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Cowboy Bebop


rustyjaw
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So after seeing numerous recommendations around the net, and especially after seeing Shinichiro Watanabe's shorts on the Animatrix, my BF and I decided to pick up the 3-disc set of the series with all 26(?) 'Sessions'.

 

We just finished session 10 last night and have been enjoying it immensely. I love the character development, and the quirky story lines. I was surprised by the humor, which often seems quite un-Japanese (not sure how to explain it beyond that). The way they mix the music and visuals is often stunning, such fantastic imaginations.

 

The attention to detail is great, it seems much more like what life in the future might be like than, say Star Trek. Not that their vision of the future is wholly unique. They're obviously fans of sci-fi and deftly make use of various influences in creating the Cowboy Bebop world (The villain in the first session is named Asimov, and the 10th Session opens with a 'Log' entry just like Star Trek).

 

It's great to know that we're not even halfway through, and we've decided to buy the movie as soon as we're done with the sessions.

 

Who else has watched it? I think I've seen the name mentioned here at least once. What are your favorite sessions.

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"Toys in the Attic" and "Speak Like a Child" are my two favorite sessions (#'s 11 and 18 respectively), and "The Real Folk Blues" was a great end to the series. There weren't any I didn't like, though. When I picked up the first DVD of this, it was really on a whim and I was just blown away by how good it was (last thing I had seen was Robotech and Battle of the Planets) and imediately bought the other 5. I still listen to the soundtracks at work quite often, the music is just so good. This series really got me back into anime, but I find myself often dissapointed with other series, not many that have that spark for me that Bebop did.

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Session #5: Ballad For Fallen Angels. My personal favorite half-hour of television ever, period. The opening is good, which shocks me because normally I don't like mob stories in any form, but then we get to the church scene. I love watching Spike walk to the church with "Rain" playing in the background.

 

"Pierrot Le Fou" and "Cowboy Funk" are two other good episodes. "Cowboy Funk" is one of the funniest episodes in the series.

 

"Real Folk Blues" is, as Orpheus noted, the perfect capper to the series. The last three episodes are all very moving. The ending to session 24 is really powerful stuff, backed with that awesome Yoko Kanno music.

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Guest MrDarthVader

Ed, I hate to tell you this... but you have bought a bootleg...

 

The official R1 Bandai release is 6-discs.... now quick...

1. Take the disc out of your player

2. Put behind your car wheel

3. Get in car

4. Put into reverse

5. Pick up the flattened remains and cover them in gasoline

6. Find matches

7. Melt that sucker :twisted:

 

Seriously, you got ripped off... the official release is available at Amazon now for less than $100. (I paid something like $155 a couple years ago for the LE boxset).

 

Awesome series... I've even got the Best Sessions DVD signed by the character designer (Toshiro Kawamoto). 8)

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Another huge Bebop fan here as well. I lusted after the "Perfect Collection" when it came out, but I could never convince the S.O. that $180 for a DVD set of anything (much less "cartoons" in her words :o ) was a worthy investment. I have since found the first two discs at Target for $19.99 each, so I'm building my collection piecemeal.

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I wonder if that's why it's an all region disc?

 

Yes, that's exactly why it is, actually, Ed.

 

That's an easy way to tell if you've got a bootleg, in fact, as 99.9% of anime DVD releases that are legit are going to be region-encoded. That's one of the reasons why buying anime DVDs from eBay is such a pain in the ass, as the site is flooded with bootlegs like that. Typically those auctions say "[series] 26 eps on 3 DVD region free" or something to that effect.

 

Oh, for those of you who like the music to Bebop, I highly recommend checking out Vision of Escaflowne, even for just a couple episodes. It's a fantasy anime that won't be to everybody's tastes, though personally I love it, but Yoko Kanno does the music for it and she composed for Cowboy Bebop as well. The title is a thing of beauty. It is definitely NOT jazz though ;).

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Guest MrDarthVader

Yes, I am a Kanno lover myself. She and the 'Seatbelts' (the band that performed all the songs for 'Bebop') also got back together to do the music to BONES's 2002 show, Wolf's Rain... great show that should be coming out within the next 6 months from Bandai Ent.

 

The real way to tell if something is a bootleg is price. Generally, you will pay anywhere from $120->$200 for a 26-episode series in R1 (there ARE special cases though, such as the Amazon deal I mentioned in my last post). With Japanese releases, the standard price is 5800JY per volume (usually 2 episodes) which works out to about $48 each... and in 95% of cases, they will not have English subtitles. These DVDs are coded R2 NTSC.

 

There ARE also some legit Korean and Hong Kong titles (Ghibli titles come to mind) with subtitles, but they are far and few between.... these are all coded R3 NTSC.

 

Also, if an anime DVD is in a digipack (fold out cardboard case with a slipcover), 99% of the time, it's a boot! (2 exceptions I can think of are Pioneer's releases of Tenchi Muyo! and Fushigi Yuugi)

 

You got burned this time... but you can learn from it. Heck, if you are in doubt feel free to IM (AIM: roblutter) or email me (roblutter@yahoo.com) and I will tell ya if it's a boot! ;)

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Wow, we had no idea. I always thought a bootleg would be kind of obvious, like cheesy packaging or cheap DVD silkscreening or something, but this set looks professional...then again, I guess it is professional - a pro bootleg.

 

Damn. :?

 

Well, back to anime, I have seen parts of LAIN, and thought it was cool, it was very mysterious and had a cyberpunk feel, maybe have to check those out...legit ones!

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I imagine that Ed just walked into a store and bought the Cowboy Bebop DVDs. He certainly didn't set out to buy bootlegs, and I doubt they were marked as such. But are the objections to buying bootlegs strictly moral in nature?

 

My gelatinous ethics notwithstanding, I generally assume that if it is sold openly in a brick and mortar store (as opposed to online or at a sidewalk kiosk), it is legitimate, both morally and legally. I (window, mostly)shop at a store that stocks a wide range of Japanese anime (and, hentai, is it?), action figures, models, games, etc. I notice that their prices are lower than I encounter on eBay or at the mall's video/game stores, though still, to me, rather expensive. Avast, ye pirate?

 

How am I supposed to know the import vs. bootleg price of a Hello Kitty lunchbox? For all I know, the Japanese kids have a new Poke/Digi/Chocothingy and they can't give Hello Kitty swag away. I should make sure I'm buying a DVD that won't work in my Region 1 player to know it's the real thing? I bought my brother some Sonny Chiba movies and they wouldn't play on US components. Thanks, Suncoast, at least I didn't support digital piracy, and that's a far better present than, you know, actual things. I imagine there is something a little hinky about my store (they do Xbox mods, after all), but I feel conscience-clear, if a bit nerdy and stupid, when I pay my fortyfuckingdollars for a cartoon, in a foreign language, and a tv show at that.

 

Or are these warnings against possibly receiving poor-quality merchandise? I wouldn't want to purchase something that obviously originated from a camcorder in a theater or was downloaded off the Internet, but if I had no issues with the quality, I wouldn't call up John Ashcroft because it came in a cardboard sleeve.

 

And no, no matter how many showers I take, I never feel clean.

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Well, we bought them on Ebay, I never even considered that it might be bootleg.

 

My primary reservation about owning a bootleg is that the creators of the artwork don't see any money from my purchase. The quality is decent, not excellent, but not bad enough to make me think it might be a knockoff. It has subtitles (Chinese and English), and is dubbed. The menu system is odd, in that you have to go into scene selection to get to an episode.

 

I wouldn't buy a bootleg, if I knew it was one, for the above reason, but also because I assume the quality would be lacking. I'm curious now what the 'real' Cowboy Bebop's look like. If they use better codecs, etc. Wouldn't surprise me.

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Guest MrDarthVader

Adam,

There are a few things wrong with buying a bootleg of an anime...

First off, with 3 discs for a series, you have around 9-episodes per disc... with that many episodes, the episodes themselves are going to look like SHIT.

Secondly, the subtitles won't be the same ones you can get from a high quality R1 release.... they will have gone through 2 translations by the time you get them... from Japanese -> Chinese -> English.

Lastly, you are not supporting the studios that help create the anime... and you might also be indirectly supporting organized crime... YAY! :twisted:

 

Also, just because it is in a store doesn't mean it's not a bootleg. I could name 4+ B&M stores in the Orlando area that carry/sell bootlegs (AKA: "imports"). The only way to stop bootlegging is to not buy it.

 

Personally, I just see it as throwing your money away... I am a collector myself, so I would never even consider buying a boot for a second. I will just strongly recommend that you buy the legitimate releases because I want the studios to make more $$$ to make me more anime ;)

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I generally assume that if it is sold openly in a brick and mortar store

 

Sure, in a mainstream DVD store of course. But once you start getting into the comic store sector of things it becomes a bit dicier. That's where you'll find your bootleg CDs and DVDs. And, naturally, eBay.

 

the music to BONES's 2002 show, Wolf's Rain...

 

Oh, I know, I've been listening to that for month's now. Strangers and Stray are excellent songs. It was good to hear Steve Conte working with Yoko again, I really like the sound of his voice.

 

I have seen parts of LAIN,

 

Great series, I have all those here too. It's trippy as hell, but the ending is quite nice and actually wraps things up satisfactorily. You may need one of those 'what does it all mean' websites to help, but maybe not ;). Worth the effort though.

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Originally posted by EdR@Oct 21 2003, 01:04 AM

I'm curious now what the 'real' Cowboy Bebop's look like.

Well, there are a number of surprising differences. Key features on the proper version:

 

+ Yoko Ono did the soundtrack. Like Sherman did Atlanta, as far as I'm concerned, but anime purists love it.

 

+ The overall story arc follows the wacky adventures of a robot girl who tries to fit in with her inventor's family. It is pretty well accepted that Small Wonder stole this theme.

 

+ It isn't animated.

 

-j

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You may need one of those 'what does it all mean' websites to help, but maybe not

 

Hmm, I'll have to look up one of those sites because the entire time I was watching Lain I had the feeling that something was going on, but I couldn't quite figure out what. I was psyched to finally see the series because of all the hullabaloo about it, but damn if I could figure out what the deuce was happening. :?

 

I bought the first Escaflowne disc and enjoyed it, but I never got around to picking up any more. I'll have to rectify that. I had no idea that Yoko Kanno did the soundtrack for that one as well!

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I bought the first Escaflowne disc and enjoyed it, but I never got around to picking up any more. I'll have to rectify that. I had no idea that Yoko Kanno did the soundtrack for that one as well!

 

Escaflowne is right up there along with Bebop as one of my top all-time favorite anime series. The animation is outstanding (I think it was supposed to be OVA at first) as well as the music.

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Oh, yes, speaking of Escaflowne, the episode of that entitled "Operation Golden Rule of Love" is, despite it's godawful title, possibly my second favorite half-hour episode of television ever. I have never wanted to punch my fist through a television so much when I wasn't playing a video game ;).

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