Spoilers below – be warned.
There is a show that gives you all of the following cliches:
A planet with oceans of sand that are navigable by ships.
A brooding Action Girl swordswoman bent on revenge (but the opening animation shows her looking surprisingly kind, so that she doesn’t scare off the six-year-old female audience segment).
An export-character version of Reepicheep.
A suave, debonair, civilized Bad Guy (with Japanese death god hair and eye colors) followed by a hot-tempered female sidekick.
Surprisingly unsophisticated and clean capture by naive captors, who might have been plagiarized directly from Edgar Rice Burroughs.
You have seen these cliches before, many times.
But perhaps some day you’ll be baby-sitting a six-year-old who isn’t supposed to watch hardcore, bloody violence, and you’ll need a kids’ show that adults can watch without going stir crazy. And that show is Sands of Destruction.
seems like a decent essay, but I don’t know what a “starling gem” might be.
Cowboy Bebop, the starling gem of anime in the west, claims to be a “new genre itself.” A bold statement to be sure, but one that proves to be true. Bebop is an eclectic mix of music and film styles, effectively used in the show’s various vignette and plot episodes that make up the series. But throughout the show, elements of film noir are present in Bebop’s overarching plot that connects these vignettes together. Bebop is full of noir traits such as the theme of fate, the motifs of rain, fortunetellers, tight framing, narrative tropes, voice over narration, psychological exploration, and jazz music. This does not characterize the entire series as a film noir, as the majority of the film noir influences only dominate a handful of episodes. But it is the addition of these film noir elements that makes Cowboy Bebop such a filmic and fulfilling experience.