Spike Spiegel, not afraid to Take the Shot
The man with a past - and no future
No sailors here, but plenty of ships!
Cowboy Bebop To Air On Cartoon Network's 'Adult Swim'

As we mentioned on our tickertape, The Cartoon Network will be starting a programming block called "Adult Swim" which will be targeted at the adult age group. This was hardly interesting at first, as it would not have any Anime programming; however, that policy seems to have changed.

According to a Press Release posted on Anime News Service, Cowboy Bebop will be airing in the 12:00 Midnight slot of "Adult Swim" starting Sunday, September 2. (The "Adult Swim" block will air Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights. These times are as close to the weekend as you can get without children staying up late.)

Faye Valentine, out of gas and (more importantly) out of tasty food
The woman with a future - and no past
This may seem unremarkable at first -- just another Anime series coming to television -- but in reality it could be a significant breakthrough in the way Anime is presented in North America. To the best of our knowledge it's the first time an American television network has so plainly presented an Anime as being "for adults." Other networks continue to cling to the notion that only kids will watch an animated series; even Toonami's Midnight Run was aimed at older teens and still sported that cute-but-not-too-cute robotic mascot. Now, with Cowboy Bebop being scheduled in a block called "Adult Swim" on nights when kids are in bed, an unmistakable statement has been made that this Anime is "for adults." With any luck this trend will continue, opening the door for more series' that we never thought we'd see on TV.

Meanwhile, all "politics" aside, we still think Cowboy Bebop is a great show in and of itself. Even throughout the Anime fan community Cowboy Bebop is generally regarded as one of the crowning achievements of the Anime industry in the past several years. One of our members put it this way:

Going down...?
From episode 5,
"Ballad of Fallen Angels"

For anyone who hasn't seen Cowboy Bebop, I must give it the highest recommendation. It's probably the best-written series I've ever seen. For the most part, each episode is a different genre - horror, comedy, mystery, action, suspense thriller, even one with magic (Feng-Shui). Each one is excellently written, some making you cry and others making you laugh your head off and think "How did they get that to fit together so well?"

Meanwhile, the music is all by legendary Anime composer Yoko Kanno, and it really drives the series; she's really versatile, so one episode will have heavy metal while the next will have jazz depending entirely on the theme of the episode.

The overall storyline is about a team of four (five if you count the super-intelligent but thankfully mute dog) misfit bounty hunters who travel from planet to planet within the solar system trying to earn cash, and the episode-by-episode plot relates to each of their cases; however, each character has a lot of background. The main background plotline is about the main character's ties to his past in organized crime; about his friend-turned-nemesis, his lost love, and a life that keeps coming back to haunt him. Of course the other characters have long-running background plot, which is good but isn't focused on as much.

Oh yeah, and the series is generally themed like something from the Jazz movement in Harlem; there are lots of big black guys with afros, musicians, and occurrences of things like hallucinogenic mushrooms and a Coney Island like amusement park.

One way or another, this is a series you won't want to miss.

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