Vicious News

Vicious is a anime/manga character in the Cowboy Bebop franchise
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Session #11 Toys in the Attic (4 out of 5 stars)

Honorable Mention: Ending

Highlights:

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.

Other thoughts:

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

Highlights:

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.

Other thoughts:

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.

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Session #5 Ballad of Fallen Angels (5 out of 5 stars)

Top 3: Music episode Honorable Mention: opening and art

Highlights:

Simply an iconic anime moment
Simply an iconic anime moment

Ahh what I would say is probably the quintessential Bebop episode. Starts of with a bang as we get probably the best introduction for Vicious they could come up with. Bebop as bluntly as possible says "hey, this is the main bad guy, he is evil, you should route against him, in case you couldn't tell". What a first moment for the character and start for this episode. Starting out with two syndicates making peace and ending with Vicious betraying them and bodies everywhere. For me what stands out the most though in this episode, and perhaps what it might be best known for, is the music. I'd be willing to say the best music episode in the entire series. From Waltz for Zizi (my favorite song) being used when Spike and Annie are talking, to Rain and Green Bird during the legendary church scene, just really good songs used really well throughout this episode. The music really helps to make Bebop and in this episode music is the episode. Lastly, as much be touched upon, the stellar church scene. Re-watching the show for the first time in a long, long time I'm trying to see what stands out more and to notice little things. This time it was just the pure detail in the art and how great the closing scene looked. Spike walking into the church and the purple hazed town behind him and the darkening sky above him is beautiful. Bebop is still a good looking show, but you can tell they stepped it up when it came to that scene.

Other thoughts:

For the first time during the moment when Spike was falling and the flashback was being shown I was wondering. Is that a flash back Spike is having, Vicious is having, they are both having or is it just for the viewers shake? This is a question I'd like to pose to everyone b/c honestly I can't tell. You get first person perspective, third person perspective, scenes were it's just Julia so it's hard to tell.

Bebop&squot;s "church scene" is like Godfathers "Baptism" scene
Bebop's "church scene" is like Godfathers "Baptism" scene

Overall I just like the way the episode is laded out. We get Vicious trying to lure Spike in, but instead he gets Faye however that still works out for him since Spike comes anyway. I know that a lot of voice acting is done with the actors during their lines alone in a room separate from the other cast and I don't know if Bebop or this episode was done that way, but for one of the few times I get that feeling when Spike and Annie are talking. The delivery just seems... off. I love the Bebop dub cast, but this is the one time where I think things could of been done better. It seems a bit over dramatic and clunky especially for an important scene. Still though one of the best episodes in the series. And so well done. I was surprised the first time I saw it just how many of my assumptions where correct about Spikes situation from the flashback we get which lead me to believe that wow they really did care about the details.

Session #6 Sympathy for the Devil (4 out of 5 stars)

Top 3: Ending, villain, death Honorable Mention: art

Highlights:

Right before the mood changes
Right before the mood changes

An exciting episode that has a couple tense moments, makes you question what's really going on and is over lade with a dark, moody atmosphere and good use of music as harmonica sounds cover most of the episode. Always enjoyed Wen in this episode and it's obvious he's what makes it tick. He's the bad guy, that for a second you can almost feel bad for. The juxtaposition of the child appearance, but then he speaks in this cynical, mature, world weary way that I just think is great. It all culminates with a spectacular ending where we see Spike and Wen in their final confrontation. The African tribal drum beat music to go along with the scene is great. The look of the area I also love, it's a really beautiful view. The sun just setting, this out of the way gas station and the final shot. All just done so well and leads to a truly memorable death. And after that intense build up it's almost a moment of just... "oh well, lets move on". Spike risking his life against an opponent that supposedly can't die and for what? So when all is said and done him just casually picking up the harmonic and trying to play it then just tossing it in the sky speaks volumes of the casual nature of Spike. A fantastic ending for this episode.

Other thoughts:

On of the greatest endings of the entire series, period
On of the greatest endings of the entire series, period

I love seeing Spikes emotions throughout this episode. His subtle changes and things he does that lend little insights in him. The opening where we see him having a flash back and having to calm himself down, his typical cocky nature at the start, then a more subdued, serious Spike as he finds out about Wen and gets hurt and at the end knowing what he'll have to do even though it seems like he doesn't want to. The scene where he apologizes to Jet is great. A seemingly unimportant moment, but one that adds nuance to the characters. Also Spike is really, really good at catching things using his plane. Twice now we've seen him catch something on the nose of his plane and man that has to be really hard, haha. I almost feel a little bad for Sympathy for the Devil. Since Adult Swim has typically had it's two episode format it's always had to directly follow Ballad of Fallen Angels and I sometimes feel it doesn't get the credit it deserves. It's kinda like Micheal Jackson's "Bad". Still a great album and better then most other groups good stuff, but it came after "Thriller".

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