Friday, January 23, 2015

Okay. 3 2 1. Let's Jam!

The anime series, Cowboy Bebop, started in 1998, has one of the coolest openings of any show. Created by Sunrise Animation Studios, the entire show is drawn beautifully. Each character has their own little segment in the opening that is different colors. The quick flashes and strong colorful backdrops with black silhouettes complement the jazzy music and fun percussion. They created a band called The Seatbelts to play all the music created for the show. This jazzy music carries through in the visuals - the bright colors, swift camera movement, and strong editing - which support the exciting and free nature of the music.

On the website, Art of the Title, they discuss the art direction: The art direction for the title sequence of Cowboy Bebop is reminiscent of Seijun Suzuki’s Tokyo Drifter (a 1966 film made during the Japanese New Wave or Noberu Bagu) and also from the pop art movement. The primordial element, however, is the bebop jazz influence (hence the term’s inclusion in the show’s title and the labeling of the show’s episodes as “sessions”).

While I may have watched the opening too many times by itself, I have also seen the whole series. It has it all - amazing art and colors, well-developed characters, good writing, and fun original music. I know anime is not everybody's cup of tea, however, I believe those people would still enjoy Cowboy Bebop.

And if you're anything like me, it provides a great escape from reality and makes you fall in love with animated, fictional characters.

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