Cowboy Bebop is closer to a Hong Kong action movie than it is to Lupin

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It’s commonly heard that Cowboy Bebop is a postmodern version of Lupin.

But Lupin is pretty darn whimsical and light-hearted; people don’t get crippled. Jet Black, on the other hand, gets maimed before he even meets the other characters of Cowboy Bebop.

Cowboy Bebop is set in a world dominated by Chinese culture. Money is counted in wulongs, not francs. Spike and Jet and Faye are motivated by gritty, street-level poverty; Lupin is motivated by professional pride. Spike and Jet and Faye have basic, mass-produced weapons; Lupin’s custom-built techno-magical gadgets would put Q (from the James Bond movies) to shame.

And, of course, Cowboy Bebop‘s action sequences resemble live-action cinema more than they resemble Lupin‘s animation.
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