Cowboy Bebop is an animated Japanese television series. It was directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and written by Keiko Nobumoto and produced by Sunrise. It consisted of 26 episodes. The series followed the adventures of a group of bounty hunters traveling on their spaceship, the Bebop, in the year 2071.
Cowboy Bebop was a commercial success both in Japan and international markets, notably in the United States. After this reception, Sony Pictures released a feature film, Knockin' on Heaven's Door to theaters worldwide and followed up with an international DVD release. Two manga adaptations were serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Asuka Fantasy DX.
Cowboy Bebop has been strongly influenced by American music, especially the jazz movements of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s and the early rock era of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Many of its action sequences, from space battles to hand-to-hand martial arts combat, are set and timed to music. Following the musical theme, episodes are called Sessions, and titles are often borrowed from album or song names (such as Sympathy for the Devil or My Funny Valentine), or make use of a genre name ("Mushroom Samba") indicating a given episode's musical theme.
Cowboy Bebop almost did not appear on Japanese television due to its depictions of violence. It was first sent to TV Tokyo, one of the main broadcasters of anime in Japan. The show had an aborted first run from April 3, 1998 until June 19, 1998 on TV Tokyo, broadcasting only episodes 2, 3, 7 to 15 and 18.
Later that year, the series was shown in its entirety from October 23 until April 23, 1999, on the satellite network WOWOW. With the TV Tokyo broadcast slot fiasco, the production schedule was disrupted to the extent that the last episode was delivered to WOWOW on the day of its broadcast. Cowboy Bebop won the Seiun Award in 2000.
The full series has also been broadcast across Japan by the anime television network, Animax, who has also aired the series via its respective networks across Southeast Asia, South Asia and East Asia. Cowboy Bebop was popular enough that the movie, Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira (Knockin' on Heaven's Door), was commissioned and released in Japan in 2001, and later released in the United States as Cowboy Bebop: The Movie in 2003.
In a 2006 poll by TV Asahi, Cowboy Bebop was voted 40th for Japan's all-time favorite anime.
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FLCL (also Fooly Cooly) is an Japanese anime OVA series co-produced by Gainax and Production I.G. The series was created and directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki, and written by Yōji Enokido.
Furi Kuri follows the story of Naota Nandaba, a twelve-year-old boy living in the fictional industrial town of Mabase, and his encounters with the alien life-form Haruko Haruhara. The Japanese suburb houses the Medical Meccanica building, the reason for Haruko's visit.
The American reception for the series, although not widespread, has been enthusiastic following its release on Adult Swim in the summer of 2003. Anime.com also gave the series an enthusiastic review in October of that year, although there was also a minor reference to it in the September "issue". In 2003, it also went on to win third place for Best Animation Film at the Fantasia Festival.
FLCL has garnered both positive and negative reception among reviewers, sometimes diverging to extremes in both directions. Adult Swim occasionally refers to FLCL as "The greatest show we have ever aired". Christopher McDonald of Anime News Network called it "downright hilarious" and "visually superb" with great music, citing the packaging of 2 episodes per DVD as the only weakness of Synch-Point's original release.
On February 24, 2007, FLCL was nominated for "Best Cast", and won "Best Comedy Series" and "Best Short Series" at the first American Anime Awards show.
In the November 2007 issue of Anime Insider, FLCL was ranked 4th in their list of the best English-licensed anime of all time.
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Sailor Moon(officially translated as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon)is the title of a huge Japanese media franchise created by Naoko Takeuchi. It's generally credited with popularizing the concept of a sentai (team) of magical girls, as well as the general re-emergence of the magical girl genre itself.
The story of the various series revolves around the reincarnated defenders of a kingdom that once spanned the solar system, and the evil forces that they battle. The major characters—called Sailor Senshi (literally "Sailor Soldiers"; frequently called "Sailor Scouts" in the North American version)—are teenage girls who can transform into heroines named for the moon and planets (Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, etc). The use of "Sailor" comes from a style of girls' school uniform popular in Japan, the sērā fuku (sailor outfit), after which the Senshi's uniforms are modeled. The elements of fantasy in the series are heavily symbolic and often based on mythology.
Creation of the Sailor Moon manga was preceded by another, Codename: Sailor V, which centered around just one Sailor Senshi. Takeuchi devised the idea when she wanted to create a cute series about girls in outer space, and her editor asked her to put them in sailor fuku. When Sailor V was proposed for adaptation into an anime, the concept was modified so that Sailor V herself became only one member of a team. The resulting manga series was a fusion of the popular magical girl and sentai genres of which Takeuchi was a fan, making Sailor Moon one of the first series ever to combine the two.
The manga resulted in spinoffs into other types of media, including a highly popular anime, as well as musical theatre productions, video games, and a live-action (tokusatsu) series. Although most concepts in the many versions overlap, there are often notable differences, and thus continuity between the different formats is limited.
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Elfen Lied is a Japanese manga and anime series created by manga author Lynn Okamoto. A thirteen-episode anime series adaptation based on the manga was produced by the studio ARMS and broadcast on TV Tokyo from July to October 2004; the anime was later licensed in North America on DVD by ADV Films. The anime started before the manga was complete, as a result, the plot differed between the two, especially towards the ending of the story. In 2005, a special original video animation, written to occur between the tenth and eleventh episodes of the series, was released. The title is literally German for "Elves' Song", or more properly translated "Song of the Elves", and takes its name from the poem Elfenlied and the German word lied, a classical-romantic poem or musical work.
Elfen Lied revolves around the interactions, views, emotions, and discrimination between humans and the diclonius, a mutant species similar to humans in build but distinguishable by two cat-ear-like horns and "vectors", transparent arms which can pass through air and objects at high speed. The series is centered around the teenage Diclonius girl "Lucy", said to be the first Diclonius, being rejected by humans and her subsequent murderous vengeance upon them.
So far, only the thirteen-episode anime series has been licensed in the United States, by ADV Films and in Australia, by Madman Entertainment. ADV Films said the series was one of their bestselling and "most notorious" releases of 2005.
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