12

Throughout the opening theme, various text moves across the screen. Is this an extract from something, or just placeholder text?

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14

It seems to be a blurb of some sorts

Once upon a time, in New York City in 1941... at this club open to all comers to play, night after night, at a club named "Minston's Play House" in Harlem, they play jazz sessions competing with each other. Young jazz men with a new sense are gathering. At last they created a new genre itself. They are sick and tired of the conventional fixed style jazz. They're eager to play jazz more freely as they wish then... in 2071 in the universe... The bounty hunters, who are gathering in the spaceship "BEBOP", will play freely without fear of risky things. They must create new dreams and films by breaking traditional styles. The work, which becomes a new genre itself, will be called... COWBOY BEBOP

it's suggested here, that it may be a manifesto - a "verbal declaration of the intentions, motives, or views" of what the show will entail

It's also clear that it's playing off the theme of jazz within the text to fit the opening theme.

  • Do you mean "blurb"? – kuwaly Oct 12 '13 at 5:08
  • Sorry, yes. Edited – Toshinou Kyouko Oct 12 '13 at 8:14
2

The text is actually merging the definition of "Bebop Jazz," a genre of jazz, with made up text.

The first section talking about musicians gathering at Harlem is talking about bebop jazz, which was controversial at first because of it breaking many conventional rules of jazz.

The second part talks about the spaceship name "BEBOP," which is fitting because the bounty hunters have to break conventional rules, like bebop musicians had to, for more freedom.

The text basically explains why the anime is called "Cowboy Bebop," since the show revolves around these bounty hunters that have to break rules like the musicians back in the day.

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