Cowboy Bebop: The Movie – 4/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie – 4/5 – This is another recommendation review for a movie that is based on my favorite anime series, Cowboy Bebop.  Like the anime series, the movie provides a great mix of colorful characters, strong dialogue, great fun and pure excitement.  The difference in the movie is, more than one of the episodes, is a deeper driven story in movie form.  For all anime fans and Cowboy Bebop fans, here is my review for the movie.

It is the year 2071, and the spaceship Bebop and its crew (Spike, Faye, Jet and Ed) land on Mars.   Following a bombing in the city, a deadly virus is released on the populace of Mars.  After this attack, the government issues a 300 million bounty reward for the capture of the culprit behind the attack.  The Bebop crew takes up the case, in hopes of cashing in on the huge bounty.  However, what turns out to be a normal bounty begins to delve into a bigger conspiracy revolving around the man responsible, Vincent.  As the hunt begins for Vincent, the crew begins to question what about the world is reality and what about it is a dream.  What becomes true is the line between sanity and insanity becomes a blur. The movie features the main characters of the series, which includes Spike, Faye, Jet and Ed.  These characters are what makes the film so strong, and they do a good job in provide strong characters in this movie.  With this, majority of the setup of the main characters is left to nil, as the movie doesn’t focus on any back-story or anything from their own personal lives.  With no back-story, if you’re new to the franchise you’re left to accept the characters as is, and you’ll either one favorable or unfavorable reaction to them.  What you do get in the main characters is great representation of what an ideal anime archetype would be.  You have your sexy lady (Faye) your strong man (Jet) your conspicuous anti style hero (Spike) and wacky flamboyant sidekick (Ed).  What does happen is that, they go further beyond typical archetypes, and they each have a different mirror into a singular trait of humanity.  Only you can figure that one out if you watch the movie, as they bring out these characteristics vividly in their actions, dialogue and interactions with themselves and others on screen.   The new additions are a few people related to the case, and the bad guy, Vincent.  What I can say about Vincent is that he isn’t your traditional anime antagonist.  His motives, even with its terrorist-like feel, bring out a blur to what makes the human character.  What you see is a man deemed insane to some, but normal to others.  A confliction is what he represents, and this conflict prevents you from ultimately hating him in the end.  His character also does a good job in enveloping two of the main characters, Spike and Faye.  He helps bring out a single look at how the same person could have contrasting lifestyle.  Living ‘young, wild and free’ has a mirrored complexion in Vincent, and Spike/Faye see what ‘could’ happen if they went a darker route from there free spirited mentality.  You see deeper character development, and it helps add another aspect to the main characters and the roster of characters in the movie.

The direction of this film is very raw and more unique than the simple driven action/comedy/dramatic toned animes out there to choose from.  What you start out with is the typical episode of bounty hunters chasing down a bounty.  What ultimately happens is a positive catch 22.  The cat and mouse tale turns into a character driven retrospect.  This is something that happens a lot in the episodes as well, but it is done deeper and better in the movie.  The film’s direction is lead by the characters’ monologues and individual narratives guiding the character driven style.  This provides depth to not only the characters in the movies, but to understanding of real life virtues.  You feel for the characters, and what they represent on screen.  You enjoy it, and become engross in the complexion you see in both the pros and cons of the main characters and Vincent.  Do you, at the expense of life, want to find the door from purgatory; or do you, stop fearful searches and accept fate and live free?  Many questions are left to contemplate, and it is set in an ironic backdrop of a Halloween festival in the climax.  Character driven is what makes this deeper than most animes, and gives realism to an otherwise far fetch scenario of space bounty hunters.

The visuals are magic.  When it comes to animes, a lot of reliance is brought through how cinematography is portrayed.  Here, you have a realistic, gritty approach to what you see throughout the movie.  This helps ground the film, when it intertwines with its outer spaces roots and biological elements.  These visuals overtones helps make you feel part of the story, and part of the character lives.  You have an understanding that the world you’re watching isn’t that different from yours, and you could apply the same scenarios to your own life.  In correlation to the great visuals is the score.  I love the score in this movie.  It helps enhance the feeling in the various scenes that happen, and brings a profound touch to what could be an unemotional art form (because its anime).  One thing that is always true to anime is it will make you feel something because of its strong music/score.

Overall, this movie is a great addition to the catalog of Cowboy Bebop.  Great characters, deepen plots and a ‘down to earth; approach in visuals and score, you are thoroughly entertained in this movie.   I’d recommend this for any anime fan, and fans of realistic driven animes.

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