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Watch & Learn: COWBOY BEBOP #25

So... the end begins.

  Is that a heron on his shoulder?
 Is that a heron on his shoulder?

Anybody else feel like there was some serious black comedy in the first scene with Jet and Spike? There they are, having a drink at that bar and then, with the timing of a punchline… DANGER! The bullets are flying! The scenery’s blowing apart! The blood’s squirting! And these two guys are so unimpressed with it all.  And then, Lin shows up (hopping the fence from FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST?), but no… it’s really Shin. Whoops. Of course. Such an easy mistake to make, right?

I was seriously dreading the re-appearance of Vicious because all his appearances prior to this have led to boring, confusing episodes. It’s almost like we had a six-episode long, really dreary mini-series (or OVA, to keep it in the anime parlance) that was chopped up and distributed over a 26 episode run of fun. Sort of like having pieces of broccoli floating in your bowl of Frosted Flakes. This had the added, dread-inducing ingredient of a dog fight in space - - and  I’m always a little leery of those, here. I might have to update my formula for a good BEBOP episode, because the space combat's usually a sign that thing's are going to get confusing in a hurry to tie everything up.

It’s odd, this is the penultimate episode, but I’m not feeling the kind of tension I’d normally get from a final cliffhanger. Chalk it up to the more episodice nature of this series. It’s not like when the final angel had arrived in EVA or the mechas got universe-sized in GURREN LAGANN or even when Near and Kira started their warehouse stand-off in DEATH NOTE. It's reaching something of  a crescendo, but on a much smaller scale.

In the odd reminders department, that scene with Lisa driving Faye reminded me of something similar in THE TALENTED MR. RIPLEY. "Oh, so you just happen to know my friend, Spike?" Neither of them were being totally honest.   And yeah, if the  shinigami in BLEACH reminded me of the Green Lantern Corps, then Vicious' bosses - -  the pasty old triplets - -  reminded of an evil, Asia Guardians of the Universe.

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

FoxxFireArt moderator on Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:19 p.m.
One of my favorite scenes in this episode was when we learn what became of the hosts of that Big Shot bounty show. That was an excellent touch I never would of expected.
 
Who's Lisa? Did you mean Julia? You know, women hate it when you're talking with them and you call them by a different name. More so under certain context. lol
SamJazon Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:22 p.m.
I gotta say, I really look forward to you discussing the next two episodes- 26 for both Bebop and Brotherhood.
 
Don't worry about this episode. This was all set up. Next episode kicks more ass than the entire series out together, rivalling the movie. Hell, you might even have to split the review over two separate posts, though again, you might not.
 
Remember Spikes first meal in the series? Plot point.
SamJazon Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:23 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt: Was Lisa the fat lady who was kinda Spike's surrogate mum? Might have been.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:30 p.m.
@SamJaz: 
That can't be it. He said "that scene with Lisa driving Faye-". Faye never met that lady, but she was riding in that car with Julia.
SamJazon Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:36 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt:  Hm... If he's somehow not watching the English version of this show, I will type Kahn in all caps with far too many letters, as if I was shouting. That's the only explanation I can think of, but not watching a dubbed version of this show is a sin, since it's one of the only three dubs that are better than the original Japanese.
 
So, Tom, what's your next Watch & Learn after this? Gonna focus on FMA, or do you want to pick up another anime?
Trigun starts fun, but it gets dark around episode 7, and again around 15, and BOY does it get dark.
Black Lagoon, on the otherhand, is mindless, gun toting fun all around, with a magnificent dub cast.
 
Both of these anime are worth watching in their dub.
kwyrton Nov. 12, 2010 at 4:04 p.m.

I am assuming he is talking about Julia. The last episode is great if you like tons of action. Gun vs sword makes for a pretty cool and interesting fight.  
 
As for next anime's for Tom to pick up I just finished Wolf's Rain and absolutely loved it.

zaldaron Nov. 12, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.
@SamJaz:  I will save my continued vitrol for the next episode but I really don't get how it was so beloved.  It was a very lazy episode that couldn't really even be saved with some notabley cool gunplay.  But then I didn't like the ending for shamploo even more (God how I hated that ending) so I think it may be his style that I just don't like.  I generally do like much more shows that are non episodic and more dramatic though anyway.
Lurkeroon Nov. 12, 2010 at 5:25 p.m.
This is one of the reasons why I didn't want to see a Cowboy Bebop watch and learn. It's a cool show, but nothing really to talk about. To me Bebop is like the serialized cop shows on TV (some of which I enjoy ie. Law and Order SVU). 
 
There was really no overwhelming feeling I got while watching Bebop. Every episode was either, "that was kinda cool" or "meh", so when these last couple episodes tried to make me care about Vicious, I just couldn't.
 
Trigun is different. Vash's brother is present throughout the show whether he makes an appearance or not, and you can feel him making a strong impression on Vash's thoughts. If you do a followup Watch & Learn, Trigun should definitely be it.
Dunchadon Nov. 12, 2010 at 5:58 p.m.
It weird how negative most of these comments are. Cowboy Bebop is one of my all time favourites, and I can't really remember many bad episodes. The mood of the anime throughout and the excellent music to go with it just made it such an great experience. I actually cried, listening to the "Blue" while watching the end credits. Samurai Champloo as well - not a fan of the ending, but I could accept it and enjoy it. Also a great music to go with the end credits there.
 
Both of those animes are all about the atmosphere and feeling of it all, in my opinion. Sort of like 5 Centimeters Per Second, Mushishi and similar animes, where the actual plot isn't as important. That's just how I look at them anyway,
FoxxFireArt moderator on Nov. 12, 2010 at 6:26 p.m.
@SamJaz said:

" @FoxxFireArt:  So, Tom, what's your next Watch & Learn after this? Gonna focus on FMA, or do you want to pick up another anime? Trigun starts fun, but it gets dark around episode 7, and again around 15, and BOY does it get dark. Black Lagoon, on the otherhand, is mindless, gun toting fun all around, with a magnificent dub cast.  Both of these anime are worth watching in their dub. "

If I could put a vote in on that. I would rather see something at least under ten years old. I would be more interested in following an article of something that was made this decade. All the older series I've seen to death and not that interested in following articles of them in detail, but that's just my opinion.

I know Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood only finished this year, but I'm still not interested in watching that. It's why I almost never comment on those articles. I didn't follow the Gurren Lagann articles, because I couldn't find an official version of the subtitles online. I couldn't stand the dub cast, and I didn't want to use pirated subs.
 
It was different with Death Note and Evangelion. Evangelion had a really deep plot and complex characters to it, and Death Note had one of my greatest story weakness in it. A cool detective character. Not many older series such as that.
classicdmson Nov. 12, 2010 at 8:56 p.m.
I agree with the Trigun requests. I don't care if it's old, there hasn't been much in the way of new and good in the realm of anime in far too long.  
 
After that, Wolf's Rain would be really interesting if you added some Russian Mythology research to the posts.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Nov. 12, 2010 at 10:34 p.m.
@classicdms: 
Trigun is a good series, but another in the run of series I've watched to death.
 
I enjoy the Watch & Learn idea. It really helps the new members acclimate, but the focus on the site's news page has been too strongly focused on older series, in my opinion. It's leaving news and information on new series uncovered and not reviewed. I look at it in this way, how would the Giant Bomb community react if they only talked about and reviewed games from ten years ago, and the same with Comic Vine? I'm not saying these older series aren't worth talking about. It's just been the only thing steadily covered on Anime Vice. The only manga reviewed are from a single publisher, and not even a very good one.
 
I've been trying to submit news stories of current events, but it's often hit or miss if they get accepted.
No_name_here staff on Nov. 12, 2010 at 11:27 p.m.
@FoxxFireArt said: 
Who's Lisa? Did you mean Julia? You know, women hate it when you're talking with them and you call them by a different name. More so under certain context. lol "
Ha ha.. you know, I actually did laugh out loud at that. Good one, sir. 
No_name_here staff on Nov. 12, 2010 at 11:28 p.m.
@SamJaz said:
 Remember Spikes first meal in the series? Plot point. "
Oh man... should I have been taking notes?
No_name_here staff on Nov. 12, 2010 at 11:30 p.m.
@lurkero said:
" This is one of the reasons why I didn't want to see a Cowboy Bebop watch and learn. It's a cool show, but nothing really to talk about. To me Bebop is like the serialized cop shows on TV (some of which I enjoy ie. Law and Order SVU).   There was really no overwhelming feeling I got while watching Bebop. Every episode was either, "that was kinda cool" or "meh", so when these last couple episodes tried to make me care about Vicious, I just couldn't. 
When it's on, it's on, but this definitely isn't the kind of steady level of quality or discussion you can have with other shows. Although, I was a little fatigued from other series that were SO epic and had SUCH high stakes, so it's been a good change of pace.
No_name_here staff on Nov. 12, 2010 at 11:44 p.m.
@dunchad said:
" It weird how negative most of these comments are. Cowboy Bebop is one of my all time favourites, and I can't really remember many bad episodes. The mood of the anime throughout and the excellent music to go with it just made it such an great experience. 
Don't get me wrong. The series is awesome as a whole, and this series was surprisingly good, but I just haven't liked the "mythology" episodes.
SamJazon Nov. 12, 2010 at 11:46 p.m.
@Tom_Pinchuk: Don't worry. Now that I've brought it up, you'll recognise it.
gla55jAwon Nov. 13, 2010 at 12:36 a.m.
I'm anxious to see what you think of the final episode Tom. I always found it very sad.
 
Some of the other comments have mentioned it, but please do Trigun next! That would be great!
Wandering_Idioton Nov. 13, 2010 at 3:18 a.m.
@SamJaz said:

"Black Lagoon, on the otherhand, is mindless, gun toting fun all around, with a magnificent dub cast."

Uh, Black Lagoon can be pretty dark at times, too.  I've always said it's stupid, but not braindead.  They acknowledge that Revy is pretty severely psychologically messed up, for instance.  
 
Agreed on the dub, though.  It works way better than the original language for once.
SamJazon Nov. 13, 2010 at 3:56 a.m.
@Wandering_Idiot: Oh, it's very dark, but not in the "Oh, that's sad. Let's contemplate the nature of man" dark, but more "BOOM BITCHES! SHOOT AT THE CHURCH, WILL YA? NUNS WITH UZI'S, MUTHA FUCKA!!" Dark, which is much more fun.
And yes, Revy, the twins, and Roberta are very dark characters and are treated with respect, but compared to the likes of Eva, this is less psychological.
 
The Japanese Mangaka actually said that the English Dub voices is how he imagines the cast while drawing the manga. THAT says something.
Tom, you're most likely gonna wind up watching Trigun or something, but give Black Lagoon a good look. I feel it's exactly what you're looking for.

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