Cowboy Bebop, Hulu, and Space Noir

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deactivated-5e6e407163fd7

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So the anime Cowboy Bebop was just added to Hulu. I have wanted to watch this show for a long while now, like since seeing snippets of it on a 60 minutes I watched with my parents, around the time the movie was being released. The show looked like it had styyyyllllllllleee. Turns out it has a shit load of styyyyllllleee.

I ended up binge watching the whole season in a couple days when I wasn't feeling to well. And I loved it. The soundtrack, cinematography, the character set ups and their pay offs, the world they built; top to bottom a really great show. I ended up downloading the movie and all the soundtracks as well.

I don't watch a lot of anime anymore, but this show has me wanting more. I just get the impression that this one is pretty unique in it's style and western influences, and it may be hard to find another anime that scratches the space noir itch it gave me. Does anyone know of any show (anime or other) that may scratch this itch?

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Humanity

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#2  Edited By Humanity

You might find other good or even great shows, but there is nothing out there remotely like Cowboy Bebop. It is wholly unique.

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mikey87144

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Outlaw Star is the closest to that show that I can think of in terms of the space cowboy part but it doesn't have the Noir or style of Cowboy Bebop. Samurai Champloo was made by the same creator, (it's on Netflix), and the music is really great in that show plus it does have a really nice style to it to. That being said I can't think of another show that I would call the next Bebop. You see elements of it here and there but nothing that you can say has the same vibe. It's widely considered one of the best anime's of all time so... It's not like shows of that quality grow on trees.

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erhard

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It's not space noir, but Samurai Champloo is made by the same people and will probably scratch the itch just as well. Stylistically it's an amalgamation of hip hop culture and 18th century Japan. Less self-serious but just as good, in its own way.

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deactivated-5a46aa62043d1

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Bebop is in a class of its own, but you might want to check out more of Shinchiro Watanabe's work. A lot of it is similarly eclectic.

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Humanity

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#6  Edited By Humanity

@erhard: As a huge fan of Bebop I was very disappointed by Samurai Champloo on many levels. The animation was good, but thats about the only thing I really enjoyed about it. Neither the characters nor the plot really stays with you like Bebop.

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xanadu

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#7  Edited By xanadu

As other people have said definitely check out Samurai Champloo also directed by Wantanbe. Also anther excellent series from Wantanbe is called Kids On the Slope. Its about a group of high school kids and their growing pasion for Jazz. The animation is fantastic and the story is just plain good.

Of course, to me no anime has ever come close to Bebop (my avatar is a good representation of that). It really stands outside of the anime genre and ranks up there with just one of the best pieces of media content you can watch. Now I really want to rush home and throw in my Bebop Perfect Sessions Box-set DVD's.

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GunstarRed

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#8  Edited By GunstarRed

There's nothing quite like it. There is the movie if you haven't seen that. It's pretty much an extended episode of the show with a Vicious stand-in, but has some phenomenal fight scene animation. Outlaw Star is mentioned above but it's kinda terrible. There are shows that had elements of Bebop though, things like Trigun or Gun X Sword for instance, but Bebop is as good as anime gets.

I've not seen very much of Space Dandy or Terror in Resonance, but neither have the same impact as Bebop (same director) Samurai Champloo is your best bet despite not being sci-fi it's also dripping with styllllllleeeee.

Macross Plus is pretty rad also.

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MeMonk

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#9  Edited By MeMonk

I would recommend Baccano it is not as good as Bebop but it does have style.

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Also while not an anime Firefly has a lot of Cowboy Bebop in it.

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I_Stay_Puft

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#10  Edited By I_Stay_Puft

I thought Michiko No Hatchin was pretty good. I think Watanabe did some storyboarding for a couple of episodes and had a hand with the music for the series.

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GunstarRed

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@i_stay_puft: Yeah it was. That show definitely had style. It was inconsistent, but pretty mature and unlike the bulk of most anime.

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LocoRocker

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I can recommend Black Lagoon. It's pretty much Cowboy Bebop on a boat

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Hurvilo

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Both Samurai Champloo and Michiko to Hatchin are better than Bebop in my book, but you could also watch Space Dandy and perhaps maybe Planetes for other episodic science fiction shows. I also felt that Shingeki no Bahamut tried to be like Champloo in a lot of ways, but personally I didn't love it.

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terach

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If you're itching for more space adventure, I would recommend Space Dandy (also by Shinichiro Watanabe). It is more light hearted and doesn't take itself as seriously, but it has its share of emotional moments. It isn't afraid to experiment either and it throws something completely different at you each episode. The first few eps are a slog for some people, but I'm glad I stuck with it because it always surprises me. The soundtrack is also killer.

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Zeik

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Oh cool, they finally added the rest of the English dub of Cowboy Beebop. I noticed it on there awhile back and was going to rewatch it, but for whatever reason they only had up to the 3rd episode of the dub and the rest was the sub, so I said fuck that noise.

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deactivated-5e6e407163fd7

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@xanadu: Ya Samurai Chamaploo was already on my radar after looking into what else the creators of Bebop have done. Bebop kind of just hit the nail on the head for me in terms of atmosphere and themes, and I'm starting to doubt I'm going to find anything as good as it now. It seems most people have been recommending series, any thoughts on anime films that might come close to this? I already have the Bebop film and plan on watching it soon.

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Kidavenger

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@humanity said:

You might find other good or even great shows, but there is nothing out there remotely like Cowboy Bebop. It is wholly unique.

Nailed it

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Ford_Dent

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I can recommend Black Lagoon. It's pretty much Cowboy Bebop on a boat

This dude is a liar, but Black Lagoon is pretty fucking hilarious in the over-the-top way that balls-out action films are fucking hilarious. Lots of swearing and explosions and people ramping boats off of things and into other things or whatever. Plus it has the strange sort of established criminal community with its own weird rules like you see in John Wick, which is pretty engaging all on its own. The characters aren't nearly as strong as you'll find in Bebop, but they have occasional strong moments.

Also I seriously recommend Samurai Champloo. Top to bottom it is actually better than Cowboy Bebop (and let me be clear: I fucking loved Cowboy Bebop. I also highly suggest you track down the movie if you haven't already--it's real good and a great standalone story that captures damn near everything good about the show in like 90 minutes (or less, I don't remember how long it is)) in terms of having a core narrative and showcasing its cast of characters every episode, and (most importantly) the whole enterprise oozes style. The soundtrack alone makes it a must-watch, but add to that the vivid color palate and gorgeous animation and you've got a goddamn masterpiece.

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deactivated-5e6e407163fd7

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@ford_dent: Ya, I have the movie downloaded on my computer, along with all the soundtracks. Samurai Champloo is also on my radar and it will be my next series to watch. I don't know a lot about anime, so maybe you could answer a question: why did they only make one season of Bebop? From the little research I've done on it, it was a critical success in Japan and the US. Is it common for series to only run a season in Japan?

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Humanity

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You people saying Samurai Champloo is better than Cowboy Bebop have been celebrating 4/20 a little too hard today. I hate to talk poorly of a fairly decent show but it has less likeable characters and a paper thin plot that ultimately fizzles out near the end and doesn't offer nearly as much satisfaction as you'd expect after being led by the sunflower scented trail all this time. There are some great fight scenes especially involving Mugen thanks to his unique breakdance sword technique, and some good humor with Jin serving as the stone faced foil for Mugens devil may care bravado. That said there are honestly some singular Bebop episodes that have more feeling and character than the entirety of Champloo put together.

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RVonE

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@humanity said:

You people saying Samurai Champloo is better than Cowboy Bebop have been celebrating 4/20 a little too hard today. I hate to talk poorly of a fairly decent show but it has less likeable characters and a paper thin plot that ultimately fizzles out near the end and doesn't offer nearly as much satisfaction as you'd expect after being led by the sunflower scented trail all this time. There are some great fight scenes especially involving Mugen thanks to his unique breakdance sword technique, and some good humor with Jin serving as the stone faced foil for Mugens devil may care bravado. That said there are honestly some singular Bebop episodes that have more feeling and character than the entirety of Champloo put together.

I agree. I thoroughly enjoyed Samurai Champloo, but it pales in comparison to Cowboy Bebop.

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reverendk

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#22  Edited By reverendk

@johnnyhalo666 said:

So the anime Cowboy Bebop was just added to Hulu. I have wanted to watch this show for a long while now, like since seeing snippets of it on a 60 minutes I watched with my parents, around the time the movie was being released. The show looked like it had styyyyllllllllleee. Turns out it has a shit load of styyyyllllleee.

I ended up binge watching the whole season in a couple days when I wasn't feeling to well. And I loved it. The soundtrack, cinematography, the character set ups and their pay offs, the world they built; top to bottom a really great show. I ended up downloading the movie and all the soundtracks as well.

Some people might argue that Michiko to Hatchin hits most of those points. Am I some people?

I'm not really sure.

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Big O has style. Maybe not styyyyyyylllllleeeeee, but styyyllleee.

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The fun part of Outlaw Star is picking out which scenes got lifted for Firefly.

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Of course you've never heard of Outlaw Star Mr. Whedon. Everything you do is original and unique and perfect.

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The newest Lupin the Third reboot/season or whatever has got a bit of stttyyyyyllllleee here and there.

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jiggajoe14

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I would say watch The Big O if you can.

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Ford_Dent

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@johnnyhalo666: From what I understand about the way things work in Japan, very few series become long-running 100-episode monsters. Most of the time there's a planned beginning, middle, and end to each series, and when it's over, it's over. I kind of like it that way, to be honest, because it makes the barrier to entry for a series a lot lower. You'd have to ask someone with more knowledge as to why that's the case, but there you are. The shows that go on forever are usually tied to a manga series that hasn't ended yet (see: Naruto, One Piece, Dragonball, etc.).

I'd completely forgotten about The Big O, but it does have a shitload of styyyyle. It gets a little weird EVERYONE IS TOMATOES at the end there, but it all (mostly) shakes out by then. I think. I don't remember it too well.

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Lime_Slime

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I'll just echo everyone here and say you'll never find anything else like Bebop. I was in high school when I watched it on Adult Swim and I would stay up late and then suffer through sleep deprivation the next day just to see it. I loved it so much I was telling my friends I loved anime and, just like you, started looking for other shows that were similar--I never found them. Turns out I didn't like anime--I just liked some things that happen to be anime.

Speaking of space/future noir have you ever seen Blade Runner?

If not, watch the final cut of the film and have your itch scratched, sir.

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citizencoffeecake

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Bebop is in a league of it's own but Trigun is definitely space western and Outlaw Star has that space bounty hunter thing as well.

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Sinusoidal

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You've reached the end of anime. Bebop has yet to be bested, or even well-imitated. That was 1998 and anime's been on a downhill slide ever since.

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veektarius

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@humanity said:

You might find other good or even great shows, but there is nothing out there remotely like Cowboy Bebop. It is wholly unique.

That's my opinion, too. There were years of my life when I stopped watching anime because when I tried, I held up each one to Cowboy Bebop and upon finishing an episode said, "No, this is not it." I got over it, but only barely.

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StarFoxA

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#29  Edited By StarFoxA

I'm glad to see everyone in this thread has the right opinion about Cowboy Bebop.

I recommend checking out the movie if you haven't already.

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mikey87144

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You've reached the end of anime. Bebop has yet to be bested, or even well-imitated. That was 1998 and anime's been on a downhill slide ever since.

No. Comparing it to American TV I'd say Bebop is pretty close in quality to the HBO drama The Wire. Other shows may have approached it but nothing has really topped it. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy other shows for what they are.

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ripelivejam

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Besides grave of the fireflies, i don't think anything in anime's given me quite the gut punch like the bebop ep with faye and the videotape.

Yeah i should try space dandy sometime, and baccano since evryone talks about it. Also love attack on titan's basic concept but man i wish it were implemented better and not so hyper-dramatic.

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reverendk

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You've reached the end of anime. Bebop has yet to be bested, or even well-imitated. That was 1998 and anime's been on a downhill slide ever since.

I don't know what you're talking about, Paranoia Agent came out in 2004. It seems like these days it's folded back in on itself in regards to hyper violence and straight otaku-ing, but like the rest of the world, Japan just can't get enough of the 80s.

Also the two anthologies Neo Tokyo and Memories. Construction Cancellation and Magnetic Rose are both pretty good sci-fi shorts. They don't have styyyyyyyllllllle but they're both very good.

We'll know anime has begun it's true downhill slide when they remake Genocyber. Pour one out for all those poor anime kids.

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FunkyHugo

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Yep, I watched Bebop for the first time last year with the release of the blu-ray. Absolutely loved it, and it definitely made me more interested in trying out more anime (especially from the creator of the show). I can't say I loved the movie, though. Enjoyed it, but it just felt lacking in character development. Which is saying something when a single episode had better action and characters.

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Ry_Ry

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Cowboy Bebop is truly a visual and auditory treat. I dare anyone to watch it and not become a fan.

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Sinusoidal

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@reverendk: I'll give you Paranoia Agent is pretty great, Satoshi Kon in general is pretty great, but it's still no Bebop.

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Makayu

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#36  Edited By Makayu

@johnnyhalo666: The show, "Darker than Black," is in many ways similar to bebop. Now the style is different, distinctly so: but the characters, the noir feel, and the future setting all evoke the same basic feeling. I'd recommend looking onto it if you haven't.

Edit: Also the first season of Psycho-Pass, it's more of a cyber-punk noir setting but, and given I've not seen the second season, its got that character payoff that bebop has, distinct arcs that the viewer can connect with, and its sliced up nicely into nicely paced episodes like bebop is.

Here is the second opening.

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caska

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Just as an aside Cowboy Bebop's probably got the best dubbing track I've ever come across, usually I can't stand dubs.

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tehbull

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I had a very easy time as a non-anime fan transitioning from Bebop to Trigun. That's all.

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Rejizzle

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I saw Cowboy Bebop years ago and have been chasing that high ever since. Nothing quite does it, but in addition to all the other recommendations in this thread I will recommend an anime called FLCL aka Fooly Cooly. Thematically and tonally it is nothing like Cowboy Bebop whatsoever, but it's got tons of styyyyyyle and a great rock sound track.

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Justin258

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#40  Edited By Justin258

@memonk said:

I would recommend Baccano it is not as good as Bebop but it does have style.

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Also while not an anime Firefly has a lot of Cowboy Bebop in it.

Baccano isn't like Cowboy Bebop at all, except for the jazzy soundtrack, but it is chock full of style and it is pretty unique. I can't recommend any anime above Baccano, it's just so damn good.

I recently bought the Blu-Ray release of Cowboy Bebop. I've seen an episode here and there over the years but I haven't seen the series in full since sometime in 2011, when I was first getting into anime. I'm still watching that and it's still pretty great.

Samurai Champloo is a good show, too, but I didn't like it anywhere near as much as Cowboy Bebop. It doesn't seem as well written as Bebop was. This may be a translation thing, but an unremarkable bad guy says "why I oughta...!" to one of the protagonists, a line that always makes me roll my eyes and never bodes well for the rest of the show.

I'm still disappointed that Outlaw Star had an absolutely fantastic setup... and then proceeded to be about a bunch of annoying people who keep trying to make money. Structurally and conceptually, there are a fair number of things in common with Cowboy Bebop but it's kinda meh.

Trigun might be your best bet. It started airing on Adult Swim not long after Cowboy Bebop did and was something of a hit in its own right. It also seems like an energetic, fun little show at first but there's a pretty dark story that slowly takes over.

In any case, the people who are saying that Cowboy Bebop is one of a kind are right - it is its own thing. Everything that Shinichiro Watanabe has made seems to be "its own thing", really.

EDIT: Also, someone mentioned Psycho-Pass earlier. That show is pretty fucking great, too.

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xanadu

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@caska: Hellsing is probably the 2nd best but agree that most English dubs are complete trash. They just can never equate to the emotion from the original Japanese voice acting.

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deactivated-640902c98a1cd

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Space Dandy takes place in the same universe if that helps.

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deactivated-5e6e407163fd7

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@rejizzle: Damn, somewhere in the middle of watching Bebop I knew, I too, would be chasing after this high and most likely never finding it.

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jimipeppr

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#44  Edited By jimipeppr

Firefly is definitely worth watching. It has the whole space western thing going for it.

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456nto

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I had about 2 years where I could stomach watching anime and ever since I watched Legend of the Galactic Heroes, I haven't been able to sit through any anime series for more than 3 episodes. If you don't know what it is, it was a show that aired from the late 80s to the late 90s and dealt with a lot of mature themes that anime usually never deals with (democracies and dictatorships, nuclear war, religion, infertility, philosophy, child abuse, suicide). Just over 100 episodes that were consistently on point - great character development, great unpredictability (they were not scared to kill major characters and there were multiple significant plot twists) and it was actually insightful and informative to the point of being educational in some cases. Having 110 episodes to watch definitely put me off to start with but I found myself appreciating it because you actually become invested in the characters, something that rarely happens in 25-episode long shows as is standard with anime.

So if you want to completely ruin yourself on all anime forever, give it a look. If anything it'll convince you that the anime industry could be so much more than it is right now.

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jiggajoe14

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@456nto: Yeah LOTGH is pretty much the most perfectest show ever.

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deactivated-5c295850623f7

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Don't waste your time with champloo, it's very mediocre and looks even worse if you compare it to cowboy bebop.

Basically what everyone has already said, bebop has no compare, it's in a field all to itself. I'd suggest just picking something you think looks interesting and try it out.

Oh but totally seconding the flcl suggestion. Dissimilar to bebop in theme and tone but similar in that it kind of sits by itself as the pinnacle of a particular style of storytelling.

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DocHaus

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@stereodant: *pushes up nerd glasses*

Actually considering there were no aliens of that sort in the Bebop universe, Space Dandy was more like a parallel universe where the only consistency was Wuloongs as currency and Shinichiro Watanabe having a hand in both shows.

OT: As one of the resident Anime Duders, I also have to agree that you probably won't be able to find exactly what you're looking for. I can give you anime with space-Western themes, space bounty hunters, or a cool jazzy soundtrack, but Cowboy Bebop was pretty damned unique.

We've also got the Anime Megathread in the forums, so stop on by if you haven't already.

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recroulette

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#49  Edited By recroulette

I see people mentioning FLCL and I'll second that it's not even close to Bebop but has an amazing style and soundtrack.

Also mentioned above, Big O and The Woman Called Fujiko Mine have a similar feeling to Bebop, both are pretty out there as well.

If you wanted to try a space western, I liked Trigun a lot.

@dochaus What about the fridge Doc!

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Ezekiel

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@456nto: Yeah, Legend of the Galactic Heroes contributed to my loss of interest in anime. Pretty much the only new anime I enjoy now are Ghibli movies. I'm kind of sad Miyazaki recently retired and Takahata has probably made his last feature. Still, I hope the studio reopens in the not too distant future.