'Cowboy Bebop: The Movie' is Returning to U.S. Theaters

Like many major anime releases, Cowboy Bebop is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year in a major way. Funimation is treating fans pretty well with a new collector's edition Blu-ray release of the series, and now they're bringing the movie back to theaters for a short time.

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, otherwise known as Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' On Heaven's Door in Japan, will be screening in United States theaters on August 13 in Japanese with English subtitles, and August 15 with the English dub.

You can find out more about the screenings, and purchase tickets for a theater near you at this link here. Funimation describes Cowboy Bebop: The Movie as such:

"Caught up in a world of dreams, lost in the cruelty of reality.

What should have been an easy bounty turns into biological war after a terrorist gets ahold of a deadly virus. Drawn in by the pretty price on the mastermind’s head, Spike and the Bebop crew are ready to collect a much-needed reward. Unfortunately, the gang’s about to find themselves in more trouble than money when the terrorist threatens to unleash the virus on Halloween—effectively killing everyone on Mars. With little time and leads that seem more dreamy than helpful, they’ll have to use their own bag of tricks to stop a dangerous plot."

Original creator/director of the series Shinichiro Watanabe has revealed a new anime project Carol & Tuesday, and fans can even buy a recreation of Spike Spiegel's famous suit. Cowboy Bebop has a wide range of fans too, even expanding to the creator of Nickelodeon's The Fairly OddParents' Butch Hartman who drew a picture of Spike hanging out with Cosmo in his signature style.

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For those unfamiliar with Cowboy Bebop, the series was first created by Sunrise in 1998. It was directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, with scripts written by Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, and songs composed by Yoko Kanno. Set in the year 2071, the series explores many existentialist philosophies as it follows the adventures of Spike Spiegel, and a group of bounty hunter misfits aboard the titular spaceship the Bebop.

The series premiered in Japan back in 1998, and ran for 26 episodes until 1999. It was licensed for an English language released by Bandai Entertainment and Funimation, and was the very first anime series to air on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block in the United States. It's often credited by fans from the 2000s as a major "gateway" show to the world of anime overall and has gone on to major critical, cult, and commercial success.