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Fifteen Reasons Why Cowboy Bebop was Brilliant

Article by Michael Pinto

I don't know if it's the best anime series of all time, but to me there's no doubt that Cowboy Bebop is nothing short of brilliant. And the proof to me is that when otaku today wish out loud that there was more high quality anime to watch, they always seem to point back to this Shinichirō Watanabe masterpiece. Here are a just a few reasons why so many of us loved this show:

The Opening Titles of Cowboy Bebop

The Opening Titles
The first second each episode starts you know you're in for a treat! The opening titles are a wonderful combination of funky typography and playful silhouettes set to an amazing soundtrack thanks to the music by Yoko Kanno and performed by the The Seatbelts.

The crew of the Bebop lives on instant noodles

Ed and Win enjoying a meal

That's Using Your Noodle
The down on their luck crew of the Bebop always seems to live on a ramen diet which would make any college student feel at home. Clearly in the future interplanetary travel is no biggie, but keeping the fridge filled is a huge challenge. And to me this is one of the little touches that makes the characters in the show so very real.

Spike smoking

Faye smoking

Hey You Gotta Smoke?
In a rush to political correctness cigarettes have disappeared from our television sets, so seeing them in Bebop ironically seems like a breath of fresh air. The use of smoking harkens back to so many classic film noir movies and really sets the atmosphere. And of course as a matter of public safety we remind you that these are in fact cartoon characters, so please don't try this at home.

Zero gravity on Cowboy Bebop

The Gravity of Our Situation
Bebop never shoves its science fiction setting into your face, but there are nice touches that show you that a great deal of thought went into the world building of this universe. I really love how every now and then you'll see characters in zero gravity or bring up some insight into why humans are mostly living on Mars these days.

The Swordfish

Marvelous Mecha
Once upon a time anime show back in the 70s and 80s were all about the mecha — each series had to blow you away with a giant robot or an amazing spaceship the size of a planet. Then suddenly this went out of style: And yet Bebop wasn't afraid to show off their hardware with pride. And who amongst you wouldn't kill to own the Swordfish?

Jet Black enjoying his hobby

Characters with Deep Roots
All the major and many of the minor characters on Bebop all have amazing backstories that unfold during the series. And you always find yourself finding this out through the little details, like how did Jet Black lose his arm? (Hint: Blame his former no good partner for that!)

Spike is in a fight

Spike Really Knows How to Spar
While Bebop does an amazing job with character development the series isn't afraid to give us some old fashion fight scenes to keep things going. Being a bounty hunter is a hands on job after all...

Ed and Faye

Faye from Bebop

Would You Be My Valentine?
Admit it: We all have a secret crush on Faye Valentine! And what's funny is that she's 74 years old when you take her coma into account...

Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV

The World Needs More Girl Hackers!
When was the last time you watched any show where the leading geek character was a girl? And add to that how many anime characters have been inspired by Pippi Longstocking? I wish there more characters out there like Françoise Appledehli — who is also known as Ed (short for Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV).

Cowboy Bebop

Caution: Ein bites!

That Stray Dog Can Sure Strut
And what's not to love about a super high IQ Pembroke Welsh Corgi?

Vicious earns his name

Villains Like Vicious
The mark of any great anime series or film noir movie is when your lead antagonist is as just as interesting as any hero (or anti-hero) in your story.

Julia from Cowboy Bebop

That Mystery Lady!
We never get to see much of Julia, and yet she seems to show up in every episode because she haunts Spike so much. By the way if your curious as to who was the inspiration behind Julia just google "Marianne Faithfull" and "leather outfit".

Faye and Julia!

Faye AND Julia!
Shinichirō Watanabe would never ruin his reputation by doing a tacky spin off series just for ratings — but if he did I'd love to see Faye and Julia in a remake of Thelma and Louise (and yes I know that makes no sense in terms of the plot of Bebop).

See you later cowboy!

That Last Episode
Is Spike dead? No he can't be dead! Is it all a dream? Can this amazing anime series actually be over?

End titles of Cowboy Bebop

See You Space Cowboy...
Those little notes at the end of each episode always added that nice little touch that made Bebop so unique.

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