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Cowboy Bebop

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David Bird
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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Wed May 29, 2013 7:06 pm

Session Twelve: Jupiter Jazz (Part One)

We start with a camp fire and the natives from the first episode. There are premonitions of death.

Welcome to the series’ first two part-er and a second look at Spike’s background. While I wasn’t at all impressed by the first look, Ballad of Fallen Angels, this story is much, much better.

We start with the Van, or syndicate, sending Vicious to the Jovian moon Callisto to finalize a deal for red eye. The guy who has it is an old army buddy of Vicious. Vicious is accompanied by a guy named Lin. Meanwhile, Faye has left the Bebop. She’s drained the anti-freeze, temporarily disabling the ship, and she’s stolen their money. Looking for her Ed finds something marked ‘Julia’ at the Blue Crow Bar on Callisto. Spike immediately goes off by himself. Jet thinks finding Faye (and their money) is more important. They argue and appear to break up, but there’s not a lot of tension, really. We do learn we’ve been together three years.

Of course, Faye’s at the Blue Crow. Informants point Spike to Gren, a saxophonist at the Blue Crow. Everything’s converging at the Blue Crow. Gren talks to Faye. He warns her there are no women in the town, and she should be careful.

Spike arrives only to be cornered by a group who think he’s Vicious. They want his money. In spite of the fact that they are armed and Spike isn’t, he takes them down handily. He’s insulted to be mistaken for Vicious, but he does learn that Gren is going to sell some red eye to Vicious and that the code name for their little tete-a-tete is Julia.

Turns out there’s a bounty on Gren. He’s an escaped fugitive and the statute of limitations is running out so the bounty has doubled. Faye left him in the bar and went to a back alley looking for a way to work off some tension. No, not that way. She’s about to beat down on the same gang that Spike beat, when Gren comes to her rescue. He takes her back to her apartment. He’s already told her he isn’t interested in women and she accepts that. He gives her a drink and she starts to open up about how it’s better to be on your own, but Gren perceives that she was afraid she’d be abandoned by her new friends, so she abandoned them first. Her response seems to indicate he’s right. He goes to take a shower when Vicious calls about the deal. Surprised, Faye goes after Gren, gun drawn. His connection to Vicious isn’t the only surprise.

Meanwhile Spike goes to the meeting place and finds Vicious and Lin. Spike draws his gun, Vicious his sword. Lin steps between them and shoots Spike. Lin’s a very straight forward kind of guy.

End of part one.

Session Thirteen: Jupiter Jazz (Part Two)

Spike’s lying in the snow, wounded, while Gren is telling Faye his backstory.

He and Vicious were in the same unit. We get no backstory on the war they fought in. Gren admires a little music box vicious has. It plays Julia, by the Beatles. They’re friends. Vicious gives it to him. Later Gren is convicted of treason—a false charge that Vicious played some role in. While in prison Gren was given experimental drugs that were to have a long lasting effect.

Jet tracks down the Blue Crow and has a heart to heart with the bartender. He learns that Faye was there, and Julia too, a couple of years prior. He actually knows very little about Julia, other than the hold she has on Spike. Jet tracks down Faye to Gren’s apartment, but Gren isn’t there. He’s gone to meet Vicious. He wants to know why he was set up.

Spike wakes up. Turns out he was shot with a tranquilizer gun. He feels mocked. Things ratchet up pretty quickly from this point on. The meeting gets violent and eventually escalates into an aerial dogfight between Gren, Spike, and Vicious. Not everyone makes it out.

The story ends with the same scene it started with. There’s a quiet, elegiac feel to it and, perhaps to underscore its importance, it does not end with Real Folk Blues.

As I said, I much prefer this look into Spike’s past to the first one. We’re no further ahead in understanding what happened, but there is a real sense of weight and consequence to this story. Something I think was missing from the more bombastic Ballad of Fallen Angels.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Wed May 29, 2013 8:40 pm

Session Fourteen: Bohemian Rhapsody

Someone’s been ripping off jump gate toll booths and the gang has been rounding up the felons left and right, but they’re not going to get any reward for it until they find the mastermind. Apparently random criminals have been answering an ad offering to make them a fortune. It gives them instructions on how to wire the toll booth of a jump gate so that when the customer uses his bank card to pay his toll, every penny is taken out of his account.

The gang puts their collective heads together and, with a little subterfuge, manages to work out that the mastermind is someone named Chess Master Hex. Hex was a programming genius and a chess champion for thirty years. He helped to design the jump gates, but argued vehemently that they weren’t ready. The more testing needed to be done. The implication is that the great jump gate disaster could have been averted. Each of the criminals involved in the toll booth rip offs was given a chess piece, containing an information chip linked to an online chess game. Why, exactly is never made clear, but Ed starts a game with the other player and that other player is, of course, Hex. The Bebop follows Hex’s electronic signal to a floating debris field inhabited by many living on society’s fringe. Space cowboys meet space potheads! Yes, Hex set up the scheme, but he did it years ago and has since grown to be a very old and senile man who just enjoys playing chess.

An interesting set up that just kind of fizzes out, but a fun episode.

You might have noticed that I’ve gotten quite a few episodes done this week. Finishing Samurai Champloo opened up some time in my schedule. Injuring myself so that I’m stuck at home helped too, though ‘helped’ not really the first thought that comes to mind. This puts me half way through the DVD set and more than half way through the episodes. The rest are coming (and the movie too).

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby David Bird » Mon Jul 29, 2013 12:53 pm

Session Fifteen: My Funny Valentine

I’m back! And with the story of Faye Valentine. It starts three years ago. Yep, Fay is only three. Sort of. Actually, she’s a 74 year old twenty year old. Simple?

The episode starts with a woman in a medical chamber. Cut to frozen fish. The team is going after a con man, strictly a small fish. Making the connections?

Three years ago a woman was awakened from a cryogenic sleep. She was put there at age 20, following a serious accident. If she’d aged naturally she would be 74. She has no memories at all. Nothing. Her attending doctor names her Faye Valentine. Everything that is the Faye we know has developed out of the three years since. By the way, the year she was frozen? 2014.

The newly awakened amnesiac discovers her medical bill is just over 300 million, treatment and storage, plus interest. She’s quickly appointed a lawyer named Matsumoto. Their relationship starts to take a personal turn when he’s killed. He’s named her his heir, leaving her… more debts!

Jet gets the small fish and it turns out to be Matsumoto. The police show up and turn out to be the doctor and nurse from three years ago. Confrontations happened and we learn that all the real info about Faye was lost in the Great Jump Gate Disaster.

A good episode and an interesting story, but I don’t know about the con angle. It doesn’t seem to add anything. Presumably Faye is now discharged of Matsumoto’s debts, but what about the other debts? It’s never followed up.

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby sdsichero » Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:10 pm

I think i might try getting the swordfish one...

http://www.teefury.com/

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Re: Cowboy Bebop

Postby sdsichero » Tue Jul 30, 2013 7:02 pm

Posted in anime & manga thread

Oh nice, I have much of it, but maybe they will have something I want...

Cowboy Bebop OST is now available on ITunes USA

One of anime music's legends, Yoko Kanno's has just had one of her greatest masterpieces released on ITunes, the original soundtrack for Cowboy Bebop, through Flying Dog INC.

This release coincides with Kanno's upcoming performance at Otakon 2013(August 9-11), in Baltimore, Maryland. Yoko Kanno will perform The main event of the last day is her live appearance with one piano “PIANO ME”.

In edition to this, Flying Dog is also releasing these soundtracks:
* the movie Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door
* The Vision of Escaflowne
* Escaflowne: The Movie

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