What I Did This Summer: “Misfits in Space” Edition

No matter how many times the idea is rehashed, I don’t think I’ll ever turn down a story involving a ragtag group of nobodies. Make the setting space and you’ve just covered a genre of anime I’ve barely even cracked. The concept of a group of characters having absolutely nothing in common yet find themselves joining up due to some random circumstance or another just never gets old and pitting that element into some kind of futuristic environment can only lead to something of interest.

I initially wanted to hit up Outlaw Star and Eureka Seven (yeah, more of a drama, I know) but with the endless amount of time that is summer even having its time restraints, I was only able to take a look at one of the more well known in America ragtag space anime out there: Cowboy Bebop.

Listening to the anime’s opening song is enough to get anyone into the series and actually makes me wonder why more songs don’t utilize the epicness that is the trumpet. Like most anime hits of the nineties geared to an older audience, Bebop made its presence known in the states mainly thanks to Cartoon Network’s [adult swim] late night block. For the uninitiated, imagine Star War’s Bobba Fett. For some reason being a bounty hunter (who isn’t named after a canine of any sort, at least) automatically gives you bad-assery points. If you’re a bounty hunter in space, you might as well throw your coolness meter out the window, ‘cuz chances are you probably broke it along with the hearts of ladies everywhere and threw in walking away from an explosion without looking at it just for good measure. Anyways, imagine if Bobba Fett brought along a boombox armed with a mix-tape of only the best tracks to fight to, and you’ve basically got the beautifully orchestrated Cowboy Bebop in a nutshell.

What I’m sure brought most American fans to the series (besides anything stated in the above paragraph, anyways) is its style of storytelling. It had all the elements of your standard anime, but for the most part consisted of self-contained episodes, with only a handful of episodes relying on an overarching plot. While there may be some new characters added between some episodes, for the most part the series was very episodic, usually about the hilarious antics the crew on the spacecraft “Bebop” (whodathunkit?) go through while hunting their criminal of the week.

However, I blame this same formatting of episodes as to why I’m only halfway through the series as of right now. As interesting as the series is, the episodic format gives a bit too much breathing room for the viewer to lose interest between episodes since well… the episodes don’t rely on each other. Such is the fate of most American shows as well, making for awkward marathoning material in general. Still, while I can definitely see the appeal of “bounty hunters in space” it’ll just take me a bit longer to actually finish it all, is all.

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About daemoncorps
Gabe (daemoncorps) has been writing about anime and the like since 2005, but has been babysat by it for much longer. He primarily spends his days distracting himself on twitter or writing for Fandom Post until he realizes he has a weekly webcomic (tapastic.com/series/scramblebouquet) to work on. He also just finished writing his first full-length graphic novel about unemployment (https://tapastic.com/episode/293804).

One Response to What I Did This Summer: “Misfits in Space” Edition

  1. This is one of my favourite animes of all time. I understand your issue with the episodes, my friend actually gave up after the first disk because only the last episode on that disk had background info on Spike and he wasn’t happy with the self-contained episodes.

    That said, the second half of the series is even better than the first, in that most of the episodes either give you character backstory or carry on the plot with Spike and Vicious. Minus Mushroom Samba, the one about money being stolen at gates and the one with the blonde cowboy, the episodes all give character background info.

    So you’ll probably find that you’ll end up watching quite a few end-on-end in the second half, thanks to cliffhangers and getting to know the characters.

    On a side note, being a fanatic I’d give this series a 10/10. ^^ And warn you that ‘you’re gonna carry that weight’. lol

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