Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is based on the hit TV show and manages to capture all of the great humour, action, animation and sounds that made the original TV series such a landmark show.
Days before Halloween, a tanker truck on Highway One explodes and in the process, releases an unknown virus that instantly kills hundreds. Fearing more devastating attacks, 300 million woolongs are put up for the capture of these terrorists. And so naturally, it’s up to the Bebop team to save the world again, if only for the massive bounty.
The bad guy, Vincent, is in a world of his own; always appearing to be calm and calculated.
Two years before the attacks occurred, Vincent was in the Mars Special Forces. After a horrific military experiment with nano machines had left him within an inch of his life, the army assumed Vincent for dead and abandoned him in a dream like state, blurring in and out of reality.
Since then, it seems all Vincent wants to do is kill everyone and find the door that reveals the path to heaven; ending his constant pain forever. This selfish desire leads him to set up a massive attack during a large the Halloween party, intentionally putting thousands of lives at risk.
The crew of the Bebop are all very different from each other.
You have Spike, someone who is very laid back and reckless. Jet, who likes to think things through and not just ‘run and gun’ (like Spike). Faye, the sexy temptress of the bunch and then finally there’s Ed and Ein. Ed might be the youngest of the crew, but she is probably also the most intelligent, with supreme computer skills; she’s always full of life and just plain crazy. Her little companion Ein is the only animal on the ship (Ed comes close); this little pooch has an uncanny ability to sniff out suspicious people.
No doubt, they all compliment each other extremely well and make for great entertainment.
Vincent is a very mysterious and dark person at the beginning of the movie but later on becomes more unravelled; he often talks in a very subdued manner, asking questions about life and its purpose. Although being a calm person (if a tad psychotic too), he can also be very brutal and viciously kills the two people that helped him set up the big surprise for Halloween. As he says “when the games over, there’s only one left”.
Vincent’s former lover; Electra (someone whom he has lost all knowledge of), is desperately trying to stop him from carrying out anymore brutal attacks on innocent civilians. Along the way she somehow manages to get tangled up with Spike and his investigations. Only she can truly prevent Vincent from achieving his terrible dreams of destruction.
The music is what makes Cowboy Bebop that extra bit special, being scored of course by the legendary Yoko Kanno. It’s an eclectic mix of jazz and similar sounds that conjure up a great atmosphere to go along with the scenes and it just seems to fit so damn well.
The voice acting in both Japanese and English is top notch, and match up nicely with the character’s personality traits.
Whilst the TV series always looked fantastic, this film raises the bar up to yet another level. With big crowd scenes and energetic fights, it truly is a sight to behold in awe. I only noticed maybe two instances of ‘delayed animation’ but apart from that, something is always moving on screen.
The best sequences have to be the fight scenes. Seeing Spike practice Bruce Lee’s “Jeet Kune Do” martial arts make the animation feel almost electric.
Previous knowledge of Cowboy Bebop is not needed to enjoy this, as the movie is self contained. Of course, if you are familiar with Bebop, then you will find that the characters are developed a little more and you even get an insight to into their chequered pasts. Fans of the series will love this movie; everything that made the series so great is amplified 10-fold. A must see.