Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cowboy Bebop Session #16: Black Dog Serenade

You've heard of the Johnny Cash song A Boy Named Sue. This would be A Girl Named Ed.

A prison population breaks free and guards lay dead around their feet in pools of blood as we now make our way aboard Cowboy Bebop, Session #16, Black Dog Serenade.
The prison ship is now run by inmates. Yes, the inmates are running the ship asylum. One of the deadliest of these death row shipmates is a former Syndicate operative.
Jet meets with an old friend, Fad, about the riot aboard the prison transport vessel. Udai is on the ship. The bad guys commandeered the ship during an electrical outage. ISSP is looking for them. We get a bit more back story on Jet as a former police officer. I suspect Udai has something to do with Jet's missing human arm.
Jet flashes back to that fateful night when he went up against Udai. It was a setup and he lost his arm. You see, I saw that coming.

The prison ship is shaped like a machine gun. Ed is a weirdo, looney tune as always. Ein looks on in his usual fascination. Jet and his old police buddy are on the hunt for a little piece of Udai.

Udai reaches out to the Syndicate for a new ship, but they severed ties with him long ago.
Jet gets aboard his space vessel and battles it out against the prison scum. He boards their ship and goes it solo. The prisoners are impressed with his complete set of massive balls. Jet goes mano a mano with Udai. Udai tells Jet it was a setup that night long ago. Only, Jet's partner, Fad, was working for the Syndicate and Jet was lured to the slaughter by his partner.
In the end, Fad kills Udai and Jet wants to know about his old partner's betrayal of him. He aims the gun on Jet and he is shot in the leg. Jet fires and kills his old friend.

As I sit to ponder the episode I find myself essentially displaying a shrug of the shoulders and thinking 'eh.' I feel a little guilty that I'm not fully appreciating this anime series that is considered an absolute classic. There are alot of reasons for my lack of appreciation, but it just isn't sitting with me or leaving any kind of indelible mark. I will say that I'm always impressed with the animation and the craftsmanship in that arena which always pushes my marks up on the series. Ten to go.
Black Dog Serenade: B-


Anonymous said...

Did you catch that Fad only put a single bullet in his gun, which he used to kill Udai? Thus he was aiming a gun at Jet that had no bullets... essentially committing suicide.

It took me to the third or fourth watch through to catch that.

I'm sorry you're not liking this series much. I think it's beauty incarnate.

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

WOW! I did not catch that. Thanks for mentioning it. But why?

I know. I have friends that love this series. I wish I could say I was a big fan of it, but that isn't happening for me. I can see why people could love it though.

Anonymous said...

Well, the whys are things you gotta answer on your own. Bebop's got a whole big other thing going on beneath the surface.

Speaking of which, isn't it all but confirmed that Bebop was the inspiration for Firefly? I know that any time I heard Firefly mentioned it was described as "a live action Bebop"

The Sci-Fi Fanatic said...

I have never read that, but then again I have not read much about Bebop. You are absolutely right.

I did mention the similiarities to Cowboy Bebop in my Firefly reviews I believe. So it's funny you mention that. I think the influence of Cowboy Bebop, while I'm not the greatest fan of it, is absolutely undeniable on Firefly. I think there are alot of moments I think of Cowboy Bebop when I watch the crew of the Firefly in action. So I wouldn't argue against that one iota.

I did read the book Finding Serenity and Serenity Found and there wasn't any analysis in their comparing it to Cowboy Bebop, but someone should do up an essay comparing the two.

It's a great point.