English title of the Cowboy Bebop movie that ran in japanese theatres in late summer, early fall 2000, and available in japanese DVD (Sorry, no subtitles on this release). The title is licensed for the US, and a limited theatrical release (LA/NY) is scheduled for January 2003. The japanese release ran this title along with the japanese title, Tengoku no Tobira
As the film is set between episodes 22 (Cowboy Funk) and 23 (Brain Scratch) the whole crew is present making the film a nice revisitation to all characters. And they all have their moments to show off their talents as well. Spike Spiegel gets some pretty impressive fight scenes, Ed is, well, strange as always, and so on.
As for the story, also to avoid spoiling to much, I'll let the official preview text do the talking:
Mars is under siege! Just before Halloween 2071, a terrorist bomb destroys a tanker truck on Highway One, close to a densely- populated crater city. There are casualties up to half a mile from the blast – 500 killed or injured by what appears to be a biochemical weapon. The reward for the bomber’s capture is a massive 300,000,000 woolongs… and there are four humans and a dog who really need the money. Down on their luck as usual, the crew of the Bebop get on the case.
But this time they may have bitten off to much for them to chew, as their opponent, Vincent Volaju seems quite determined, capable and invincible. And if this is not enough, who are Electra and the mysterious Rasheed and what is their agenda?
The artwork is breathtaking, the scenery takes you from your chair and into a strange arabian setting on Mars, and although the style is still very much as it was in the series, the transfer to the silver screen has brought out the best in state-of-the-art animation.
Yoko Kanno's score, Future Blues, is perfect, as always with this series, although it is not quite the same style the soundtracks of the series had. Still, I give it a thumbs up!
Finally, a link to the official homepage: