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Watch & Learn: Cowboy Bebop #2

I'm starting to notice the style, now...

 Does this make anybody else think of the kind of posters you'd see at barbershop?
 Does this make anybody else think of the kind of posters you'd see at barbershop?

Man… after this episode, I’m getting even more of a “Lupin III in the future” vibe for this show, because Spike has got serious slapstick physicality. The whole chase with the cute lil' corgi through the pet shop and the canals was pure Buster Keaton. There’s enough drama and action to take this seriously, sure, but I’m pretty sure this is being played mostly for light laughs. I mean, the dude’s got green hair! Then again, maybe he borrowed my dye. Actually, to draw another comparison, the combination of physical comedy, wacky chases and the told-in-one nature of this episode reminded me a lot of that one vignette in MEMORIES. I can’t remember the name of it for the life of me, but it was about the pharmacist who becomes a walking stink bomb.

And while I’m piling the comparisons on, WarlordPayne’s note about this being  from the same people who did ESCAFLOWNE is eye-opening. Definitely one of those “AH-HA!” discoveries. See, I was thinking to myself when I watched the first episode, “Wow… this definitely has the signature 90s anime style, between the character designs, the color palette, the angles and so on…” I realize now that I was only partially right. It’s not a period-specific style, it’s studio-specific style.  

The more I get into these shows, the more aware I am of each studios’ stylistic signature. Gainax has the boob bounce and the curvilinear  perspective, among other things. Sunrise has pointed noses and Dutch angles with strong diagonals, among other things. Actually, if any of you Anime Vice lunatics know more about the two studios, I’d definitely appreciate a rundown of their differences. I’m sure you all have stronger, and more well-informed, opinions about the subject than I do. So educate me!

Do you agree? Disagree? Read my comments on the previous episode here.

Tom Pinchuk’s the writer of HYBRID BASTARDS! & UNIMAGINABLE. Order them on Amazon here & here.

Wandering_Idioton Aug. 28, 2010 at 8:44 a.m.
My personal favorite studio is  Production I.G. I can generally recognize something by them, although it's hard to say exactly why.  Their works generally have a tastefully subdued color palette, thin outlines, good of shadows and lighting, and extensive cg that doesn't call attention to itself (color adjustment, depth of field, 3-D backgrounds, etc).  It also tends to be fairly "filmic"; a lot of their camera angles/effects and editing seem to be inspired by live-action cinematography, and they don't generally go in for the superdeformed/speedline shenanigans of other studios, portraying their characters more-or-less as real people.  One thing I've noticed is that their style seems to require a fairly high budget in order to look good.  In times where that's not the case (like Blood+, arguably), it can end up looking simplistic instead of clean.
 
The most distinctive thing I've noticed about Gainax is their use of "spraycan" type effects in explosions and ground impacts- a bunch of little specks flying across the screen, along with the general over-the-topness of FLCL and Gurren Lagann.  They're a lot more willing to distort their characters than someone like Production I.G., although I believe the two studios actually collaborate frequently, and have had some staff members move back and forth. 
FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 28, 2010 at 11:11 p.m.
It's such a weird animal for them to be after. This is a fun episode, and that dog is sooo weird. The premise does remind me of that era when movies were all about someone chasing after some rogue baby. Watching as some baby wanders the streets without a scratch. All while the person who is trying to catch the baby keeps finding them self in every pitfall possible.
 
This episode has a bad-ass bounty hunter chasing a corgi, then it feels similar to a sitcom. When a guy who doesn't like gods is suddenly the caretaker of one for some odd reason. That is going to become a theme with Spike. Even better is that he eventually notices it.
 
How the bloody hell is it that this article has so few comments? Seriously! It's a good series. Sure, I got burned out on it, but only from [adult swim] playing it to death over and again.
Article themes get dropped due to lack of comments, people.
lilmikeegeeon Aug. 29, 2010 at 10:42 a.m.
cowboy bebop was a game changer in quality. It was adults doing things rather than kids. it was serious in all the right ways and funny to boot. great design work. yoko kano going wild with music, even moreso than macross plus.
 
great stuff
sotyfan16on Aug. 29, 2010 at 2:07 p.m.

I'm surprised at how few comments there are as well. I thought people considered Cowboy Bebop to be iconic and totally awesome. 

Well, I like the artistic style of Bebop and there is some good comedy. But, I hardly remember the show (and I finally got around to watching this for the first time earlier this year) so I'll have to watch the eps along with the column.

gla55jAwon Aug. 30, 2010 at 7:45 p.m.
Has anyone else ever noticed how this episode references Bruce Lee's Game of Death? Spike fight's Abdul Hakim, a tall skinny man with an afro, who looks similar to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Spike fights using Jeet-Kune-Do, which Bruce Lee invented. I always thought that was cool.
 
Looking forward to the next episode. I started watching the series again so I'm interested in what you're thinking Tom.
BloodRavenon Aug. 31, 2010 at 9:49 a.m.
This show is my all time fav.To tell the truth this was the 1st show i saw from start to end and not only that i got my dad to sit down with me and he told me for a cartoon he could really get in to it. Of course i told him it's not just a cartoon it's anime big dif....This show has lot's of funny spots but there are sad points.Just wait tell you see Ed she is my fav.I really hope you like the show ;)
Lemegeton300on Aug. 31, 2010 at 10:32 a.m.
@gla55jAw said:
" Has anyone else ever noticed how this episode references Bruce Lee's Game of Death? Spike fight's Abdul Hakim, a tall skinny man with an afro, who looks similar to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Spike fights using Jeet-Kune-Do, which Bruce Lee invented. I always thought that was cool.  Looking forward to the next episode. I started watching the series again so I'm interested in what you're thinking Tom. "
yeah i got the same vibe from the opening scene in the bathroom. i thought to myself "he looks like the dude from game of death"

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