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New York Comic-Con 2018: Cowboy Bebop 20th Anniversary Panel


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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4678
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:39 pm Reply with quote
I don't think you can make something as magical as Bebop again. The late 90s to early 2000s was an interesting transition for video games, anime, and movies. Everyone experimented with new ideas that definitely had the feel of something different for the approaching new millennium. Cowboy Bebop checks off all the boxes for a project that captures so many aspects that would be hard to replicate today, when people have a lot of expectations going into something and are difficult to impress. It's simply wonderful Cowboy Bebop still stands the test of time as something that can be watched no matter the era you're in and no matter how old you get.

Quote:
Prior to Cowboy Bebop, Blum said he was hesitant to go to conventions because of the dreaded sub versus dub argument that was so prevalent at the time. He often was told by angry fans that he and other voice actors were ruining anime.


Poor Steve. Those stupid angry fans were the ones ruining anime with their childish and conceited cries of "Japanese voices only", if you ask me. Attacking dub actors is not healthy, civil, or intelligent behavior, but they did it anyway.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 3244
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:14 pm Reply with quote
Thanks for the great report. Just reading some of those personal reflections on the series gave me chills. Bebop is certainly a show that's had a huge impact on me too: it was one of the first few series I saw that I was able to recognize as "anime," and it did things I didn't even know were possible in an animated work.
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Clyde_Cash



Joined: 03 Dec 2011
Posts: 338
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:44 pm Reply with quote
I thank the voice actors for all they've done to their vocal cords.

IT'S STILL REAL TO ME, DAMN IT!
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8102
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:43 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
“He's here,” Blum jumped in quickly, self-referencing, “and he got the girl.”

Heh, congratulations you guys! Smile

Bebop was my gateway drug. I'm still amazed at how well it holds up all these years later. It's not surprising that a good story lasts, but the character designs and animation still look fresh rather than being artifacts of its time. If you showed this to a fan who'd somehow never heard of it, they couldn't tell you it was made in 1998.

When they were talking about naming the shuttle, I had to sigh. I'll never get to see these people at a con, but if I did, I just want to know what the deal is with all the goddam pool cue references. Very Happy I may have to find a proxy to send to ask them about this.
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Stuart Smith



Joined: 13 Jan 2013
Posts: 1298
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:56 pm Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
I don't think you can make something as magical as Bebop again. The late 90s to early 2000s was an interesting transition for video games, anime, and movies. Everyone experimented with new ideas that definitely had the feel of something different for the approaching new millennium. Cowboy Bebop checks off all the boxes for a project that captures so many aspects that would be hard to replicate today, when people have a lot of expectations going into something and are difficult to impress. It's simply wonderful Cowboy Bebop still stands the test of time as something that can be watched no matter the era you're in and no matter how old you get.


I think McGlynn summed it up pretty well. Anime was rare on television at the time, especially uncut anime aimed at older audiences. Cowboy Bebop, and Adult Swim in general, was a lot of 90s kids first exposure to adult anime. That's why it's impossible to replicate it again now that hundreds of anime are easily available to everyone every year at the click of a mouse.

-Stuart Smith
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GeorgeC



Joined: 22 Nov 2008
Posts: 744
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:29 pm Reply with quote
[quote="belvadeer"
Quote:
Prior to Cowboy Bebop, Blum said he was hesitant to go to conventions because of the dreaded sub versus dub argument that was so prevalent at the time. He often was told by angry fans that he and other voice actors were ruining anime.


Poor Steve. Those stupid angry fans were the ones ruining anime with their childish and conceited cries of "Japanese voices only", if you ask me. Attacking dub actors is not healthy, civil, or intelligent behavior, but they did it anyway.[/quote]

Those fans STILL exist.
I see/hear them ALL the time.
They are anime gatekeepers -- they would love the hobby to shrink down to maybe a few people like it was prior to the late 1990s when the boom began.
I don't want to go back to those days myself. I frankly would HATE it if pricing went back to $60 for 1 OVA per laserdisc but they don't seem to appreciate the bigger picture here.
It's never going to be cheap to collect series on disc BUT it's still orders of magnitude cheaper to buy discs than it was before. For $60, we're getting AT LEAST half-seasons on average of most new TV series. Many of the old shows are getting FULL series releases (23 episodes or more) for under $40 now.
The mainstreaming created by the presence of dubs made that possible. It's helping to subidize and reduce the costs of releases.


Then, there's the opposite -- the guys who are too satisfied with any old dub and don't understand how important it is to cast these shows well and have at least decent ADR directors!
I can still only count the number of EXCEPTIONAL dubs on MAYBE 10 fingers and that's about it.
There are more decent dubs out there -- far more than there were prior to the mid-2000s but we still have a ways to go before the anime dubs reach the averages of a mainstream animated series that isn't aimed at preschool children.
A dub is good for me when I watch at least half the episodes of a TV series in English AND watch it in Japanese with subs, too. That's still the exception and not the norm for me. There are still far too many series where I don't watch more than one episode in English because the voice-acting is just cringe-worthy and the voices just don't match up with the characters. That's becoming less and less common nowadays but again it's not at the level of the mainstream voiceover industry yet.
GKids generally hits it out of the park with their theatrical dubs and most of the Disney Ghibili dubs were exceptional, too.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4678
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:34 pm Reply with quote
Stuart Smith wrote:
I think McGlynn summed it up pretty well. Anime was rare on television at the time, especially uncut anime aimed at older audiences. Cowboy Bebop, and Adult Swim in general, was a lot of 90s kids first exposure to adult anime. That's why it's impossible to replicate it again now that hundreds of anime are easily available to everyone every year at the click of a mouse.


I suppose that's true, but the general feel of anything from the 90s, like Chrono Trigger, would be hard to recreate.

GeorgeC wrote:
Those fans STILL exist.
I see/hear them ALL the time.
They are anime gatekeepers -- they would love the hobby to shrink down to maybe a few people like it was prior to the late 1990s when the boom began.
I don't want to go back to those days myself.


So do I. Their logic is everything should be subbed. They don't have a brain-to-mouth filter, so they repeat the same nonsense ad nauseam, thinking it'll come true if they keep doing it.

Quote:
There are more decent dubs out there -- far more than there were prior to the mid-2000s but we still have a ways to go before the anime dubs reach the averages of a mainstream animated series that isn't aimed at preschool children.


I don't agree. There have been far more exceptional than non-exceptional dubs in the last fifteen years. Dubbing has improved vastly since then, so it's not that difficult to find some great ones.
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Stiles



Joined: 21 Oct 2014
Posts: 62
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:43 pm Reply with quote
Just nothing but the most epic of props to all the fine men and women on both sides of the Pacific who worked on Bebop. Wish I could've been in New York for this, but I'm pleased to see that it must have been a great experience. Very Happy

I love your work in FLCL Alternative, Mr. Blum. Stellar as always.
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supercalafragilisticjoy



Joined: 17 Aug 2015
Posts: 87
Location: Chiba, Japan
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 1:53 am Reply with quote
Quote:
“He's here,” Blum jumped in quickly, self-referencing, “and he got the girl.


I could not stop the squeal that escaped.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 3381
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:56 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
but the character designs and animation still look fresh rather than being artifacts of its time. If you showed this to a fan who'd somehow never heard of it, they couldn't tell you it was made in 1998.
The character designs were unique, both now and very much for their time, so it is not like something like Outlaw Star that screams 90s.In all the times that I've re-watched it, the only time I ever thought that it looked dated, was a few brief shots in the opening of Pierrot le Fou, where the camera is flying over a 3D city, and you can see low-res textures of the roofs. And that's just really minute nitpicking.
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DangerMouse



Joined: 25 Mar 2009
Posts: 3649
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:45 am Reply with quote
belvadeer wrote:
I don't agree. There have been far more exceptional than non-exceptional dubs in the last fifteen years. Dubbing has improved vastly since then, so it's not that difficult to find some great ones.

Completely agree.

Stiles wrote:
Just nothing but the most epic of props to all the fine men and women on both sides of the Pacific who worked on Bebop. Wish I could've been in New York for this, but I'm pleased to see that it must have been a great experience. Very Happy

I love your work in FLCL Alternative, Mr. Blum. Stellar as always.

Well said. Amazing show and job by all the staff and voice actors.

Was really cool to read that seeing ep 23 got Kamiyama got to call in Sato to work with him. They knocked SAC out of the park.

Can I also say that this bit was amazing to see mentioned because it always makes me laugh when it happens during that episode
Quote:
McGlynn's favorite episode is Mushroom Samba. “What were you guys thinking?!” she asked, turning to the Japanese production staff. According to McGlynn, it was one of only times on television where they got away with saying a swear word by leaving a pause in between the word “shitaki.” Kawamoto commented that story was cool to hear, because in Japan, they have the word “shitaki,” but not the equivalent swear word.


That mid-word pause gets me every time. Laughing
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donhumberto



Joined: 19 Jan 2017
Posts: 427
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:12 am Reply with quote
Nothing to add here, just a big thank you for this article. It was a wonderful read and a reminder that I have to get around rewatching Bebop soon.
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Marzan



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 378
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:40 am Reply with quote
Great read! It's so rewarding to read that the people who worked on it all those years ago still feel the love for the series. And yeah, an exceptional dub that deserves to be remembered and held up as a standard.

Bebop has a certain timeless quality to it. We know the story, voice acting and music are all top, top notch, but even the animation holds up really well in these CGI and stillframe heavy days.

Look forward to seeing this with my kids some years from now.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 13671
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 7:26 am Reply with quote
Murder, She wrote:

Next, the panelists were asked to describe how the landscape has changed in the 20 years since working on Cowboy Bebop. All agreed that the magic of Cowboy Bebop was something unique and potentially could not be replicated today. For one, Yamane pointed out, there is a lot less original anime being produced.

As for the idea of a sequel to the show, the panel was predictably coy about committing to an answer. Consensus seemed to be that the original was a bit of lightning in a bottle and it would be up to Watanabe ultimately.


It's hard to capture lightning in a bottle of anything (look at Attack on Titan as a more recent example).

And these days, from Hollywood to anime, it's all about branding - shows are picked up based on already popular brands, so they don't have to build it up from scratch (it already has an established renown).


Murder, She wrote:

McGlynn and Blum were both in agreement that Cowboy Bebop opened doors for both fans and the industry. Prior to Cowboy Bebop, Blum said he was hesitant to go to conventions because of the dreaded sub versus dub argument that was so prevalent at the time. He often was told by angry fans that he and other voice actors were ruining anime.


I remember that; was already going to cons then. If ya went to cons talking about dubs, you were putting your life into your own hands. Laughing


belvadeer wrote:
GeorgeC wrote:

There are more decent dubs out there -- far more than there were prior to the mid-2000s but we still have a ways to go before the anime dubs reach the averages of a mainstream animated series that isn't aimed at preschool children.


I don't agree. There have been far more exceptional than non-exceptional dubs in the last fifteen years. Dubbing has improved vastly since then, so it's not that difficult to find some great ones.


Besides, many of the mainstream animated series nowadays are staffed by the same directors/actors/actresses who dub anime now too. Check out the credits.
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belvadeer



Joined: 11 Jun 2006
Posts: 4678
PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:28 am Reply with quote
DangerMouse wrote:
Completely agree.


Thank you.

enurtsol wrote:
Besides, many of the mainstream animated series nowadays are staffed by the same directors/actors/actresses who dub anime now too. Check out the credits.


I know. That's a big part of why I love dubs.
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