English: Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door
Synonyms: Cowboy Bebop Movie
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Sep 1, 2001
Duration: 1 hr. 54 min.
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 8.411 (scored by 74,885 users)
1 indicates a weighted score. Please note that 'Not yet aired' titles are excluded.
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Vincent, the "terrorist," baffles everyone, as he doesn't seem to have much of a motive, and might just be having anger management issues. Most of the Cowboy band - coolly magnetic Spike Spiegel, gruff Jet Black, and the very capable Faye Valentine - spreads out across the city to find out what the guy's problem is and what exactly what was the agent that he was using. It's a good excuse to show off the film's impeccable design, which incorporates familiar elements from Earth cities and reproduces them on Mars, presumably as the inhabitants' way of remembering their ruined home planet (several New York icons are used as background, including the Flatiron building and even, this being a 2001 film, the World Trade Center). Thus we get several scenes set in a North African-style bazaar, and even a climactic showdown on an Eiffel Tower, during a Halloween parade, no less.
Some have complained that Cowboy Bebop is not much of a movie and is merely a standard-issue episode of the series stretched out to a little under two hours in length. Again, having never seen the show, this could very well be correct, and it is definitely true that there's probably only about an hour's worth of story here. And although some passages in the film drag, especially before the truth of Vincent's psychopathic mission is uncovered, the lustrous animation is more than enough compensation.
Also, it seems churlish to make such a critique of a movie that not only has such wonderful characters but isn't particularly hurried to push them into drama for the sake of drama. At a time when Hollywood live-action product is so neurotic about keeping its audience glued to the screen at every possible second (jokes! explosions! no down time!), it's ironic that an anime feature, a genre which had originally penetrated the US market based primarily on its high-impact, anti-Disney, sex 'n' violence approach, should be so confident and relaxed. Even the voice actors here take it low-key, often talking in quiet, hushed tones instead of the !exclamation marks! favored by most animated product (Pixar excepted).
Spike Spiegel is a case in point. Not your average anime hero - he doesn't have steroid-sized muscles, a gun the size of a person, and isn't a vampire - he's pretty good with his kung fu and knows how to use a pistol, but seems more interested in kicking back and having a smoke.
Now to finalize it all, Cowboy Bebop is one of the most popular and influential animes out there. Directed to jazzy perfection by Shinichirô Watanabe, with a brilliant score by the musical legend, Yoko Kanno, Cowboy Bebop is a must-watch. *Okay I deserve a pat on my back lol 😆😆😆* 10/10 read more
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
Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’s plot centers on a terrorist, who has a bounty of 300 million Woolongs, whose goal is to exterminate everyone on Mars using a mysterious chemical disease. It’s up to the Bebop crew to save the planet (for a price!). From then on, the Bebop crew try to find clues that can lead them up to the terrorist. You’ve seen this premise many times; terrorism threatens the world, the good guys to the rescue. But because of Bebop’s stylish presentation, it feels fresh and fun. Though the story isn’t flawed (it’s actually quite well written) there’s just something about the story that just feels forgettable. Also the movie made me feel wanting more. We’re given background stories for some new character. Though they are interesting, it would have been better in they expanded on it even more. But in the end, the Cowboy Bebop movie has a fun and enjoyable storyline that is a welcome addition to the Bebop’s list of adventures.
This is where the movie shines, because it is heavily like its original series. Cowboy Bebop is one of the most stylish anime out there, if not the most stylish, and the movie’s no differ. The movie balances many different genres, whether it be action, or sci-fi, or thriller. The jazz and pop music adds to the style of the show. Also the pacing of the movie is well done; it starts slow and by every second, the pacing is faster until the ending becomes a blast. The movie’s opening scene (the convenience store scene) doesn’t add much to the story, but the addition of it shows Bebop fans what they love about Bebop, and newcomers what Bebop is all about. The stylish presentation of the scene itself can make Tarantino blush!
It’s fun to see the characters you love make a return in this movie. You have Spike, your unenthusiastic yet energetic protagonist back in the movie. Out of the four main characters him and Faye are the ones that get the most screen time, while Jet and Ed are kind of put in the back seat of the film (though Ed’s always in the back seat… or trunk). Two new characters are present in this movie. The one who plays the good girl is Electra, who manages to be badass enough to be likeable. Then we have the antagonist of the movie, Vincent, who manages to be a more developed character than the antagonist of the original series, Vicious. Vincent’s given a backstory and well enough reasons to justify his actions against society. However it would have been nice if we were given more of a deeper backstory on the two new characters. Nevertheless, the cast in the film shine heavily.
The art in the Cowboy Bebop movie is top notch too. The movie depicts a future that’s not easy on the eyes, just like the anime series. Cowboy bebop did a great job depicting a futuristic environment that is more flawed than good, and the movie does no less. The detailed art can make anime today feel ashamed. The top-notch production value is what happens when you make Sunrise and Bones work together. However, I did notice that the use of colour in the movie seemed better than the anime series. As a matter of a fact is that the art is an improvement over the already excellent looking anime series.
The animations of this movie kept on making me check whether or not this was made in 2001. Just like the original series, most of the animation was hand-drawn, but it always felt too fluid to be hand-drawn. Scenes such as the Spike and Electra hand-to-hand combat scene or the end dogfight sequence, it makes you wonder how they accomplished that in 2001. The animation is a big reason why many prefer watching the movie after the series, since the animation difference is enormous. The cinematography is also a big improvement from the series. Since the movie uses a 16:9 ratio rather than the series’ 4:3 ratio, the cinematography feels more cinematic, such as the opening scene, where the combination of top view and wide shots make the movie feel more live-action than not.
The same cast for both Japanese and English is back, so you can expect top notch voice acting. Just like Cowboy Bebop, the Japanese voice acting is great, but the English voice acting is outstanding. Steven Blum still manages to add the coolness (and sexiness) in Spike. For the two new main characters in the movie, both Japanese and English voice actors do a great job. However it is to not that the English voice actor for Electra is Jennifer Hale (who won more accolades than you can imagine for Female Commander Sheppard in Mass Effect). Watch in in Japanese of English, you’re not missing out on a single thing.
Voice Acting: 9.5/10
Though the same Cowboy Bebop soundtrack isn’t carried over to the movie, the new soundtracks end up being almost just as good. The opening song, “Ask DNA”, though isn’t a “Tank!”, it still manages to be catchy and it delivers a lot in style. The ending song “Gotta Knock a Little Harder” is excellent as it matches the mood of the ending of the movie. The movie has countless of soundtracks to remember, such as “Cosmic Date”, “Time to Know-Be Waltz”, “Clutch”, “Powder”, “What Planet is This?!”. “Clutch” and “What Planet is This?!” are some of the best tracks I’ve hears in any anime!
It was more Bebop, how could I not enjoy it! The returning of the cast, the music, and the stylish execution was great. It could have been shorter; maybe some of those melodramatic scenes were there to bring up the runtime. But the movie’s still great fun as it manages to deliver what we want from a Bebop movie. With a blend of genres available, it never feels boring. The movie gives Bebop fans what they wanted, and newcomers an entrance to the main series. Although it doesn’t have as much replay value as the original series, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door is a welcome addition.
In the end, Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door ends up being a great movie that captures the spirit of the original series. The structure of the movie makes the movie feel like it was made for both fans and newcomers. Combines with improved animations and a soundtrack that represents Bebop's spirit and you've got yourself one hell of a ride!
+ Stylish blend of genres
+ Animation quality that tops the main series
+ Some great action scenes
+ Top-notch soundtrack
+ Vincent is a better antagonist than the main series’ antagonist.
- Makes you want more in-depth backstories for the new characters
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
Overall I give this movie a 9 and I highly recommend watching it, watching the series is not a necessity to understand the movie but I would recommend it to get full enjoyment out of it. read more
My friend came round for A Level results celebration and so I was wondering what film to watch. As an anime fan I didn't really want to watch a normal film so I was wondering what anime film to watch. I also ordered a harmonica off amazon last week which came in the post today, so I've been playing harmonica all day so when I was thinking of films, I immediately thought of cowboy bebop. Because Cowboy Bebop is so good and so loved around the world, I checked to see if there was a movie, and praise the lord there was! However a lot of film adaptations are really bad representations of the source material, so I checked MAL for rating; 8.4 or something so I thought, looks promising. I want my friend to watch Cowboy Bebop the series so I was worried that if this film was bad it would put him off watching the series. After watching it I am soooooo happy! This film was awesome! My friend loved it, I loved it and I am just so glad this film was true to Cowboy Bebop. Truly fantastic and definitely worth watching both if you have seen the series, and if you haven't!
For those of you who've seen Cowboy Bebop the series, you'll know it is acclaimed for it's art, marrying of western and Japanese styles, music, creating a whole new genre, characters, seeing things from the bad guy's side and so much more. This movie has to be commended so much because it does all of those things just as well as the series! If you loved the series you'll love the movie. It doesn't lack a single thing in my opinion. The art is the same great style we see in the series, the music is new but sticks to the same blues/rock/jazz style that I love and the characters are just as full and memorable as they are in the series, although if you haven't seen the series, you will have missed a lot of backstory.
This film has everything you expect from Cowboy Bebop. It's a great film, with or without the series and is so worth watching. Romance, action, thrill, sci-fi, fantasy, and so much more it's beautiful. read more
It was a month ago when I finished cowboy bebop series, and i would say that i was a little bit disappointed. Why would I be disappointed? Well, mostly because many episodes almost feel like fillers, they don't support character development and some enemies just minor criminals/bounties and those villains rarely have interesting characters.
After sometime, I decided to watch the CB movie. And I would say the movie was very good. This movie has the elements that some cowboy bebop episodes lack. Mostly the well developed story and characters(villains).
"Which one is dream? Which one is reality? A 'deadman', searching for that answer, tries to endanger the society. It is up to Spike and the gang to stop him". Yup, that was pretty much the synopsis of the movie. Like the series, the story presents a sci-fi modern era where humans has lived in other planets. Our MCs (Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed), are bounty hunters. This time, they are trying to catch an unknown terrorist. Unlike the series, which lack episodic story development because they have only 20 minutes duration for one story, the movie has almost 2 hours duration. It really has a great difference to tell a story. The story plot is very well chronologically executed, and not rushed. We got to see a complex investigation, gaining information, interesting background story and past of the main villain, good action scenes, and a nice final conclusion of all of them. The big differences i felt most with the series are this movie presents us a nice built villains, well developed plot, bigger case and conflicts that put our MCs in critical situation, which rarely seen in the series.
Considering the time it was aired, I would say the animations are great. The backgrounds are nice and the movements were fluid. But what I like most is the character design. It was unique in my opinion, no moe, and it gives me more mature atmosphere from it.
The sountrack is like the original series, the classic ones. Nice OP and ED. Soundtracks also fit well with the atmosphere of the scenes. Though a few scenes were quiet and don't have BGM in it. Voice acting is also good.
We got our MCs back, Spike and the gang, whose characters are the same with the series. Spike being a cool badass, Faye being selfish and ignorant, Jet who is sometimes being the most sane one, and Ed is.. crazy..
What really caught my attentions was the main villain's character, Vincent. A man with an interesting past that leads to his interesting philosophy (which one is dream, which one is reality). To seek his answes he will do anything. Interesting terrorism, which he also left mystery to be solved. Above all that, he also really got some skills to overpower the main protagonist.
Yeah, let's make this one short. From the scores above I'd say I really enjoy this movie. It was a nice watch and it has cured my disappointment of CB franchise.
Cause the majority of above scores i gave were 8s, then my overall score would be 8, which means really good.
How do you follow up a series as badass and flawless as Cowboy Bebop? This is a difficult task, but this movie did a pretty damn good job!
Plot and characters: 8/10
The plot obviously didn't have the time to create the same amount of character development, background, and depth that a 26 episode series has. However, the movie introduces a pretty decent antagonist with Vincent. Vincent is a bioterrorist who happens to bear a striking resemblance to Vlad the Impaler for whatever reason. He is a man haunted by a cruel past. This includes the brutal Titan War that Vicious and Gren also fought in during the original series, as well as enduring horrendous biological experiments much like Gren. Unlike Gren, Vincent doesn't develop female sex charactericstics and instead is driven totally insane. However, unlike Vicious he retains some level of sympathy and isn't purely evil like our favorite katana weilding psychopath. Elektra is another character introduced in the movie that was a fun character with some awesome fight scenes. The plot is essentially that the Bebop crew must hunt its biggest bounty ever while saving Mars from a bioterrorism attack. The plot wraps up nicely and doesn't leave any dangling plot threads. It isn't the deepest story ever, but it works very well for an action movie. The fight scenes and action scenes are INCREDIBLE and the movie features in my opinion the best aerial dogfight of any movie...ever! I don't even care its a cartoon. It is the best!
Animation and sound: 10/10
This not only gives us the triumphant return of Bebop's amazing jazz soundtrack, but smoother animation and as mentioned previously, incredible action. This movie looks great, sounds great, and is an absolute joy to watch.
This is a spinoff action movie for the Cowboy Bebop series, so like I mentioned earlier it doesn't really have time to establish the same depth as the main series. That isn't really the point. The point of this movie is first and foremost to be entertaining and it succeeds in that very well! For what it is, this is a great movie and a must see for any Bebop fan or anime fan in general! read more
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
Also, Elektra is kind of this fiery sort of passionate personality which is a bit unusual in the Bebop world. I also personally was a fan of Spike being more active and focused in contrast to his usual lack-a-daisical attitude in the TV show.
There were also several really spectacular fights such as a fight on a train as well as a few other really exciting sequences. In general, I thought the movie was a compression of the interesting ideas and possibilities in the TV show but stripped of the filler and other things like that.
Mostly though, never really thought Bebop was an incredible franchise, a fairly solid one, perhaps, but not on the level of some of the classics, so my attachment remains somewhat limited, would probably just have to settle for an 8 or so here although was tempted to drop it to a 7. One way or another, it's the best encapsulation of Bebop that I've seen. read more
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
Another point in the film's favour is that it's pretty much equally accessible for existing fans and those unfamiliar with the characters. While there's plenty of details that might be lost or not fully comprehensible for new viewers, by and large the film stands up well as a stand alone drama, introducing its characters and their situation. However, this in a way exposes another major weakness of films of series. Series are, by nature, episodic. They devote an episode to introducing a character or exploring their personalities. Once this is done, they generally have plot episodes, in which the main thrust of the series is pursued, and then they have one-shot episodes that have our characters in some kind of interesting situation, but which is basically unrelated to the plot - if there is one. Films, by contrast, do all of this at once. The proceedure is totally different, and a director or scriptwriter used to a series format adapts less well to a film format. Knockin' on Heaven's Door exemplifies this - while the film as it is works, it's more obvious and cumbersome than a film directed by a director used to a feature-length format.
The storyline, also, suffers in this way. It's not that it's a bad story, in fact it might make a great two- or three-part episode, but as a film, the material comes across as stretched, holey and lacking in substance. It's also remarkable in that it's not half as quirky or original as Cowboy Bebop's famously eclectic mixtures of ideas: biological terrorism unleashed by a madman with a mysterious and sinister military past, fascinated by death and bent on destroying the world, with cod philosophical pretentions to fil gaps between action and a garnish of some fashionable christian mythology. It's all very generic really, and frankly the only things that make this Cowboy Bebop and not something much more generic are the familiar characters, who are luckily strong enough to make the thing hang together. The new characters are not much to speak of, either - Vincent the aforementioned madman, a hacker accomplice, a Moroccan information seller and, of course, Electra, a tough, wildcard femme fatale with a mysterious connection to our antagonist. Electra comes off as the best realised of these, and, perhaps not coincidentally, closest to a series character (though she's a dead ringer for a more mature version of BGC2040's Priss as well). Vincent seems very like main series antagonist Vicious stripped of his hatred of Spike, which is to say, not that special and a bit rabid and foaming for credibility.
The film drags. It's just too long. What this is primarily due to is unclear; maybe an over-developed story with far too much exposition (every character seems to need every other to explain nanomachines to them, it seems. We, however, do not), or perhaps the increasingly egregious and segmented action scenes (why are there spitfires on Mars? Who knows, let's cut back to Spike being pursued by military jets for no apparent reason!), or it could be the ponderous attempts to fashion some sort of existential aspect to the story ("I'm not insane, the rest of the world is." - oh really? You don't look thirteen years old, Vincent, but you sound it). Philosophical-minded action films are not especially uncommon; good and effective ones are extremely rare. Suffice it to say that I was surprised and rather disappointed when the apparent climax occured and passed with a good half an hour left on the clock.
As I say, the film hangs almost completely on the main characters. It would have been unthinkable to not bring the original cast in for this gig too (can't speak for the dub cast, don't know), and they all acquit themselves just as well as they do in the series. Music, too, such a central part of the series, is again provided by Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts; while the styles used in and prominence given to the music may not be to everyone's tastes, the versatility and range Kanno's score covers while still retaining a high basic quality standard is nothing short of incredible. Visually, the quality seems to have been kicked up a notch; the animation of the series was never bad, but the film is sumptuous and extremely well detailed.
However, one of my main bones of contention remains. The art design is realistic, unapologetically multicultural and sort of grimy, very credible in its way, but under even cursory analysis, it's illogical in the extreme. Why is Mars covered in early twentieth-century New York-style tenement blocks and labyrinthine Moroccan markets? Has anyone remembered that it has one third of earth's gravity? Is there, in fact, any reason for this to be set on Mars at all, other than to tie in all these diverse elements? It's sci-fi doing what sci-fi does most often and least well - making half-baked stuff up to accomodate its ideas, with no thought for maintainance of disbelief suspension.
I was never as bowled over by Cowboy Bebop as many people seem to have been. Overall I liked it, certainly, in fact I thought some of it was absolutely excellent, but other parts I thought were pretty terrible, and it was quickly clear that the series was never going to be "a classic" in my eyes the way it is for lots of others. This was primarily because of its disjointedness and apparent lack of story direction, and the same is true of this film. Now, after watching it, I'm left with the same "...well, so what?" feeling a significant amount of the series gave me, but because of the length and the negative impact it has, I have comparatively more holes to pick at as well. Perhaps if you're a real fan, this film has more to offer, but overall, for me, while I'd not actually call it bad, this doesn't reach the already kind of saggy standard the series set. read more
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is essentially a high budget, longer than usual episode of the show. And you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. This time around, we've got Spike and company going up against Vincent, an ex-military soldier turned bio-terrorist. He's launched a campaign of carnage on Mars, leaving a path of destruction in his wake. Oh, and there's a 300 million Woolong bounty on the fellow.
It's a typical Cowboy Bebop story, and it works fine. The whole gang is back, plus some new additions. Of course, you've got the villain, Vincent. He's not just an evil maniacal villain, he has motivations for his actions and everything makes sense with him character wise. He's a pretty compelling villain, honestly. Also helps that he's a complete badass, going toe to toe with Spike in hand-to-hand combat.
We've also got Electra, a military agent with connections to Vincent. She's also pretty well-developed. She can kick some ass too. There are a few other minor new characters, but they're not really worth mentioning. Spike is the focus in this film, so the rest of the Bebop crew don't get a whole lot to do, but every character gets a few good moments.
With a bigger budget, Sunrise went all out on this. Cowboy Bebop was a very well animated series for its time, and the movie is ten times better. And hell, this came out in 2001. The fluidity is even better in the film, everything looks natural, especially in the visceral action sequences. The final battle in the film is some of the most exciting stuff I've seen in an animated feature.
The lighting effects are awesome as well. You didn't get a whole lot of this in Bebop (at least, I don't recall anything this grandiose) so it's refreshing to see such great lighting. The character designs are basically the same, with some added splendor due to the film's higher fidelity. The film uses a dull color palette, which fits with the mood of Bebop.
The soundtrack is a solid follow up to the series. It's nothing short of brilliant. Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts kill it once again. The music fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the film, and the opening and closing tunes are superb. The soundtrack also knows when to go silent, just to let character moments play it out based on performance alone.
Yeah, it's just another great Bebop adventure. And I've come to the realization that this is; I don't have anything else Bebop related to watch. That makes me sad. But hey, I might just watch the whole series over again.
See ya, space cowboy. read more
Why did I think the movie was average compared to the reviewers here who thought it was great? Let's compare it to the show and see:
Cowboy Bebop: 9/10
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie: 6/10
Anyone who remembers the Cowboy Bebop series knew that the storyline was more detailed while simultaneously comedic. The drama and comedy blended together made the series a good anime. It's story revolves around a group of four bounty hunters who *desperately* seek for money by taking criminals to the cops. Spike was a stubborn, pigheaded cowboy and Jet was officially commanding. As for the other main characters, Faye Valentine is dreamy and hotheaded, Ein was naive, and Ed was technically hyper and mischievous. After the three main characters joined in, the hunters seemed to split into two teams; they did before Faye and the others got in, but it was too complex for poor Spike to handle, so you should be happy that he's got a team quite like ones in a scavenger hunt or something. His team takes you to a certain place where the bounty heads are placed and he kicks their butts to make it easier to capture. The other team obviously *tries* to capture the bounty heads while Spike's team tries to set things right, that's usually on Edward's team.
Knockin' On Heaven's Door, I'd say seemed to start off with an interesting plot, but it has a lot of references to other movies and therefore, it seemingly takes place between episodes Cowboy Funk and Brain Scratch. If you are watching the show right now and haven't got up to episodes 22 or 23 yet, then you might as well wait until you get in touch with those episodes before you touch the movie.
Cowboy Bebop: 8/10
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie: 7/10
This really depends on what style of person you are. The music in the Cowboy Bebop series seemed to act like the music that were released between the 1950s and 1970s so if you are an old person between senior and middle aged, then you might be impressed with the art's activity as it *does* seem to remind people back-in-the-day (well, for me... yeah). The art and animation in Cowboy Bebop The Movie seemed to do well in its improvement. Bones had made it and Tristar Pictures and they make well thought out movies. Spike seemed to look a little different in his facial expressions as well as Ed and Jet, but the rest seemed to be just fine. The supporting characters are well, new and they seem to fit the style of the Cowboy Bebop movie.
Cowboy Bebop: 10/10
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' On Heaven's Door: 7/10
These are both perfectly related so the VA in this film come from the series. I always thought Knockin' On Heaven's Door had better Animation/Art than Cowboy Bebop did, but I'd have to say that Hollywood studios seems to make hit T.V. series into movies which are usually, well, not topping the series and other people think the series are much better than the movie(s) they're making off of it. "I think it's time to blow this thing and get everyone and stuff together. O.K., three, two, one, let's jam!" The opening theme song "Tank" on Cowboy Bebop is considered to be the most awesome anime openings to ever hit the history of anime and I was wondering why it wasn't featured in the movie at some point. Knockin' On Heaven's Door had a lot of country music rather than jazz (at least from what I remember) and I was like... "Eh, they should've stayed on the jazz style." Although, the voice actors for both series are top-notch. Steven Blum was as good as Koichi Yomada, who played Spike making him look like a stubborn cowboy. Jet's VA sounded grumpy. Faye's VA sounded sexy. And Ed's VA fitted her perfectly with the sound of a "YAO!" and stuff like that.
Cowboy Bebop: 10/10
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie: 7/10
Like I said above, I explained how the characters were compared to the series in compact with the movie and how their personalities were. Although I think Cowboy Bebop had better supporting characters than the movie does, although Electra was a good one.
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, well, can't really say, I thought adding an apparent BF for Spike is kind of irritating, although not too much since if they were lovers, she would make the perfect girlfriend. And I was wondering why nobody mentioned Vicious in the movie. Vincent is a new villain for Spike and Spike, apparently got affected from his nanotechnology didn't seem to show his feelings for him as he did with Vicious because every time he confronts him, something bad happens.
Cowboy Bebop: 10/10
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie: 6/10
O.K., so I compared the series to the film and it's totality seems to hit the series more (which I thought was better.) I don't dislike the film, but I was quite disappointed when I flipped through the channels, awaiting for it to come on and spent almost two hours watching an apparent average movie or some movie that people don't really care too much about. The story mainly revolved around bio terrorism than it did with bounty hunters. Nanotechnology, and other stuff just didn't top the series. I mean, I know Spike and his mates are supposed to be ghetto, and I'm not trying to be mean, but I'm sorry to say that the series had its potential while the movie was just "I don't give a darn." I'm not bossing anyone around to avoid the movie; you saw what I wrote, and opinions are opinions, so if you liked it, good. if you didn't like it, I'm very sorry. But if you thought it was average (or sparingly not better than the series), then you'll see what I'm talking about. it was pretty good in my opinion, but like I said: average, which makes me want to write a review about it and send it out to the public. read more
This is the question I had asked myself after watching the superb Cowboy Bebop television series. It ended on a high, with a shootout that puts Spaghetti Westerns to shame and rode to one of my all time favourite anime with one of the most original premise in years.
So why did this movie not succeed my expectations? The new setting was brilliant, unforced and wonderfully animated. The soundtrack as always is the wet dream of precocious and pretentious teenagers alike.
Yet the story and characters were just flawed. I could forgive the somewhat muted interactions in the TV series because most of it would come together at some point but nothing happened! Nothing pivotal and/or significant bar introducing a new villain who suffered from an inferiority complex compared to the more calm, collected and menacing, Vicious.
Spike literally adhered to everything we expect from a heavily noir-inspired protagonist and the rest of characters did not get enough screen time to develop profoundly in any shape. There was no new character arcs that I could connect with and nothing here for the audience to generally get pumped/or invested in.
Which is a shame, because outside of the predictable story and characters, the rest could have been condensed into another classic cowboy bebop episode. And that is what seems to have happened here, a setting was blown up with filler content, meretricious drama and more clocking for time as it finally decided Spike should have his confrontation with the villain.
The mild disappointment is the disappointment that stings the most. A shame because I regard the TV shows to be a triumphant success in dragging people unaccustomed to the eccentricities of anime to fully appreciate the quirks in them. Better luck next time.
I will tell you now this gets straight 10s across the board. This film is the follow up to the cowboy bebop series and its a great addition to the saga. In the series were left with some unanswered things and this movie is not about answering that or tying loose ends. This is like a really long episode of Bebop with a exceedingly deep plot.
You could kinda have guessed its like a episode since its named after a song by Bob Dylan like every episode in the series with its musical themed names. This movie actually ups the production value of the show a lot with a grittier and darker style animation with some rather beautiful scenes. The musical influences of bebop is seen in the general flow of the show in how it all runs smoothly into the next scene. A great soundtrack by the seatbelts who performed the majority of the series music.
The characters we all love are back together for the task of saving mars from the pathogen. What makes me happiest is that the series did not have to necessarily end on the sad notes the tv series did. Since this came out after bebop ended and it is set between episode 22 and 23 of the series a lot of people could see this as a more triumphant ending to the franchise rather than a awesome side story. I am not saying they could consider this taken place after the series but more than a better send off than the way it left spike in the stairwell.
I felt this was great, i liked seeing the crew of the Bebop in one last true victory. I liked the ending of the TV series but i wish it could have ended with a stronger sense of victory and that's what this movie gave to me in the end.If i can say anything more about this show is that it carry's with it the spirit of the series on a epic scale. read more
Critic's Log: Earthdate - March 21, 2012. Review #2: Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
It is the year 2071. Halloween is in a few days and the Bebop crew is searching for bounty to find someone who is releasing a deadly virus. The original creators of the virus send a woman named Electra to find the man responsible for releasing this deadly virus. The fate of Mars rests on the Bebop crew.
That is the gist of the Cowboy Bebop Movie.
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (also known in Japan as "Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door") was made by two animation studios, those two being Sunrise and Bones, and boy does the collaboration pay off! The success of Cowboy Bebop led to a feature film that is just as good as the TV show. According to some sources, the events of the movie take place in between Sessions #22 and #23. I guess that makes sense, why would the movie take place after the show.
Beside all the technicalities of this movie, I'll explain what I liked and what I didn't like in the movie. First of all, I really like the animation. It looks better than the show and that is because the movie had a bigger budget than the show, but the animation is eye-candy from beginning to end.
The Bebop crew is still the same old bounty hunters you know; there are two movie exclusive characters that are interesting in this movie in which the two are Electra and Vincent. There is a connection between these two, and I won't spoil the rest of it if you haven't seen the movie.
I also appreciate the soundtrack for being a bit different than the show, Director Shinichiro Wantanabe chose an Arabesque atmosphere for the setting and some of the music because he felt it was alien to him and it was not used much in the show. The music by Yoko Kanno is still groovy
As far as voice acting goes (from the U.S. Release’s language tracks), there are 3 versions, the original Japanese version (the subtitled version), the English dub, and the French dub. I am not going to comment on the French dub because I am going to make this clear, I am choosing to only comment on The subtitled version and The English dubbed versions of anime shows and films. Since I reside in the U.S., Animes that are released in the U.S. usually get subtitled versions and English dubbed versions. Some contain French dubbed versions but I chose not to comment on the French dubs. Moving on. The Japanese cast and The English dub Cast are both good on their own. Tsutomu Isobe was chosen to play Vincent and Ai Kobayashi were picked to voice Electra because neither of them had very much experience and they were both pretty good. As far as The English dub goes, Daran Norris' role as Vincent was scary good, and Jennifer Hale's role as Electra was good too. Both the subtitled and the dubbed versions are good. I already mentioned in my review of the TV show about that The subtitled version may be overshadowed by the English dub.
If there is one thing I could complain is that the length of the movie may have been a bit too long in length, this could have been worked as a 2-part episode or even 3, but I guess it's nothing to complain about. Keiko Nobumoto's screenplay is good enough for this movie. It's still a good action flick that can be enjoyed with popcorn.
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie is available from Sony Pictures and Destination Films or whoever is behind distribution.
With that said, The Cowboy Bebop movie is a really fun film; it has kick-ass action scenes and some amazing animation. It may not be necessary to watch with the show, but it is made for the viewers who liked the show. If you liked Cowboy Bebop, you'll probably like the movie too.
I would give this movie a 10 out of 10 if it was really was connected to the show, but is it necessary to watch the film? Well, that is up to you. if I was rating this movie as a standalone movie, I would rate the movie somewhere along a 8 out of 10, But to be fair, since the show's episodes were treated like short films while The movie is obviously a feature-length film that is part of the Cowboy Bebop series (even though this movie was made after the TV show) I'll give it a proper rating for the most part.
I give Cowboy Bebop: The Movie a 9.5 out of 10... it is EXCELLENT! It's not really a masterpiece compared to the show. But it's still awesome.
Feel free to leave me a comment and ask yourself this one question, are you dreaming? read more
Having the "Cowboy Bebop" tag in front of the movie's title is both a blessing and a curse for the movie. The blessing is that it gets to use the great foundation set by the series. In particular, it's always good to see the colourful characters that make up the crew of the Bebop once more. I've grown so fond of them it's like meeting old friends again - they've not changed a bit. This movie is good in much the same way that the average single episode from the series is good - it's just a really well made action/adventure story.
At the same time, it's only natural to start comparing this movie against the series... and this is where it falls considerably short. You see, the series is far greater than the sum of its parts - although each individual episode is very good in its own right, they are rarely spectacular with a few notable exceptions, and this movie ain't one of the exceptions. When you add all the episodes together, then you start seeing what makes "Cowboy Bebop" so brilliant - its variety. When you take this aspect away, the whole idea starts to break down. The "Cowboy Bebop" movie is supposed to feel like a longer story, but instead feels more like a normal length story stretched out to be film length - perhaps this is due to the fact that I've come to expect a certain amount of freshness from the series' constant genre switching, and obviously this freshness is lost when it comes to this movie.
Still, most of the essence of "Cowboy Bebop" is still here, and it's enough to make "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" a very good movie in its own right... but it just can't match the enjoyment and addictiveness offered by the series. As the final outing featuring the crew of the Bebop, it felt like a bit of an anti climax because it couldn't quite compare with the grand finale of the series. So I would advise other people to watch this before episode 23 of "Cowboy Bebop" and allow the ending of the series to finish the franchise in style. read more
There were some plot holes though that niggled at me, but nothing particularly bad. This movie takes place during the series, so watch it then. It's pretty good, so don't turn it down! read more