Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: Mish-Mash Blues   Rewatch 
January 25, 2015 8:07 AM - Season 1, Episode 27 - Subscribe

Due to the violence portrayed in the series, and the violence occurring at the time in Japan, the series was briefly canceled and "Mish-Mash Blues" (fansub transcript; part 1, part 2) was created. The characters provide a philosophical commentary, set to hip-hop loops and played over clips from the first 12 episodes, and it ends with the words: "This Is Not The End. You Will See The Real 'Cowboy Bebop' Someday!"

The end of the episode segues into Recover The Sky Of Day by Shakkazombie, a hip-hop trio from Japn. Apparently one member, Tsutchie, produced the beats for this episode.
posted by filthy light thief (13 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This was my favorite recap-type episode I've ever seen, in part because of the really great J. Dilla-type beats, which initially seemed a bit odd given that the show didn't feature any hip-hop otherwise. But on reflection, I think it makes sense, given that there are 24 short recaps/reflections on themes, and hip-hop sampling does something of the same thing, drawing focus to an element of an original song (or creating a new loop).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:18 AM on January 25, 2015

Hmm, maybe this was a bit of inspiration for Samurai Champloo? Tsutchie did work on that series as well, and of course Nujabes's stuff was the bulk of the soundtrack there.

Somehow I've never seen this episode!
posted by curious nu at 3:46 PM on January 25, 2015

I've never seen it either. I had no idea it existed.

Thank you for posting it.
posted by figurant at 5:10 PM on January 25, 2015

It's pretty interesting that this goodbye for now episode was even made. How many shows get this chance? Family Guy and Futurama both got cancelled and later resurrected, and countless shows get axed with zero fanfare and zero resolution. I'd say it's an eastern thing, but I can't think of another anime series that got the chance to do something like this.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:53 PM on January 25, 2015

From what I've read, this episode was aired as the 13th and final episode of the first (half?) season, fulfilling the contract/requirement for the show to run for 13 episodes. It was only aired in Japan during the initial run and hasn't made its way onto any official media, thus the TV rip, complete with ads (I love old fansubs!).

Regarding the sudden ending, I don't think it was from lack of interest or support, but rather a moral stance that the show was too violent in already violent times. That, with what may have been a contractual obligation, might have provided for a smoother transition to "hiatus" status for the show than other (US) shows.

As for the music, it sounds like Tsutchie is/was friends with the director of both Bebop and Champloo, Shinichiro Watanabe. I can imagine that throwing in some loops (pre-made) loops would be a lot easier than asking Yoko Kanno to write new material.

Next week, I'll post the movie, and then I think I'll start on Samurai Champloo. This episode definitely gave me a craving to re-watch that show.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:06 AM on January 26, 2015

I suspect that this episode also might have been turned around inside of a week or two, since all it required was re-editing of earlier footage, intertitles for the chapters, and getting the four main VAs in to record voiceovers. Since the real 13th episode was part 1 of "Jupiter Jazz", I have a feeling that the producers might have been surprised by the show's sudden cancellation (being that it was due to the network caving to a flash-in-the-pan moral outrage, and not ratings per se), and they had to scramble to fill that #13 slot with something slightly less open-ended.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:08 AM on January 26, 2015

Well remember that the first run on TV Tokyo was not what we know as episodes 1-12. It was a little more scattered than that. It was eps 2, 3, 7-15, and 18. I wonder at what point in the production they said "Woah, we can't show all this on broadcast TV! Better save it for cable."

I also wonder if part of the higher production values we see in the end product was a result of the extra time they had to make the other half of the episodes?

And FLT, I'm with you man. The thing I miss the most about this simulcast age is getting to see all the Japanese commercials on my fansub tapes. Ah well, on the other hand we're no longer 6 months to a year behind in seeing all the news shows. So there's that.
posted by Aznable at 9:18 AM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]

Regarding the commercials, I was honestly surprised to see some extremely kid-focused ads (the Kellogg's cereal and extreme yo-yo commercial come to mind) scheduled in the Bebop time slot. I always assumed that the show was being pitched to an older teen/adult audience, or at the very least not marketed as family fare.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:50 AM on January 26, 2015

If I recall correctly, Bandai told Watanabe "We don't really care what you make as long as it has spaceships in it so we can sell toys and model kits." And Watanabe said "well.... ok then", and gave them Bebop. Bandai's reaction was something like "What the hell is this we can't sell toys with this!"

So that was probably a factor as well in pulling the broadcast for a cable airing later. They weren't really expecting something as mature as what they got.
posted by Aznable at 11:06 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]

Well, I bought a model of the Swordfish II (but still haven't finished it).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:25 AM on January 26, 2015

And I bought the Swordfish II toy that was released here in that brief period in the late 90s when you could get a lot of anime stuff at Toys R Us. I know I have the Big O toy from that line, and I think they made something from Outlaw Star too?

So they did make at least two merchandise sales, but that's still not the cash cow Bandai has its sights on most of the time. We're fortunate this one slipped through the cracks.
posted by Aznable at 11:33 AM on January 26, 2015

The Bandai details are great! One of the weirder things about Bebop is how the adult topics and sophisticated editing and storytelling bump up against the Saturday Morning Cartoon tropes, how everyone only wears one outfit and all of the ships are clearly designed as toys (would it be a 90’s cartoon without a vehicle that shoots a harpoon?). Somehow in this show it simply adds to the pop culture melange instead of seeming like a stray note. Noticed on this watching how the more serious episodes downplay the action figure stuff. I’d also never seen this recap episode, wish this kind of thing was a norm for series eulogies instead of DVD comment tracks.
posted by q*ben at 7:48 AM on December 5, 2021

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