You sure can’t. Pic only vaguely related. A warning before I go into any sort of detail: this post is going to be long and filled with ramblings and it’s probably poorly organized. I’ve been staring at it too long now to try to fix it. Things other than anime are going to come up. But anime is still at the heart of this in the end since at its core this post is about liking things and loving things (and the nature of my love for my favourite anime series).
Hey here’s a quick story it’ll be relevant later I promise. For the longest time, I watched Cyborg 009 when it was airing on Cartoon Network and kept trying to find reasons to dislike it. They usually were shallow reasons. “People don’t have noses that big! Jet is stupid with his stupid huge pointy nose. This opening song is stupid! Gosh, the idea of a telekinetic babybot is dumb.” Years later? I finally admit to myself that I liked the show. That’s why I kept watching it! I haven’t got a clue as to why I wanted to dislike it.
I don’t know why or how but I eventually became acquainted with the Adult Swim timeslot on Cartoon Network. Cowboy Bebop was airing, like always, and I remember feeling annoyed whenever I saw the commercials for it. It looked goofy! Why does Spike look goofy? Does this show think it is the best thing ever or something? And then one day I actually watched it and realized how stupid I was being. It was a pretty great show.
So, recently I saw a post on MAL about Cowboy Bebop being overrated and people asking “what is so good about it?” That made me rewatch the series again. And it actually shocked me a little. Why did this rewatch shock me? Because I still loved it, maybe even more than I did all those times I watched it in the past. And the most bizarre thing was that when I first watched it, there was no moment where I cried. It seems like each time after that, I cried at one more scene. One more scene that I cry at, to be cried at every single time I watch again, each time I watch it. The only other thing that’s done that to me is the movie Donnie Darko.
Part of me cries at all of these scenes because they’re sad. But they were sad the first time — just as sad, in fact — so why cry the next time you see it instead of the first time? Or even the next ten times that I saw those scenes? Those were all totally appropriate times to be crying if it was really that sad.
For Donnie Darko, I eventually came to realize that I was crying because I didn’t think there would ever be another movie that I’d like that much. To this date there hasn’t been one, and I can say the same about Cowboy Bebop (although things have gotten far, far closer to that than any movie has to Donnie Darko for me). But what makes these so amazing or whatever? No matter how you look at it, they’re both solid, but… if you were to ask me to list aspects that made me like them, I wouldn’t be able to come up with much. And certainly nothing of substance… I love their entirety. If I try to point out individual aspects of these it feels, to me, like playing a single note from a song rather than playing the full song just because I liked how that note sounded at one part. It’s not right. It’s out of place. It’s not where it belongs and it can’t be alone or I won’t be able to love it anymore.
But I don’t think it’s right to say that all of these people who can’t understand the love for Cowboy Bebop are watching it wrong. I’m sure that aside from the ones who went into it with a bitter attitude about its popularity (hype aversion is a terrible thing) they were watching it just like I was. And it’s not as though every person who loves Cowboy Bebop even shares my opinion about it, either. I’ve not exactly spoken with anyone about this, let alone put these thoughts into form before, but it seems hard to believe that everyone who likes Cowboy Bebop would be incapable of coming up with good, critical reasons for liking it like I am. Plus, that crying thing? I’d be so shocked if anyone else did that.
Anyway, it was really bizarre to try to answer that question (“What’s so good about it?”) after rewatching Cowboy Bebop. I just love it. The best reasons I can come with for why I like it so much is how well the (great!) music was used, which enhanced every single scene in the show; the characters (which, while well-done, are nothing special even within the genre, so why do I like these ones SO much?); and the fact that it tickled the part of me that was probably destined since birth to love Film Noir.
I cannot explain in any further detail why I love this show so much. I can come up with even less reasons for Donnie Darko. I even tried — really hard actually — to find flaws in these. I couldn’t. I thought of one or two things but they seemed like such terribly shallow “flaws” that would have ruined part of what made them what they were should they be “fixed.” They probably weren’t really flaws. It was probably on the level of the stupid stuff I used when I was younger to convince myself that I hated Cyborg 009.
I also wouldn’t even try to watch a remake of these things if one were to be made. They could only end up inferior or a situation like the Psycho remake (which was basically inferior in the end, not to mention useless). Because my mind has placed them on a pedestal so high I can only assume that my subconscious believes they’re perfect. I would change this, since I don’t like that I can only speak of them in such a limited way and I don’t like the idea of there being a limit to awesomeness, but I can’t.
tl;dr I will never review Cowboy Bebop (pretty sure Darker Than Black’s never going to happen either) and you guys are all jerks for hating on people who don’t like what you like or like what you don’t like. If it bugs you so much, change your opinion! Oh wait. You can’t! Haw haw haw.