Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, known in Japan under the much better name Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven’s Door, was released in 2001 and takes place during the last handful of episodes of the series. Most animated films do not impact the overall arc of the series, featuring enemies, allies, and plot points that are rarely recognized outside of the film’s quarantine zone. . However, I knock on the door of paradise transcends the unimportant animated film trope and is central to the conversation surrounding the show’s cultural impact.
In I knock on the door of paradise, the gang are unwittingly drawn into a bio-terrorist plot, forced to stop the evil Vincent Volaju before he unleashes a deadly nanobot storm on Mars. The film touches on all the little things that make a Cowboy Bebop great episode. Each character has a moment to let their unique talents save the day. There’s an absolutely bitchy spaceship battle highlighted by Yoko Kanno’s Soul Theft soundtrack. And in the end, the villain is tragically relatable.
It is the tragedy of the villain that makes I knock on the door of paradise so crucial for Cowboy Bebopthe story of. Each episode of Cowboy Bebop gives you the slightest glimpse of what makes each character tick, and in the movie that glimpse widens into a window through which we’re allowed to see the characters like never before. For the English voices in the series, the film contains some of their most memorable moments.
âI actually became moved by Spike’s experience,â Jet Black voice actor Beau Billingslea said of the film in an interview with The edge.
Steve Blum, the voice of Spike Spiegel, agrees.
“I think the deepest moment for me was in the movie when he was talking to Electra about the pain he was feeling, his loss and his damage.”
Blum refers to one of the quieter moments in the film where he is stuck in a prison with Elektra Ovirowa – voiced by the Commander Shepard, Jennifer Hale. As Elektra shares her past romantic relationship with Vincent, Spike shares a bit of his own story in the Syndicate’s murderous mob.
âWhen I was younger I wasn’t afraid of anything,â Spike tells Elektra in the movie. âI didn’t have the slightest fear of dying. […] But then I met a certain woman and that changed. For the first time, the idea of ââdeath began to scare me.
“It was the first time he got really vulnerable,” Blum said, calling this moment the deepest and most open Spike ever. This moment in the film exposes in Spike a “vulnerability that he tried so hard to hide or escape,” according to Blum.
Wendee Lee, the voice of Faye Valentine, also holds the film in high regard. âWe know all of these characters have damage,â says Lee. âWe explore this systematically throughout the series. […] But they’re saving Spike for the movie. So much later. Think about the genius that is in the rhythms of storytelling on the way Be-bop delivers the story. I think that in itself is one of the biggest draws of the entire franchise.
Cowboy Bebop the series was recorded separately and in a disjointed fashion, with the actors coming in solo to record their scenes, one by one. While the camaraderie we hear in the team’s jokes was recorded in isolation, it was nonetheless genuine – and genuine in the actors themselves.
âSteve left me a note in the script,â recalls Billingslea. âHe said, ‘Hey Beau, Jet sucks.’ So I went through the script and said, ‘Hey Steve, Spike sucks, and the Bebop to my ship.’ “
For the film, the actors were brought to a large recording studio with the producers of the film on hand to give their feedback on the actors’ performances. Despite this distraction, Blum says the recording of the moment between Elektra and Spike was so emotional that it “fell apart.”
âAnd the timing was pretty brief compared to the show for a lot of other characters,â Blum continues. “And even [it was] so incredibly powerful and then back into action soon after, it was pretty amazing. It really taught me that one moment can change your life for better or for worse. It changed me as an actor, changed me as a person. And I didn’t have that realization until many years later.
I knock on the door of paradise‘s importance for Cowboy Bebop isn’t just because of the deep moments of the characters and actors, it’s also home to two of the best songs from the Be-bop canon from the soundtrack and the cast agree.
“Gotta Knock A Little Harder” is one of Blum’s favorite songs (and mine, I’m not gonna lie) as is “What Planet Is This”.
Cowboy Bebop is experiencing a renaissance. Twenty-two years after the show’s release, Netflix is ââreleasing a live-action adaptation and making the original anime available on its streaming platform (the anime is also available to stream on Funimation). But in the middle of the wave of Cowboy Bebop news – the soundtrack for the live show will launch on Spotify on the same day as the show – the film appears to be missing from the conversation. It doesn’t help that it can’t be broadcast anywhere. It’s not available on Netflix or Crunchyroll, although both services broadcast the show. (Oddly, though, you can stream it on Netflix in Canada – Lucky Canadians.) The only reason I was able to watch the movie again myself was because I still had a physical copy that I had bought for purchase. to my dad from a Blockbuster the day it was released. I knock on the door of paradise is just as ingrained in the DNA of the live show as the anime itself, and when we talk about the quality Cowboy Bebop that is, it should be included.