Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Plot Summary:
In this alternate reality, Spike Spiegel is not the typical cowboy. In fact, he is actually a bounty hunter who spends most of his time tracking down crooks to earn a few bucks. Along with his partner, Jett Black, a former police officer, they fly through the galaxy on the Cowboy Bebop looking for their next big hit. However, Spike's past has resurfaced, especially when he hears Julia and Vicious have returned. Just when things could not get anymore complicated, he involuntarily recruits three more members of the team named Faye, Ed, and a bionic dog named Ein. The series reveals a lot about the characters and who they used to be with humor,tragedy, and lots of random coincidences. 

Critical Evaluation:
Cowboy Bebop is an anime legend that everyone needs to watch sometime in their life. Not only is it visually stunning, but the music (created by the famous Yoko Kanno) sets the tone of this series, especially the ending theme. Shinichiro Watanabe does an amazing job with the art direction and the computer animation is incredibly revolutionary given the fact that this series is at least fourteen years old. The story, as complex as it is, is woven together beautifully where viewers not only get to know the characters, but will be emotionally attached to them until the very end. Unfortunately, this is one story that does not have the ending we all wish, but that is what makes it memorable.

Information about the Director:
Shinichiro Watanabe was born May 24, 1965 in Kyoto, Japan. Watanabe currently works as an anime film writer, screenwriter, producer, and is well known for his two hit shows: Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. According to Wikipedia: "Watanabe is noted for blending together multiple genres in his anime. For example, in Cowboy Bebop, classic cowboy western mixes with 1940s/1950s New York City film noir, Jazz music and Hong Kong action movies, all while being set in space. In his later work, Samurai Champloo, Watanabe mixes the cultures of Okinawa, hip-hop, modern-day Japan, and Chanbara" (para.2).

Watanabe has had a successful career where he has worked on over twenty-five projects and continues to be one of the top anime directors who not only brings something new to the genre, but products that are unique and memorable. When asked what he hated about his job, in a 2005 NewType article, "It actually kind of sucks having to be a director. Once you do it, you discover how hard it really is. This is no kind of a job for a human being, let me tell you. I think I ought to quit, but I can't really do anything else!" (para. 1).


Teen Anime 

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 11 & up  

Number of Episodes:

Series Similar to Cowboy Bebop:

Awards & Recognition:
Keanu Reeves is currently in the process of bringing this anime to the live-action screen so fans will be anticipating the release of the movie. 

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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