Okay, okay, so Space Dandy is not as impressive as Cowboy Bebop

“People are originally born free.
They were not born to be bound by anything.
But isn’t that contrary to a warriors duty ?”

“Freedom isn’t something that you earn through suffering, or by pushing yourself hard. Also your social status or job doesn’t matter.
You must accept yourself the way you are, and live your life according to the flow of things.
That is true freedom.”
Samurai Champloo


Many anime addicts start out as casual viewers and only get hooked on anime when they encounter some show that really changes their feelings.

For some people, that life-changing show is Neon Genesis Evangelion.

For me, it was Shinichiro Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop, with unforgettable music by Yoko Kanno.

I had seen a lot of anime shows – the 1995 version of Ghost in the Shell, for example, and I had regarded them as just another medium of sci-fi. I was already a big sci-fi nerd, so I didn’t need anime.

I had also seen some anime shows that didn’t fit my interests – Sailor Moon had girls in short skirts, but it was just another time-filler.

Cowboy Bebop, on the other hand, broadened my horizons. It inspired me so much that I was willing to follow the creators who made it (including Dai Sato as well as Watanabe) and watch their other works. I rooted for them. I cringed a little bit whenever I heard someone criticize Yoko Kanno for ripping off other people’s music.

Some of their works really failed to hook me. Wolf’s Rain was hyped up as the next Bebop, and when it failed to excite me after a few episodes, I dropped it. (In retrospect, I’ve wasted time on many less promising shows – Wolf’s Rain was probably a lot more watchable than some of the junk I’ve put into my viewing schedule.) Kids on the Slope was watchable, but it definitely did not inspire me.

Samurai Champloo was mostly a disappointment, but it did drop a little serious wisdom into my life – I quoted it at the top of this post – and I will always be thankful for that wisdom.

However, in recent years, Dai Sato and Shinichiro Watanabe gave me Ergo Proxy, so Cowboy Bebop wasn’t just a one-time fluke. These guys have serious talent and skill, they just don’t always bat a thousand.

I don’t expect Space Dandy to inspire me. I doubt that it will broaden my horizons, but I doubt that it will be so bad I will feel I’ve wasted the time.

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