Session #9 Jamming with Edward (3 out of 5 stars)
Top 3: Best opening
This episode starts out on a strong note for me. Not having any of the Bebop crew and getting an inner monologue from a satellite, of all things, I really liked. And just seeing the satellite make a carving was a nice touch. Then pretty much having the entire episode explained to us from the beginning, with the thoughts of a satellite, leaving us to just sit back and take in the new crew member is an interesting way of laying out the episode. It almost seems risky for an opening. You don't have your main cast, the episode is laid out for you, so why stick around? Well it's because you know the quality of this show and the fact that Cowboy Bebop is always doing little switches like this to mix things up that help to keep you watching instead of pulling your interest away. The ending scene did give us a quick dose of action and one of the cooler moments I feel when Spike has to coast his ship in. Bebop does a good job of knowing when to make things quiet and cut off the music and all or virtually all the sound like they did for this part. I mean it's not 2001 A Space Odyssey, but hey pretty much nothing else is like that, but the way Bebop works in silence with it's incredible sound track helps to highlight just how great the soundtrack and the directing. It helps to show that the director really knows when to pull all the right strings and do things that you typically don't see or in this case hear.
When looking back on this episode it’s hard to find things to comment on. Jet’s description of Radical Edward is hilarious, the crew turning in a disc to get the reward and then the explanation why they don’t get any money is great and Spikes comment at the end is classic. Other than just some nice comedy and seeing Ed for the first time. Perhaps one last thing is just how well Bebop brings in the cast members. I mentioned this in an earlier blog, but it keeps things fresh having the final addition come in episode 9, yet even though Ed misses pretty much an entire 1/3 of the show she never feels like a lesser part of the crew. Testament to the show and writing to make Ed feel like she belongs.
Session #10 Ganymede Elergy (4 out of 5 stars)
Top 3: Music episode
When I first watched Bebop the Jet episodes never stood out to me, but after repeated viewings they’ve grown on me and the slower paced, conversation focused, drama heavy episodes have become ones I really enjoy. Also from an editing standpoint and cinematography this episode is probably the best. The way scenes are shot, the angels used, the cuts, the way moments will pause on characters is all just so effective in this episode and even striking at times. From a technical standpoint this episode is just great to see. Perhaps that’s the reason that even though this is a “slow” episode it never drags or feels dull. Pretty much every scene provides something interesting to look at. Also the choices of music and way it’s used here are phenomenal. Using Waltz for Zizi twice certainly doesn’t hurt and the choice of The Singing Sea when Jet is searching just gives off that old timey feel for old timer Jet. The highlight though is easily ELM during the final chase scene. What a crazy and genius move picking that great song for a climactic chase scene. And an obvious highlight is how Jet's character is fleshed out in this episode. The way, what many people might few as one of Jet's strengths with being the leader and taken control, is actually what pushed the women he loved away and proved to be a flaw was very well done and interesting to see.
It was nice to see the crew actually get a good amount of money. They pulled in 2,800,000 wulongs from the two bounties this episode. Probably one of the better hauls we see. You'll notice that fans will bring up, how it seems the crew doesn't seem to be that good at their job and the question of just how many people do they catch comes up. It's there, not often, but they do bring in the money from time to time. I forget the biggest payday we see. Was the Teddy Bomber a big one? Despite this being a Jet focused episode I liked Spikes roll a lot. Pretty much playing comic relief and being used to move the plot along at the end he just used his little time well. Ed already feels like a regular part of the crew though it's not for a little bit more until they rely on her skills. Another episode, like most of the more slower, dramatic episodes, that seems really popular with big fans of the show and I agree on this one.