Reviews: MaLoki and Cowboy Bebop

Matantei Loki is rather silly, so I won’t be fully reviewing it ever. The ‘mahoujo’-type animation sequence put SC off, even though she likes Kinoshita Sakura-sensei’s other work, Tactics, and it’s irritating me to no end too. Why am I still watching it then? Guess.

I finally got round to watching Cowboy Bebop, which everyone has been recommending, especially in comparison to Trigun. Perhaps I shouldn’t actually renew them at the same time – it’s biased after all. But I think it’s somehow more effective this way.

Bebop is of typical length, 26 episodes and one movie that has nothing to do with the main plot. As for what it’s about…there’s an AMV called ‘The Bounty Hunters Who Don’t Do Anything’, and with good reason. Yes, they’re bounty hunters, but more than half the time, their prey is killed or something else happens which prevents them from collecting their reward. Of course this isn’t the point of the series, it just provides about half the comedy – the rest comes from the characterisation. Picture a handsome, fluid-fighting ‘gent’ with a tender heart and many past secrets; a vivacious, free-loading loner without a past (quite literally, you’ll see); a gruff tough-guy with a penchant for bonzai; and an insanely naive but brilliant hacker, and enjoy the laughs and the world as this bunch of misfits coome together.

But the best thing about Bebop is the world it’s set in. It’s something like 70 years in the future (IIRC – it’s been about 10 days since I finished it) when mobile phones no longer look anything like they used to (apparently – I can’t remember what they looked like in the show, to be honest) and tape decks are real collector’s items (Spike nonchalently pulling the black tape out of one of the casettes was a highlight). But it’s good to see that certain behaviours (eg. hitting equipment until it works; taking care of bonzai; enjoying chess) are still the norm. The world – or rather, the universe – and character’s of Bebop are fascinating, and almost make up for the weak plot development. Basically, the story is good, but they have too many almost pointless deviations for my liking. And the ending is one that I appreciate, something that I can see happening the way these characters live. I’d give it an 8, but no more.

Why was Trigun less well-regarded then? (it came out about the same time as Bebop, and I’ve been informed that it is much more popular in America than it ever was in Japan (in relative terms).) The simple answer is…the world is not as believable. Trigun is a sci-fi fantasy western – the sci-fi isn’t all that fantastic however (we only get to see a bit of it in the space-ships) and and the fantasy (who Vash and Knives are) is rather strange and inexplicable. I liked watching the show because of some of the characters (Vash and Wolfwood) but most of the others (eg. Meryl – Milly wasn’t so bad, but her voice irritated me from time to time…I am being serious, even if the seiyuu is Yukino Satsuki, better known today for Yoruichi from Bleach) were irritating and ignored where possible. I was much better at that then than now. Anyway, I don’t remember much else about Trigun, except that it’s ending was also slightly disappointing, so it’s not quite recommended, but watchable, even enjoyable if you like the humour. 6/10.

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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