Anime Expo New York - Cowboy Bebop Movie Dub Premier
By Andrew Tei
August 31, 2002
Written by Andrew Tei (Reikun) and Mariela Ortiz (Sapphire)
Friday night's big event, and probably the biggest event for Big Apple Fest was the premiere of the English language version of the Cowboy Bebop Movie. The line for the movie began well before we arrive 2 hours before the movie was going to start. After waiting outside for quite a while, we were finally let in, only to wait in the freezing theater for an hour before Justin Sevakis of CPM began the show.
Justin quickly introduced Shinichiro Watanabe, the director, Toshihiro Kawamoto, the character design, and Yoko Kanno, the composer of the movie. Yoko Kanno was treated to the largest applause by the audience. After a few quick words of introduction from each person, we began the showing.
I won't comment very much about the movie content, but will just say a few word. Knocking on Heaven's Door was been completely removed from the title of the movie. It is just Cowboy Bebop the Movie. I found the dub voices to be quite fine, which is strange considering its the same cast that did the TV series which I didn't like. I only watched the early episodes dubbed so maybe they finally just got into their characters. The ending credits were still in Japanese.
After the movie, Justin came back out and brought the three for a Q&A session with the audience. This is a rough outline of the questions and answers. A more complete report will come after the con.
Justin: The city was modeled after New York, wasn't it?
Watanabe: It is my future vision of Mars, but yes it is very much influenced by New York City. I'm glad I was able to show my film here.
Justin: Can you tell all of us about how the concept for Bebop came about?
Watanabe: Many souls are packed into this, and they just wanted to make it.
Kawamoto: There was a lot of butting of heads, but the director's ideas were mostly used.
Kanno: Can you feel the cowboy sprits? I'm very proud of my company because they spent 2 years of their lives on this movie.
Audience: What methods do you employ in your directing and story telling? And who are your inspirations?
Watanabe: There is a secret technique, but I can't tell you. The method is called the Bruce Lee method (also his inspiration).
Audience: What are your favorite parts of the movie? (question to be revised later)
Kanno: I like Spike. English Spike is cool. Ein too.
Kawamoto: I have a Welsh Corgi, who influenced Ein. I have a lot of experience with Corgi's, so I put a lot of work into the movement of the dog. I wanted more scene with Ein, but the director doesn't like animals (audience laugh).
Watanabe: The three old men are key to the move, and one of my favorite scenes.
Audience: What is future of Bebop?
Watanabe: I don't know. Would I like to, sure if it made millions in America (audience laugh).
Audience: What do you think of the American dub as opposed to the Japanese version?
Watanabe: The American version if very well made this time. My English isn't that good, but I though it sounded very good.
The director of the English dub was in the audience, Mary Elizabeth, and made some comments on how the three raised the bar for animation.
Kawamoto: Originally I wasn't sure. I haven't listened to an English dub before, but I liked seeing how the lips matched. I'm also grateful that the American understand Bebop.
Justin: What do you think of Bebop's success in the US so far?
Watanabe: Was it really a hit, that's the first I've heard. It's great.
Kawamoto: I never thought it would be accepted all the was across the sea and I'm happy to be hear and see the love people have for the series.
Kanno: Cool people are universally renowned.
Audience: What is the working relationship between you?
Kawamoto: Everything the director says is law. what he wants gets done.
Watanabe: It's a daily struggle, but its pretty much forgotten at the end.
Kanno: Everything that is being said right now is a joke. They are very shy, and pretty much connected telepathically.
Kawamoto: That's why the drawings get all funny.
Justin: Do you get into any disagreements?
All: That's not really something we can discuss. *laugh*
Audience: To Kanno: what inspires you?
Kanno: I don't really know why I can do music, and it is not based on logic or reason. Its pretty much dissolving the self and starting out with a black slate and letting it come to you.
Justin: Will you ever go Hollywood?
Kanno: I'm not really that interested, *applause*
Question: What inspired you to create this movie that takes place in the middle of the series ?
Watanabe: Because there was an offer .
Kawamoto: There should be a better answer than that.
Watanabe: Even before the TV series, I thought that it was meant to be seen on the big screen, but to make a movie you need a lot of money, and they didn't at the time. But afterwards we could.
Question: When did you get together to decide to the series and the movie?
Watanabe: Just coincidence, but it couldn't have been done without these people, so it was probably fated.
Kawamoto: That was so long ago . . . though the producer the got the character designer, due to his work on a Gundam OVA series. Kanno was gotten due to her work on the Macross Plus soundtrack.
Kanno: I said it would never sell, so I had to do something to get it going, so I joined up.
Audience: Where did you get the idea for Ed? *much laughter*
Watanabe: Maybe you know, since the mother is near here.
Audience: Do you like the movie or the TV series better?
Kanno: I can't say, personally I want more series from director as I'm not satisfied with either*jokingly*
Kawamoto: I liked Mushroom Samba, since it stars Ein.
Watanabe: I don't have one.
Unfortunately we ran out of time at this point, and we all gave one last round of applause
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