September 2, 2001
10:27 AM   Subscribe

Cartoon Network begins its "Adult Swim" programming tonight: Toons aimed at the 18-35 audience. I'm most excited about Cowboy Bebop (Japanese site; English is under construction). (more inside)
posted by jpoulos (23 comments total)
The links aren't the most exciting around. I mention this basically as a public service annoucement, for those looking for a starting point to explore Japanese anime, without having to plod through the kids stuff we're used to here in the States.

We recently discussed Bebop here. It rocks.
posted by jpoulos at 10:30 AM on September 2, 2001

I am a little worried about the whole Cowboy Bebop on Cartoon Network thing. I read on Anime Nation a while back that they were going to try and edit out some of the violence. If you edit out the violence from Cowboy Bebop, you miss most of the good stuff.

Also, Adult Swim and Cartoon Network's Cowboy Bebop page.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:40 AM on September 2, 2001

Durn! It looks like they're going more for silly stuff rather then good storytelling. Won't someone PLEASE rerun Starblazers?!
posted by black8 at 11:31 AM on September 2, 2001

I searched all over and couldn't find decent links. thanks, EBK.

This unofficial (and, btw, very ugly) page claims Bebop will be unedited. We'll see tonight, I guess.
posted by jpoulos at 1:00 PM on September 2, 2001

i shall reserve comment until i see what they've pulled out of their hat, but I have marked for tivo download and will watch some tonight, some tomorrow.
posted by benjh at 2:53 PM on September 2, 2001

Anyone know if the Australian/New Zealand Cartoon network is going to get these programs?
posted by vari at 7:40 PM on September 2, 2001

I'm watching AS right now, and it is hilarious! Harvey Birdman just finished, and it was the best one yet. The whole thing's just had a great style to it so far. Plus, Brak's sitcom was a worthy penance from the variety show they tried to pull a while back.
posted by Laugh_track at 8:19 PM on September 2, 2001

This looks like an official Adult Swim website. There seems to be a preponderance of Space Ghost related material. What gives? Anyway, I'm most intrigued by the Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Anyone know if this stuff is showing in the Philippines?
posted by brownpau at 8:25 PM on September 2, 2001

So far: Home Movies sucks, but that's not a real surprise. Leave it to Brak: YES. Harvey Birdman: YES. Sealab 2021: YES. And the new Space Ghost... Thom Yorke and Björk on the same show. I don't understand how my TV hasn't imploded from coolness yet.
posted by darukaru at 8:39 PM on September 2, 2001

(yawn) Started watching "Cowboy Bebop" and quickly got bored - looked like standard anime fare. HOWEVER - the opening music score was ultra-groovy - best theme song I've heard in a long time. Performed by "Seat Belts," according to the credits.
posted by davidmsc at 9:21 PM on September 2, 2001

(cheer) I was impressed. Crisp animation, good sound work, and no anime cliches.
posted by skyline at 10:10 PM on September 2, 2001

Brak and Sealab 2021 are brilliant. I gave up on Bebop after about 15 minutes.
posted by aaron at 10:16 PM on September 2, 2001

Thanks, MeFi.

Its 11:40 and I was wondering what to watch.

my my what wonderful things come out o' thee.
posted by charlesw at 11:36 PM on September 2, 2001

Started watching "Cowboy Bebop" and quickly got bored - looked like standard anime fare.

Keep watching. It's not.

With the baseline standard anime fare being stuff like Maison Ikkoku, Sailor Moon, Macross, Voltron, etc... and the gold standard being stuff like Ghost in the Shell and Studio Ghibli's films... Cowboy Bebop is way on the right side of that bell curve.

Though Bebop uses a lot of standard devices (tropes from organized crime & science fiction genres, hard-bitten characters with mysterious pasts, tough guys, cute chicks, etc.) the show tends to give all its pastiche elements a gloss of unique style and/or a witty twist. The characters are relatively complex, with several different motivations pulling them in different directions, and the show trusts you to pick up on that without spelling everything out completely. The relationships between the leads are realistically ad hoc and fragile; by the end of the series, they're downright nuanced, making the show genuinely moving as well as briskly funny and entertaining.

I just watched the concluding episodes of the series this weekend, and it left me impressed with show as a whole. I count Cowboy Bebop, along with Trigun and Serial Experiments Lain, as one of my favorite anime series.

(BTW, the many soundtrack albums for Bebop, composed by the diversely and immensely talented Yoko Kanno, are all fantastic; lots of the series' music is just as good as the opening theme.)
posted by Zettai at 12:38 AM on September 3, 2001

I'm curious: are they going to do two episodes every sunday? I mean, the series is only 26 episodes long. That only gets us through the end of November.
posted by jpoulos at 7:42 AM on September 3, 2001

a bit off-topic: did anyone here see Jin-Roh ("The Wolf Brigade")? I am no expert on anime but I thought it did much of what Zettai claims that "Cowboy Bebop" does - it has a lot of the standard elements but also certain details that felt different and more layered and interesting. I'm curious to hear what anime fans think of it.
posted by edlundart at 8:36 AM on September 3, 2001

There were minor cuts in the first episode of be-bebop and fans cannot be more pleased.

I must say I missed the premiere on CN but was kind of skeptical as I usually stay away from dubbed series. However, from a newsgroup I recieved a list of cuts.

[posted by Fata Morgana] Asteroid Blues
* In the bar scene, when the gansters first enter, guns blazing, the original shows a very prominent bullet hole through the bartender's skull. This was edited out for TV.
* Just before the "Poncho Spike" scene, those three old coots are shown playing cards once again (they don't seem to have noticed that they were killed off during the bar scene :p ), and the crochety one originally said "God-damn sonofabitch" - this was edited to "--damn
* In the final scene with Maria, where she shoots Asimov, much of the blood was removed from the window of the craft she's in. If you look at the screen you can kind of see where they blacked it out (oddly,the blood is back when at the close-up of Maria ["Adios"]).

"Stray Dog Strut"
* Spike says "SHIIIIIT! This whole THING gives me a headache";
redubbed to say "DAMN. This whole THING gives me a headache" -- incidentally, it was nice of them to spend the money to redub. I actually expected them to bleep the swears (or do like they did with the old coot - simply remove the word from the track).
* The dumb-ass lab technician driving the van originally said "If it [the Data Dog] falls into police hands, we're in very deep shit, my friend"; redubbed to say "If it falls into police hands, we're in very big trouble, my friend."
* During the climax, when Ein (the Data Dog) falls out of the car Abdul Hakim is driving, Spike originally says "SHIT! This is why I hate pets!!"; redubbed to say "DAMN! This is why I hate pets."
That's the whole list. ^.^

I have to agree with Zettai on his assesment of CBB. I think this is an extremely stylish and unique series, a favorite among many. Plus, who could not love Yoko Kanno's score! [especially "cats on mars" done with very Takako Minekawa feel]
posted by modularette at 10:03 AM on September 3, 2001

Thanks modularette. I'm a "her" though. :-)

As for Jin-Roh, edlundart, personally it didn't ring any bells for me, as I mentioned in an earlier thread. I felt the symbolism was way overplayed, and the plot was too slender to hold up under the heavy portentous mood.
posted by Zettai at 1:13 PM on September 3, 2001

I usually stay away from dubbed series.

I stay away too, with the sole exception of Bebop. It's probably the best-dubbed series I've seen. When I watch on DVD, I actually prefer the dub. Ed's voice just isn't the same in Japanese. Faye's too.

Plus I think the dubbed dialogue is better, more natural than the subtitled translation.
posted by jpoulos at 2:35 PM on September 3, 2001

well, I for one am thrilled to see Home Movies back on the air, especially after it got the quick axe from UPN prime-time long ago.

as for Brak, I liked him when he was just the loud, not-too-bright villain on Coast to Coast. his current incarnation as the guy who sings songs about cheese and monkeys I can definitely do without.
posted by teradome at 10:37 PM on September 3, 2001

Personally, I avoid dubbed anime like the plague. That said, though, I've found that the dubbing done by Pioneer Animation is the best I've come across. They've done solid voice work on Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Serial Experiments Lain, and Cardcaptor Sakura. I can actually select the English voice track if I'm popping in and out of the TV room (and thus can't read subtitles) without worrying about my sensibilities being offended by someone's lack of vocal characterization or natural ability with the language, as happens in the recent Manga release Blood.
posted by poseur at 11:44 PM on September 3, 2001

I might try to catch these, I'm usually disappointed in new animation. But I'm not as much of a fan as most of you. It's just that when I do watch a show regularly, it's as often a toon (Daria, King of the Hill, The Oblongs, Family Guy) as not. I know these aren't anime or whatever, but a toon's a toon.
Samurai Jack was pretty good tonight though. Not too abrasive but trippy enough, just a little more quirk maybe. Style to spare.
posted by aflakete at 2:28 AM on September 4, 2001

The best television the US is producing these days is animated. And I'm not saying that because I'm an animation fan--I'm an animation fan because of that.
posted by jpoulos at 11:19 AM on September 4, 2001

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