Cowboy Bebop (Volume 1) Manga | My Reviews 22 DEC 2007

Cowboy Bebop Having ground earth into a hovel for only the basest beast to roam, humanity has colonized the solar system, opening up virgin frontiers into which gangsters, thugs and crooks can sink their sinister claws. It’s too much for the Inter Solar System Police to handle. So most of the time, these aberrations on the lily-white face of civilization have to be brought to justice by bounty hunters. And the best bounty hunters in the great vacuum of space call their home the Bebop. Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tirusky IV (Ed for short), and their data dog Ein cruise from one side of sol to the other, hoping to land a bounty big enough to feed their thrill of adventure as well as their typical empty stomachs, These are the chronicles of the Bebop crew, taking out crime Woolong at time.

I doubt there is any anime-fan created during the 90’s who haven’t heard of Cowboy Bebop, one of the seminal anime shows ever to grace the silver screen. It fused together genres completely unheard of, giving us a jazzy, noir space adventure unlike anything that had ever come before. Cowboy Bebop, the manga, was created after the show aired, basically hoping to cash in on its success. Written by Hajime Yatate and drawn by Yutaka Nanten, Cowboy Bebop consists of four short, unrelated stories, each detailing a separate adventure undertaken by the crew of the Bebop.

The stories aren’t of particularly high quality, and apart from the last one which takes a brief look at Jet Black’s past, the manga doesn’t contain anything close to character development for any of the characters whatsoever. In fact, this manga is purely intended for those already familiar with the Bebop universe and mainly for those die-hard fans that can’t get enough of Spike and the crew.

Artistically, Cowboy Bebop leaves a lot to be desired. Yutaka Nanten’s work comes along as very sparse and overly inked using too think lines that makes the art seem even more simple than what it already is. The facial expressions and body proportions aren’t that great, and to be honest, the art in Cowboy Bebop comes across a little jarring at times.

This manga translation of the hit anime series loses the style and atmosphere created by the anime thanks to its brilliant soundtrack and inspired, fluid artwork and in is really just a poor rip-off of the source, intended to be nothing more than a gap-filler for those really hungry otaku fans.

It’s not a great manga and if you are looking for something to read, I’d suggest looking a little further before picking up Cowboy Bebop.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.