The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Cowboy Bebop

Title: Cowboy Bebop.
Genre: Action/Comedy/Drama.
Format: 3 Volumes.
Mangaka: Yukata Nanten.

Synopsis: By 2071 the Earth is not the only planet where humanity lives. Through out the Solar System colonies and cities begin to develop and with them, crime and corruption. The ISSP (space police) cannot cope with it all and the Old West-style of the bounty hunter resurfaces in the new space era. Now meet Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed and Ein, a miss-matched group of bounty hunters living in their spaceship Bebop and their never-ending man-hunts through space, if they don’t get caught up first.

The Highlights

The Cowboy Bebop manga was made after the successful anime release, and all of its stories are completely original and different from its anime counterpart. That could be a good thing, but in this case it isn’t. This manga has very few redeeming qualities, the biggest one being that it’s short: only three volumes.

Each volume is divided in 2 to 5 short stories about a bounty-hunting job, much like the anime. However, the jobs here are boring and insipid, there’s no fun to them. Some try to pull an emotional string by dealing with an old friend or relative from one of the main characters but I could hardly care for them. The character interaction fails completely, and the jokes are not funny. Did I mention that the art is overall non-attractive? Spike, Jet and Ed look just like their anime versions, but Faye never has a definite design, her face seems to change from panel to panel and usually not for the best. The stand-alone characters can be divided in two groups: if they are males they will be ugly or attempting-to-look-handsome failures; if they are females they will be ugly or look like some Faye-design rejects. But they have something in common, none of them stand-out, they just merely fill their role and go. The same applies to the protagonists, they are mere shells from their anime counterparts.

The only decent thing this manga has for it are its action sequences. They are nothing impressive, but at least you know what’s happening, so they don’t fail as much as the rest of this manga. In the end, read this only if you’re a very devoted Cowboy Bebop fan (in which case you probably must have read it already), just remember that none of these stories contribute in revealing anything important from the characters’ past, the context in which the stories take place nor are they moderately fun. For the rest of the people thinking of checking the manga because you enjoyed the anime, stay far away… this one is just space debris.

The Rating: 5

Reviewed by: Rove

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