Session #11 Toys in the Attic (4 out of 5 stars)
Honorable Mention: Ending
Perhaps the episode with the most unique feel to it and a little different type of humor this time around, but an episode that's really entertaining to watch and stays consistently funny throughout. It's an almost quasi-horror, suspense, comedy. The way they mix up the genres in this episode is what gives it that really unique feel. A lot of sight gags this time around which seems like something Bebop typically doesn’t do a lot of. My favorite part of this episode, even with all of the good gags throughout, is the ending. Just a really cool, interesting way to end an episode. It was exciting, had a great song choice, managers to give you an absurd conclusion and has that really nice shot of space and the crew just floating in the end. It's interesting seeing the crew when they are floating around the ship because they show each crew member separate and on the screen with them is all items that are pretty much exclusively things they like and use. Kinda funny seeing how they put all of these things together with them.
Another strong opening this episode getting the creatures perspective. I liked the sound effect they used for it as well. I think it’s neat seeing how the show brings Faye into the crew. During episodes 5 and 6 you get the sense she is still an outsider and not fully adjusted with the crew and they aren’t with her, Then by episode 7 they are teaming up for bounties and by now it seems totally natural with her on the Bebop. Good job with that. Something I just picked up on that I think is funny is how Spikes theory, when they are trying to determine what it was that got Jet, is actually right. Just take away rat and add lobster. Little things like that, that help add to the great humor in this episode.
Session #12 Jupiter Jazz pt. 1 (4 out of 5 stars)
Top 3: Best fight and art
When it comes to a particular moment or part of this episode that stands out as the best in Cowboy Bebop not much really jumps to mind. Good openings and endings, but not standout, perhaps the music, but it’s virtually limited to the one song so without a bit more variety I can't say that. The one thing that I’d pick is Spikes fight. The animation is so fluid and you get to really see Spike landing some vicious blows. That might be the only moment, but there’s an overall aspect of this show that really shines: the atmosphere. This episode just oozes with atmosphere and mood. The setting is amazing. This is perhaps the one episode in particular that changes my mood and how I’m feeling as I’m watching. It just sucks me into this run down, old, cold town that Faye has chosen to come to. The snow, the colors, that one sax solo, the mystery, it all pulls me in. I love the background, cityscape shots in Jupiter Jazz 1 and 2. It's just beautiful and adds to the atmosphere. As much as any this is the episode that you experience, not just watch and enjoy. Even though it’s not my favorite or what I’d consider the best this might be the episode I would show to someone if I wanted to represent what Bebop can be.
Probably the longest opening, from tank to the title screen is roughly 5 minutes and the first appearance of a bebop crew member isn’t until about 5 minutes 15 seconds in. Something I’m noticing more this time is the amount of ambient outer space shots we get. I really like the look of those scenes so for me it’s a nice touch when they throw them in. Something else I also liked is how space in the bebop universe never felt like this empty, isolated, endless void. There’s always something, other ships, colonized asteroids and moons, phase gates, space stations scattered throughout the universe. For some reason I’ve always just had this anxiety of that kind of empty space, but Bebop does such an amazing job filling it out it makes it look appealing. We also get to see probably one of the most major secondary characters in the series since he gives us some background in the character, if not just for the fact that he's in multiple episodes. Gren I find to be an interesting character. At first he is quite the mysterious character, but ends up being a good sympathetic figure with the classic bitter-sweet close out Bebop seems to leave so many characters with.