Cowboy Bebop Owes it’s Existence to star Wars : The Phantom Menace:

 While Cowboy Bebop creator Shinichirō Watanabe reveals how the influential sci-fi anime series owes its existence to Star Wars: In Episode I.


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Shinichirō Watanabe, the director behind Cowboy Bebop, has revealed how Star Wars: Episide I -The Phantom Menace inspired the creation of the 1998 sci-fi anime series.

Recently In an interview with Forbes, Watanabe explained how the first Star Wars prequel film paved the way for the existence of Cowboy Bebop. “The timing for Cowboy Bebop was when Star Wars were coming back with The Phantom Menace. That meant Bandai thought another Star Wars boom was likely on the way and spaceships would be key,” Watanabe said. “So they wanted to sell new plastic models of original spaceships. That resulted in their order to make an anime where spaceships would show up. So as long as there were spaceships, we could do whatever we wanted. However, once I started doing anything I wanted, Bandai came back saying that the plastic models of this anime would not sell. That resulted in Bandai canceling the project to do spaceship-related plastic models and they withdrew as a sponsor, resulting in Cowboy Bebop getting stuck….”

While According to Watanabe, Cowboy Bebop would have never happened if not for the involvement of former production company Bandai Visual. “At that time Bandai Visual was relatively new and they were looking for new anime, which resulted in us talking with Bandai Visual and them taking over the sponsor role for the anime. With that sorted, Cowboy Bebop could continue, but without Bandai Visual’s help, it would have likely been canceled. So to have Cowboy Bebop become so successful and still have lots of model kits and toys made is rather satisfying. It also shows that Bandai didn’t have the foresight to fund successful anime at that time…”..

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Moving ahead, Watanabe is not the first creative to discuss Bandai’s lack of foresight. According to Gundam manga artist Koichi Tokita, support for a female-led Mobile Suit Gundam series was rejected by the higher-ups over the sexist belief that “a Gunpla belonging to a female character wouldn’t sell.” The 2022 anime series Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch from Mercury made history by making Suletta Mercury its first main Gundam heroine with her own lineup of merchandise, such as a Gunpla of her Gundam Aerial…..

On the other hand Cowboy Bebop is commonly seen as one of the greatest anime series of all time. Fans and critics alike have praised the series for its stylistic presentation, hair-raising action sequences, and episodic storytelling that covers a variety of genres through its futuristic setting. All set to sensational jazz music by Japanese composer Yoko Kanno. The show’s strong popularity in the West is attributed to its debut on the Adult Swim block on Cartoon Network in 2001. Crunchyroll is releasing a special Cowboy Bebop box set in celebration of the series’ 25th anniversary……..

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