animation quality. After watching stuff like SAO and Attack on Titan, your expectations of the animation level really change.
- The stereotypical bartender…and someone said Baka! Uh oh, people with guns going after a pregnant lady. Oh, noes! Not the kitty!
- Hm, not really sure what this “red-eye” stuff is.
- Man, the conglomeration of different things is just blowing my mind right now. An Indian shaman, someone named Asimov, eye drop that help you kill people, spaceships, bounties…oh, yeah, I bet the withdrawal from those eye-drops is killer. And the lady speaks Spanish…
- I think he just stole the eye drops while being choked. Champion work, dude.
- Trying to remember what these funky guitar riffs in between scenes remind me of. FLCL, maybe?
- Haha the surprised face cutscenes. Oh, she doesn’t have a baby…just dangerous stuff. Which could be babies, I guess.
- Whoa…it’s all fun and games until you give up on life. What an ending. Maybe too unannounced and random-seeming for me.
- FLOATING CIGARETTES!
And, that’s a wrap.
Basically, I can’t tell if this show is a delicately nuanced masterpiece, or if it is just masquerading as being deep. If it was only intended as character introduction for the main character, I’m not much of a fan of the way they did it. Tough to say really anything after one episode, but I wouldn’t say I was hooked the way I was after the first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood or Angel Beats!
One thought on “Cowboy Bebop: First Impressions”
To be honest, I had a similar reaction to the first episode of Cowboy Bebop. I, too, was late in starting the series but finally relented, thinking I should give all the hype a bit more credit. But my impressions after the first 4 episodes were best described as “loosely interested; it’s nothing like the Best Anime of All Time I was expecting”. But then, I got to episode 5 and as the story progressed, a whole plethora of complex themes and intricate motifs began to unfold, holding a mirror up to life that is so vivid it’s hard not to enjoy the ride..
By the time I finished the whole series, I was left astounded at what a monumental work it really was, and frankly horrified that I almost missed out on this masterpiece altogether (because of an inherent bias I had about what a good anime should look like).
One standout is how richly the characters are portrayed and how much they resonate with the audience. In an anime where the motto is practically “nothing is what is seems at first”, it’s one of those series that has the depth and complexity to warrant multiple re-watchings, each bringing new insights on the story and its highly compelling characters. You can enjoy the story even if it’s taken at surface value, but there’s a lot more to it.
Long story short, if you’re the type that likes to analyze characters, themes, plot devices, etc., (which I’m guessing you do – having read your fantastic episode reviews of Ore Monogatari), give Cowboy Bebop one more try. Give it some more time, because 3 of the 5 crew members onboard the Bebop haven’t even entered the scene yet in episode 1.