The opening scene of “Cowboy Bebop”, “Tank!” of Seatbelts, contains a bold statement hidden in its scrolling text animation: “the work itself becomes a new genre that will be called … Cowboy Bebop.” At the macro and micro level, “Bebop” combines so many influences that it defies classification.
The setting may be sci-fi, but true to the “Cowboy” part of the title, which also has Western influences: The Solar System is a newly settled, rule-free frontier. The character archetypes owe more to Film Noir – Spike is a former criminal, Jet a former cop, Faye a wannabe femme fatale. Yoko Kanno’s musical score is as eclectic as the storytelling. “The Real Folk Blues” combines jazzy saxophone riffs with the lyrics of a heartbroken ballad.
One by one, Various tones are explored. “Black Dog Serenade” is one of the show’s darkest chapters, explaining how Jet lost his right arm to his corrupt ex-partner, Fad. The next episode, “Mushroom Samba”, is the show’s silliest episode, following the adventures of comic relief character “Radical” Edward and his pet “evil dog” Ein while the rest of the cast Bebop’s crew accidentally ate psychedelic mushrooms. While “Serenade” is a hardened short story book, “Samba” is a love letter to ’70s swashbuckling and blaxploitation movies – a woman suspiciously like Pam Grier.
At the Japan Expo panel, Watannabe covered how the team recruits different staff members for each episode to ensure each episode is unique. Dai Sato, an all-green writer, wrote the scripts for two episodes of “Cowboy Bebop”, while Minami left his producing role and worked directly on episode 10; he gave episode one “enka”– Attractive voice.
If you make every episode feel different, you run the risk of creating an unbalanced series. However, “Cowboy Bebop” started as a unique creation introducing a new ingredient that never messed up the taste.
https://www.slashfilm.com/1024183/how-the-cowboy-bebop-team-tried-to-make-every-episode-feel-unique/ How the Cowboy Bebop team tries to make each episode feel unique