Another anime exploring the loneliness route, Cowboy Bebop explores the philosophy behind existentialism, past influences, and existential ennui. Developed by Sunrise in 1998, Cowboy Bebop became a huge hit. In 2001 it was the first anime on Adult Swim and has ran almost consecutively throughout the years.
History of the Making
TV Tokyo ran the series from April 3 to June 26 of 1998. At that time they only plate twelve episodes and one special. This was due to the fact that Cowboy Bebop had many controversial adult themes. WOWOW was TV station brave enough to air every episode from October 24 1998 to April 23 1999. Later two separate manga adaptions were released in the magazine Kadokawa Shoten Asuka Fantasy DX. A film was also released worldwide not to long after.
Cowboy Bebop became a success (critically and commercially) in Japan. More so in the USA. Throughout the years, it has received several major sci-fi and anime awards. It is considered a Masterpiece due to the plot, characters, and music by many critics when it was brought over to the USA. It is considered a ‘gateway’ anime. It is easy to connect with due to all the modern elements.
Unlike most sci-fi/space genres, Cowboy Bebop has no aliens, robots, or space guns. Instead it has a more realistic and possible future. Due to it being in the future most references and signs are in English. A heavy influence of Kung Fu is within the anime, mainly due to Bruce Lee. There are also several posters of him within certain episodes.
Yoko Kanno: Behind the Music
A really notable elemental of Cowboy Bebop is the music. Yoko Kanno really knows how to draw the watcher in and capture the moment. The music is also heavily influenced by American music. From Mushroom Samba to Real Folks Blues to Heavy Metal Queen, no genre is left out, much like the anime. Consisting if mostly jazz and blues, Yoko Kanno composed the music and even assembled a band, The Seatbelts. In 2006, the Music of Cowboy Bebop was voted as the best anime OSTs by IGN.