Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed and Ein are back and like you've never seen or heard them before--Remixed!
If you were to ask most critics, fans and people in the industry to come up with a list of the greatest anime of all time, it would be a safe bet to say that Cowboy Bebop would appear on most people's short list. You could say that in recent times there haven't been many anime that have become as popular or been as well received as Cowboy Bebop has been. Since its appearance in the US on Adult Swim in September 2001, it has helped to introduce a whole new generation of fans to anime.
Recently, Cowboy Bebop reached the incredible plateau of over one million DVD sales. You would think that with all of these copies sold, most people who want it would have it by now, and so what's the reason for re-releasing all six volumes, especially when the "Best Sessions" DVD release included six episodes in 5.1 surround sound? Well, it's the idea that these fans, most of whom are pretty die-hard about this series, will go crazy over the fact that now all of the episodes has been completely redone in 5.1 surround sound, and that each DVD contains a boatload of quality extra features. Hey, it worked for Neon Genesis Evangelion. For anyone who hasn't bought Cowboy Bebop yet, or for anyone who has been waiting for an improved deluxe release, this will certainly make them go out and purchase the entire series.
Since basically everyone who knows anything about anime knows about Cowboy Bebop, here is the gist of the series. Take four bounty hunters and one dog, all with mystery pasts, throw them into a future setting, and you have it. However, that would be an unfair description, as the perfect mix of art, music, characters, story and style is not like anything else out there. As the creators say, perhaps Cowboy Bebop has become a genre all of its own. With the perfect blend of episodic style storytelling, combined with a central over-arching plot, Cowboy Bebop is one of the can't-miss anime shows that every fan should make sure to see.
If you had to come up with one knock on the initial release of Cowboy Bebop, it would be the weak special features included on the volumes. You had some character profiles and a Tank music clip on the first volume; nothing too impressive, and considering how big of a show that Cowboy Bebop is, not getting anything more on the disc was a bit disappointing.
This problem was more than fixed with the release of the Remix edition. The first volume has the complete Cowboy Bebop trailer collection, all of the promo ads on Adult Swim, as well as commentary for episode one by Spike and Jet's Japanese voice actors, commentary for episode five by Faye's Japanese voice actress and the ADR director, and an interview with Wendee Lee, Faye's English voice actress. Just for good measure, you get the movie promo and a textless ending. This is one completely loaded DVD, and Cowboy Bebop finally gets the extra treatment that it deserves.
The menus should be familiar to those who own the Best Sessions DVD, since it is done in the same format. You have the awesome Cowboy Bebop soundtrack to accompany the different menus, creating an excellent viewing experience from the moment that you insert the DVD and hit “play.”
The packaging, however, is something that hasn't improved with the new release. In the original edition, there is a description of the show on the back, and a small profile of the character featured on the front cover. It also contains a little insert in each DVD, with short episode descriptions and a list of the chapters. The Remix edition has no inserts, and the back of the DVD box contains a run-of-the-mill description of the show, a glossy metallic look, and a DVD feature list that omits all of the features that will appeal to fans. However, there is a nice slip cover over the case. These are minor details that really don't affect the release, but it's still disappointing. Fortunately, once you actually listen to the show in surround sound and watch the commentaries, all of these letdowns fade to nothingness.
The Remix edition has one of the best release schedules with an almost monthly rate. This is just another treat for the fans, especially since it’s not uncommon to see two months or longer to pass between DVD volume releases.
It is truly a new experience when you pop in the first volume, to be surrounded by Tank right as the episode starts. The 5.1 surround sound really does add a whole new level to this already impressive show, and everyone should be excited to hear future commentaries on some of the other episodes. Since this is one of the most looked into and often dissected shows, hearing the cast and crew give their own input on the series will be appreciated by many fans. It will be interesting to see what other features that they decide to add in future volumes, since there are a lot of promo ads on the first volume. Hopefully, they will always throw in these nice little extras, alongside the main features.
If you don't own Cowboy Bebop, or if you have been waiting to purchase it, now is the time. This could be one of the most "bang for your buck" releases that you will see in anime, with the high episode count per disc, 5.1 surround sound and special features. Even if you already own this show, you will certainly want to consider picking up the Remix edition, because of what it adds to the series. It's nice to see one of the true greats of anime getting a jazzed up release.