Music Monday – Knockin’ on the Golden Age

With all this new-fangled anime I think it’s about time to take Music Monday back to it’s roots… or at least to a period where music was a much more valuable asset to anime than it is today – where music would make a good series great and memorable. So I think it is more than appropriate to again give Yoko Kanno the spotlight (this being the umpteenth time) for her music that defined a period of anime that remains unparalleled and completely untouchable – all you composers – you Gotta Knock a Little Harder~

Brings a tear to the eye. Gotta Knock a Little Harder is the outro to Cowboy Bebop the Movie: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, and while the ‘movie’ maintains the charm of the television series, it still feels like it is missing the soul, a trend which is becoming more and more common today.

Back in the day (when I was a young man) an anime series was a pretty high quality package – quality animation for the time, epic music, and it would have a storyline that was as entertaining as it was intelligent. Now either there was simply an overabundance of masterpieces in the 90’s to early 2000’s or the moe shock and quality decline of recent years really has taken its toll, as nowadays you often find anime which possesses only a few, if any, of these key features that made the anime of yesteryear… well masterpieces.

Bebop the Movie suffers from being something of an extra scenario just for fans to enjoy, but really does not enhance the franchise overall. Since the story has been wrapped up, the world seen, and characters fully explored in the tv series there appears to be no significance to even have the movie at all, at least in the grander scheme of things.

So, cha-ching~, maybe the movie was a cash in, using the reputation of a popular series to effectively print money… ok sure, but it is clear that they at least tried to make a reasonable plot, they called Yoko in to do music, and the animation is nice by any standard. But sadly that is not enough. The whole premise of Bebop series has been based around the misadventures of a motley crew, who go about their collective or individual goals in the galactic wild west, all the while set to awesome music. Simply out, Bebop the Movie does not cover all these bases, with all the story from the tv series rendered insignificant and loved side-characters told to take the back seat – making it something of a black sheep in the excellent franchise.

As I mentioned before, this is not just Bebop performing this cash in, and it has been in fact trending for a while. Trigun had Badlands Rumble, Neon Genesis Evangelion has the Rebuild of Evangelion, and Berserk with it’s Golden Age Arc. It might just be the old pandora’s box feeling, in that ancient treasures (well, not really ancient) should not be touched, never, ever. This feeling has gotten stronger over the years, as beloved series or franchises potentially sell themselves short, giving us a reminder of what they once where, only to shake our heads as to what they have become – as they will never like up to their original anime counterparts, in nearly every way.

Some people pray for stuff to be remade or brought back for another season, I however, hope that a series will remain true to it’s original vision and remain dead, but very much alive in our memories as it was – an anime that had it all.