Cowboy Bebop is now available as a sublimely remastered Blu-ray collection. Stop what you are doing and buy it now. Perhaps some reading this may enquire as to what Cowboy Bebop is and hesitate on such a purchase, hopefully this review will change their tune.
Neon Genesis Evangelion, Trigun, Hellsing, Cowboy Bebop; these are anime titles considered by many fans to be the greatest of all time. Standing the test of time, these innovative masterworks are still resonating today as passionate and provoking narratives. Cowboy Bebop, which invented the concept of space cowboys (take that Firefly!) follows the misadventures of Spike and his wonderfully flawed and greedy crew on crazy bounties throughout space. At the heart of these wild adventures is a dark past Spike contends with and often finds himself drawn back into. This set-up and establishing arc as well as gradual introduction of some of the most memorable cast in an anime are just some of the reasons why this is a true classic.
Other reasons include the fully realised universe and lore that's akin to the level of detail in a Star Wars film and the many plot points and memorable moments that have been borrowed by film and television ever since. From moments in The Matrix to Mom's Robot Corp. in Futurama, surprisingly there is a lot of things Cowboy Bebop did first.
The 'bebop' refers to the score, and it is the highpoint of composer Yoko Kanno's career. The uneven feverish jazz beat scatters and scoots, traversing melodies of action, drama and character insight. Thanks to the remaster, the score sounds better than ever, clear and purposely enhanced to enliven every scene, a true joy to the ears that provides an unrelenting cool.
Watching these sessions again felt like coming home and seeing an old friend. On the other hand, the presentation is so vivid and the sound so clear that there was a lot of new in the familiar. Re-watching it with a friend who never saw it also proved the series worth as they did not want the series to end. There is nothing to criticise here, Cowboy Bebop is perfect, hitting every off-centre beat and crazy subplot with reckless energy and momentum that nails it every episode.
As mentioned the Blu-ray transfer is phenomenal; crystal clear it brings out the gorgeous colours of this diverse universe. The sound is the bigger point and reason for purchase alone.
Collection two is around the corner, but the first collection includes episodes 1-13 (half the series) and some basic bonuses. The audio commentaries are fun but not included on every episode. The collection is housed in a basic blu-ray amaray case, but it does come with an excellent forty page booklet that includes original artwork and sketches.
A superb remastering of an undeniable classic, you should question why this is not in your collection already.
Cowboy Bebop Remastered Sessions Collection One is out now on Blu-ray in Australia.
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