SHADOWVESSEL'S BLOG

ShadowVessel

Firefly... This is Cowboy Bebop!
Monday, March 15, 2004

Whenever I was showing the pilot episode to a friend of mine, he yelled out, " This is Cowboy Bebop!" And this was still in the teaser.

After hearing him say that, I got to seeing it differently. It is Cowboy Bebop... sort of.

The obvious thing is all the chinese writing and culture everywhere. The same level of drama is there. They're both about a crew of misfits just trying to make their way through life, and space. They both take place on a limited number of planets that are recurrently revisited, which also happen to be terraformed planets of the local government. And, our Earth is long since dead in both 'verses.

If Cowboy Bebop had 9 characters, I'm sure they'd match up more. Since it doesn't, they only have some almagams:

Spike is Mal and Wash.
Faye is Inara and Jayne.
Ed is River and Kaylee.
Jet is Book and Zoe.
Ein and Simon aren't really alike, but both their names end with an "n."

I know the crew of the Serenity aren't bounty hunters, but they could be. And the crew of the Bebop aren't thieves, but they could... wait a minute, I think they are.

Anywho,I didn't agree with my friend more so than when I saw "The Message" when I got the DVD. The station they're on reminded me of the one straight out of "Honkey Tonk Women" on 'Bebop. OK, you have to have a little imagination with it, but it's there.

I could go on and on with the simularities, but it's late and I've got to go to work in a couple of hours.

Please send any replies or comments that may prove or disprove this prospective. Hell, start a thread.

Thanks for showing enough interest in the two to read.

COMMENTS

Thursday, March 18, 2004 2:22 AM

SONYA


Cowboy Bebop is a fabulous anime series that consists of 26 episodes and a movie (which fits between episodes 22 and 23, if I remember correctly... it's been a while since I saw it). I think it still airs on Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" programming block, which is shown late nights... supposedly after the kiddies have gone to bed. Check your local listings for details.

However, you can't really count on them showing it all in order and they have made some edits for language/content. Plus, I doubt they'd show the movie (correct me if I'm wrong here) because of the length and the amount of violence (since it's an R rated feature film and not a TV episode, the violence level is naturally a little bit higher).

Your best bet would be to try renting the episodes if you can find them. (The entire series is available on DVD.) Then you could be sure to watch the entire thing without any cuts and, most importantly, IN ORDER. Cowboy Bebop, while sometimes episodic, does have a very specific order and it looses a lot of its impact when viewed out of order.

The movie is much easier to find as it was released in the states by Sony Pictures. It's at most major video stores if you look hard enough. But remember that it takes place in the middle of the series, so it's perhaps not as "newbie friendly" as it could be.

For more info on the movie:
http://www.sonypictures.com/cthe/cowboybebop/

Anyhoo, if you can see it, I'd highly reccommend watching Cowboy Bebop. It's an outstanding show and, for me at least, it and Firefly are the best quality shows I've ever watched. Period.

I hope I've helped you out, at least a little bit. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2004 4:13 PM

STIZO


First off, I would like to say that Cowboy Bebop is by far the best anime I have ever seen. I would highly recommend it; it's still shown during Adult Swim on Cartoon Network (check your listings, it's gonna be late at night), and DVD of the sessions and the movie can easily be found at most movie rental places or just go down to Best Buy if you feel like buying it. It's worth it; the writing for Bebop equals the writing for Firefly, and the music for Bebop rules! So if you like Firefly (which I’m assuming you do, else you wouldn’t be here), and you are not put off by anime, give Bebop a chance.

As for comparing the two, I would say there are some similarities, ragtag crew, mysterious pasts, Chinese and western influences (don’t forget Cowboy Andy, meili!) etc, but I would have to agree with jebbypal in that Bebop is much darker than Firefly. Watanabe himself has said that Bebop is meant to be a sad, melancholy story; hence the sessions: “hard luck woman”,” real folk blues”, etc. Firefly seems to have more of a hopeful outlook on life while Bebop’s emphasis is more of a cynical view.

As to the similarity in characters, Spike is defiantly a combination of Mal and Wash. Jet, I can see the resemblance to Book but not really any to Zoe. Faye is like a female version of Jayne, with some Inara hidden inside. Edward…well what can I say about Ed? Mix the craziness of River with the unstoppable cheerfulness of Kaylee and you start to get an Ed. In my opinion Ein would be more of Zoe’s personality (mixed in with Rivers genius). As far as the two most overlooked characters, Serenity and the Bebop; I would say that similarity is probably the closest. Older ships, beaten down, converted to their current use, etc, seems to be some common traits.

So, to wrap it up (I know this is long), as far as the story goes, I would say very little is alike; whereas the characters and their situations is quite similar. Which is probably why these two are at the top of my favorite TV shows of all time list.

Can’t do a post about Cowboy Bebop without a funny quote:
FROG: Hey mister, this here’s the stairway to heaven. You know that don’t ya?
SPIKE: Obnoxious little frog.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004 4:31 AM

KINGOFKOINS


I agree, Cowboy Bebop has more immediate influences in film noir and HK cinema (this is made really clear in "Ballad of Fallen Angels")

Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:38 AM

JEBBYPAL


Cowboy Bebop was being shown on the Cartoon Network during its anime runs at late night. You can also order the DVDs. There was also a movie released available for rent in places that is accessible to the neophyte. Also, if anime turns you off, it is nowhere near as sex/blood oriented as some of the genre out there.

I agree and disagree that Firefly is Cowboy Bebop. I've used the analogy to explain the show to people who weren't familiar with it, but on the whole, I really think Cowboy Bebop is much much darker than Firefly and lacks, well any of the joy. Its all dry humor, escaping the past, and just existing. Especially the first season. While in Firefly, characters are attempting to avoid the past but the key element is that the ship is a sanctuary and place of happines. Anyway, just my take, not trying to flame you shadowvessel.

One thing I will agree on, is that the friendship between Spike and Jet is very remnicent of Zoe and Mal. Although the opposite too since Spike and Jet refuse to talk about their uncommon pasts to each other for the most part. (I could be wrong for the later part of the series. I've seen much of it very out of order and missed some episodes--Bebop not Firefly).

Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:12 AM

KINGOFKOINS


The station in Honky Tonk Women was a casino though.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004 7:07 AM

SERENA


I've never heard of Cowboy Bebop, but if the writing is anywhere near as good as Firefly, I'd like to give it a try. When is it on, and what channel?


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