WCAA 09: Cowboy Bebop

Join the crew as they babble about Bebop! Topics include general discussion about the space western genre, the creative process, and Cowboy Bebop’s ineffable formula of success.

About the author

J. G. Lobo

Majoring in film studies and minoring in fields related to communicative studies and English literature, J. G. Lobo graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska. In addition to his other filmic endeavors and academic ambitions, he has since begun viewing anime through various cinematographic and scholarly lenses while inviting others to do the same.


  • Hey Mr.Lobo!

    I’ve been following your anime reviews for some time, and recently after finishing a series I’d really want to reccomend it to you–the name is Black Lagoon and to me it’s basically the anime that comes closest to Cowboy Bebop. (You might’ve heard about this already? But I don’t think you guys have done a podcast review on it)

    I don’t think the anime was intentionally trying to copy Cowboy Bebop (Black Lagoon’s a manga adaptation), but it comes strikingly close to the CB formula. You got four bounty hunters on a ship, except this time it’s not the future space but the good ol’ 1990s. The anime focuses on the team’s adventure (if I can call it that) in the corrupt Thai city of Roanapur and the political mess that is Southeast Asia. Like CB, BL for a Japanese anime’s surprisingly western, paying homages to 80s Hollywood and Hong Kong over-the-top action movies, with Hong Kong Triads, Russian ex-military, Columbian cartels, Italian mafia, American spec-ops and mercenaries/criminals from all over the world mixed together in one bog powder keg.

    And also just like CW, BL has some of the best character interactions and developments I’ve ever seen in an anime. And just like CW most side characters are just as interesting and brilliantly-designed as the main cast. And even more like CW beneath its badass fights and top-notch animations there’re some pretty deep (but dark and sinister and nihilistic) themes explored as the story develop.

    Basically Black Lagoon is Cowboy Bebop with historical accuracy increased 100%, violent actions and vulgar language tuned up 500%, and general female badassry exploded 1000%. I normally just silently sit in the back listening to you guys but this time after watching Black Lagoon I’d really like to hear you and your awesome crew doing a podcast review on it.

    PS: The series’ first few arcs might be a bit drab at times, but trust me things get better later on and almost reach CW-style legendary greatness in the second season and OVAs

    PPS: Oh and if you are interested, please watch the English dub. Another similarity between BL and CW is that they both have superb English dubs even outshining the original Japanese.

    • Howdy, Jesse!

      Thanks for commenting (and sorry I took so long to see it): I have indeed seen Black Lagoon, but you’re right we haven’t done a podcast on it yet! Sadly, I don’t think I’ve even published any articles about it either…I think I mentioned in the music special episode “The World of Midnight” and how, to this day, it’s soul-crushingly depressing to hear it.

      You’re also right about it being savagely nihilistic at times, and the fact that, like good ol’ Bebop, it boasts an incredibly impressive English dub. Whenever someone asks me for an example of good English dubs, BL is always at the top of my list.

      Unfortunately, not many members of my own crew have experienced Black Lagoon, and I’d rather not rush anyone into it: it merits a dedicated viewing experience. But I’d like to introduce more people to it, and now that I know someone out there would appreciate the effort, I’ll definitely put it on our list for the podcast (hopefully right after another few episodes we have in mind).

      Thanks for taking the time to reach out to us! It means a lot. Enjoy the casts!

      – J. Lobo

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