Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: Mushroom Samba   Rewatch 
November 16, 2014 3:02 PM - Season 1, Episode 17 - Subscribe

The Bebop crashes onto the moon after being side-swiped in space. Ed and Ein venture out for food but are entangled in the operations of an outlaw smuggling psychedelic mushrooms.
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Obnoxious little frog....
posted by JHarris at 3:17 PM on November 16, 2014

Through the magic of the intarwebs, it led to the best NOPE ever.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:50 PM on November 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

Let's kick the beat!
posted by deludingmyself at 7:17 PM on November 16, 2014

Continuing to catch up...

Fifteen years later, I'm still not entirely sure how to take the blaxploitation characters and tropes in this episode. For what it's worth, the Pam Grier expy comes across as a competent bounty hunter who's simply had the misfortune of crossing paths with Edward while on the job. The buffoonish depictions of "Shaft" (who's really more of a Django parody; I wonder if this episode might have started some wheels turning in Tarantino's head.) and Domino are a bit dicier, although they aren't depicted in a way that's inconsistent with other CB comic-relief characters.

For me, it comes down to the watermelon stand scene, which is legitimately puzzling to me. After a certain amount of research, I still haven't been able to determine if the watermelon stereotype is an actual racist thing in Japan, or if it qualifies as innocently appropriated/regurgitated Western imagery that the creators honestly did not have the background to fully understand. I guess I can draw a parallel with the borrowed, half-understood religious iconography in Evangelion, although it still feels kind of weird to me.

On a broader stylistic note, this episode seems like a prototype of the free-association cartoon jazz that Watanabe would do later with Space Dandy (which also deserves a FanFare at some point), with Ed's POV acting as a crazy impressionistic lens through which both the animation and storytelling becomes noticeably warped.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:53 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

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