Saturday, October 6, 2012

My Three Favorite Anime (Part II)

So, this is coming in a little bit later than I expected, sorry! I let the day get away from me (trip to the not-so-local comic book store AND the Wife and I took our first trip into BJ's Wholesale Club...). Moving on!

Last post, I wrote about my 3rd favorite anime, Dragon Ball Z. It is a goofy, feel good anime that has tons of action. My 2nd favorite anime flips that around a bit: it has some goofy moments, plenty of dark moments, and... well, tons of action.

Why else would I watch anime, if not for the gratuitous, out of this world action?

Coming in second, we have...

Cowboy Bebop is a show about space faring bounty hunters set in the future. That might not be the most unique setting for anime I've ever seen (I'm looking at you, Outlaw Star... and more...), but Cowboy Bebop nails it:

Jet, Spike, Faye, Ed, and Ein
It has an awesome, focused cast, a stellar art style, an amazing setting, and interesting story arcs.

It does have a bit of comedic relief, usually brought on by Spike or Ed, but it absolutely has a darker, grittier feel than other shows from the get-go. From the degradation of the human race to the sad stories the bounty hunters encounter, there is a palpable feeling of despair, mixed with a little hope, throughout this beautiful anime.

The best episodes are ones that let us get to know the hunters better and their pasts are explored. Spike's is long running, confusing at the beginning, and makes up the major overarching story for the show's 26 episodes. It's not all consuming, but it is the thread that keeps popping out.

Faye's story is also very interesting and also very sad. There aren't a lot of happy endings in the series, and the main cast certainly isn't excluded from this. I appreciate that Faye becomes more than eye candy, even if she is used as such most of the time.

It's hard for me to choose a favorite character; the cast is very diverse and each is interesting, even the damn dog. If I really had to choose, I think I'd go with Spike, which is probably siding with the majority. Fortunately, I'm not a hipster and don't mind a little crowd-following (you know, putting Cowboy Bebop in my top 3....).

If I had one complaint for the show, other than the length, it would be that it can be too dark and never really brightens up; the end of the series is ambiguous at best, though I tend to feel it ended unhappily.

Even so, this is because I came to care about the characters after watching the 26 episodes (too short!) that make up this absolute masterpiece. I love the characters and would like to see more of them. Here's hoping there's a sequel somewhere in the future

A final note that sets this anime apart but normally doesn't factor in my equation is the sound track. It is diverse and beautiful and sad, just like the cast and show in general. I've never found an anime with a more fitting sound, though I admit my ears are uncultured when it comes to music.

The movie, for those that are wondering, is fairly decent. I'd say par the course with the show; it's just a longer episode.

This is a bit on the shorter side, and I'm sure I could say more, but I think I'll eventually do a series review and want to save room for that.

Come back tonight to find out my favorite anime of all time. If you have any guesses, leave 'em in the comment section!

Additionally, the trip to the comic shop means I picked up my Pull List! So, starting with Monday's Extra! Extra!, I'll begin my Pull List Review!

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