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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday Epic Anime Scene - Final Shootout in Cowboy Bebop (aka Chow Yun Fat was cool!)

It's getting harder to find an epic anime scene on Youtube. It doesn't help that every single search result I get is some rubbish AMV (anime music video) that ALWAYS use Linkin Park's songs. I was once fascinated by AMV years ago, some are bloody awesome, especially those that are capable of splicing characters from different animes into the same video. It was slightly before I started learning my own video editing, and I think in some ways, watching AMV could've been an influence.

I think my relationship with AMV ended during my time in Perth, when hardcore anime fans I know started wailing about how Linkin' Park is the greatest band of all time (I'm sure it's the ONLY 'rock' band they've ever listened to) and how they force me to watch those rubbish AMV in their collection. It was a little like CLOCKWORK ORANGE, I ended up becoming a changed man.

So don't be surprise if I'm ending this supposedly weekly thing soon (after only 3 weeks?). I don't want to go through so many AMV again, it's traumatic.

For this week, I'll go for a slightly newer anime, instead of something from the 80s, I give you something from the late 90s.

Cowboy Bebop.

Like many, this was one of the few series I truly adored during my high school years. I initially wanted to choose the famous GREEN BIRD scene (from the episode Ballad of Fallen Angels). Because I still remember how blew away I was by its visual poetry, but then, I thought that when it came to sheer badassness (this is meant to be for 'epic' scenes, not 'poetic' ones), I definitely have to choose the last episode of COWBOY BEBOP where Spike and Vicious had their final showdown.

I'm surprised to see that the whole sequence from Spike flying off in his plane to Vicious' headquarters, fighting the minions, and then the solo battle against Vicious to the ending clocked only around 5 minutes. That's pretty fast and effective. That's the amount of time Son Goku took to turn into a Super Saiyajin 3.


The final shootout in COWBOY BEBOP


Cowboy Bebop is heavily influenced by John Woo's Hong Kong films in the 80s. And it's really obvious in this sequence. And because the series predated THE MATRIX, everything happened quickly, no flow-mo, no bullet time, nothing. Just (...relatively) realistic badass shootout that's as good as anything you see in a live-action film. If your impression of John Woo comes solely from his shitty Hollywood films (FACE/OFF was his only good one), then you ought to check out the stuff that made him famous, like A BETTER TOMORROW 1 AND 2, THE KILLER and HARD-BOILED.

I have a soft spot for A BETTER TOMORROW 2, which is often the butt of a joke for many because of the way they brought Chow Yun Fat back to the sequel. His character died in part 1, so they have a twin brother returning from US to kick ass this time. It's genius. Only BEERFEST had the audacity to do something like that since then.

A BETTER TOMORROW 2 had some badass shooting scenes which really influenced the COWBOY BEBOP sequence above. Check this out.


The final shootout in A BETTER TOMORROW


By the 7-minute mark, you'll see Chow Yun Fat's one-on-one showdown with that nameless badass killer. The Spike vs Vicious scene is a homage to this.

If you're too lazy for that, you can just watch the showdown on the following video.


Spike vs Vicious is a homage to this scene from A BETTER TOMORROW 2


Since this blog post had turned into an A BETTER TOMORROW 2 tribute, I'll give you all the best scene from the film. It's Chow Yun Fat's 'EAT THE RICE' scene, in which Chow Yun Fat teaches white people not to disrespect rice.


"FOR YOU, RICE IS NOTHING, BUT TO US, RICE JUST LIKE MY FATHER AND MOTHER. DON'T FUCK WITH MY FAMILY!"
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