Cowboy Bebop Session 1 (

Review Date: -
Release Date: Friday, December 18, 1998

What They Say

The Review!
This is the first in a series of 9 DVDs set to be released in the "Cowboy Bebop" series. "Cowboy Bebop first caught my interest when I discovered that my favorite composer, Yoko Kanno (Macross Plus, Tenkuu no Escaflowne, Brain Power'd, etc.), was doing the score for the show. The show seemed, from the title and pictures, to be a western-esque anime set in the future, and when I saw Session #0, my suspicions were affirmed. "Cowboy Bebop" is the story of Spike Spiegel and co., bounty hunters in 2071 A.D and their many adventures. It has a very retro western frontierism flavor to it and has a great jazz score to set that mood perfectly. The animation is excellent as is to be expected from Sunrise (Escaflowne, etc.) and the cast includes Megumi Hayashibara (Rei, Ranma, Nuku, Pai, Lime, etc.) as the sexy and mysterious, Faye Valentine. Fans of Mrs. Hayashibara are sure to enjoy this one.

On to the disc itself. As with Session #0, this disc is presented in Dolby Digital Stereo and provides for a very clear and crisp soundtrack that really keeps the viewer's attention. The video quality is excellent as well, with no signs of artifacting. This disc contains 3 episodes for a total running time of 75 minutes. The disc's menu isn't anything flashy, but I guess I'm just spoiled by the great Pioneer menus out there. It basically has two screens. On the main screen, you can access any of the three episodes. The other screen contains scene access and an information section on other "Cowboy Bebop" merchandise, plus a commercial for "Gasaraki", another Bandai DVD title coming out soon. There are 9 DVDs planned, so I'm assuming that the rest will also contain 3 and the last one will have 2 episodes, quite costly when you think about it, but Japanese (and American) companies have no plans to stick a whole bunch of episodes on a few discs, they have to make money after all.

The packaging is another great thing about this DVD. It comes in the standard keepcase we've been seeing over on this side of the Pacific, which is a great thing, since I'm a fan of this format. I was afraid they'd go for the jewel cases which is the case for my other Region 2 DVD title, Lain. The art is a simple red and black picture of Spike in action and his face as the background. At the top is a white band which labels the name of the show and which DVD it is. The back is plain text and looks very organized and keeps that retro feel the producers of the show are aiming at. I like things that look organized as apposed to flashy, so this is a real treat for me. Inside the DVD case are slips with descriptions of the menu interface and there is also a program-type booklet which has descriptions of the series and this "First Session".

So all in all, if you're an importer of Japanese DVDs, and you like great animation, a cool story, great characters, superb music, and a great quality disc, "Cowboy Bebop" is well worth your time...and money.

Japanese Language

Review Equipment

Mania Grade: A
Audio Rating: A-
Video Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Menus Rating: B
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: All
Region: 2 - Japan
Released By: Bandai Visual
MSRP: 6800
Running time: 75
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Cowboy Bebop