As the Cowboy Bebop crew travels the stars, they learn of the largest bounty yet, a huge 300 million Woolongs. Apparently, someone is wielding a hugely powerful chemical weapon, and of course the authorities are at a loss to stop it. The war to take down the most dangerous criminal yet forces the crew to face a true madman, with bare hope to succeed.
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door is a great addition to the Cowboy Bebop series, but no more. It is by no means a sequel, and after watching it, I found that it's best watched in the middle of the series, and not neccesarily at the end. If it's got a specific place or not, that I don't know, but that's not very important at any rate, and if you've watched the entire series, it shouldn't be hard to mentally place it inside the series anyway.
This time, a terrorist possesses a weapon capable of killing countless people, and there's a bounty of 300 million woolongs on him; the largest bounty ever given. Of course, this means that our heroes will chase him. And so starts the process of gathering information, meeting and getting to know people related to the bounty in some way, and eventually, squaring off against him in a final fight. Oh, and throw in a save-the-world thing this time, and there you have the movie. Nothing really new, a formula that's been used several times. There's also details here and there left unexplained, and things may just happen for no reason at the rare occasion. Its 120 minutes might be a little too long to some, but it never came off as boring at any point to me; they certainly did a good job of fleshing out those 120 minutes.
Though, that may be credited more to the characters than the plot itself, as the movie threw some really interesting characters at us. The orignal cast is, well, pretty much the same as they always are, the same characters which you (probably) got to love while watching the original series. As for the movie characters, we have for example Vincent, the main bad guy. He's quite the interesting fellow, though the more I think about it, the more I can't help but feel that I've experienced his type somewhat before - he's got a mysterious past; a forgotten love included, he's going to kill loads of people for no good reason, and he blathers out sentences about religion and whatnot. Nevertheless, he comes off as an interesting character, mostly because of him being similar to Spike - both in physical prowess and their considering themselves 'dead' men due to past events. Then we have Electra, Vincent's past love once forgotten. She remembers him though, and well, she wants him to remember her as well. We can see where that's heading...
The animation quality is superb; its detail and overall quality is unmistakably a work done by people who knows what they are doing. Be it backgrounds or landscapes, they're all top-notch. Lighting effects are good, and more than I'd exect from something out of 2001, and the overall quality of special effects are great; much, much better than the original series. The character designs are the same old, with some improvements, and they work very well with this anime and movie. The character motions and their fluidity are great, and the few action scenes in the movie are done so well that I could probably learn some nice figthing moves merely from studying them. The coloring is the only thing that's a bit behind, but considering its age it's not a problem. And moreso, the dulled coloring actually melds perfectly with the style of the movie, and helps on the movie's atmosphere.
The soundtrack is what you should expect from the original series; awesome. Yoko Kanno does her work as she did in the series; with an amazing soundtrack that fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the movie and its individual scenes, and the opening and ending themes are wonderful to listen to. The only downside is that there is a lot of silent scenes, where no background music is present at all.
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' On Heaven's Door is a movie that delivers the goods, but stops at that. It's not marvelous, but it's great, and a must-see movie for any Cowboy Bebop fan.read more
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door was released in Japan on September 1st, 2001. Shinichiro Watanabe stayed on as director, and it was produced this time by not only Sunrise, but also Bandai Visual (famous for their work on the .hack series and Dennou Coil), and Bones (famous for their work on Fullmetal Alchemist and Ouran High School Host Club). It was released Stateside by Bandai on August 11th, 2002.
It's just a few days before Halloween on Ganymede, a major national holiday, and a terrorist has blown up a tanker filled with a biochemical weapon. The government posts a 300 million Wulong bounty for the terrorist, and the Bebop crew just decides to go after it. But the more they investigate, the deeper the rabbit hole seems to go...
Yes, to answer any questions ahead of time, this is not a sequel; it takes place between episodes twenty-two and twenty-three. It's not quite what I was expecting, admittedly, but it's still a pretty good plot. It could've been fit in the series as a two or three part episode, and apparently Wantanabe had wanted to originally, but he couldn't have gotten away with it on TV.
The visuals for this are absolutely beautiful; the animation got an update in the three years since the show had aired, and things are definitely smoother than they were in the show. There's an even more unprecedented amount of detail in this, and it's absolutely beautiful.
Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts came back to do work on the music again, and it's just as awesome and catchy as it was in the series. I found myself humming a few of the songs after it was done.
All the seiyuu and the voice actors were able to return for the movie, which just adds t o the awesomeness of the movie in general. And the dub for this was actually fairly accurate, which surprises me, as this was released Stateside a little over a year after 9/11, and a few days before the 9/11 attacks over in Japan.
All in all, a pretty good movie, with a good plot and unprecedented detail and smoother animation, if not what I was expecting.read more
I am going to be briefer with this review than most, because I believe that many of the elements that I would normally review have already been covered in my review of the main series. This movie fits into the series, and could be a normal episode.
The writers did a good job overall with the movie. We have a target for our heroes to capture, which they do for the same reason that they always do: money. It plays out like a normal episode, but there is more material, the plot becomes much more complex and convoluted than a normal episode. Although its more complex than the original episodes, it is quite formulaic and similar when compared with the plot of previous episodes. Although it doesn't necessarily come off as 'fresh', the stakes are much higher than in previous episodes, and its an action packed thrill ride just like the normal bebop we love. I give it an 8/10
Both the art and sound are, as usual, excellent. The animation is just as beautiful as ever, mirroring the animation of the original series in many ways, but it also uses advanced techniques that were not used in the original series. The soundtrack is also very good, picking similar songs to the ones used in the original series. These songs compliment the story as usual. I give both a 9/10.
We again see the main characters from the main series that we have grown to know and love. There is nothing much to say about this, except they are as spectacular as they are in the main series. I fell as though the two side characters introduced lacked some depth to a degree. Electra was somewhat forgettable in my opinion, and although the main villain, Vincent, was interesting, he came of as a cliche. Though the newly introduced characters aren't very strong in their own rights, the dynamic between the main characters along with Spike and Vincent is really what helps the characters. I give it an 8/10.
My Verdict: 8/10
When I watched this, I got what I expected: an action packed story that Bebop is known for. This was all it was, however, as it didn't really 'wow' me the way the main series did. There was nothing new or surprising, and some of it felt stale. Despite all of this, the movie has some of the great writing, characters, and art that the series was known for, and its worth a watch, especially for fans of the series.
My Enjoyment: 9/10
Throughout the entirety of the movie, my eyes were glued to the screen. This movie is full of entertainment, from the shootouts to the spaceship chase scenes. Although I was thrown off a little from its lack of uniqueness, I still really enjoyed it.read more
It was a good follow up (in-between, actually) to the series. I suggest that if you’re planning to watch Cowboy Bebop – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, you should watch after you get to the episode when Ed is introduced. You just need to get to know all 4 major characters to understand the movie.
I didn’t like it as much as the series, mostly because the series kept me interested by introducing new plot lines in each episode. Having to focus on one specific plot for 120 minutes was a bit exhausting. It has a nice plot – throughout the movie you’ll get why “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” is part of the title. I also found the plot to be timely. Terrorism is a problem that’s been widespread throughout the world for years, and it’s interesting to see a group of bounty hunters trying to do something good for mankind.
The characters are back, of course. They’re still the same as they were in the series. 2 more major characters are introduced throughout the movie. The villain is Vincent Volaju, a mysterious terrorist with a forgotten past. He is definitely convincing as a villain, at least I think so. Electra is also a character added to the mix. I didn’t really like her, mostly because she looks like a guy, but her presence is important to the story. The original voice actors are also back to reprise their respective roles. I would have been mad if they changed the voice actors.
I think one of the major innovations in the movie is the visuals. The visuals are 10 times more stunning than in the series, all thanks to the collaboration with BONES studio. I guess it may have something to do with the fact that it was produced in 2001, and 2001 animation definitely improved since 1998. The screenplay was also as great as before.
Yoko Kanno came back to do the music again, but I have to say I’m a bit disappointed. There were less tracks than there were in the series, and there were a lot of scenes where there was no background music at all. That was a rare occurrence in the series. The opening theme, "Ask DNA" by The Seatbelts featuring Raju Ramayya and the ending theme "Gotta Knock a Little Harder" by The Seatbelts featuring Mai Yamane, were really nicely done though.
Obviously, I liked the series better, but that may have something to do with the fact that I finished the series first before watching the movie. It’s kind of hard to top the ending of the series, so it’s best if you watch the movie in between the series.read more