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
I'm never that comfortable with films of series. Mostly, that's because all too often a film of a series consists of some kind of edited-all-to-hell clip show that tries and totally fails to boil down the story of a long series to a relatively much shorter film. Knockin' on Heaven's Door isn't that, which is very much in its favour. Rather, it's basically like a two-hour "lost episode" that belongs somewhere in the middle of the series - without spoiling anything, by the end of the series, there's characters missing who are still present in this film.
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: Knockin' On Heaven's Door (retitled in America as simply Cowboy Bebop: The Movie) is the full-length feature film based on the show of the same name.
All in all, this movie is basically like an extended episode of the anime series (and was apparently originally intended to be just that). It does not outshine the show, but does not sit in its shadow either. It holds its own against any number of the more "exquisite" episodes of the main series. (Biased me: They're all good to begin with, but you get my drift.)
The movie technically/officially takes place between episodes 22 and 23 of the series, but does not affect the events of the main show in any way (or vice versa). For this reason, it is a very versatile entry to the Bebop universe.
The plot is fairly standard for an episode of Bebop and features the crew searching for bounties on Mars. When a truck is detonated in the planet's capital city, causing a huge spread of a biochemical weapon, a generous bounty is posted by the world's government for the capture of the unknown terrorists. Obviously in their true typical form, the crew of Bebop doesn't miss a beat in responding to the call. As the crew digs deeper and chases the mysterious terrorists, they discover however all is not as simple as it should be.
The entire voice cast (both Sub and Dub) reunite for the film, as well as the welcomed return of the iconic Yoko Kano and her band The Seatbelts (who composed the music for the original show). On top of these perfect garnishes, due to a higher budget, the animation is also simply a smoother version of the original show's material. What cannot be liked here in the technical department?
As I mentioned earlier about this film's versatility, Cowboy Bebop: The Movie works on multiple levels. If one is trying on Bebop for size due to the amount of praise they have heard about the show, this is a great in-road to go with (this or episode 5 are my recommendations for starters). Or, on an even more general plane of scope, many consider this a great film to give someone a taste of anime in general. I wholeheartedly agree, this movie is that good (and yes, I'm kind of biased as this is my favorite anime of all-time, in general).
Unlike the show, we don't get 26 episodes to watch the characters of the Bebop crew develop and grow as we piece together their backstories/flush out their personalities. However, the movie does a good job masking this, in the sense that it doesn't need to do it. Whether you are unrelated to the show or not, the movie is still enjoyable and intriguing. The characters are their classic dynamic selves (which is what makes the show so special). The plot does lean on complexity, in terms of exposition, for the finer points...but for a first-time watcher it didn't bother me (and on return viewings, I've since figured everything out).
If you like Cowboy Bebop at all, there is no reason you will dislike this movie....none. It flows as well as any given episodes of the show and even has a bit more "grandiosity" to it because of its status as a film. It is definitely an action-filled blast. Whether you missed it during your original watch through the main show, or picked this up where it works in episodic order, you won't be sorry you missed this special outing with the Bebop crew.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. read more
Okay guys, what's up all... It's 5:21pm as I'm writing this. What i have to say I was a little disappointed to see little in the way of either cowboys or dancing in the feature of the same name (which came out in Japan in 2001, but hit U.S. theaters briefly in the spring of 2003), but that's ultimately probably for the best. In the world of Cowboy Bebop, it's the year 2071, a time when the Earth has become almost uninhabitable and everyone has moved out to other planets in the solar system, like Mars. The plucky little band of bounty hunters who star in the film -- the closest thing to cowboys here -- are getting restless with picking up minor thugs for chump change. Fortunately for them, a terrorist explodes a tanker truck full of some germ agent on a crowded downtown highway - apparently they haven't fixed the traffic problem on Mars yet - killing dozens of people and getting a massive bounty put out on him.
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 😆😆😆* 10/10read more
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
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
"I love the kind of woman that can kick my ass"
So many countless good quotes...
This movie can be watched without watching the series but better if watched some episodes.
Not surprised that a movie was created for Cowboy Bebop: a masterpiece series with unique and amazing atmosphere and soundtrack.
The bulk of the story is about a terrorist that has the potential to kill a crowd of people with a weapon and has a huge bounty. It's up to Spike and his crew to get information and chase after the terrorist despite the enormous risk. Of course, other characters are also after the terrorist. The plot sounds kind of mediocre doesn't it? Probably the weakest aspect of this movie. The Cowboy Bebop series have average plots but are at least episodic. A movie with an average plot would bound to fail but this isn't the case. Despite popular opinion, I enjoyed this movie more than the series.
The art and animation were astonishing considering it was made in the 90s. Fluid animation and good lighting. The fighting scenes were quite memorable. The sound is amazing with jazz masterpieces like the series. You can see the impression of the 90s recession in Japan, despite set in a futuristic setting. This is why this movie and the series will always be a timeless classic. It's quite historic.
What's memorable is that Jet, a crew member mentions to Spike that the crew does not have to go after the terrorist. It's not their problem. However, Spike wants the bounty but more importantly to save the world. They are heroes by choice. But what's more interesting is that after everything is over. No one recognizes and cares who stopped the terrorist. No one views them as heroes. They're just another bounty hunter as Spike likes to say. This adds to the amazing cowboy and loneliness atmosphere.
The reason why I like the movie more than the series is because it feels like the characters are all working together despite saying they are not. In the series, you might see a few glimpses of some characters in each episode but not here. Also, there's improvement in the art. The best thing about this movie is how the characters interact with each other. Lot of the interactions are quite witty, sly and most of all cowboy like. The characters sound so cool. It really makes up for the mediocre plot.
When Spike flew his jet into the sunset with a lot of tall buildings. I almost cried. It reminded me of the nostalgic times in the 90s. The 90s atmosphere is really strong in this one. What other anime or other shows makes you feel this way? Almost none. Even the sad animes and movies/shows outside anime didn't make me close to crying (other than Clannad).
Definitely worth watching. A timeless classic similar to the series :)read more
So the Cowboy Bebop basically got all the parts that the TV show didn't really capture, Spike is a cool guy at the forefront of a major kind of planetary issue, and it's cool to be on his side. Unlike the show, it plays up his charming and suave compassion/skill and less his burdened past and all that.
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
O.K., let's face it; I haven't seen Cowboy Bebop: The Movie in a very long time now and let's note that I am a HUGE Cowboy Bebop fan and was quite disappointed to see the movie on television and say that it just wasn't my cup of tea.
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.
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
Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door does exactly what you would from a Cowboy Bebop movie. It’s got great music, interesting characters, well-choreographed action, great animation quality, and a whole lot of style. The Cowboy Bebop movie isn’t a sequel story, but rather a side story that is best treated as another episodic adventure of the Bebop crew. Note that this movie can be watched anywhere after watching Episode 9 of Cowboy Bebop and is best to watch it somewhere before you finish the series.
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
With a show like "Cowboy Bebop" and it's episodic format (meaning status quo is returned to at the end of most episodes) it's only natural that a movie would come out of that franchise. I expected at least 2 or 3, but only got 1. But boy did they ever make it count! "Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door" is everything a fan of the show would want and/or expect from a feature length film. Perhaps even a bit more.
Our story pits the crew of the Bebop against arguably their greatest foe: a terrorist with a weapon that could wipe out billions. The man in question is a new character, Vincent Volaju, who has the way, the will, and a good axe to grind in his motives for committing genocide. He is menacing, intimidating, interesting, and even sympathetic at times. Also in the pursuit of Vincent is another new character, Elektra Ovirowa, who adds another element of competent, bad-ass sex appeal to this cast which is typically a one woman show. I honestly wish this character was a semi-regular on the show. She has a lot of potential, like so many one and done characters in this series.
The art is of equal and better quality than the regular series. With some really great fight scenes, beautiful settings and backgrounds, and with all the stuff going on you need to hit the pause button to take it all in. The soundtrack is that rapid-jazz that keeps up with action like on the regular show, with some more dramatic pieces for the villain, and is as toe-tapping as anything else on the main show. The Sub vs. Dub battle is still in favor of the English dub, with the same cast as the series returning and playing their parts to perfection.
The way I know this is a great movie is that I can show it to someone who is not a fan of the show or even a fan of Anime and they will probably enjoy it. It's very kind to the uninitiated, and for those of us who are initiated it's everything we love about this franchise and more. It's a great time and a real blast. 8/10. Check it out. Cheers! read more
Meant to take place between episodes 22 and 23 of the series, "Cowboy Bebop - Knockin' on Heaven's Door" is just like an extra long episode of "Cowboy Bebop". It's got the same style, same humour, and even the same underlying melancholic feel. The production somehow manages to look even more expensive than the production of old, with the crisp animation shining through especially, featuring some fluid, breathtaking action sequences that's at least as good as anything in the series.
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
I've been on a roll with this Cowboy Bebop show. Just finished the series earlier today, and now I'm done with the film. Let's jump into this review!
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.
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.
Knocking on Heavens Door by far one of my biggest cult classic anime films of all 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
Cowboy Bebop Knocking on heavens door is an outstanding film that will always have a place in my top movies.
Story: The story takes place in-between Sessions 22 and 23 of the original series. One great addition is it sticks the original fashion of Cowboy Bebop, so you can connect if you've seen the series.
Art: Cowboy Bebop taking place in the year 2071, i found the art to be wonderful. It shows all the different ideas of the future, such as ships, cell phones, space, and very much more.
Sound: Experiencing both the English and Japanese tracks, it is always very opinion based. Although i typically watch Anime in subtitles, i loved the voice of Steven Blum as Spike. I also noticed on the final fight scene, the grunts of pain and heavy breathing simply did not exist on the Japanese track.
Character: Cowboy Bebop has very odd characters, making it all so much sweeter. Weather it is Spike's humor or Faye's attitude, all characters deliver a very unique experience.
Enjoyment: Being a fan of the series before i even saw the movie, I knew i would very much enjoy Cowboy Bebop. It met very well to my expectations, and has got me to re-watch it over and over again.
Overall: Cowboy Bebop is an outstanding film, and I would recommend it to Anime fans of all kinds. Especially if you are a fan of the series, this is a must watch.read more