Cowboy Bebop Remastered Sessions Collection Two contains the final thirteen episodes of this animated science fiction series. The show is about a group of bounty hunters that live on a giant space ship named "The Bebop". The crew that live on this ship are: Spike Spiegel (An ex-mafia that's good with guns, martial-arts, and stealing food), Jet Black (An ex-cop that is great at gathering information due to knowing many people in the police force), Faye Valentine (A woman that's nothing but trouble and has a debt that's higher than most people can count), Edward (She is a master computer hacker with an incredibly hyperactive and eccentric personality), and Ein (A special data-dog that they keep around as a pet). In this volume we start to see all of their pasts catch-up with them and we learn what their lives were like back in the day. It's not all doom and gloom as this volume has some of the most fun episodes you will find in this entire series. Looks like we are in for one hell of a ride full of sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll... again. (Click "Read More" to read the full review space cowboy).
The stories in this volume are strongly told with very interesting things happening in each episode and that includes the weaker episodes. Even though this is a science fiction show at heart it also mixes it up with other genres like thriller, mafia, horror, and comedy just to name a few and it also blends together really well without making you think that you are watching another show. Growing up watching this show I hated the second half of this show (minus two episodes) but this time around I've actually grown to love the second half of the show and prefer it over the first half of the show. This volume also has my most favorite episodes in it as well ("Mushroom Samba", "Wild Horses", and "Cowboy Funk") and I just love re-watching them. The thing that I used to hate the most about this second half was the ending as I just thought it was plain terrible but I actually like it now and while it isn't the best ending in anime history it is still quite good and leaves you satisfied and a bit sad at the same time.
Characters in this show are incredible with excellent personalities that will make you instantly fall in love with them. The side characters are also quite good and you'll meet some of the most insane but lovable (like me) characters in this volume that you are sure to become a fan of. The action in this show is very fun with a very John Woo styled gun battles and Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan inspired martial arts action. The action also build up very different atmospheric vibes as sometimes it can get very intense leaving you unsettled and other times it can be more comedic and light hearted putting a smile on your face.
The artwork in this remaster is very crisp and clean which really makes this show look the best it has ever been. There are some really great designs in this show with some very detailed backgrounds that have a lot of imagination put into them and will make fans of science fiction (and everyone else for that matter) simply say "wow". Most of the character designs (and by most I mean 95% - 99%) are very memorable and unique. There are also some very crazy designed characters in this volume ranging from a rich cowboy on a horse to a crazy blood-thirsty killer dressed as a fat Victorian man. The spaceships in this show are also very good and are personally some of the greatest designed space ships found in science fiction. One thing that might bother you is that the episodes aren't in widescreen so you'll see big black bars on the right and left side of the screen. The English dub in this show is one of the greatest English dubs that I have ever heard with a lot of heart and effort put into all the characters and that includes all the minor ones which is something very rarely seen in an animated television series. The soundtrack has a very snazzy jazz theme and it works perfectly with the show adding some extra jazz (no pun intended) to the atmosphere.
Not many special features in this volume but there are some neat ones at that. You get episode commentary from some of the Japanese cast and crew on episodes "seven-teen" and "twenty-four' and they were interesting to listen too. You also get a very special mini-episode about Ein called "Ein's Summer Holiday" which has different artworks of Ein on special locations and is told in a children's picture book style. It was fun to watch but very short with a running time of about two minutes. However if you have owned the "Remix" DVD box set from a while back then these are nothing new. What is new though is that this set comes with a really nice art book full of vehicles and weapons found in this series that were amazing to see. This volume also comes with a set of postcards with some very nice shots from the series including "that" famous "sword vs gun" shot from the episode "Ballad of Fallen Angels" (which can be found in the first volume). The postcards are also usable but unless you are into cruel and unusual punishment then I don't picture you using them.
Overall this is a great set that is perfect for those who have yet to own any of the other releases or if you are fresh into anime and want something to get your teeth into. For those who own any of the previous sets (mainly the "Remix" box set) then you won't get anything much new from this other than a cleaner picture and an art book. Great viewing indeed.
Title: Cowboy Bebop Remastered Sessions Collection Two
Animation/Production Studio: Sunrise
Genre: Animation/Anime, Action, Sci-Fi, Drama, Comedy
Running Time: 325 minutes (13 Episodes)
Distributor: Madman Entertainment (www.madman.com.au)
Rating: MA15+ (Strong violence)