Friday, January 20, 2012

Animazing #2

"Animazing" is a series about moments in anime, but not just any scene or bit. These are moments that set an anime apart from others. Moments that turn a show that's fun to watch and follow into a show that matters to you on a personal or emotional level. These are not your run of the mill character pieces, but instances where the characters feel more real then you could has possibly imagined before.

Today's anime juncture come to us from a classic. An anime that almost rightly so doesn't need explanation due to not only it's popularity, but the quality of the series itself. That show is:

While last week I talked about a series that was a little more on the fringe of the anime world ('Paranoia Agent'), the show Cowboy Bebop is on the opposite side completely. It might be one of the best known anime programs to come to North America. So far the series has proven to stay a near timeless classic thanks to the astonishing amount of work and detail put into the animation, music, setting, and script. But aesthetics aside, another reason the program is so popular is the tone it sets with it's viewers on an emotional level.

While there are many different moments I could classify as 'amazing' in this series, there is one part that really hit me (and I'm guessing all of it's fans) right in the gut at every turn. No not the 'Green Bird' moment, even though that scene is quite incredible.

The moment is, just like last week, an entire episode. And that episode is:

Cowboy Bebop - "The Real Folk Blues (Part 2)"
The final episode.

The entire series was a setup to this moment, and everything is answered whether you realize it or not.

Finally reunited, Spike and Julia attempt to make their escape from the Red Dragon syndicate. This leads Spike down a road filled with turbulence, pain, anguish, and finally acceptance as he and Vincent face off for the final time. Music fills nearly every scene and when there is no music you pay attention even more. The visuals of life and death fly across the screen at various points in the episode. The one real moment of peace is shattered as a tight-knit family is broken apart.

From the opening scene in the graveyard to the final scene on the steps of the syndicates tower, the series creators nails what I would call a perfect landing. I can still remember the first time I watched this episode late one night on Adult Swim and I can tell you without a doubt that it kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last note was played in the ending credits.

This choice for an "Animazing" isn't exactly a shocker and I'm sure many of you have already seen this anime and this episode. You may have even seen it more times than me (though I re-watched it quite a bit back in the day). But this is exactly what this blog series is for. Not only letting in newcomers to what I consider some of the greatest moments in anime, but also reminding the die-hard's out there that nearly every anime has a chance to make something amazing of itself.

See you later, space cowboy.

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