When I started watching anime in 2014, I was always hearing something about this
Cowboy Bebop thing. It was everywhere, and everyone considered it to be one of the best anime of all time, and one of the shows that got many people into anime. But being the stupid prepubescent ”Infinite Stratos”-loving boy I was, I heard the name and thought it was something about a weird Cowboy Robocop and just like that, just by the name, I assumed it wasn’t my thing and I ”knew” I wouldn’t like it. I ended up watching it around july 2015, but never finished it because I could never find it in good quality. Until a week ago, when I finally got around to finishing it, after dropping it many times around episode 6 the past year.
And why does this all matter? Because I feel like it was a better thing for me to have watched it now, and not back then, when I still wouldn’t understand it.
Many people talk about how the first time they watched it they were somewhere around 11 years old, and only liked it for its ”coolness”, but upon rewatching as an adult, they understood the show a lot better and it had a huge impact on them.
If this is still going to happen to me, having watched it now, being 16 already, then I’m fucked.
This show managed to fuck me up in ways I would have never imagined. Neon Genesis Evangelion’s impact on me now seems kinda silly compared to what Cowboy Bebop did to me. While Evangelion’s impact came from relating to the characters, Cowboy Bebop’s came from understanding them, and their problems, and then realizing that this is what it feels like to be actually fucked up, in a more ”realistic” setting. Eva had teenagers piloting giant robots and having the worst part of their minds being exposed through extreme situations, the Bebop crew is just a group of bounty hunters trying to make a living while constantly having to revisit their past unintentionaly.
– Spike ended his life because he felt like everything was just a bad dream with no purpose to continue living on. He went on a suicidal mission to ty loose ends and finish everything he believed he needed to before leaving the world.
– Jet will always have to literally carry the weight on his arm of his past, making him the one with the most reasons to not look into his old life, even though he doesn’t want to neglect it, since he chooses to carry that literal weight as a reminder of the past .
– Faye recovered her memories only to find out she didn’t have anywhere to go.
While most of my feelings towards the show might be amplified because of my vulneral state of mind, being a depressive 16 year old, having probably picked the worst time to watch the show, I still think the messages are pretty clear. If they were to be interpreted in such a pessimistic, nihilistic way, I’m not sure, but that’s how it worked for me.
I’m gonna carry this weight, and I’m not sure what to do about it.
– Ed made the decision to leave the Bebop to live a happier life with her father and even though she is still gonna carry that weight, the weight she is carrying will not be that heavy, since she has no reason to feel bad about it. The weight she carries is just happy memories.
Even though there are lots of stuff to make me depressed in this show. There are definately good things to get out of here. I think one of the messages that I should be focusing on more here is not the one of not being able to run from your past, but the message that life goes on, and you have to make the most out of it. Even Spike would probably agree with this. He believed there was no purpose to life, but he was never really suicidal. Sure, he had a deathwish when Julia died, but until that point, he still wasn’t that invested in looking for her. He would just always be at the right place at the wrong time. Spike wasn’t depressive, he carried his life in basically the way any poor bounty hunter would, he just had a little bit more fun doing it. All of his hopes had to be destroyed so that he finally actively wished death. He knew this was coming, but still didn’t give up on living.
I feel like right now, I’m a little bit numbed by all of this and am not really feeling that much out of doing anything. This show shaked me to my very core and I don’t know if I can really expect to get the same feeling out of any other show. I could go Rewatch Eva just to make sure, but that would probably fuck me up. So I guess I’ll just go watch Konosuba season 2 or something. Probably better to get back on track through some comedy.
Edit: The fact that this was posted on april 1st is totally coincidential.
I always end up doing something serious on april fools for some reason, so I feel like I might not be taken seriously. This kind of stuff happens every year, I don’t know why.