Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: Ballad of Fallen Angels   Rewatch 
August 24, 2014 8:51 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

While pursuing the bounty on an executive of the Red Dragon Syndicate, Spike ends up confronting Vicious, an old enemy of his.
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We meet Jet's bonsai collection, Spike's nemesis, and Faye goes after her first bounty, which doesn't go well for her. And there's the weirdly thick religious imagery. "I've bled all that blood away" (cue the upshot of the empty cross).

A few of my favorite songs are in this episode: Green Bird (set to the church window fall and flashback montage; Reddit discussion of the scene, with references to future episodes) and Rain (the lead-up to the fight with Vicious), though the electric guitar could have been played by Slash from Guns N' Roses. Weedly weedly weeeeedly!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:33 AM on August 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

I own the OST for Bebop based in part on the music in this episode. It was also the episode that finalized the sale of me loving the show. The moment when Spike crashes backward through the stain glass rose window in slow-mo, perfect. When Bebop was released in the States, this was the final episode on the first volume and it was a perfect conclusion to one's first taste of Bebop.
posted by Atreides at 6:30 PM on August 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

And so Cowboy Bebop introduces us to its main dramatic arc.

I initially bumped into Cowboy Bebop during the last half of its original late 2001- early 2002 run on Adult Swim (CN ran them two at a time, so I started off with "Mushroom Samba"/"Speak Like A Child") but I didn't really start watching faithfully until the final two-parter, which meant that I kind of got introduced to the whole Vicious/Syndicate storyline by watching the end first. I figured that I'd missed a ton of the story somewhere, so I started a strict Sunday night taping regimen the next week, hoping to catch the entire series and fill in the gaps.

Little did I realize that CB frankly didn't give a hoot about my naive preconceptions regarding serialized continuing plotlines. Over the next few months I came to discover that the Spike/Vicious story was only ever sketched in loose terms, with most of the specific details scattered across a tiny handful of episodes. Once I'd seen the whole thing, I was partly disappointed by the lack of a true "A"-story with a clear throughline, but I ended up not minding so much because everything else about the show was just so marvelously entertaining. I think Bebop is best understood as a series of unconnected bottle episodes that occasionally coalesce into a standard adventure plot. I'd already been introduced to this style of storytelling by Pulp Fiction, but Bebop showed me that it could work for television too.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:09 PM on August 26, 2014

I first watched CB on DVD in 2000. At the local mall there was an anime kiosk. And I was like, hey, I watched Bubblegum Crisis and Akira and Star Blazers and Dirty Pair. What else you got? That dude turned me on CB (and later GTO). And like any good drug the first hit, specifically this introduction to the Spike, Vicious, Julia triangle, kept me looking for the next real high for 15+ years. I've found sporadic glimpses of wonder (Planetes, Genshiken, the first 3/4 of Evangelion), but nothing matches that realization that CB was trying to do something bigger than TV anime had ever attempted before.

And it made me love Yoko Kanno forever.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:40 AM on March 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

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