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Cowboy Bebop

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David Bird
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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:16 pm

Session Three: Honky Tonk Woman

Been a busy time lately, but I’m still pushing forward. Also received my copy of Samurai Champloo, but haven’t had a chance to watch it yet.

This episode introduces the series’ female lead, Faye Valentine. She’s a heavily indebted gambler, who is forced to take part in the passing of a stolen computer program to a crime boss. This takes place in a casino—the very same casino Jet and Spike are gambling in.

Jet has had a dream. Charlie Parker has told him he’s going to win big. Would Charlie Parker lie to anyone? Faye mistakes Spike for her contact and is angered when he doesn’t make the exchange. Things quickly escalate.

It’s a fun episode, the zero gravity exchange is done very well, but it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense. Why was Faye offered the deal in the first place? The final fate of the chip doesn’t make a lot of sense either. And why is every space ship in the series armed to the teeth?

Valentine doesn’t actually join the crew in this episode, but she will soon.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:59 pm

Session Four: Gateway Shuffle

Things ramp up quite a bit in this episode as the guys face off against a group of inter-planetary terrorists.

The episode opens with Faye orbiting Jupiter, out of gas and looking for help. Her path crosses with a ship that has been badly damaged. The dying crewman tells her to get his package to the authorities, but on no account to open it. Of course she opens it.

In an upscale restaurant on a Jovian gateway, Spike and Jet are close to catching a quarry with a rich bounty when that quarry orders Ganymede sea rat. That attracts the attention of a group of eco-terrorists, the Space Warriors, led by Twinkle Maria “Mother” Murdock. The group kills our guys’ bounty and everyone at his table. They manage to snatch Mother, but she doesn’t seem too worried. She tells the rest to get on with the plan. She’ll catch up.

The plan? The gang kidnapped a bio-engineer and forced him to create a retro-virus that will revert humans to apes. They plan on releasing the virus on Ganymede. In quick order they reunite with Faye, lose Mother, and race to save Ganymede.

All in all I thought Mother was too over the top. The entertainment industry has a reputation for being liberal, but environmentalists are usually portrayed as idealistic, ineffectual, or, sometimes, just crazy. Mother, who looks a lot like the Joker, takes this to eleven and beyond. Also, when the costs of failure are too high, you know failure won’t happen and that undercuts the tension. On the plus side: it’s Jet and his contacts that play a central role, reminding us that there’s a partnership on the Bebop. Speaking of which, the Bebop gets a new crewmember, with Faye deciding to stay.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby MrBlack » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:22 pm

Aside from a few instances establishing that Ein is much, much smarter than the average dog, we do get one incident late in the series that may hint at his true purpose:

[Reveal] Spoiler: Click to Expand
In Episode 23, the guys hook Ein up to a virtual website that has been used to indoctrinate people into a religious cult. Ein ends up hacking the website even faster than Ed is able to.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:25 am

Yes, and they hint to Ein's intelligence in the movie too, but for the most part he's just their dog. Ed's really.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:20 pm

Session Five: Ballad of Fallen Angels

Well, it’s been a busy time for the Birds. Just this past week or so, we’ve had a funeral, a daughter return home (to the city, she’s not moving in), a I’ve had to turn the house upside down twice, the first time collecting up books for a book drive and the second time because a pipe went. So… a bit further behind than I wanted to be. Also, I’ve been watching a lot of Samurai Champloo.

This session begins with two gang leaders signing a deal in blood. No sooner do they part ways, predictably, than one is blown up and the other blamed. The other, Mao Yenrai, however, is actually dead; killed by Vicious, an old friend of Spike’s.

The session gives a lot about Spike’s background and goes some way toward explaining the prologue to episode one, but it doesn’t go too far. Lots of questions remain unanswered. Faye decides to move aboard the Bebop. She hasn’t been invited, as such, but neither of the guys are saying no. Soon she’s swept up into Spike’s backstory as well.

This is not my favorite episode. It’s much too melodramatic—it tries too hard. Every clique you can think of from mobsters love opera to dramatically lit cathedrals are thrown it. It’s important. We get it. Spike and Vicious, and Mao Yenrai, have a history. Before Spike was a bounty hunter he was a mobster. In the commentary track producer Yutaka Maseba calls his story the underlying story of series, and it is, obviously, but the background stories simply aren’t as interesting as the primary stories being told. These tend to be fun and inventive, the background stories clichéd.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby Chris » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:05 am

David Bird wrote:Session Five: Ballad of Fallen Angels

Well, it’s been a busy time for the Birds. Just this past week or so, we’ve had a funeral, a daughter return home (to the city, she’s not moving in), a I’ve had to turn the house upside down twice, the first time collecting up books for a book drive and the second time because a pipe went. So… a bit further behind than I wanted to be. Also, I’ve been watching a lot of Samurai Champloo.

This session begins with two gang leaders signing a deal in blood. No sooner do they part ways, predictably, than one is blown up and the other blamed. The other, Mao Yenrai, however, is actually dead; killed by Vicious, an old friend of Spike’s.

The session gives a lot about Spike’s background and goes some way toward explaining the prologue to episode one, but it doesn’t go too far. Lots of questions remain unanswered. Faye decides to move aboard the Bebop. She hasn’t been invited, as such, but neither of the guys are saying no. Soon she’s swept up into Spike’s backstory as well.

This is not my favorite episode. It’s much too melodramatic—it tries too hard. Every clique you can think of from mobsters love opera to dramatically lit cathedrals are thrown it. It’s important. We get it. Spike and Vicious, and Mao Yenrai, have a history. Before Spike was a bounty hunter he was a mobster. In the commentary track producer Yutaka Maseba calls his story the underlying story of series, and it is, obviously, but the background stories simply aren’t as interesting as the primary stories being told. These tend to be fun and inventive, the background stories clichéd.

This is one of the best episodes of the series.....
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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Wed Apr 24, 2013 8:31 am

Chris wrote:This is one of the best episodes of the series.....


Expand.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby The Old Doctor » Wed Apr 24, 2013 11:01 am

:-D

Now go get the still in production Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

Also, I recommend Hyouka, a series that mixes Agatha Christie style mysteries with Arthur Conan Doyle's in a mundane setting.
Despite that poor description, it was an amazingly good show. Basically, if you like Sherlock you should like this anime.
"Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."
"Oh, the pointing again! They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?"
"Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?"
""Timey" what? "Timey wimey"?"

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Well that explains a lot :lol:

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Wed Apr 24, 2013 10:13 pm

Session Six: Sympathy for the Devil

A man is lying on a surgical table. He is surrounded by doctors, and jars of organs, and fish. Spike wakes up from this dream. He’s in a blues club and a young boy is playing the harmonica.

Aboard the Bebop Faye is looking for something to eat. There’s nothing but dog food. She eats it, taunting Ein that if you don’t work, you don’t eat, but she doesn’t seem to be doing any work herself. ‘There’s nothing to eat’ is a theme in Samurai Champloo as well.

Jet and Spike are in the bar chasing down a bounty on a guy called Giraffe. They spot another cowboy, Fatty, an old friend of Jet’s. Jet runs interference with Fatty, while Spike goes after Giraffe. Giraffe, meanwhile, has gone after the young blues virtuoso. Spike gets too far behind and ends up finding Giraffe lying on the street—after flying out a hotel window. He’s dying and gives Spike a ring with a large crystal on it. He warns him not to be fooled by appearances and dies. I think.

The next time we see Giraffe his body is linked up to some machinery on the Bebop, where they intend to watch his final memories on a monitor. The link up allows them to see what really happened in the room, with Giraffe, the kid, named Wen, and a third party, a man called Zebra.

This is easily the most SF oriented of all the episodes so far, an odd thing to say about a show set in outer space. It does a great job of filling up in the show’s background, including the destruction that has happened on Earth, without any direct exposition. The only criticism I would make is that it equates one physical anomaly with another, prolonged youth with indestructibility. No reason is giving to explain why this would be so. All in all, though, a solid episode.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Wed May 01, 2013 10:42 pm

Session Seven: Heavy Metal Queen

In spite of never having the time to go through this as quickly as I’d like, we’re almost a third of the way through!

Given that music has been a theme throughout the series, it was only a matter of time before they got to heavy metal (a genre named for a line in the Steppenwolf song Born To Be Wild). Metal is a particular favorite of V.T., a trucker who has collected a large wad of bills from people betting they can guess what V.T. stands for. She travels the space lanes hauling what are essentially freight trains of cargo containers. Actually, the series’ design of these ships is probably right on the money, as far as depicting what a space freighter would look like. Of course, in real life they’ll probably be automated.

Spike, and every bounty hunter on the planet, is staking out a bar, following a tip that a fugitive named Decker—obvious Blade Runner reference—will be there. They don’t know what he looks like, but he has a dragon tattoo. Faye is staking out a family restaurant. The odds he’d be there aren’t great, but it is the first time we see her join a mission. Of course, that’s where Decker shows up. Spike and V.T. bond over a bar fight. Turns out she hates bounty hunters, but events conspire to bring everyone together for an explosive ending.

While it isn’t my favorite episode, it is a fun one.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby contramundi » Thu May 02, 2013 6:13 am

sorry for arriving late,this is THE anime series to watch,my favourite alongside berserk,pure awesomeness,not aimed at kids at all,glad your happy to watch it,and the best is yet to come ^^



Bang!
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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby The Old Doctor » Fri May 03, 2013 1:04 pm

contramundi wrote:sorry for arriving late,this is THE anime series to watch,my favourite alongside berserk,pure awesomeness,not aimed at kids at all,glad your happy to watch it,and the best is yet to come ^^



Bang!


There are other animes that are not aimed for kids, but that is not a factor in the over all quality though. One of the best animes I've seen of the past year and is also one of my top favs is the simple high school mystery show Hyouka. Extremely well made and thought out.
"Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols."
"Oh, the pointing again! They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?"
"Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?"
""Timey" what? "Timey wimey"?"

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IvCNuB4 wrote:The Old Doctor is Cat-Scratch ?
Well that explains a lot :lol:

BubbaKanoosh wrote:Old Doctor is the NuDCU's Catscratch

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Fri May 10, 2013 10:34 am

Session Eight: Waltz for Venus

The gang takes a passenger craft to Venus in order to nab the bounty on a group planning to highjack said passenger craft. The mission is brought to a successful end in the first few minutes of the episode, so the gang decides to look for some work while they’re there. Of course a new mission falls in their laps.

The terraforming of Venus has been a great success, but it has come at a cost. The terraformed flora can cause blindness and death—Venus Sickness—in some people. There’s a cure, derived from a plant called Grey Ash—but it comes at a premium. The adventure kicks off when a group of thugs get their hands on a sample.

Probably the most interesting thing about the episode is Venus itself. It’s been transformed into some sort of Orientalist fantasy world. There are Arabic signs and minuets everywhere—though, like the Chinese in Firefly, it’s all window dressing. The people and culture are the same as everywhere else we’ve seen and the cultural dressing never impacts on the story in any way at all. Adding to the fantasy atmosphere are the many floating islands; something never explained. I got the impression someone said, let’s make this one as different as possible.

Next up: Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV!

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Tue May 28, 2013 12:50 pm

Session Nine: Jamming With Edward

We get an Earth based story this time out, after a long dormant satellite suddenly starts laser blasting giant images onto the face of the planet. A bounty is put out on the vandals responsible and that wins the Bebop’s attention. Well, Jet and Faye’s attention. Spike thinks hackers are boring.

This is Earth fifty years after the jump gate explosion we learned of in Sympathy for the Devil. It destroyed a large part of the moon, raining rocks and debris onto the surface of the Earth and forcing inhabitants to take refuge underground. Half a century later catastrophic meteor strikes are still a part of daily life.

Many assume the hacker behind the rock carvings must be Edward. There is a wide variety of stories behind just who Edward Wong Hua Pepelu Tivruski IV is, but Radical Edward is actually a teenage girl—perhaps even a “tween-age” girl. She is instrumental in solving this episode’s mystery, but her help comes with a price: she wants off Earth. The crew are happy to play along, intending to welsh on their agreement, but you can’t cheat Radical Edward.

Spike makes of point of reminding us that he hates kids, animals, and women with attitude. It’s a good things he limited the list to three things, or he’d have to make room for even more crew members!

Session Ten: Ganymede Elegy

This episode starts with Edward and Ein bonding over a captive bounty and Jet mooning over an old watch. Yes, it’s time for some Jet backstory.

Turns out he used to be a cop on Ganymede, where he used to have a girl named Alisa. She left him and eventually took with a guy named Rhint. Things haven’t gone well for the two. Their troubles eventually include a bounty and that brings everything full circle, with Jet back in her life at the worst possible time.

I liked this backstory much better than Spike’s. While hardly the most original of stories, it avoids being the cliché ridden extravaganza that was Ballad of Fallen Angels. In fact, the main plot points are actually character driven.

A couple of points: First, there’s a weird change of perspectives in the bar scene. It’s just a flash, but it was distracting and didn’t seem to serve any purpose. Second, there’s a scene of Faye sunbathing. She actually sits this story out. If we didn’t see her sunbathing, she wouldn’t be in it at all. I mention only because it highlights how conservative this show it when it comes to sexuality. Her outfit notwithstanding I can think of only two other scenes, her original appearance and one in the movie, that make it a point to draw attention to Faye’s looks. She’s a member of the crew and comes with a package of skills and problems, just like everyone else. (Speaking of skills, I forgot to note the shooting skills she demonstrated in Waltz for Venus!) And, in spite of Japan’s infamous school girl fixation, Edward is strictly off limits.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Wed May 29, 2013 5:59 pm

Session Eleven: Toys in the Attic

Why is there a fridge in the back of an old storage bin and what is slavering and creeping its way through the bowels of the Bebop? With nods to Alien, 2001, and perhaps Red Dwarf, this is one of my favorites.

It begins with Faye and Jet gambling. She takes him for everything, including the clothes off his back. They share their philosophies of life with viewers. He thinks the universe will get back at those who attempt to get rich at the expense of their fellow man. She thinks you should never give a sucker an even break. Afterwards Jet finds himself in the same storage area as the old fridge. He’s bitten by something. Everyone else thinks it’s just a rat and they refuse to take him seriously until he collapses with a purple, pulsating mark on his neck.

Ed suggests it’s a horrible alien. Spike thinks it could be a mutated rat. Faye’s unimpressed. She goes to take a bath. Something drops from the ceiling. We get a POV of her foot hanging out from the tub. She has time to tell Spike she’s been bitten before she passes out. The next victim is Ein. Spike lays him out with the others. Ein and Jet are on the couches and Faye is on the table between them. I assume Spike moved her from the other couch to make a space for the dog.

Eventually Spike is reminded of a Ganymede Rock Lobster he got a year ago and hid in an old fridge. If this were Star Trek they’d attempt a first contact, but this isn’t Star Trek.

In the course of the episode Spike and Edward both share their philosophies as well. Ed says, if you see a stranger, follow him. Spike says, don’t leave things in the fridge.

Heavy on the humour and SF references, I’ve always enjoyed this episode.

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