The Real Folk Blues; how I miss the drama!

Where has the drama gone?

This is my anime rants and the post is full of spoilers of Cowboy Bebop. Proceed with caution.

The other day, I sat back in front of my desktop, mentally wasted and physically exhausted from a hard day’s work. My mind was blurred by the throbbing headache from lack of sleep. I was hungry but didn’t want to move. I’d love to surf the blogs I usually followed but could not get through anything written longer than few lines. (I wished I had a maid like in those anime.) Anyway, I absent mindedly clicked through my hard drive and ran into Cowboy Bebop folder. Now that brought back memories. I went into the folder and unconsciously turned on the 25th episode; The Real Folk Blues part 1 then part 2. I just could not stop. I was revived.

After he lost Julia, Spike had been living in a dream. He told Faye that he saw the past through one eye and the present in the other which meant that the lost of Julia was always haunting him. In the end, he walked into his doom smiling because  he wanted to wake up from the dream. The two episode finale was the pinnacle of drama, tragedy and romance. It was over the top but that’s why it was so extraordinary.

Why do I feel like this? I asked myself. I had been watching anime continuously for…forever but that was the only moment in months I was totally satisfied. When I carefully thought about it, it seemed like recent anime series could hardly deliver the drama with such power and depth like Bebop did. Not to mention the echhi/fan-service high school type anime, recent titles which were generally, critically well received were trying too hard to be different or innovative. None of them managed to excel in the most classic and timeless element of any story; the drama and the magic.

Maybe it is just me living in the past just like Spike does. Maybe I am turning into an oldfag. Or Cowboy Bebop was just too unique. Whichever the case, this does not mean that I am losing hope or anything. I am still watching new shows and enjoying them like always. I only hope that one of the shows might be able to capture me and shake me to the core like Bebop did.

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20 responses to “The Real Folk Blues; how I miss the drama!

  1. Oh wow, you work so hard! I hope such an exhaustive day is an exception rather than the rule.

    Ah, it sounds like you are suffering from Post Awesome Anime Syndrome :P

    A case of a little bit of everything.

    Cowboy Bebop is one of my favorite anime of all time :)

    I find it quite difficult to find new anime that I could enjoy. Sure, there are some that are tolerable, but, because I am very busy now, I don’t feel like investing time in them.

    • Bad days come and go. My work can be unpredictable at times and when I am thankful of every single free moment given to me.
      Lately, I also find myself thinking a lot more than ever before starting new series. But then again, I can drop it any time I want ;)
      Post Awesome Anime Syndrome…Awesome!

  2. I think you’re just cherry-picking your data points. Cowboy Bebop is undoubtedly good, but when you look at it, some of the more recent fare like Cross Game and Mouryo no Hako have been really strong picks. Good shows have always been rare, but they still exist! Just watch for them and don’t despair!

    • You are right and it so happens that I somehow miss both Cross Game and Mouryo no Hakko.
      *scribbling both titles into my watch list*

  3. Cowboy Bebop is in my top 3 ever, but I’d be foolish to look for the same kind of drama and execution from my #1 (Macross), or from another anime that is superior in so many other things (Legend of the Galactic Heroes), or executes using different methods (Aria: the Origination), or stays in high school (Toradora!).

    • I may have set my expectation too narrowly. I’ll probably have to wait forever for something like Bebop. You are right, great drama and execution come in many forms…mostly in high school?

      • I mean that it’s difficult to expect adult-level drama from high school characters. So comparing Bebop to something like Toradora! which is excellent high school drama, or even Honey and Clover which is great college drama is quite tough.

      • Yeah, I recently reviewed Toradora! myself. It was such a great show and completely different from Bebop :)

  4. Good shows continue to exist. I admit, there’s hardly any, if not no drama shows lately. All revolving around action or comedy, some relying solely on ecchi. Quite sad really.

  5. Yes, modern seasonal anime is over-commercialized and rather trivial on a large scale, but like the others have mentioned Bebop is an exceptional case (timeless). I feel viewers can find such poignant sensation and satisfaction in modern works, but it might be forever before finding a tone inline with The Real Folk Blues… there are still quality points, even if they come from within mediocre works, but they definitely have their own tone and variation.

    :) Hope you rest and charge your batteries!

  6. There are gems in the more recent fare, but my brother and I discuss the very same thing. We talk about how past anime series are so much better than the ones today, and of course we bring out the high school fan service card.

    However, I think memory tends to be biased towards the past. It’s like if I haven’t had a certain food in ages, I remember it as being delicious beyond belief. Then I actually eat it and it’s only average. With that being said, Cowboy Bebop was godly.

  7. I feel the same about Cowboy Bebop. I usually really hate old school anime, but this one is so good, I fell in love with the characters, the mood, the world, and the drama. It’s a classic.

  8. I was actually talking about Cowboy Bebop the other day with a friend. He said that he wished there is more of Cowboy Bebop, seeing how good it is, but I was more of the opinion that it is perfect as it is (I guess it does help a bit that it was not insanely popular in Japan so there was no real pressure for a sequel/prequel). That ending still ranks as one of the best all-time in all medium for me:)

    At the end of the day, Cowboy Bebop is a pretty special anime that I feel is one of a kind and to expect another anime that might rival it might be a bit too much to hope for…

    Saying that, there are still some good dramatic animes that has recently been released such as Planetes and Twelve Kingdoms (two of my favourites of all time alongside Cowboy Bebop) ealier this decade and Bokurano more recently (Although flawed, I love the dram, action and tragedy that happened to the young protagonists in this one).

    • Those anime yo mentioned are surely great works only in different way from Bebop. I guess all excellent anime all differ in their own ways. It’s just that Bebop somehow clicked with me more than others :)

  9. I’ve been meaning to re-watch Cowboy Bebop for ages. At the time I watched it I was a kid that had very simple needs from my anime series. Making the jump from Cardcaptor Sakura and Pokemon to Bebop was too much of a sudden maturity level change (at least that’s my theory). I liked the series (I ESPECIALLY liked Faye and her past) but the series didn’t resonate with me as deeply as it had with others. I’m going to re-watch it and see if that was really the case. I know I DEFINITELY like Samurai Champloo.

    Oh also if I feel completely exhausted and run down by life, watching Lucky Star anime really cheers me up. That’s the only anime series that has felt like rejuvenating medicine for me.

    • Re-watch is quite essential in certain occasions. For me, it was Evangelion which got much better after I re-watched it. I don’t especially like Samurai Champloo but it surely is quite popular among western fans. (I wonder if hip-hop music is to be blamed here @_@)

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