Sunday, January 17, 2021

Cowboy Bebop and the Pulp Solar System

The anime series Cowboy Bebop may not seem to have much in common with the sort of stuff you'd find in the pulp magazine Planet Stories in the period around World War II, but I feel like there are more similarities than one might think:
  • The action occurs in version of the solar system where a number of bodies are habitable. Sure, Cowboy Bebop says that were terraformed, but the story takes place in the 21st Century and the terraformed versions of the Galilean moons and the like are as fanciful as anything from Planet Stories.
  • Jet is a former cop and Spike and ex-gangster. These sort of hard-boiled backgrounds certainly wouldn't be out of place in pulp fiction of the 40s, and not unheard of in science fiction.
  • Both draw on influences like Noir and Westerns.
Sure, there are also a lot of differences, as are bond to happen when two works are the products of two different cultures and half a century. But it does some to me you could do something resembling Cowboy Bebop that fight squarely in the pulp context (in the era where bebop originated), or say pull Eric John Stark into a world more like Cowboy Bebop.

1 comment:

Daimon said...

Cowboy Bebop is absolutely a noir.

While many episodes had a lighter tone, the overall plot could have been taken by any '40ies crime novel.

Besides the show soundtrack (and soul) is jazz. And Jazz is the noir music