Posted by psgels on 3 January 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




Eheh. Okay. I now understand why Cowboy Bebop is held with such a high regard. I’m really impressed with what a ridiculously solid series it turned out to be. This show has a rock solid direction that makes the most out of its very impressive budget. This series is another major example of how a good episodic series can be.

Cowboy Bebop feels like a journey you go through, along with the characters. Throughout the series, the characters run into many different situations and get to know new characters, and because of the episodic nature of this series, every episode is also different: some episodes are tense thrillers, others are action-packed, others go into mystery, others are comedies, then others delve into the pasts of the different characters: it’s all wonderfully balanced, especially in the second half. Even the finale just takes up two episodes, and yet it delivers a short, but incredibly sweet and memorable ending.

What really sets this show apart is the acting, however. It completely subverts anime’s tradition of overacting: every single performance with one notable exception (Ed) is filled with subtlety, and yet the creators are able to convey a roller coaster of emotions. If you really need overacting in your anime, you won’t like this, because the characters constantly play off of each other’s subtlety, even during the silly and action-packed parts. The relative coldness between the characters may seem a bit off-putting during the first ten episodes and this may be a bit hard to really get into the series at first, but in the end this makes them even more memorable than usual because of how down to earth and believable the characters are. And as for Ed… she indeed has the worst voice actress of the entire series, but even her character ends up memorable in a way.

The characters in this series feel alive: they’re completely dynamic, and you feel that there is much more to their pasts than they tell you throughout the series. In fact, none of the lead characters are related at all: they’re just a bunch of people who wind together as bounty-hunters on the same ship. Only when it comes up, they talk about their pasts and there are many notable details about their characters and pasts that never get revealed. You could call that a flaw, but I consider it an excellent way to flesh them out, especially in the way that the series keeps reminding us that these people have had their own lives before the start of the series.

With this series I also understand why Youko Kanno became famous. There actually hardly is any soundtrack in Cowboy Bebop, and when it plays it mostly stays in the background. But the individual tracks are incredibly good and varied, and sound unlike any other soundtrack I’ve heard. Vocals that are used are in fluent English and sung by some great vocalists.

To close off, this show also had truly excellent visuals. Especially the art direction and the designs of this series are very likely to be the best of its time: every single frame is filled with all kinds of imaginative stuff and junk in the background. The architecture is exquisite and every single design just blooms with ideas and creativity. I can point out quite a number series that may have had better action than this series, or less still frames. I can however think of only a few other series that had more visual ideas than this one.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Top notch direction and storytelling, every episode is diverse and well paced. One flaw would be that characters like coincidences a bit too much and that characters sometimes just “happen” to know where to go in order to prevent the story from dragging.
Characters: 10/10 – Some of the best acting you can get: subtle, yet incredibly expressive. Great chemistry, the cast really feels alive as the series goes along.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Great and fluent animation. Some of the most consistently good designs you can get.
Setting: 8/10 – Pretty much the only part of this series that got aged during the past thirteen years, in the way that it inspired many other interesting science fiction premises. It still has many interesting ideas, though.

Suggestions:
Michiko e Hatchin
Mushishi
RD Sennou Chousashitsu

37 Responses

  1. Snowolf says:

    Yes! I’m so glad you enjoyed this anime. A lot of people consider it to be overhyped, but I personally think it lives up to it’s name as one of the classic animes. I also think Cowboy Bepop is one of the few animes who’s dubbed version is as good as, if not better than the original Japanese version. I really liked the ending, as..unique as it was. I could also say that despite not delving into most of the other characters’ pasts, it really still did an excellent buildup and truly fleshed out the characters and their relationships with one another. Thanks for reviewing!

  2. Matt says:

    Ah, i believe the 2nd anime i ever bought and i still watch it ever few years. I remember when it came on TV, such an amazing anime. I love the music, each episode was great, the character development rocked, and the plausibility of the setting being what could happen in the near future. This still ranks in my top 10 of anime, though the visual’s get lowered each year, sorry but if they did a digital remaster of this series, keep the voice acting, updated the visuals it would be the best thing out there.

  3. Guigas says:

    Ah Cowboy Bebop is really an awesome show, the OST is epic,(I started to like Jazz and Blues after this show and i have the complete OST on my Cellphone) and the stories are original and fun. This is one of the few shows that deserves all the hype and the title of classic (most of the overhyped series nowadays are just…not that good/overrated). For me CowBe is the 2nd best episodic series i’ve seen (Mushishi is my favorite) XD

  4. Lightning says:

    Glad you’ve also now enjoyed the greatness that is Bebop and it’s characters. :)

    “I also think Cowboy Bepop is one of the few animes who’s dubbed version is as good as, if not better than the original Japanese version.”

    Agreed it was one of the first shows that made me a dub fan, I’m also guessing the complaint about Ed’s acting was from the original Japanese as I felt she was a ton more endearing in the dub despite being just as “out there”, but again this show has probably one of the most iconic dubs out there since virtually every character’s voice just happens to fit crazy good :)

    I think the scifi western-bounty-hunter setting and the lack of “anime behavior” while still containing all the strengths of anime are things that really helped the series break out and as you said really makes the cast stand out even more than usual due to how they are acted throughout the series and how they play off each other and how naturally everything just happens from drama, to mystery to comedy episodes. It’s still fantastic how naturally all of the different genres just totally fit so smoothly.

    True Matt, the show still looks great and it’s amazingly remarkable how well it can still hold it’s own in both art and fluid animation given it’s age as a TV series not even a movie plus the Knocking on Heaven’s Door movie is a great vision of it with even newer animation as it is really the only part of the show that ages so a further remaster would be cool. :)

    Oh man the soundtrack…sooo good. A lot of it is still on the playlist even all these years later.

  5. kagura says:

    Cowboy Bebop is among the very first anime series I watched (it had a major role in dragging me into anime in the first place)and it’ll probably always have a solid place in my top 10. I’m glad you liked it this much, as I was afraid you might be of the opinion that it indeed is overhyped or something… though, after stalking your blog for quite some time now, I should’ve had more faith in your ability to recognize a good anime when you see one ;)

    Anyway yeah, for me it’s one hell of an amazing series with a bunch of memorable characters, great action and humor, some unforgettable scenes and probably the most impressive and mind-blowing soundtrack out there. Thank you for a great review :)

  6. Guitar says:

    I’m glad you’ve seen this awesome series, psgels. I myself watched this only in 2009. Episodes 5 and 20 were particularly awesome. Cowboy Bebop is one of my top 10 anime.

  7. Solaris says:

    Just notice how much is easier to rate 90 this old classic than many recent “good” shows. Does it mean something at all?

  8. Loz says:

    Shows like Cowboy Bebop are the reason why I love anime. They may really be far and few between, but isnt it great when you finish such a great show and are left feeling so satisfied.

  9. gandalf8 says:

    Finally! I’m glad you’ve finished this anime masterpiece. I think it fully deserves its status as an anime classic. Its animation, characters, setting, and soundtrack were all top notch, and it is also one of the first anime series that I totally loved the english dub(In fact I watched the first episode in both languages, and liked the english dub so much that I just finished it all with the english dub).

    Hope you’ll review the movie (Knockin on Heaven’s Door) soon.

  10. blah says:

    Please bear with me, this might be long.

    I’ve been waiting a long time (since mushishi) for psgels to review this anime and I have to say i’m somewhat disheartened at the lack of sheer fanboyism! Obviously every one has that one anime that they really love and want others to love as well. This was that anime for me.

    When I first saw this anime, I was obsessed with it. I would even say its the single most important piece of entertainment i’ve experienced. Cowboy Bebop is a hell of an anime to see as your first. Amazing music and just about all the style you can fit into an anime make this series something truly special. (especially apparent with the last 2 years of recent anime)

    Some of my favorite moments :)

    Ed’s dad beating up spike.

    Jet and Spike’s talk before he goes off to face Vicous.

    Ed and Ein off into the sunset.

    The first fight in the first episode set to Rush by The Seatbelts. The fight and supporting music is one of the most skillfully directed things i’ve seen. Everything about it is spot on.

    Episode 5. Ballad of Fallen Angels. Specifically Walk in the Rain to Green Bird.
    I truly have yet to see a more beautiful or affecting episode.

  11. Otaku Surf says:

    Cowboy Bebop is the show that pushed me into English dubbed anime. For the most part before I watched this show (and even now), I watched mostly anime subbed. It wasn’t until I saw Cowboy Bebop on Cartoon Network one day that I started to watch a few more dubbed anime and enjoy them. It’s one of a few shows that feels natural in English.

  12. jcb says:

    My most memorable moment is when Spike gets shot, he wakes up on his back and the first thing he does is light up a cigarette.

  13. sadakups says:

    This is the show that makes you wonder why Sunrise can’t make something this good anymore.

  14. synkronized says:

    By the time I had seen this series I had seen some anime. But my god this is what sold me on the genre.

    I know a lot of friends that don’t like anime at all but enjoy this series. That’s a testament to how it transcends being just another anime series. Other series may be more solid in specific areas but Cowboy Bebop is one of the few that really hits all the right chords. That’s why I’d hype it.

  15. Vanilla says:

    It’s weird. I was just watching this yesterday and thinking how I’ve never seen a review of it from you. What a great surprise! I’ve yet to finish it, but I’m loving it to pieces already. Great review as always.

  16. cubeman says:

    First comment I’ve ever left. I have to agree wholeheartedly with the guys promoting the English dub. I watch almost every anime in Japanese, this is the only one where I think the English is far superior. (And I have watched the whole thing through in Japanese just to check!)

    Love your site!

  17. Watcherzero says:

    While im really not a dub fan, I acknowledge this as one of the few good ones. I watched the series as it aired back in 99 and it stands the test of time even if theres some real anachronisms even then! (sure they were more popular in Japan but would people really still be using Betamax in 2022!!!).

    I guess we will have to wait and see what Keanu Reeves does with the live action remake.

  18. RollingCamel says:

    Excellent 2D, Zero CG–>WIN!!

  19. Roldan says:

    So are you gonna do the movie now, Psgels?

  20. psgels psgels says:

    Roldan: not now; later. I’m not sure exactly when, though.

    Rollingcamel: actually, there were a few bits of CG here and there, though. Most notably inside the gates.

    Solaris: I’m not sure what you’re talking about here. I really liked this show, but I can say the same things about shows as Yojou-han and Sarai-ya goyou.

  21. Solaris says:

    I’m saying that this Cowboy Bebop is indeed one rare unmatched reference for a lot of newer shows and should be used indeed as a reference for comparison.
    I’m also saying that lately few animes can be rated so high, even from the best ones. It looks like today’s standards are by far lower than when they made Cowboy Bebop.

  22. Thomas says:

    You didnt write why Ed ended up as a girl despite other mannerisms. They planned for Ed to be a boy (black haired one)- his model can be seen somewhere in first Ed episode on Earth. When the series was airied back in 1998, at the same time was also aired some hentai movie about 3 guys and girl traveling in spaceship. The similarities were striking, so they decided to change gender of Ed in last moment to even out the crew.

  23. psgels psgels says:

    Solaris: what are you talking about? Out of the season in which Cowboy Bebop aired, it also was the only show that I’d consider rating 90/100.

    http://anidb.net/perl-bin/animedb.pl?type=2&show=animelist&do.search=Search&airdate1=01.06.1998&airdate0=01.03.1998

    Beyond that there of course were other series that I really liked, like Sentimental Journey, Trigun and DT Eightron, but that’s pretty much like any other major season that we’ve had for the past years.

    Thomas: interesting trivia that I didn’t know about it. Even if I did know, though, I doubt that it would have been really appropriate to write in a relatively short review. ;)

  24. RollingCamel says:

    @ Psgels: Now you mentioned you are right, but thankfully it was trivial, I skipped the gates scenes and the start of ep 20 had CG buildings. However, all the vehicles were 2D superb-animation something I appreciate after watching Black Lagoon, Requiem of the Phantom (though the Ferrari was well detailed and animated), Blood+, Darker than black and loads of other good shows with badly detailed and textured CG vehicles.

    If they are using the same model through out the series then they should put some effort!

    Gasaraki had some sweet 2D animation too.

  25. Hunter-Wolf says:

    Glad you finally got to watch that classic .. always will be one of my top fav animes and also one of the very first animes i ever watched (after years of watching nothing but repeated episodes of Mazinger Z and Captain Tsubasa) … and i have to agree with everyone here .. the English Dub is just excellent (if not the best English dub for a jap anime i ever heard)… oh … Trigun English dub was quite good too.

    If you want to watch another marvelous classic Psgels i recommend Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex and 2ndGIG TV series .. both are stunning series (only flaw is the complex dialog in some episodes) .. but if you don’t watch it you are missing a lot (specially if you are a Sci-Fi/action fan .. and want to see another great episodic series).

  26. olivia says:

    aww… how can you hate anything about Ed? Esp the voice? I just love how incongruently put-together this character is. She’s just a huge mumble-jumble for comedic purposes (which is probably why the director decided that she needs to go before the big finale). But this series would have been way too somber if things about Ed were to-the-eye.

    The extreme subtleties, as you nicely put in your post, really differentiates this series from any other. Not to say that it is alone in doing so, but I wish more series would do the same. As you stated, It may get hard at first, “The relative coldness between the characters may seem a bit off-putting during the first ten episodes,” but coldness is always a good start to character building. Usually, it’s when the cold characters open up or sacrifice themselves that I become totally entrapped in the drama. Why won’t more series do this!!!???

  27. Alec says:

    I thought psgels already watched this masterpiece before he created this blog

  28. Gunslinger says:

    Wow you finaaly watched cowbow bebop, not just monster’s left :)

  29. Cosmin says:

    Since I began watching this blog for new titles I also assumed that you’ve got though the classics. Cowboy Bebop was until some time ago probably my favorite anime however since I watched Legend of the Galactic Heroes, this went to number 2. If you can enjoy a old anime with a fantastic story as much as a new one with flashy graphics I recommend everyone gives this a try. Here is a link to animenfo.com regarding this show. (http://animenfo.com/animetitle,644,uinshf,legend_of_the_g.html).
    Best wishes,
    Cosmin

  30. yupitis says:

    Long time lurker and big fan of the blog here. I just gotta comment on this review and well, Cowboy Bebop in general. Simply put, it’s still probably (if i had to choose one) my favorite Anime of all time and the first I really watched.

    I still remember one day overhearing someone in class talking “oh man did you hear they are going to be running uncut stuff on Cartoon Network? They even got Cowboy Bebop!” For some reason hearing they were playing bloody uncut anything on TV kindled my 14 year old interest and I tuned in a couple weeks later when the show started. I was blown away from episode 1. It wasn’t like that DBZ or Sailor Moon stuff my friend down the street used to watch when I was over. It was just so so cleaver, so entertaining, so full of style and variety yet able to show restraint and ambiguity. It was my gateway to a new world and will always hold a special place in my heart.

    I try to watch it every year and still get drawn in every time.

  31. Shingo says:

    CowBe? Epic!

  32. Nicole says:

    Great review, I’m happy you feel the same as I do! I never made the plunge to buy any DVD’s so instead I watch episodes I found on DISHonline.com while testing out the site for my job at DISH Network. I keep hearing things about an upcoming live-action movie, but I’m still looking for more solid evidence…

  33. EDs voice in the Japanese version is soo much better, and Did you know, Vicious was voiced by none other than Emporor Wakamoto! hahaha

  34. Fuu says:

    Agree with pretty much everything here except for one tiny little statement. Are you referring to Ed’s English or Japanese VA? I watched it in the latter language and think she did a fantastic job. No complaints there.

  35. Kurisu says:

    While the English dub of Cowboy Bebop is relatively well-done – which doesn’t tell much considering how awful most dubs of anime series are, I don’t think it is up to par with the Japanese original at all. I’ve only compared a few scenes and the characters felt very different. A dub is always an additional trade-off between lip-sync and adherence to the original line. In my opinion, the characters lose a lot of subtlety and come off too bold. Their English may sound more idiomatic, more American and therefore may be more welcome by an American audience. However, despite the numerous Western elements and references – most obviously starting with title “Cowboy” – the original is still made with a Japanese perspective and I can’t stand the effect of shifting the viewpoint in the English dub.

  36. Firechick says:

    My local anime club at college forced me to watch two episodes of this. I can see why people like it, but I didn’t like it. It felt too fast and weird for me.

  37. Comeatmebro says:

    While it’s a pretty good show it’s overhyped. There, I said it.

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
AidanAK47
@Anon, that respect seems on different levels for people though. I mean I seen people championed Yuri on Ice as a major win for LGBT representation in anime while I myself just saw it as queer baiting seeing as the series itself couldn't admit it's characters were gay.
Anonymous1829806
Travlos here: I know many of the AoTitan fans hate the new direction of the manga, but I love it. Gimme more war!

While I love the ideas in Birdy the Mighty, the pace of the mangaka is maddening.
Anonymous1829447
Well, one last thing. I understand that anime like games or movies are a refuge for people who want to escape from politics for a second. But when mangakas bring those topics up themselves with stupid yaoi, gender bender, or yuri fan service, they're the ones politicizing anime and manga, not people like me. If they'd treat it with respect, then there would be no need for outcry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Eh sorry about that, I almost launched into a rant about tumblr.
Lenlo
Yeah, id prefer not to get to political in this chat, but I agree with Aidan. Theres a limit, and I strike that limit at the + of LGBTQ+. There comes a point where your just making things up to be special
Kaiser-Eoghan
Looking back I probably read hourou musuko initially to get a better understanding of the topic it covered.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not looking for cares/attention/fellating/self promoting, just felt a moment to pseudo-intellectualize because it was related to the identity topic.
Kaiser-Eoghan
From a psychological standpoint, apparently this is linked in with autism to some level.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea of cosplay as a thing is fascinating honestly as an escapist thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I imagine it would probably be easier to interact in a relationship as someone else, of course with them being aware of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More in a religious/spiritual sense however and having a greater sense of identity/feeling through temporarily taking on the role of someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
but the person themselves.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I did have ideas after hourou musuko and also finding out someone was trans that that might have applied to me and I still use female names in some sites but I really just came to realize it wasn't about trying the female clothes thing numerous times, wasn't trans(vestite or sexual), really pretty much found out I temporarily can take on roles of what/who I dress as, not due to gender
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, tumblr sjws are a parody of leftism /activism .
AidanAK47
People have the right to be whatever they want to be. That said there is a line when it comes to respecting peoples choices. For example, I don't think we need Tumblrs 40 different Genders.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I haven't read the lesbian experience one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Love my life was another good one, a serious shoujo-ai manga.
Anonymous1829213
That's unfortunate. TvT
Anonymous1829200
no thanks
Anonymous1829213
In the future though, I'd like to see something exploring sexuality as a whole even further. Even LGBT in and of itself implies a gender/sexuality binary. Let's get into the gender neutral/fluid, pansexuality, and so on as well. :.D
Anonymous1829200
and i like the
Anonymous1829200
i have one
Anonymous1829213
And I definitely agree - those manga exist and are excellent. ^_^
Anonymous1829213
*Shimanami
Anonymous1829213
And in regards to the celebrities themselves acting flamboyant or playing into stereotypes, why do you think those are the ones who are famous? They are allowed to be, because they paint a comical picture that is more easily accepted by the public. This is why Hourou Musuko and manga like Shiranami Tasogare/My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness are so amazing by painting people as actual humans
Kaiser-Eoghan
There ARE good shoujo-ai manga of course, girlfriends, aoi hana and yaoi like haru wo deiteita.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@CoolerAnon: I notice that bisexuality isn't much addressed in these things , the coming out thing doesn't often come into it.
Anonymous1829213
@Other Anon: You might add that a lot of those shows also perpetuate some pretty extreme stereotypes and male light of other of serious issues (i.e. the perception others have of LGBT people and that LGBT people have towards themselves, the experience of coming out, etc. etc.)
Kaiser-Eoghan
By lol coincidence he seems to have also voiced a pokemon character too.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*re-incarnation of, not evolved
Kaiser-Eoghan
Totally based, hilarious guy to, once claimed jokingly in an interview he was the evolved form of pikachu.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: There is a view of the transvestite as a "silly joke character" even in live action media there thats connected to homosexuallity but I'd say in most cases the person themselves is into it, Akihiro Miwa, famous Japanese gay actor played up that flamboyant drag act since the 60s.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: That is well known to me. Also its seen as anti-conform and I heard that the teachers don't know what to do when people are bullied over it, some of them think its down to mental illness.
Anonymous1829154
How japanese media portray lgbtq issues is a problem to this day. Sure shoujo, gender bender, and yaoi genres are mainstream, but at the end of the day people are expected to eventually "grow out of it" and find heterosexual partners in the end. Pretty patronizing
SuperMario
Oh shit, I didn't realize I put Wandering Children instead of Wandering Son in the title. Thanks for pointing that out Kaiser
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Shuu, mai precious lil' Babbu *hugs*
Kaiser-Eoghan
lol Okadas best anime work cause she didn't really write it lol
SuperMario
I will read on the manga to see how these kids growing up. Boy do i love this cast
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I suppose thats fair enough.
SuperMario
@Aidan: yeah, I know I stretched that image a bit but for some reasons I was goddamn hard to find an image for Wandering Son that I liked. Will make a slideshow later today to see if it looks better
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yeah I call them by their physical gender because at that stage, they haven't come out yet, right? If I remember correctly, Shuu still regards himself as "boku" rather than "watashi"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I guess this amuses me mostly because theres a jokey line later on in the manga where the girl with shu says "Ha, guess this makes me a lesbian"
Kaiser-Eoghan
There has been some theory/suggestion that Doi is attracted to shuu seeing shuu's femininty, seeing shuu as a woman .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Later in the manga Takatsuki stops having these feelings toward masculinity, which is addressing adolescent confusion.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry about this really hope I don't come off as trying to start anything/an arguement/coming off as an asshole here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Whats really interesting about hourou musuko is that in addition to Takako Shimura being a Lesbian , by choosing a mtf character as the protaganist and with shuu's relationship with a biological woman later in the manga, she is dealing with an even more interesting issue of whats called by Lesbians as Trans-lesbianism.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Transexual, mtf or ftm are probably the more accurate words to use as transgender also includes transvestite which is a different thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its a very good review though, you don't have to change anything I'm probably being overly anal about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was wandering Children chosen instead of wandering son to avoid suggesting pronouns in the title? But then the text of the review uses shuus physical rather than psychological gender. I'm not preaching or asking for changes or complaining, I just found this somewhat contradictory.
AidanAK47
Oh Tomogui Kyoushitsu? That is a weird death game manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Checks manga cover* Goes in expecting bondage manga *its a cannibalism horror manga instead*
Kaiser-Eoghan
Probably just me, but I feel the top two pictures should have a gap between them.
AidanAK47
I would recommend replacing the top image of wandering son. Cause you killed the quality of it by stretching it. Never stretch an image.
Lenlo
Id recommend some kind of slideshow or something Mario. For me, its a big sudden blob of images. But thats just me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't deny a single criticism of the Junji Ito adaptation, and yet despite it all it works for me , I forgive it because the imagination goes such a long way with me, I don't even mind that some of them aren't fully developed either, don't need things to be too tidy or explain everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Eh, Maverick was a fairly rubbish, thrown in villain but I liked Lunatics backstory how it linked in with the twist his father was that big hero guy mentioned at the start who ended up becoming a washed up mess.
SuperMario
And I won't take "No, you don't need these pics at all" for an answer
SuperMario
Guys, should I put the 2 arts back-to-back at the begin of the post like this, or should I use slideshow?
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: 91 Days was not too bad.
Anonymous1828545
Travlos here: Thanks for those two historical manga's head-up.
Anonymous1828434
Akumestu soo satisfying to read
Anonymous1828321
Thank you
Lenlo
A shame. Kokkoku had the first truly dull episode this week. Suppose one had to come eventually, but this one was mostly an info dump.
AidanAK47
Like lightning, I strike. Junji Ito is basically interesting ideas with deeply flawed execution. It's not scary, doesn't really capture Ito's style and the animation is bare bones. While the stories themselves can have there interesting points, they are often not fleshed out enough. Honestly I am getting rather bored with it.
Lenlo
Holy bejesus Aidan. Nice triple post. :P

So overall how is Junji Ito? From what ive read so far, it seems pretty hit or miss on the horror/gore front. Failing to live up to the manga. I havnt read it though, so im curious what ya think
AidanAK47
Akumetsu?
Anonymous1828142
Wearing a mask
Anonymous1828142
What was the name of the manga where the main character is some superhuman high school student who goes around fighting Japanese politicians
Lenlo
On a side note, I should really start Violet Evergarden at some point...
Lenlo
"Anime is dying" is just a meme that gets thrown around because of Miyazaki.
Lenlo
Maybe. I dont think average score per year is a good metric though, as the cash ins are increasing, but I doubt the passion projects are decreasing. For instance we had /alot/ of duds this year, but people only really remember/care about the good ones of which there was a fair number. It wasnt a bad year for decent/good anime.
AidanAK47
Well yeah, but they didn't have as many Animation studios back then as we do right now. So it's not so much that we lost artistic merit but rather the number of studios cashing in on popular trends for a quick buck have increased. Even then, I am willing to put money on there being just as much harem anime in yesteryear as we have cute girls shows in present.
Lenlo
Perhaps, but I would argue those were on smaller scales, and even then, thats not so different from Western animation or movies. Just look at Warner Bros and their DC push after the success of Marvel. Every industry has those who chase successful trends, yet they arnt failing
AidanAK47
@lenlo, the thing is though that before Moe crap there was eva copy crap and before eva copy crap you had space opera crap and before space opera crap you had hyperviolet OVA crap. The industry has always tried to cash in on a popular trend.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel people went apeshit over, say highschool of the dead because they never saw a bunch of old B/exploitation films, thus that show was never special to me and even failed at an imitation of such.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think people getting to excited for it being unique to a single medium or for, its setting themselve up for disappointment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just think its incredibly limited thinking to base it all on just ONE medium, you CAN hold up anime to film when anaylzing anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Why should 91 days get a free pass just because its an anime about gangsters? Go watch a film about it instead which theres probably many of, joker game fail you as the mature spy thriller it ended up not being, who cares, Tinker tailor soldier spy exists.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I dislike this "Its unique for an anime/manga to do this, so instantly lets latch on to it, despite fact that same something is already extremely prevalent in other mediums "
Kaiser-Eoghan
Case in point 91 days and Joker game "It has adults, lets pre-rejoice before the show even came out"
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel though because of the level of dissatisfaction with said moe shows that people are going to leap far too quickly on anything just slightly different, getting their hopes up too high and end up feeling let down.
Lenlo
That, or it all comes crashing down around our ears. With stuff like Houseki no Kuni and Made in Abyss from last year however, I think its going to be ok. We are just getting inundated with crap right now.
Lenlo
I do think that some of the artistic part of it has been lost, its gotten diluted in the never ending river of Moe crap. But that doesnt mean its gone. Just harder to find. Eventually all the random moe shows no one cares about will fail and stop getting made. But the anime audience will still be around, to enjoy the better stuff thats left.
Lenlo
Same thing happened in the mid/late 90's and early 00's to American cartoons.
Lenlo
Eh, I dont think anime is dying. Changing no doubt. Its going through a rough growth stage right now. It has a bigger audience than ever and people are trying to cash in on that with lots of shows that are basically the same
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Tank you and damn you for posting screencap of loli-tachibana, I now have cuteness overload a diabeetus =<
Kaiser-Eoghan
I realize thats a very minor detail to focus on though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats why I can really really get into a history manga if the art is top quality, the costume designs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the historical thing, I have a massive I repeat massive thing for full body medieval armoured characters hacking the shit into things or just the armour in general , especially templar armour designs. I also have an little obsession with male aristocratic army uniforms from the Prussian era and world war 2.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That recent Urasawa manga Travlos mentioned is ending also
@Mario: We might get a complete adaptation of after the rain, the manga is ending.
Kaiser-Eoghan
More historical manga I found, haven't read the second one however, I didn't hear those two mentioned on here either before.
Kaiser-Eoghan
[link src="http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Hawkwood
http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Ad-Astra-Scipio-to-Hannibal"]
AidanAK47
@Anon, yes clearly you know better than everyone else on the planet despite having no evidence whatsoever to back up you claims. Thank you nameless Stranger, we owe you a debt for telling us the same thing we hear every year. Let me congratulate you by kicking you out the door.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can generally come up with an opinion for what I follow/watch/read , but I don't really have one on kokkuu.
KTravlos
Well we watched the first episode of Kokkuku. Interesting. The ED theme is quite the fanservice.
SuperMario
@Ktravlos: If your like to check out some other shows this season then I'd definitely recommend After the Rain.
SuperMario
@KTravlos: at least Kino is thought-provoking. I can't say the same for Violet Evergarden. In fact I remain skeptical with VE
KTravlos
I am quite enjoying both Violet Evergarden and Mahoutsukai. Violet gives me similar vibes to the first Kio series, though obviously Kino was a better series.
SuperWooper
EPIC post, anon!
Anonymous1825128
Of course, as ardent fans of anime, the writers of this site would not deign to agree or even entertain the idea that their passion is no longer the same artisanal endeavor it once was.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Oh. Actually surprised I forgot about that. Yeah, when it comes to something being described as edgy I think Goblin Slayer fits that definition perfectly.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, You can still throw down your take if you want.
Anonymous1824209
AidanAK47 - Or the women shields.
Lenlo
You know, sometimes I dont regret forgetting about this chatbox. Missing the "anime is dying" conversation? One of those times
AidanAK47
Oh, Goblin Slayer is getting an anime adaption. I was rather lukewarm on it but I wonder how the anime is going to handle the rather unsavoury aspects. Like the rape. Lots and lots of rape.
AidanAK47
I remember the last guy said he would make a chart and I thought it was a brillent idea as at least something useful could come out of this old dead horse. Then his chart turned out to be a useless jpeg with series thrown to the left or right.
AidanAK47
It does stir up conversation but it's really just the same conversation repeated. I remember stating the exact same points Nayrael and Bokusen are saying around a year ago when this last came up.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Indeed Ratings are subjective but it would at least be a general mainstream consensus of the quality of anime over the years. Not final but at least it's better evidence than one persons general assumption. And other factors are impossible to quaitify.
Nayrael
A good parody of the "Anime back then and now - what happened? meme (if the links are not blocked here): https://i.imgur.com/JZqxz6f.jpg
Nayrael
Not to mention that back in the olden days you didn't see every Anime that aired. Official translators and fansubbers selected the best stuff, which resulted in you seeing the best shows and never even knowing about the shit-tier shows.
Bokusen
I think that people who say "anime is dying" are just getting too nostalgic. It's easy to remember the hit series from earlier seasons. It's less easy to remember all the forgettable generic series that you dropped after 1 episode, and so anime tends to "seem better" back then because of people's tendency towards selective memory.
Anonymous1820731
Why are there more bad anime? Because there are more anime being made. That means the good ones are buried under the lots of bad ones. But saying "anime is dying" from that is like saying "music is dead because I don't like Britney Spears." Why does this conversation always come up, its obvious conversation bait.
Anonymous1820589
@Aidan: You are the first to obsess over the fact that reviews are subjective. And since they're subjective, looking at anime 'ratings' over time does nothing to gauge the measure of effort and artistic talent that goes into making anime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which I got my answer by the way.
SuperWooper
>average review scores
What do those have to do with whether anime is "dying" or not? You'd need to look at the money.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Want to add that I agree with both you and Aidan, only brought up those two topics back there because I wanted to know what shows now will be popular in the future.
SuperMario
I'm on the side of Aidan regarding to this. For me it's not neccessary means the anime industry has become "better" or "worse", it's just that it takes new shape and trends and based on the number of anime produced, the industry isn't going down soon
AidanAK47
Am I really going to draft up a chart gathering average review scores of the past 25 years just t shut up this talk of anime dying?
But even if I did that won't toss aside this nonsense.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this is complete guesswork.
AidanAK47
Plus the industry is dying? Bloody hell, we got major companies FUNDING anime. Streaming services and more anime coming out that ever before. You can argue that this new anime is weaker but honestly it's just misguided. It takes time but great shows are still coming out. Just like back then.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well thats kind of what I meant, what, when passage of time comes into it are going to end up being classic based on that, speculatively speaking.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thats probably a much better way of phrasing it, inheriting mantles. I'm going to say that promised neverland is presently along with Titan a BIG modern shounen.
AidanAK47
Anyway my point is that the shows of the past, the so called classics, are just as flawed as the shows of today. It is only through the passage of time that they become classics. When Stein;Gate finished airing, I seen no one call it a classic. Same goes for Madoka and Fate/Zero. Now, you have people putting up the pedestals.
AidanAK47
Though if anything has inherited the Shounen mantle, it's likely Boku no hero.
AidanAK47
There is no big three Shounen and that's honestly for the best. Because in generally the declining aspect of Naruto and Bleach was mainly due to the pressure on the mangaka to put out chapters on a weekly basis. In fact it's pretty much the primary factor in Bleachs decline.
AidanAK47
Bebop is great but even it is hit and miss by nature. Doubt many remember much about the casino episode and the Alien spoof episode is likely not anyone's favorite. Eva is massively flawed but no one wants to admit it due to the massive amount of praise it receives and influence it has on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But what is the new big three shounen?
AidanAK47
If we go further back to DBZ, that has tons of issues with filler, dragging out episodes, animation shortcuts, and even complaints of it doing the same thing over and over again with it's story. No to mention the underutilised cast and the everlasting act up putting Goku on a greater pedestal.
AidanAK47
But let us dissect this viewpoint of yours. You claim the Shouen-jump canon as a great, guessing that refers to the shounen big three. But aside from One piece, the other two are emmensily flawed. Naruto is 50% filler and Bleach drops seriously in quality after soul society.
AidanAK47
Also Fate series is trash? That definitely seems aimed at me. What first series are you referring to? Fate/Zero, Fate/Stay Night 2006? Fate/UTW? The same thing over and over again? Sure each series has a holy grail war, but none of them every turned out the same. I am more than willing to admit that the spinoff series outside of the main canon are lesser. Calling them trash however is hyperbole.
AidanAK47
@Anon, Not this crap again. The old "Anime isn't as good as it used to be", how many times have I heard that over the years, and each and every time it proves more untrue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
One point I'm trying to get at is, I don't get throwing the word bad taste around when I know I was probably in the same position as that other fan years ago.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Another thing, for shows we talk up and obviously I've been just as guilty of this, how many of these am I going to be able to recite off by heart years down the line?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't like Madoka but thats a good example of a modern classic that'll keep in peoples minds, people still care.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*its a
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: The reason I want to see a new show become a modern classic is because I'm tired of this "fleeting masterpiece" way of thinking, where I a show is super popular during the season and gets talked up as if it'll stick in the mind years on, then weeks later it disappears from memory.
Anonymous1819907
And anime watchers tend to be attracted to series that are just plain boring. The Fate franchise is case and point. The same thing over and over again. It really is a disgrace, to be honest--in my opinion. The first series was great, and I look forward to the movie. But everything in between is trash. But they still get the views, since people are sheep.
Anonymous1819907
The shonen-jump canon, shows like bebop and eva were huge in their time. The industry is just not the same--it's really dying. There isn't the same desire to blow shows up like there used to be. Shonen jump is still at it, but those shows are rarely worth watching, even if they're popular
Anonymous1819907
its a good anime, but it doesn't have the same staying power since it was not an entire industry
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for the long post, I want to get people talking again here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I would love for this to happen with, say, made in Abyss, that becoming a show that we remember decades from now and still talk about.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Something else I want to bring up, what shows do you all REALLY believe will still be talked about in the future . Bebop and Eva still come up regularly to this day, what new shows do you think will become big classics.
Kaiser-Eoghan
To base taste on things you watched ages ago doesn't really work.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I bring that up because I remember a comment somewhere I read that said, the people who trashed guilty crown, forget geass was 10 years ago and if guilty crown had came out back then instead of geass they would have embraced it instead at the time.
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