Saturday, September 12, 2009

Cowboy Bebop Session #4: Gateway Shuffle

Faye Valentine: Is she not the hottest animated female ya ever did see?

Perhaps there's something about Cowboy Bebop that's a bit of the anti-anime. Sure, it's anime without a doubt, but stylistically and dramatically it's far more mature and sensible than some of the anime I've checked out over the years. I've seen Neon Genesis Evangelion [NGE] and Ghost In The Shell which rank among the best. Granted, I made an effort not too long ago to re-engage with NEG, but just wasn't feeling the same about it the second go round for some reason. Cowboy Bebop may be geared to an older audience, but it still has its juvenile moments and general silliness like any anime.

So Faye Valentine is drifting in space low on power, while Spike and Jet attempt another bounty conquest while prepping to enjoy some Lobster Stew. This is Cowboy Bebop, Session #4, Gateway Shuffle.
Things go awry when a woman and her posse brood blast everyone on the station to death. Dressed as Ganymede Sea Rats and referred to as Space Warriors they kill everyone in the name of the environment. The "eco-soldiers" prepare to leave when they are surprised by the only two survivors in Spike and Jet. These eco-radicals sound like some of the folks we see in operation today.
The woman's name is Twinkle Maria Murdoch and she's valued at 25 million dollars. She is held at gunpoint and taken away as her boys yell queer things like "mom" and "mother." I told you the series wasn't that mature. This is clearly a sick group or at least a dysfunctional family.
Unexpectedly Spike and Jet are surprised to learn the bounty is cancelled on Murdoch but why? Murdoch is clearly in cahoots with the Ganymede government. Even their terrorist-styled attack is buried from the news headlines and Spike and Jet are left scratching their heads to the ocassional snickering satisfaction of Murdoch.
These clowns really need to work on a more practical bad guy get up.
Meanwhile Fay has picked up some kind of vile amidst the debris in space from the hands of a dying man. It was intended for the ISSP. Faye hails for help and is rescued back into the loving arms, and handcuffs, of Spike and Jet.
Spike and Jet attempt to learn more about the vile. It is apparently a virus dubbed Monkey Business. It has the ability to selectively kill humans and leave other living organisms, uh well, leave them living. Spike shoots the case surrounding the vile. YIKES! Even Murdoch was concerned for a moment.
Patrol vehicles are well-designed in this entry and harken with some homage back to the splendid design work found in Mamoru Oshii's Patlabor [1988].
Once again, the game is on. The government cancels the bounty on Murdoch in the hopes of retrieving the virus. She is set free and off she goes to wreak havoc on Ganymede. The government reinstates the bounty when they learn she is free with the virus.

Spike heads out in the Swordfish to stop her from destroying Ganymede via her missile-guided virus cannisters. Faye joins the fun and the two exit hyperspace closing the wormhole and destroying the myriad of cannisters headed toward the helpless planet. Once again the trio comes up emptyhanded, despite preventing the decimation of an entire planet. Is there no justice? Perhaps, but even a good hot meal would be nice. In the end, revenge is sweet. Whilst no one was looking Spike dropped the vile into Murdoch's pocket. It bounces from her pocket and shatters within her ship killing everyone aboard and it's so long Space Warriors. Meanwhile, Spike, Jet and Faye live to tell another tale.

Handcuffs: Always a nice touch.
It looks like Faye's staying as she heads off to shower on the BeBop. And then, officially, there were four.

Gateway Shuffle: B
Spike Spiegel/ Jet Black/ Faye Valentine/ Ein

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