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Anime TL;DR 
Cowboy Bebop Movie (2001)


Mars is under siege! Just before Halloween 2071, a terrorist bomb destroys a tanker truck on Highway One, close to the densely-populated crater city. There are casualties up to half a mile from the blast — 500 killed or injured by what appears to be a biochemical weapon. The reward for the bomber’s capture is a massive 300,000,000 woolongs… and there are four humans and a dog who really need the money. Down on their luck as usual, the crew of the Bebop get on the case.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by


  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great


Character design
World building





Multiple staff from the original series worked on the film, including director Shinichirō Watanabe, writer Keiko Nobumoto, character designer/animation director Toshihiro Kawamoto, and composer Yoko Kanno. The original Japanese and English voice cast also reprised their roles.

The movie takes place between (in the time period of) the Cowboy Bebop episodes 22 and 23.

Alternative titles

– Cowboy Bebop: Tengoku no Tobira
– Cowboy Bebop: Knockin` on Heaven`s Door
– カウボーイビバップ天国の扉
– Cowboy Bebop – Il Film
– Cowboy Bebop – Le film
– Cowboy Bebop – The Movie
– Cowboy Bebop: Pukając do nieba bram
– Kauboipeitus
– Kaubojus Bibopas: Filmas
– Kovboj Bebop: Lovec odměn
– Ковбой Бибоп
– קאובוי ביבופ: הסרט
– Cowboy Bebop – A film
– Cowboy Bebop – Der Film
– Cowboy Bebop – O Filme
– Cowboy Bebop – palkkionmetsästäjät
– Cowboy Bebop: La Película
– 星際牛仔: 天國之門
– 카우보이 비밥 – 천국의 문
– Cowboy Bebop: llamando a las puertas del cielo
– Kovboy Bebop: Film
– Kowboj Bebop
– Kowboj Bebop the Movie
– Kowboj Bebop: Pukając do nieba bram
– Ковбой Бибоп: Достучаться до небес
– Ковбой Бібоп: Фільм
– Марсиански Каубой: Врата към Рая

TL;DR Review

Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, known in Japan as Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Japanese: カウボーイビバップ 天国の扉 Hepburn: Kaubōi Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira, lit. Cowboy Bebop: Heaven’s Door), is a 2001 Japanese animated science fiction film based on the 1998 anime series Cowboy Bebop created by Hajime Yatate.

The start of this movie is just fantastic. It gives the viewer a sense of the actions and comedy just from the opening sequence. The art and animations are also top-notch. The color tone is dark and muted, giving it a more depressing gritty feel. The humor and light goofiness help offset the dark mood a little.

If you like aerial dogfights, you’ll savor the action sequence near the end of the movie. We don’t get very many anime that utilize aerial combats anymore. Most of the actions are very well done. There are also a lot of philosophical dialogs and debates going on. It isn’t as bad as say Ghost in the Shell, but this does give the movie irregular pacing.

Though I do like the movie, it was a bit hard to finish in one go. I’ve seen the movie three times already, and I am still not clear on the antagonist’s motivation. Perhaps the movie was too cerebral for me to comprehend.

I recommend the movie to fans of the series. A new viewer may find the movie confusing as almost no back-story is given to any of the Bebop crews. Cowboy Bebop: The Movie contains graphic violence, tobacco usages, and suggestive themes/dialogs. Intended for a mature audience.

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Opening Theme

– “Ask DNA” by Raj Ramayya & Seatbelts

Closing Theme

– “Gotta Knock a Little Harder” by Yamane Mai feat. Lisa Fischer, Nicki Richards, Paulette McWilliams, and sharon bryant-gallwey

Insert/Image Theme

– “3.14” by Tada Aoi
– “Butterfly” by M
– “Cosmic Dare (Pretty with a Pistol)” by Reynada Hill
– “Diggin`” by Steve Conte
– “Hamduche” by Hassan Bohmide
– “Is It Real?” by Scott Matthew
– “Musawe” by Hassan Bohmide
– “No Money” by Hassan Bohmide
– “No Reply” by Steve Conte
– “Pushing the Sky” by Yamane Mai
– “Rain (Demo Version)” by Yamane Mai



All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

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