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volume 3 issue 11

In This Issue

Contents 2
Features 3
Chasing Otakuism 9
Anime Briefs 10
Reviews 11
Web Showcase 26
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INFO FILE
Title:
Cowboy Bebop CD-Box Original Sound Track (Limited Edition)
Format:
4 CDs + 1 CD Single
64 music tracks + 32 dialogue tracks
Production:
Yoko Kanno
Seatbelts
Victor Entertainment
Comments:
The largest collection of some of the best music from one of the greatest anime shows ever produced.
Overall Rating:
98%

Animefringe Reviews:
Cowboy Bebop CD-Box Original Sound Track (Limited Edition)
By Patrick King

From the opening credits, Cowboy Bebop had me entranced. The sleek and stylish visuals combined with the incredible theme song, "Tank!," convinced me that I was about to experience something grand right off the bat.

The show completely lived up to the promise of the high-energy opening, surpassing my every expectation in every way, whether visually, musically, or plot wise. Now, a couple of years after my introduction to the series, I actually own a copy of the soon to be out of production Limited Edition CD Box Set. My girlfriend finds the best birthday gifts for me, bar none. Thanks again, Lauren! ^_^

First of all, I suppose I'll cover the packaging. Wrapped in nifty cellophane with bright yellow stickers holding the attached CD single, the set comes in a handsome brown box embossed with the title and with a black inking of Spike on the cover. The actual disc holder slips out of the cardboard box and is two CDs high and one wide, folding in half to fit in the case. The interior box is white with a gray logo and gray illustrations of Ein, Ed, Spike, Jet, and Faye from left to right. Each is dressed to kill, and Ein (the Welsh Corgi) looks particularly cute in a beret and bow tie. On the back of the interior case there's a sketch of a crumpled cigarette pack and snuffed cigarette. Opening the case reveals all four full-size discs, colored blue, green, red, and yellow with the same pictures of Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed and Ein etched on the disc. This is a beautiful box set, fully up to snuff with the masterful art design of the show.

Also included is a 59-page booklet (in Japanese, mostly) with the history of the Seatbelts, interviews with Shinichiro Watanabe, Aoi Tada, Masashi Ebara, and Yoko Kanno. There's also an original score, full lyrics, a track list and episode guide, discography, and more. I just need to whip out my kanji dictionary and go to town on this puppy...

The first three discs contain music and dialogue tracks from the show. Many tracks are alternate versions from what has been released on earlier soundtrack CDs, but all are recognizable. All of the big songs are here, a TV-size version of "Tank!," "Want it All Back," "Blue," "The Real Folk Blues," and more. The fourth disc collects nine live tracks from a Seatbelts concert, and it's perhaps my favorite disc out of all of them. The single has two remixes of "Tank!," one sung by Ed, and one by Ein. It also has a remix of Andy's (the Cowboy) theme. Overall, it's incredibly comprehensive for such a musically huge show. The alternate versions are all at least as good as the originals, and some are simply extended versions of things we've already heard.

If you've read this far, then you probably already know how great the music for Cowboy Bebop is. Like the show it was written for, it escapes any one genre, blending a multitude of styles in an imaginative way to create something wonderfully original, yet familiar at the same time. I can't get enough of it. From funk, to pop, to jazz, to electronica, there's a bit of everything here. Yoko Kanno is no newcomer to the anime music world, having done the soundtracks for Macross, Escaflowne, and Brain Powered among countless other series. Personally, of all the other music I've heard from Yoko Kanno, I can say this is easily my favorite stuff. It complemented the action in the show so well that just hearing it brings back memories of some of the best scenes. Just hearing "Blue" or "Call Me, Call Me" almost brings a tear to my eyes, and I can't help but laugh when I hear "Cats on Mars" or "Bad Dog No Biscuit," as I'm reminded of Ed and Ein.

This is easily some of the best music I've ever heard, and it's packaged in a wonderfully appealing box, and if you look quick, you can snag it from CD Japan, at http://www.cdjapan.co.jp (a real version, not some crummy bootleg!) for about $100 after shipping. $100 is quite a bit of cash, but it's well worth it for this set, whether you love Cowboy Bebop or if you're just a music aficionado. Act fast, though, for this will only be in production for about another month by the time this is published, and this isn't something you want to miss!

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