Cowboy Bebop is a series that should need no introduction to anime fans. However, for anyone unfamiliar with the show, it's basically about space bounty hunters set to an old time jazz music soundtrack with plenty of classy old time stories and dark morals along the way. If you like action, space, jazz, or comedy, you may like Cowboy Bebop. If you like old time bounty hunter, private eye, or detective movies, you'll probably like Cowboy Bebop. If you like dark stories with twists that really make you feel for the characters, you'll like Cowboy Bebop. This is one series you don't have to be an anime fan to appreciate, but you have to be willing to give it a fair chance.
A single episode of Cowboy Bebop packs more punch than several entire anime series I know of. If you're not a fan of the show by the end of episode one alone, you probably won't be. The characters are as real as any old time bounty hunter / detective movie, and every bit as interesting. The sci-fi space twist doesn't take away from the show in the slightest, it adds much. A good way of thinking about the show is Lupin the 3rd mixed with Outlaw Star, with more depth. With episode titles like Asteroid Blues, Honky Tonk Woman, Waltz for Venus, and Jupiter Jazz, the space, class, and jazz heavy style is quite apparent from the beginning. This isn't just some theme slapped on top of an anime, rather a critical part of the show.
The characters are well rounded and all very interesting. Unlike a lot of anime, there is no annoying character you wish they would have left out. Each character is given equal importance, though the show centers on the bounty hunter Spike.
Spike describes himself as an "old fashioned cowboy." He spends a lot of the series searching for someone he once knew, I'll avoid details so I don't spoil anything. He could be a master thief if he so choose, his dexterity and fighting skills are nearly unmatched. With a good 'whatever' attitude, he's great fun to watch.
Jet is more of an old time detective. He's the owner of the ship "Bebop", and best friend of Spike. He does his fair share in bounty hunting like Spike, mostly gathering information and providing backup to Spike.
Faye is pretty much the anime embodiment of the women from detective movies. A fiercely materialistic woman, she does whatever it takes to get what she wants. She's not against stealing from anyone or using anyone to get it, then leaving them cold. An incredible bounty hunter in her own right, she joins the team without invitation or welcome. Much hilarious bickering and bounty thefts come between Faye and Spike from the outset.
Ed is a hacker genius girl who joins the group after a promise from Faye to get information. They try to leave her dry after they get what they need. but Ed's hacking skills make that impossible. She's often comic relief, and may be insane. Who can tell? In any case, when hacking or computer skills are needed, Ed is there. When not needed, she's. still there, being a hilarious pain in the neck. She's often with Ein, a seemingly ordinary mutt that gets picked up along the way with a few not so hidden talents.
In any case, Cowboy Bebop is a series anyone should watch. It has some language, a lot of violence, and some dark stories, but nothing that any kid these days hasn't seen a hundred times over. Even if you're not a bounty hunter or jazz fan, give this series a shot. Don't be surprised if you start to take a liking to jazz music or Yoko Kanno's amazing music. Congrats to Cartoon Network for bringing over the incredible dub, but check out the sub if possible. Enjoy. I refuse to end this rant with that catchy ending of each episode. Sorry. ^_^