Blu-ray Review: Cowboy Bebop – Box 2

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Anime Limited’s second debut title is none other than the second half to Cowboy Bebop, but what exactly do we think of this Blu-ray Release, does the quality remain consistent with the first half? Find out in our Blu-ray Review of Cowboy Bebop – Box 2.

Synopsis:

The crew of the Bebop is once again ready to clean up space by bringing bad guys to justice and trying to make some cash while doing it!

Join the always-cool Spike Spiegal, investigative genius Jet Black, the alluring Faye Valentine, the amazing (but weird) Ed and the super-smart Welsh Corgi named Ein as they try to make a buck in the year 2071. How do they do it? They’re bounty hunters!

Our View:

After the first Cowboy Bebop box-set ended on a high with the ‘Jupiter Jazz’ episodes, which saw Spike go up against his old comrade Vicious, the second half of the series resumes in full swing with Spike, Jet, Faye and Ed working together in order to track down their latest bounty, a master tactician known as Chessmaster Hex. Hex is considered a genius and he originally designed the warp gates that spaceships use today, however after the company fired him from his job he set a plan in motion that will disrupt the service and cause issues for the company, but due to the plan taking 50 years to unravel he ended up growing old and forgetting the plan, so while all the bounty huntters are attempting to track him down he playing chess online with everyone’s favourite hacker, Edward.

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Despite having a ‘serious’ topic of the Series continues in this comical fashion, with Faye, Spike and Jet ending up with comical, but realistic, situations that never seem to get boring or dull especially when it comes to the Mushroom Samba episode. It’s not all fun and games for the crew either, as with all four characters pasts being explored there is a lot to take in, especially when a person believed to be Faye’s old boyfriend turns up as a bounty.

The first half of the series acted as the introduction, with some filler thrown in for good measure, and this second half provides the conclusion, all of which is presented in explosive fashion. Spike’s past finally gets explored, the mysterious blonde woman Julia is finally located and helps the Bebop crew in their time of need and even Edward’s farther makes an appearance, which comes as a surprise to the whole bebop crew.

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Those expecting anything different from this second half-season set maybe disappointed, as it is the same top-notch picture and audio quality that was introduced in the first set, with stories being told in episodic format – that is until towards the end of the series whereby Faye finally finds clues surrounding her past while Spike re-encounters Vicious for one last showdown.

Extras:

Anime Limited release of The first Blu-ray set for Cowboy Bebop set the bar pretty high with it’s impressive collection of extra features, so it’s disappointing to see that only the original Japanese Audio Commentaries and the Ein’s Summer Holiday special are included.

Disc 1:

  • Ein’s Summer Holiday (1 minute)
  • Episode 17 Commentary with Shinichiro Watanabe & Yoko Kanno

Disc 2:

  • Episode 24 Commentary with Megumi Hayashibara (Faye) and Aoi Tada (Ed)

Both Audio Commentaries provide a detailed insight into the production of the series, something which is not even covered by the English Cast Commentaries seen on the FUNimation releases. The Summer Holiday on the other hand is a 1 minute-long extra feature that shows Ein relaxing, however despite me assuming it was an animation it is actually a slideshow of artwork, but highly detailed at that.

While there is extras included I can’t help but feel disappointed with the amount, especially when the first half contained an ‘extensive’ amount.

Specs:

Media: BD 50 x2
Region: B
Running Time: 2:51:35 (Disc 1), 2:27:46 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White – Text), (Blue & Green – Songs)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080i)
Aspect Ratio:  4:3
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

Cowboy Bebop continues the comical adventures of Spike, Jet, Faye, Edward and Ein as they travel the galaxy collecting bountyheads and causing mischief for anyone their come across. During this second collection Faye uncovers her past, Jet helps out an old friend, Edward’s heritage is revealed and Spike’s conflict with Vicious is put to the end. It’s an explosive, action-packed, Jazz-fueled adventure that’s even better now that its in re-mastered High Definition and DTS Surround Sound.

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As mentioned it’s the original story and the original (English & Japanese) voice actors, but the audio and picture quality have had a massive overhaul and is far superior to any previous DVD release. Both audio languages are presented in 5.1 DTS-HD Mast Audio and provided a realistic experience through a surround sound kit. The picture itself is left in it’s original 4:3 and is clearly presented in 1080i presentation, with colours brighter, clearer and more detailed than before.

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If you have seen the first half of the series on Blu-ray then the picture and audio quality remain consistent in this second release, with only the episodic content and lack of extra features being different. This second half wraps-up the series perfectly and it provides a highly entertaining conclusion to one of the best anime series of all time, something which has now been made even better thanks to the introduction of Blu-ray. See You Later Space Cowboy…

Score: review-stars-5

Cowboy Bebop – Box 2 will be available on Blu-ray from the 14th October 2013.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

5 Responses to Blu-ray Review: Cowboy Bebop – Box 2

  1. Random Anime Watcher says:

    How are the chapters set on the second box? Same as the first? Meaning that you can’t skip the intro and go straight to the episode?

    • Scott says:

      Hi, the chapter points have been fixed in this second half. (i.e. Opening, Part A, Part B, Ending), so in other words you can skip the opening and go straight to the start of the episode.

  2. Klappstuhl says:

    Episode 25 & 26 isn’t on this box? What? Where’d the ending go? Where’s the finale, is that on a seperate box?

    • Scott says:

      Episode 25 & Episode 26 (or Session 25 or Session 26 as they are known) are on the Second Blu-ray Disc or this Cowboy Bebop – Box 2 Blu-ray release.

      For your information this is a review for the UK Blu-ray release of Cowboy Bebop – Box 2, which is being distributed into the UK by Anime Limited/All The Anime.

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