Cowboy Bebop Vol. #4 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A+

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  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: A
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 12 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Bandai Entertainment
  • MSRP: 29.99
  • Running time: 100
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop Vol. #4

By Jared Wietbrock     February 07, 2002
Release Date: August 01, 2000

The Review!
Let's get the technical review out of the way: Cowboy Bebop is a gorgeous show with a gorgeous transfer, resulting in a gorgeous disc. The only problem with the video is some slight rainbowing. The audio is crystal clear and the animated menus are great. I'm not crazy about the "Tank!" Remix included as an extra, but that 's not why I bought this disc.

The 4th Cowboy Bebop is a virtual gold mine for fans of the series. With the exception of "Mushroom Samba" (which is a treat in its own way), every episode delves deeper into the characters' pasts. And as we've come to expect, this info always has some tie with the present action and is presented in a very well-written and often creative way.

The first episode on the disc is "My Funny Valentine", and guess who it deals with? That's right, we finally get some background on Faye, and find out how her enormous debt got started. Let's just say that her past is very surprising without contradicting her character.

Next up is Session #16, "Black Dog Serenade", which is almost as good as episode 5 in my opinion. We finally get to find out just how Jet lost his arm. The story begins with several death row inmates taking over their transport ship. One of them is the man responsible for the loss of Jet's arm, so he naturally wants to settle the score. The episode is very well written, and has the darker tone of some of the earlier episodes.

"Mushroom Samba" may not deal with anyone's past, but it has it's own merits. Ed and Ein, who have thus far been regulated to the background, finally take center stage in an adventure of their own. The animation is really good in this episode, and Yoko Kanno's music is even more brilliant than normal. The plot, like Ed, is somewhat bizarre (illegal mushrooms?) but wholly entertaining. It's just plain fun.

The episode preview for "Speak Like a Child" is pretty accurate: the episode doesn't seem to go anywhere, the key word being "seem." The bulk of the episode involves Spike and Jet trying to find a tape player to play an old videocassette that was delivered to Faye. It takes until the end of the episode, but the content of the tape makes it all worth it.

SPOILER: It's a message Faye taped when she was about twelve and sent to her future self. It's very touching, and although we'll probably never learn more about Faye's past, the tape makes it all okay. Young Faye's message is basically "You may not be the same person I am today, but you're still me and I'm rooting for you." I can't really put into words how sweet I thought the tape was. But I'm ranting now.

In short, the 4th DVD session is further testimony to why Cowboy Bebop deserves to be on the Essentials list. Go out and buy it now.

Review Equipment
KHL DVD 22 player and an RCA 21" TV


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