Bebop is one
of the most impressive and meaningful anime
series ever made. Each and every episode managed to feel like a
the best of ways -- with carefully delivered stories which brought a
flavor to the entire series. This was a show that felt original and
unique. It had
an intelligent story arc, compelling characters, energetic direction,
incredible music. There was an inner beauty to the entire production
shined radiantly and abundantly. All of these important elements had a
on the series becoming a genuine classic in anime history. Cowboy
likely always hold a place as one of the best creations of the entire
and that is no small feat. Cowboy
Bebop is probably the coolest anime series ever made.
Bebop: The Movie (also
known as Knockin' on Heaven's Door) had
a huge level of enthusiasm and anticipating surrounding it prior to
Yet it also had to live up to those expectations as best as it could.
takes place within the timetables of the original 26 episode show and
designed to please series fans and newcomers alike. Could it live up to
hype? Apparently, it actually could!
begins by introducing audiences to the lead characters and establishing
world they live in: The setting is out in space (Mars to be exact) and
is year 2071. Spike Spiegel seems to be the leader of the entire crew.
He is seemingly
carefree but is somehow a deeply complex man at the same time. The
Bebop is the
ship used by Spike and his group of bounty hunter space cowboy's.
Bebop is used to fly across space and search for bad-guys to stop. Yet
group is also in the process of trying to earn a living (so that they
actually afford some food... at the very least). Things become truly
for everyone when a deadly virus spreads and the man who unleashed it
become the man the Bebop crew must defeat before it's too late for everyone.
are a huge reason why the film is so enjoyable. Spike is one of the
characters in anime with dark-green afro hair and a mysterious
is explored even further in this film. Jet remains a tough but
someone who is easily relatable to. Faye is a definite badass and she
hold her own in this oddball crew. Edward (known mostly as Ed) is
the comic relief -- a total goofball that somehow also manages to have
IQ. A few new characters pop up in the film as well and help to
significance of the film's story (even as it steps outside the realm of
series in some ways).
animation doesn't disappoint. The scale of the production has increased
the series and it really seems as though every element came together in
film for a visual feast. The character designs are just as great as
in the series, but in some ways the show is topped in the scenery
having the scale be even grander. The art remains a huge element of the
unique style and appeal in the feature-film transition.
Watanabe is undeniably one of the most gifted film-makers in the entire
He is not simply a visionary for the anime art form but someone who has
proved himself a master of his craft and who can bring a great
his chosen art form. The substance of the screenplay by Keiko Nobumoto
Godfathers) is also quite strong even if Watanabe remains the most
no laughing matter though. Yoko Kanno is highly regarded by anime fans
of the greatest composers of all time. This is no mere exaggeration.
Kanno is a
genius who understands music far better than most and she manages to
tracks that are jazzy, exciting, and melodic all at the same time. The
would be quite different without such an incredible soundtrack. Kanno constantly elevates the material with
Bebop: The Movie remains one of the most thrilling and essential
anime because of the remarkable talents who joined forces to craft
memorable and engaging for the series fans. The
movie is a nice love letter to the
characters, everyone responsible for bringing Cowboy Bebop together,
to the fans who have continued to cherish the series and movie as a
in the medium. What a joy!
Bebop: The Movie is
on Blu-ray with a impressive looking 1:85:1 transfer that retains the
theatrical aspect ratio. The first thing noticeable about this transfer
it is leaps and bounds better than the DVD release. Anyone who has seen
film before hasn't seen it looking anywhere near as detailed and
it looks on Blu-ray. The colors are better defined, the minor grain
is retained, and the sharpness has a decent boost (even if some random
still seem a bit blurry from time to time). The look of the film is
retained. The most surprising thing about the transfer might be how
the source appears to be. The DVD was marred with dirt and scratches
now mostly gone with this genuinely beautiful HD PQ.
images featured in this review are
from the DVD release and do not represent the High Definition Blu-ray
a bit surprising and disappointing. The film
does receive lossless audio - though not an entirely stellar
dynamics are reasonably engaging and impressive for a Blu-ray release.
issue is that the film is presented in 2.0 Uncompressed PCM. That
be an issue if a surround sound mix didn't exist. The DVD release does
5.1 audio though and for both the English and Japanese dubs. What
could be a licensing issue of some sort (theoretically) but with other
Entertainment Blu-ray's facing similar issues it might not be that at
English and Japanese dubs are included here (and both are excellent
the record). Optional subtitles are provided in Spanish, English, and
deaf-and hard of hearing.
there are no extras on this release.
Owners of the DVD release will want to hold on to that earlier edition
film for the bonus materials. I suggest switching this Blu-ray release
in to a two-disc
case that can hold both discs. Newcomers might not want to purchase
editions as the extras were enjoyable but not necessarily substantial
later, space cowboy.
Bebop: The Movie is a
example of near-perfection in adapting the formula of a TV series into
feature-length format. The film manages to be incredibly entertaining
tells an exciting story that should appeal to newcomers and fans of the
original series. The film itself is very easy to recommend. The Blu-ray
has strong video (much improved over the DVD release), but the lack of
sound (which was available on the DVD) is a major disappointment that
entirely overlooked. There are also no extras on this release. I'd
the dramatically better PQ a good enough reason to make this an
purchase for Cowboy Bebop fans. Highly
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.