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‘Cowboy Bebop’ Trailer Hints at Use of Heightened Reality

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The trailer for Cowboy Bebop is finally here. It was released on Tuesday night during a live Netflix event which included lots of fun interviews and appearances from the cast. When I was finally able to click the new trailer, and those first smooth musical notes hit my ears, I was in love.

Not only does the music waste no time completely intoxicating you, but the visuals look completely gorgeous. My brain immediately drew a connection between this and the Wachowski Sisters’ 2008 film Speed Racer. The way that they balance the gorgeous practical sets with the over-the-top green screen background creates this heightened reality that I’ve started to fall in love with.

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop, alongside films like the aforementioned Speed Racer, and Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, and even Cat in the Hat have all somehow achieved this. It’s like a combination of wonderful child-like creativity and hyper stylization that makes it work really well on a visual level.

Now, I’m not going to pretend all of these examples aren’t critically panned and widely hated (even if I do love them all). But, alongside the heightened sense of reality and hyper stylization that I love, they all seem to achieve something that Cowboy Bebop also appears to be reaching for: an overwhelming sincerity.

For example, throughout Speed Racer, which I’ve only seen for the first time rather recently, there’s an unwavering vibe that reverberates throughout that movie. A sense of longstanding justice that never gives way, almost like the whole thing is the film version of a flat character arc.


A flat character arc is when a character already has the “truth” figured out before the events of the movie, and the conflict comes from external obstacles that they use the “truth” to get over. In Speed Racer, the family is heavily focused on. When faced with an obstacle (the corporate villain), Speed literally uses the support of his family to build the car that he beats the corporate villain with. 

While, no, the flat arc is not the thing that ties all of these films together, it’s the sincerity and earnest way with which it’s presented that really makes it work. I think sincerity is deeply rooted in Cowboy Bebop already. The anime (from what I remember, it’s been a while, cut me some slack) starts with Spike Spiegel and Jet Black being jaded and tired of work. They start by being dismissive of Faye, Ed, and Ein, but over time grow to be better with them.

A story about growing to be more sincere, being presented in the way that some of the most sincere films are, is not only genius but could potentially draw some beautiful parallels between the thematic progression and the visual presentation.

Needless to say, I am extremely excited for Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop and plan to binge it the moment I get my grubby little hands on it.

Watch the latest trailer for Cowboy Bebop below!

Cowboy Bebop releases on Netflix on November 19th.

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Tucker Watkins

I love movies and shows and things. I like to write about them. It is fun.

Tucker Watkins has 136 posts and counting. See all posts by Tucker Watkins