In honor of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie making it's US Blu Ray debut later this month I've started rewatching this cultural touchstone (for me, anyway) of a series. I'm only a few episodes in (Asteroid Blues, Stray Dog Strut, and Honky Tonk Woman) and I'm still amazed by how strongly the show starts off. Most great shows seem to need at least a little time to build up to greatness, others that start out with a bang - but actually blew their wad at the beginning and have less to show for it as they go on. At the very least, anime typically reserve the first few episodes for introducing all their characters, and while Cowboy Bebop does technically do that it takes its own sweet time. You get the feeling that there position is that they'll complete the main cast when they feel like it. The introduction we're given to Spike and Jet in episode one is brief, and we end up learning about how they operate through the episode's main story without even thinking that's what we're doing, fully invested as we are in the plot about a performance enhancing madman and his lady friend being hunted down by both the mob, the law, and our bounty hunter protagonists. This philosophy of exposition extends to the whole series and is a big aspect of what makes the show great: there is world building and character development and several story arcs being carefully built up, but they never diminish the individual episode's commitment to being a good story on its own. I suppose what I;m getting at is that the first episode is a great way to start the series, a great introduction, but it doesn't feel like an introduction. Come to think of it, adding or subtracting a few shots of Ein the dog to the episodes (the only way to tell the order since he joins the crew in episode 2) the first three episodes could be aired in any order!
Last edited by lhb412
on Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.