Cowboy Bebop (カウボーイビバップ, Kaubōi Bibappu) is an acclaimed 1998 Japanese anime series developed by Sunrise. It featured a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane and composer Yoko Kanno. The twenty-six episodes (“sessions”) of the series comprise a complete storyline set in the year 2071. It follows the adventures, misadventures and tragedies of a bounty hunter (“cowboy”) crew travelling on the Bebop, their spaceship. Cowboy Bebop also explores several philosophical concepts including existentialism, loneliness, and existential ennui.
The series premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 3, 1998 until June 19, 1998, broadcasting only twelve episodes and a special due to its controversial content. The entire twenty-six episodes of the series were later broadcast on WOWOW on October 23, 1998 and ran until April 23, 1999. The anime was adapted into two manga series which were serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Asuka Fantasy DX. A Cowboy Bebop film was later released to theaters in Japan and worldwide.
The anime series was dubbed in the English language by Animaze, and has been licensed by Bandai Entertainment for releases in North America. It was also licensed by Beez Entertainment for English releases in the United Kingdom, and by Madman Entertainment for releases in Australia and New Zealand. In 2001, Cowboy Bebop became the first anime title to be broadcast on Adult Swim in the United States. Since then, the series has aired continuously in rotation due to its success.
Cowboy Bebop received widespread critical acclaim and became a commercial success both in Japanese and international markets, most notably in the United States. The series became a cult classic and later came to be regarded as a masterpiece. Cowboy Bebop is now considered to be one of the greatest and most influential anime of all time. It garnered major science fiction awards and has received universal praise for its characters, story, strong voice acting, animation and soundtrack.
- Sunrise (October 23, 1998 - April 23, 1999). Cowboy Bebop. episode 1 - 26. WOWOW.
- Cowboy Bebop Complete Anime Guide'. 1. Tokyopop. February 26, 2002. ISBN 1-931514-84-4.
- Cowboy Bebop Complete Anime Guide'. 2. Tokyopop. March 26, 2002. ISBN 1-931514-85-2.
- Cowboy Bebop Complete Anime Guide'. 3. Tokyopop. April 23, 2002. ISBN 1-931514-86-0.
- Cowboy Bebop Complete Anime Guide'. 4. Tokyopop. May 21, 2002. ISBN 1-931514-08-9.
- Cowboy Bebop Complete Anime Guide'. 5. Tokyopop. June 18, 2002. ISBN 1-59182-022-7.
- Cowboy Bebop Complete Anime Guide'. 6. Tokyopop. July 23, 2002. ISBN 1-59182-023-5.
- Official website (Japanese) & Official website (English)
- Cowboy Bebop (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Cowboy Bebop at the Internet Movie Database
- Cowboy Bebop at AllRovi
- Cowboy Bebop at TV.com
- Adult Swim – Official Adult Swim Cowboy Bebop