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. #5
By Jared Wietbrock
February 07, 2002
Release Date: September 05, 2000
We're approaching the end, folks, and man, has it been quite a ride. Cowboy Bebop has got to be my all time favorite anime, and the episodes on this disc just help prove why.
Technically, you won't find much better than this disc. Pristine audio and video and a great cover (about time Ein got some attention). The only thing I didn't really care for was the textless "Real Folk Blues" included as an extra. I love the song and the pictures are detailed, but since there's no animation its essentially the same as watching it at the end of each episode.
Anyway, on to the content. Unfortunately, the disc begins with what is probably the worst episode in the series. It was so unentertaining that I can't even remember what "Wild Horses" is about. There were some pirates with a computer virus and a space shuttle somewhere in there, but that's about all I can remember. Still, this IS Cowboy Bebop, so even at its worst the show manages to be better than a good percentage of the other stuff out there.
Offsetting the mediocrity of Session #19 is an episode so good that it would be worth it to buy a disc with this episode alone. Session #20, "Pierrot le Fou", is great in ways that only "Ballad of Fallen Angels" can compete with (although I think "Angels" is slightly better). The story begins with Spike stumbling across a massacre committed by a supernatural assassin who has killed all who've seen him. Since Spike falls into that category, he spends the rest of the episode trying to avoid that fate.
The animation in this episode really blew me away. In a series that already has high standards, this episode is easily one of the best. It could well be an OVA. The action sequences are great, and this is the only episode where I prefer the Japanese cast. Hearing Pierrot taunt Spike in his accented English is just too funny.
The next episode on the disc, "Boogie Woogie Feng Shui", didn't really impress me, but then again it may have suffered from being the session after "Pierrot le Fou". The story involves Jet helping some girl search for her father and the Sun's Stone, and in my opinion isn't as well thought out as most of the episodes in the series. The ending in particular seemed weak and rushed.
Finally, we have "Cowboy Funk". This episode is HILARIOUS. We get not one, but two of the best guest characters on the show ever, Cowboy Andy and the Teddy Bomber. These two are hilarious, and wait until you see Jet in his hippie outfit ("Don't forget about peace and love!"). The animation is, once again, even better than usual, and the episode has probably the best end gag ever. Funny stuff.
The only problem with the 5th Session of Cowboy Bebop is that it's the beginning of the end. Only one disc left, and then that's all until the movie. Still, great stuff, and it goes without saying that both casts do an excellent job. Go out and buy the entire series now.
KHL DVD 221; RCA 21" TV