Tag Archive: Anime


A film that is about children is not necessarily a film for children. The live-action adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are is more a reminiscence on the beauty and horror of childhood (as well as divorce) than it is something specifically meant to entertain kids. While it may have elements that appeal to children, I still contend that Toy Story 3 was truly meant to be enjoyed and appreciated by those who were children when the first film came out. A tragic meditation on the horrors of war and the human consequences of decisions like fire-bombing a small sea-side town does not seem like fodder for your typical children’s film. However, the legendary Studio Ghibli (Howl’s Moving Castle) took that risk and it surely paid off. For if Grave of the Fireflies isn’t one of the most emotionally powerful animated films you’ve ever seen, you may be broken on the inside.

Grave of the Fireflies isn’t just one of the best animated films I’ve seen; it is one of the most harrowing and heartbreaking war films ever made. Set in the waning days of World War II, Seita (Tsutomu Tatsumi) and Setsuko (Ayano Shiraishi) are orphans who lost their mother in the fire-bombing of Kobe, Japan. Their father is in the navy but it is unclear whether he is alive or part of the annihilation of virtually the entire Japanese fleet. It doesn’t matter. You never see or hear from him. Although Seita and Setsuko are originally allowed to live with an aunt, her greed and uncharitable attitude towards the two children (Seita is  a young teenager. Setsuko is four five) to run away and attempt to make it on their own. Though they are able to find sustenance at first, it becomes quickly apparent that Seita and Setsuko won’t be able to make it on their own.

This is not a children’s movie. Although the film’s director claimed during it’s release that it was meant to be a reminder to Japanese youth (who in the 80s were experiencing record levels of juvenile delinquency) of the tragedies that befell their parents and grandparents, this is an anti-war film through and through. Children’s movies don’t generally cause the viewer to have his hands over his face in horror for the entire film. Children’s films may make you cry (The Iron Giant, Toy Story 3, Up), but they don’t leave you feeling nearly dead inside when the film is done. Grave of the Fireflies was heart-wrenching to the point that it caused me physical pain to watch the movie. Not since The Road have I sat through a film so emotionally powerful. If the notion of two children struggling (and failing) to survive in war-torn Japan sounds tough to bear, it’s cause it will be. I’m crying writing about the film.

Grave of the Fireflies joins that rare breed of film which offers almost nothing in the way of “entertainment” and is instead meant to horrify and educate its viewers. It sends a very potent political message (even if the screen-writer/director claims that wasn’t his intent), and if you’ve ever celebrated the U.S.’s actions in Japan during World War II, this film will remind you of the human costs of that victory. When you discover that most of the film is a true story (it’s an adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel), it becomes nearly too real to handle. The film is full to the brim of tiny details that speak to the real-life horror that the novel’s author, Akiyuki Nosaka, suffered along with his sister and countless other Japanese orphans who fell through the cracks during the last months of the war. Along with Das Boot, it is one of the only war films that completely avoids any accidental glorification of war. It is pure horror.

The film’s animation is stunning. Whether it’s capturing the horror of the bombings, the physical degradation that Seita and Setsuko suffer due to malnutrition, or the rare moments of beauty the film offers, the animation always complements the action on screen. The film uses a recurring firefly visual motif which represents the impermanence of life (it’s both a Japanese cultural symbol as well as a visual concept that is readily apparent even to cultural outsiders), and the fireflies show up in one of the rare uplifting moments of the film (which is of course subverted shortly thereafter to break your heart again). Seita and Setsuko have moved to a small shelter inside a hillside. It’s dark and Setsuko is scared so Seita captures dozens of fireflies in a pot and releases them into the cave (which they can’t leave because of mosquito nettings). It’s simply a gorgeous and happy moment which are fleeting and rare, and the film instantly reminds you what kind of movie you’re watching when Setsuko has to bury them all in the very next scene.

The film also makes great use of color and moments of visual poetry that transform the scenes from simple visual representations of what happened Nosaka’s life into something more artistic. Without wanting to spoil some of the more tragic aspects of the film, the movie makes great use of tinting and color-wash to let us know what events are occurring and when moments are perceived more as spiritual and ethereal. The film’s score is also hauntingly effective as there’s a moment towards the end of the film where Seita and Setsuko’s suffering has become total where you see a different family return to their home, unbroken and with all of their belongings (and family) intact, and their record player sets off a gut-wrenching version of “Home Sweet Home.”

If I had to look for flaws in the movie, the obvious one is that Setsuko and Seita are never actually characterized. Instead, they’re meant to be the ultimate sympathetic constructs for the viewers to imprint their heartbreak and horror on. Some might accuse the director of trying to manipulate the audience’s emotion, but since so much of the film is true, he can avoid that charge. This film, once and for all, settles any debate as to whether or not anime can be considered the equal of the “purer” art of live-action cinema (or Western animation). Considering that this film is a truer and more unbearable representation of war than many so-called serious, live-action war films, I think the conversation is pretty much moot. Everyone needs to watch this movie, regardless of how you feel about anime. My only recommendation is that you have several boxes of tissues handy. You’re going to need them.

Final Score: A

Advertisements

 Sometimes, I have myself convinced that I am just the worst otaku on the planet. I talk a big game about how much I love anime and how much I seem to know about the culture, but before today, I had never seen a film by Hayao Miyazaki, a children’s film maker who has a reputation as being the Walt Disney of Japan (however, after watching one of his film’s, I prefer to think of him as the Don Bluth of Japan which is more of a compliment anyways). Well, having now watched the magical Howl’s Moving Castle, I am quite upset that it took me this long to find him. I have never seen quite such a stunning combination of Eastern and Western story-telling and animation, and the final product really has to be seen to be believed.

Set against the backdrop of a devastating war, Howl’s Moving Castle is an epic children’s fantasy that tells the story of a young shopkeeper named Sophie. One day, after encountering a strange young man who saves her from bullying soldiers, Sophie is transformed into an old woman by the evil Witch of the Waste. She sets out on a journey to figure out how to break the spell that has been put upon her and return to her normal self. Along the way, she finds out that the man who rescued her is a powerful wizard named Howl who has a giant mobile castle, where he lives with his young apprentice Markl and a fire demon named Calcifer that lets the castle run. Soon, Sophie finds herself swept up in a war and must find the beauty and love within her and Howl if she wants to live, let alone be transformed back to her old body.

The animation in this film is just mind-boggling. The colors are so vibrant, and the world is filled with so much detail and action. The setting of the story is a beautifully rendered steampunk world where tun of the 20th century architecture intermingle with magic as well as later technology such as planes. At the same time, you are given several stunning vistas in beautiful forests and glens.The character models look splendid as well. Not since the golden age of Disney has hand-drawn animation looked this splendid.

Much like the great Don Bluth films from the late 80’s/early 90’s, this film is as entertaining for me as a grown-up as it surely is enchanting for children. This is a wonderful allegory for the dangers of war, the price of love, and remaining yourself in the face of hardship. This is the kind of quality children’s picture that you only expect from Pixar anymore. I can definitely see how another Miyazaki picture, Spirted Away, won Best Animated Feature at the Oscars, and I can’t wait to watch that movie. If you like anime, this is a no brainer. If you like children’s movies or have children of your own, I can without fail recommend this movie for the whole family. Although a slight warning, it might be a little scary in parts. Certain aspects of the film reminded me of Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland which just terrified me as a child.

 Final Score: A-

 Since I’ve reviewed three anime series for this blog (and will be reviewing Neon Genesis Evangelion whenever Netflix decides to actually have it in stock), it should come as no surprise that I love anime. I also love science fiction. I especially love cyberpunk. Perhaps, that has something to do with the fact that I’m part of the generation that has spent as much on the time the internet as we have in real places. So, a film that’s considered a classic of both anime in general and specifically cyberpunk, 199X’s Ghost in the Shell, should have been a movie that I loved. And while perhaps I just had a really terrible subtitle translation job (although this is the official Blu-Ray re-release so I doubt it), I thought this film was a unmitigated mess of techno-philosophical mumbo-jumbo that I found nearly impossible to follow (and not in that good David Lynch sort of way), and by the time the film was over, I really had no idea what had just happened in the movie I watched.

Ghost in the Shell is a story set in a futuristic Japan where people are able to directly connect their brains to the internet and cyborgs (people that have human brains but robotic bodies) walk the streets as peers with the regular humans. However, because humanity has become so integrated with the digital world, it is possible for expert hackers to take control over a person’s brain from the internet through a concept known as Ghost-hacking. Once the world is set up, which is actually done fairly well, that’s when the movie falls apart because other than knowing who the villain was, I had no idea what his motivations were, how he had been captured, or what the fuck happened at the movie’s end. There’s a lot, lot, lot of talking in this anime and not in a good Neon Genesis Evangelion sort of way.

If you’re a fan of cyberpunk, I’m going to go ahead and guess you’ve already seen this. Any one who’s watched the movie and actually understood the ending, I would appreciate an explanation because I had no idea. Pretty much there are only two good things I can say about this film. The score was pretty fantastic. It was awesome. The animation was really good too, although I don’t know why the movie had to have so much gratuitous and unnecessary nudity. I can’t really recommend this to anyone, unless you’re a serious otaku, and then as I’ve said, you’ve probably already seen it.

 Final Score: C

Well space cowboys, we’ve come to the last leg of our journey. Our time upon the Bebop has come to a close and we must bid Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ein a most fond farewell. It was a fun trip that involved amnesiacs, mind control, truckers, blobs in refrigerators, yakuza, artificially aware satellites, and more crazy awesome than you can shake a stick at. But like the Native American in the finale said, all great journeys must eventually come to a close. And it will be time for a new one to start for me soon enough (actually as soon as my next Netflix DVD’s come in the mail and I start getting Neon Genesis Evangelion).

While I’ve written 5 other reviews for the series so far, they focused on the particular episodes that I had seen at that point. This will try to be a general synopsis of my feelings for the series so I apologize for the fact that a lot of the things I’ve said before are probably going to be repeated. Unlike many anime which are highly serialized and consecutive in their myth arc development, Cowboy Bebop is much more episodic in nature and the myth arc is developed slowly but beautifully over the series course, and much of that is simply character development and universe building. The show focuses on the antics and adventures of the crew of the spaceship Bebop. The primary protagonist is Spike Spiegel, a Cowboy, which is the show’s word for a bounty hunter. He’s joined by ex-cop and father figure Jet Black, mysterious con woman Faye Valentine, genius child prodigy Ed, and the dog Ein. Over the course of the show’s 26 episodes, you get a deeper and deeper look at their stories and the universe that they live in, and it all culminates in an absolutely beautiful series finale.

The series is science-fiction first and foremost, but it masterfully weaves a tale that incorporates all of my favorite genres of fiction. Film Noir, westerns, mafia pictures, comedy, psychological drama. And it does all of them better than most shows can do a single one. Some of the episodes of this show are my favorite episodes not just of anime but of any type of TV. Spike and Ed are two of my favorite characters in all of anime. Spike is simply one of the coolest dudes to ever be drawn on screen and Ed’s never-ending word salad is always endearing. Series big bad Vicious is also one of anime’s most compelling villains. The animation and art direction are also superb enough to match the story-telling, which is often a rare feat in a lot of anime.

One of the most memorable aspects of the series is its soundtrack. Live action or animated, no show has a better score than Cowboy Bebop. Yoko Kanno, over the course of the series 26 episode run, delivered a score that can only be described as perfect, and while it is heavily jazz-influenced, it also shows streaks in practically every genre of music, and it never failed to impress me. If you have no interest in the show, you should at least check out its superb soundtrack. The voice acting on the show is also top notch and has the finest English dub of any anime that I’ve watched. No voice actor drags the series down and it never succumbs to any of the cliches of most English anime dubs. I actually think the English dub is better than the original Japanese voice acting.

Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime of all time. It outclasses its closest competition for me, Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood, by a mile. Even if you don’t like anime, you should give this one a go, especially if you were a fan of science fiction cult classic Firefly. This show has multi-demographic appeal and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

Bang.

Final Score: A+

*SPOILER ALERT*

God bless whoever had the idea at Netflix to start letting people watch movies via instant streaming. While the idea has probably sucked away countless hours of my life that I could have used for more productive purposes like school or writing a novel, it has also given me the opportunity to watch countless shows and movies that I would have never had time to watch because of the nature of shipping DVD’s. Netflix recently expanded the content of its anime selection to watch instantly to a really respectable amount of content, and I just know that I’m going to lose so many hours of my life watching all of these anime that I’ve wanted to see but never had the opportunity to get into. Soul Eater really upped its game in its last 7 episodes, and I watched every single one of them practically in a row today. So, yeah, it’s becoming addicting.

The first major story arc of the show has really started to kick into gear as the ultimate plan of the Witch Medusa has finally been placed into action. Apparently, there is a kishin that has been held in basically a quarantine state underneath of the DWMA (Death Weapon Meister Acadamey). His name is Asura and he was one of Lord Death’s most trusted and powerful warriors. However, he began to crave too much power and fed on human souls and ultimately became a kishin. It is Medusa’s plan to re-awaken Asura, although I’m not really sure what her goal is after that. When Medusa instituted a plan to trap Lord Death and all of the meisters and weapons in one of the school’s towers, the show’s three main groups as well as Dr. Stein are able to escape and they delve into the bowels of the school to try and stop Medusa and her henchmen. Epic fights ensue.

As well as the incredibly plot relevant stuff, we also got two filler episodes. One was kind of boring and made me wary that this disc was going to be awful and it was about an exam the students were taking. The other was awesome and hilarious. It brought back one of my favorite supporting characters, the weapon Excalibur. He’s a supposedly incredibly powerful weapon, but he’s such a diva that no one wants to put up with all of the ridiculous demands he makes on a meister. He’s on my short list for the ensemble dark horse of the show. I spent his entire episode just cracking up. We also got some back story for Death the Kid’s weapons, Patty and Liz in one episode that brought back Crona. Also, in the very last episode I watched, Crona him/herself got some pretty important back story and it explains just why in the hell he’s so messed up which is what you would expect from Medusa’s own, mentally tortured child.

I don’t know exactly why I was able to watch all 7 of these episodes in like one day when it took me like a week and a half to watch the first 7. I think it’s probably because I finally felt for the first time in the show that it had some serious plot momentum and I kept wanting to figure out what would happen next. It generally does a pretty good job of ending episodes on cliff-hangers that make you want to immediately turn in next week (well next week if it were on tv. right now since it’s on netflix). I know considering how the very last episode ended that I definitely want to see where it goes, and if I weren’t going home to Philippi tomorrow night where we have dial up internet, I’d probably watch even more of the show.

Score in Progress: B+

Well, in the immortal words of Jim Morrison, this is the end, or almost anyways. I’ve got one disc of Cowboy Bebop to watch after this review is over. It should be coming from Netflix within the week and that means my return to the spaceship Bebop and the adventures of its inhabitants will have finally drawn to a close. It’s a bitter sweet emotion because I’ve been really loving watching this show these last couple weeks. All great things must come to an end I guess.

The first episode of the four on the disc was probably one of the weaker episodes of the series that I’ve watched so far and I was never really exactly sure what was going on. However, that’s ok because the second episode “Pierrot Le Fou” has been my second favorite episode of the series, only behind the 5th episode. It was a really cool departure from the norm for the series and the villain was quite effective, and overall the episode was just incredibly creepy. The third episode was  jet episode that almost played like something out of True Grit, and the last episode was a sort of hilarious urban western that introduced a new bounty hunter named Andy that took the cowboy thing way too far. It was really funny.

The music and art direction of the show have remained fantastic. The abandoned theme park scenes in the second episode were just amazing looking, and in the urban western episode, they did a really great job of evoking the sort of melodies and themes you’d expect from an Ennio Morricone score in a Sergio Leone film like The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. When I finally finish this show, I will be moving straight into Neon Genesis Evangelion. It will be interesting going from the fun of this show to the never ending depression of that other classic. Should be interesting.

Score in Progress: A+

*SPOILER ALERT*

13 episodes in and I can safely say that Soul Eater is a more serialized program in the vein of Gurren Lagann than the more episodic nature of Cowboy Bebop. While this show has already had more filler moments in 13 episodes than Gurren Lagann had during its entire run (which was admittedly only 26 episodes), generally speaking there is an over all myth arc that each episode tries to carry forward. And while the first 7 episodes only gave me the slightest glimpse as to what that myth arc might be, after I finished the end of Part 1 of the show, I think I have a better idea where this at least initial arc is probably heading. So, yeah, there’s going to be some spoilers. Check out my first review for a spoiler free look at the show.

Basically, my last set of reviews ended with Maka and Soul getting their asses kicked by this dude (or chick, I’m not really sure) named Crona who was a meister whose weapon was living inside of his body in his blood, and the weapon is later identified as a demon sword. They were no match for Crona and were only saved by the intervention of Dr. Stein and Maka’s father, the death scythe Spirit. Crona was being controlled seemingly against his will by a witch named Medusa who I’m quickly determining is going to be the series first real Big Bad (she’s also the nurse at the school), and I’m not really sure if her motivations have been properly explained yet, other than this has something to do with the process by which a meister is turned into a kishin. Through an exposition heavy episode, we learn how exactly it is that kishin are formed, and it happens whenever a meister and/or a weapon use their powers to feed on human souls. We also got an episode devoted to better fleshing out Tsubaki’s back story, as well as a couple used to introduce some new villains to the story while still setting up Medusa as the big villain.

The art direction and general animation have remained fantastic and the story is definitely getting more interesting. Death the Kid and the mad scientist (yet still a hero) Dr. Franken Stein have emerged as my favorite characters on the series. There’s just something about Kid’s ridiculous OCD that is always entertaining, and Dr. Stein is  fun anti-hero/mentor type. The fight scenes have also improved, especially the one against the wolf/ice fighter Free in the last episode I watched. It looked pretty good. The characters have all received some power-ups of one sort or another since my last review so I guess it makes sense that the fights are getting cooler cause the ante has been upped so to speak. I’m probably going to finish the series completely unless at some point the quality just jumps off the cliff. I’ve been enjoying it so far even if it hasn’t been as good as Cowboy Bebop or Gurren Lagann.

Score in Progress: B

Don’t worry loyal readers who might be concerned seeing a new review for another anime series when I haven’t even finished watching all of Cowboy Bebop yet. That show is still my primary anime focus, but I only get it in the mail from Netflix, and I need to find other things to occupy my time besides just the movies I’m watching for this blog and the stuff I’m getting physically sent to me from Netflix. I’m constantly looking for new television series to get into, especially in the anime department which I always feel I am poorly cultured in for how much I profess to enjoy anime, and lo and behold, Netflix had a complete series available to view instantly that I pretty much felt I shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to give a shot to. This series is the shonen anime Soul Eater which is based off of a manga that while the anime series is over, the manga series is still running. While this show has not proven itself yet to be nearly as entertaining as Gurren Lagann or Cowboy Bebop, it does have some aspects of the series that are really quite fantastic, specifically character design and art direction.

The basic premise of Soul Eater is that the Grim Reaper himself, Lord Death, has set up a school to train individuals known as meisters to combat evil souls known as kishin who have been turned into evil abominations by the evil in their hearts and souls. Lord Death has them do this in order to maintain the balance between good and evil on the planet. The meisters are aided in their fight by humans who are capable of transforming themselves into weapon forms, such as a scythe, a chain blade, and pistols among others. The ultimate goal of a meister is to defeat 99 kishin and have their weapon consume the kishin‘s souls. They also must defeat one witch. When this happens, the weapon will become a death scythe in the employ of Lord Death himself.

The show has a main cast of about 7 characters, three meisters and four weapons (i’ll explain the oddness there in a second). The first pair, and the pair that I think is probably the main pair on the series, is young girl Maka, the meister, and her partner Soul. Maka is earnest and intelligent. Soul is sort of a more surly youth with a quicker temper and less patience than Maka, but they still make a great pair. Soul’s weapon form is a giant scythe. The next pair is Black Star, the meister, and Tsubaki, the weapon. Black Star is a fairly obvious jab at the ninja/assassin sub-genre of anime, particularly a certain very popular ninja *cough*NARUTO*cough*. He’s loud, not particularly stealthy, yet through his sheer determinator status, he somehow manages to pull shit off. It’s not a straight deconstruction of the Naruto-type, but more of a loving parody. His long-suffering partner Tsubaki has to constantly deal with the fall out of his just rushing head first into a situation, until he suddenly remembers that he’s a highly capable stealthy ninja when he’s not being a dumb-ass. Her weapon form is a chain blade. The last group is Death the Kid, the meister, and Patty and Liz Thompson, his weapons. Kid is the son of Lord Death himself and the most naturally talented meister at the academy. His partners weapon form are two pistols. Unfortunately for Death the Kid, he has a crippling, OCD level obsession with symmetry in every aspect of his life that keeps him from being as effective a meister as he could be.

The story on this show hasn’t been super-engaging at this point, but it’s pretty early in the series, and the final episode I watched actually looked like maybe the show was finally going to start going in a more interesting direction. The fight scenes haven’t been particularly awesome looking but after Gurren Lagann, I guess every fight scene ever will be a disappointment. The problem that this is pretty much a shonen fighting anime so far, and I hope the fight scenes get cooler. However, the art direction in this show is phenomenal and it has one of the most unique art styles that I’ve ever seen on an anime. It’s this really cool combination of gothic art along with sort of surreal dream-like flourishes. The characters are all drawn very well and the world itself looks great. It’s probably what keeps me dragging along with the show even when the story hasn’t been that great.

So far the series reminds me of kind of what would happen if you cross-breeded Harry Potter with the very first story arc of Bleach, back when Ichigo and everyone was still in high school and they hadn’t spent a million episodes carting around the Soul Society. I’m probably going to end up finishing the series, but it definitely doesn’t seem at this point that it will be as good as the last two anime that I’ve watched for this blog. However, if you like really imaginative art styles and a fairly original universe, then you might want to give this one a try. I’ll keep on watching at least until the end of Part 1 and then decide there if I want to finish the whole series or not.

Score in Progress: B

I have to be at work at 10 in the morning tomorrow which means that I need to wake up at 9 at the latest which means that I should have gone to bed at 1. So, while I probably shouldn’t have stayed up at all to write this particular set of reviews, I’m going to do my best to keep this one short and sweet so as to get my stupid ass in bed as quickly as possible so that I’m not dragging my feet at work all day tomorrow. So, let’s head back once again to the Bebop and see what’s happened over the course of these last four episodes.

The first episode did a hell of a job explaining some of the back story of the mysterious Faye Valentine, and why she’s such a cold-hearted woman and con man and why the mob bosses at the casino thought she was like over 100 years old when we were first introduced to her. It was a fantastic episode with a nice romantic subplot that was given the great Cowboy Bebop treatment in how it was able to not play out exactly the way you’d think it would. The next episode gave us a decent look at Jet’s back story again and his time as a cop before he became a bounty hunter. The third episode is one of the series’ more infamous episodes and it involved our heroes tripping on magic mushrooms out on a desert planet. And it was hilarious. The final episode wasn’t as good as the other three but it also gave us another bit of a look at the story behind Faye, and also gave us some hilarious moments involving the lack of understanding by our heroes on the difference between a beta max player and a VCR. Funny stuff.

I’m well past the half-way point in the series and I’ve only got two discs of episodes left. It’s nice watching two anime series in a row that aren’t more than 30 episodes long. If I were reviewing the complete series of Dragon Ball Z, I would be reviewing that show for a good year or so since there’s like over 200 episodes. I’m glad I decided to re-watch Cowboy Bebop. I’ve been having a ton of fun jumping back into the series.

See you space cowboy

Score in Progress: A+

Well, yesterday the next two discs of Cowboy Bebop finally came in the mail from Netflix, and although I was definitely too tired from work yesterday to watch any, I wasted no time today diving right into that show. I’m spacing my reviews out for however many episodes were on each disc (whereas for Gurren Lagann I just reviewed every 4 episodes). The first two discs had 5 episodes a disc, however, these next two discs each have four on them, which is why I’ll be reviewing fewer episodes per article for these next two posts. Anyways, let’s jump back into the Bebop and follow the continuing adventures and trials of her intrepid crew.

This batch of episodes was pretty fantastic (although when isn’t this show) and once again exemplified the very broad array of themes and issues and styles that this show is willing to tackle. The first episode is probably the episode is that the most different from any episode I’ve watched so far as it is a sort of homage to the original Alien film and concerns a black blob that escaped from an old, old refrigerator in the back of the ship and stalks and preys on the crew of the Bebop. It was really odd and pretty awesome, but the show in no way, shape, or form tries to explain how its ending exists in the continuity of the series or makes any sense. The next two episodes were a two-parter telling one big story that brought back series big bad, Vicious (pictured above), and gave us a little more of a look into the back story and motivations of Spike. These two episodes, while not quite as good as episode 5, were still absolutely amazing and helped create even more of the deep back world for the series. The 4th episode dealt with a sort of a heist story but with that classic Cowboy Bebop twist and subversion of the genre.

I might be wrong, but I felt like this particular batch of episodes, especially the two parter, really upped the ante in the soundtrack department. I honestly can’t name a single TV show, anime or live-action, that has a consistently better soundtrack than Cowboy Bebop. The only thing that might even come close is Lost but it still trails this one. I’ve got one more disc to watch before I send them both back to Netflix. In all likelihood, I’ll finish that disc tonight and have one more review up before I head to bed for the evening.

See you space cowboy.

Score in Progress: A+