Spoilers really want to pilot the Swordfish.
Funny, I swear I’ve seen this movie or part of it. I do love me some Cowboy Bebop as in the original series, and although the feature film basically acts as an extra long episode, I do think it does do the series right. I wouldn’t have mind a movie that goes into Spike’s past, but at the same time I don’t mind it just plays as a standard episode. The animation does up the animation quality from the show but is still very much identifiable. There’s plenty of action and a cool soundtrack.
Cowboy Bebop (2001) was directed by Shinichirō Watanabe from a screenplay by Keiko Nobumoto. The original anime series is created and animated by Sunrise, or Hajime Yatate, as Watanabe’s production team is named in the billing. The full cast of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Ed (or Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV) and the trusty canine Ein are up to their usual bounty hunter ways of tracking and bringing down some minor criminals. They will eventually run into a terrorist plot to release a deadly pathogen via nanobots on the planet Mars. Studios Sunrise, Bones and Bandai Visual collaborated on the film.
You’ll get all the staples of the series. A charismatic, powerful but misguided villain, a tough female that changes sides, Faye falling on a trap, Spike getting hurt, a cool dogfight sequence for the Swordfish, the Swordfish getting almost totalled, Ed breaking the case and Spike somehow bouncing back from an almost fatal wound… to get into another fight to the death which he might have avoided altogether. They’re all traits of the show, but if you were expecting some sort of rise in the stakes, you’ll be disappointed. You don’t need to watch the series to see this film nor does this film contain any plot development that changes anything in the series’ underlying backstory or overall plot progress.
Highly recommended for fans of the series as well as newcomers to the show with one reservation. For new audiences, it will be just a classic adventure of the series. However, some fans of the show expecting the ultimate revelation of the show’s mythos or some advance of the overall story might be disappointed. In truth, I think it does what it meant to do from the start, give us a feature film of the show without making it mandated viewing. It is, however, very well executed and worth a watch.
That will do for now.