Written by: Ron Cotton on July 19th, 2004
Theatrical Release Date: Japan, 2001
Director: Shinichirô Watanabe
Writers: Marc Handler, Keiko Nobumoto, Hajime Yatate
Cast: Steven Blum , Kôichi Yamadera , Beau Billingslea
DVD Released: June 24th, 2003
Approximate Running Time: 115 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Release: Columbia / TriStar
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $26.95
Cowboy Bebop is Film Noir in the tradition of blockbusters like Blade Runner. While outlaws run rampant, “Cowboy’s” are the bounty hunters that keep them at bay. Spike is an aimless martial artist, Jet, ex-cop turned cowboy, and Faye, the seductive gambler team together with Edward, the computer hacker attempting to uncover the mystery of the terrorist attacks. This team isn’t the type to work together. Instead, Cowboy Bebop switches our focus from one lead to another. As more people are exposed for whom they are, the initial disaster balloons into genocide.
Scenes were very cinematic, panoramic viewpoints in the mini-mart akin to visuals from security cameras. These set pieces don’t rectify for the linear story, where most of the twists and turns are not-so-suspected. Compare this to the television series which is more ambitious and daring. Even the art style in Cowboy Bebop is stauncher than the TV series. Before even playing the movie, Cowboy Bebop is mentally compared to its predecessors: Akira, Princess Mononoke, Ghost in the Shell, et al. Cowboy Bebop: the Movie doesn’t have all the technical advancements of Ghost in the Shell, none of the mysticism that Akira or Princess Mononoke. However, it stands on its own rights, even with the flaws Cowboy triumphs in realism and true grit.
The transfer for this DVD is nearly flawless as the colors come alive and detail is sharpe in every frame. This release is truly a Special Edition, featurettes such as The Making of, Behind the Scenes, Art Galleries, Storyboards and Bios are all featured here.
No matter if you’re a Sub or Dub fan, Audio is offered in Japanese, English, and French along with Subtitles in English and French. Almost perfect, but lacked in two areas: the Non-Anime Trailers and no commentary track even though the ground work is present in the featurettes. Cowboy Bebop The Movie is given a first class DVD release for a sup par movie that pales in comparison to the T.V. series that came before it.