i have previously posted about my love for Cowboy Bebop in series form, and indeed, having watched more of the series, i can honestly say it continues to hold up well: stylish and fast, each episode is more like a short film than part of a series. so why then doesn't the movie hold up as well?
i know it goes against the grain to say it, but i think some of it might be the subtitles. yes, yes, it's a big thing to watch anime with subtitles. it's more pure, and all that. i used to think that way, but now the translation scripts and voices are getting better, and i really don't think there's much need. and in this situation, the characters, through subtitle, felt slightly different than what they were during the series. in japanese i can't quite get the same inflection and meaning in tone as i can with english, and i think i missed the english voices slightly. ultimately, i think this is why i didn't enjoy the movie as much as i do the series: everything felt slightly off centre.
another problem is that the film is set on mars (or is it saturn?) and it looks and feels like earth for its entirety. where are the cool planets and the neat sets from the series? there are some nice bits, such as the middle eastern like market spike goes too, or the fight on the train, and the film is at its peak when it opens on a shitty little supermarket that is being held up. but there are times when it could have benefited from some more elaborate designs, and more style as the series has.
still, i don't want to give the impression that this is a bad film. it's not. it's enjoyable, and neat, and the soundtrack, while not as jazz or blues fueled as some of the series is, is still neat. worth the time and effort, but it doesn't quite equal the series if you ask me.