Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Theories: Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo

So Cowboy Bebop, known as the all time classic anime, placed on many people's top 10 lists, has this thing I'm looking for. I can't name what this thing is, all I can call it is "The IT factor". Its got beautiful animation, music, atmosphere, and has made many manly men desire Spike's badassery/coolness, or just desiring after Spike himself. What is this "IT" factor? I tried to make a list that compiles the formula for the awesomeness of Cowboy Bebop. Let's use a math equation! Western + Outer Space + Jazz/Bebop + Film Noir + Martial Arts + Gun Fu John Woo influence =

So to boil it all down, the formula is this:

Genre + Setting + Music Genre + Atmosphere/Tone + Character's skill set + Choice of action

The show entails the characters' past, dreams, wishes, and their current struggles (ie. low on cash, always hungry, in debt). The character's are developed and created from their revealed pasts and continue to develop and grow as they live their lives in the now.

So now let us compare Cowboy Bebop with it's spiritual successor.

Samurai Champloo showcases the swordsmanship of two badasses. It's as if they took Spike Spigel and split him into two separate personalities. Actually forget that, comparisons are dumb. Mugen and Jin are two fighters on the opposite spectrum. They're fighting styles are different, their personalities are different, but their philosophies, moral compasses, lust for fighting and brothels make them a single kindred soul. And Fuu is the important component to keep them together and tied down to earth.

So here's Samurai Champloo's formula:

Samurai + Medieval Japan + Hip Hop + Wacky random hijinx + beetle wrestling, gambling, competitive food eating, etc. + Swordfighting =

Okay, so I'm stretching it with what Samurai Champloo's offering but you get the point.

It also features the same things as Cowboy Bebop: Starving, perpetually poor protagonists who face great odds while growing over time.

So utilizing this formula, I wanted to create a series that would be inspired and driven by the spirit of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. I feel that music is the BIGGEST driving force of both of these two series. Music provides the style and feel for everything incorporating the design of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo.

So to narrow it all down on what makes these series work, I complied a short list:

* Cast of interesting characters, whether or not they're badasses, liars, a thief, etc.

* A damn good soundtrack

* Style. Lots of style

* A character journey that either unites all the cast members together to reach their goal, or each individual character goes on their own journey. Either works separately or combined together.

And with that, hopefully this theory will help you figure out the key to success with your own original work if you're looking to accomplish the coolness that embodies these two works of art.
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