The story of the Fallen Angels opera scene highlights cinematic influences

Cowboy Bebop It is known for its eclectic range of influencers, mega-calls, and tributes. While animated classics, mid-20th century jazz, film noir, and Hong Kong action films are among the most recognizable influences, the series draws from more obscure sources and styles, even in its most memorable moments. For example, a disturbing scene in the series’ fifth episode, “Ballad of Fallen Angels,” hails from an unexpected source: the 1976 American film adaptation of the classic thriller. Marathon Man.


In the film, the murdered agent gets dressed and sits in the opera room as bait to lure him into contact, played by Roy Scheider (better known as Chief Martin Brody from jaws), Trap – a scene, for fans of the series, evokes a moment from “Ballad of Fallen Angels”, where the same thing happens between murdered Red Dragon crime leader Mao Yenrai and Faye Valentine. Although references and Easter eggs are not uncommon in the movies, bebop The metaphor is of particular importance in the series’ aesthetic and dramatic goals.

The original is a classic thriller movie

As with “Ballad of Fallen Angels,” the original scene in marathon man The events of the film take place at a pivotal moment at the beginning of the film. There, the character Doc – played by Roy Scheider – aims to meet a contact at the Paris Opera. Arriving late, he navigates a series of hallways and stairs, all eerily empty. As the song goes up in the background, Doc arrives at the private box and – as the film’s soundtrack swells – like Faye Valentine, finds his contact dead, his delicately dressed body propped up in his opera box. Revisit the original scene from marathon man Shows how bebop It incorporates these “thriller” elements into its most important episode.


Just as in its original form in marathon man, the scene in “Ballad of Fallen Angels” has its own buildup, using Mao’s open-eyed corpse to shock its viewers. For both, this disturbing peak defuses the tension in the previous longer sequence. In addition to the murder itself—which takes place earlier on screen—the ruthlessness of setting it on stage as a cheap trap always changes the tone and atmosphere of the remainder of the movie, episode, and series.

Notably, the Ballad of Fallen Angels song illustrates this, simultaneously introducing the series’ main antagonist as well as the new and darker character of this feud. No, this is a deliberate reference to marathon man And the intentional changes made are crucial to the pivotal function that “Ballad of Fallen Angels” maintains in the series.


The bebop scene changes the tone of the series – permanently

Being the most famous bebop The episodes of “Ode to the Fallen Angels” are arguably, if not thematically the most violent, the most disturbing. Even in the violent context of the ’90s anime, the murder and disrespect for the dead depicted stand out in this scene; creators bebop achieve this desired turn by intentionally departing from their own genre and turning to the dark, suspense, and gory aesthetics of ’70s thrillers such as marathon man. Like musical improvisation, borrowing so precisely from a distant art form imparts the dramatic dissonance required to alter one’s dissonance.


Both the scene and its predecessor have significance in Cowboy Bebop And the dramatic transformation that takes place in “Ballad of Fallen Angels” together, not only provide the series’ “main” story and struggles but also express and signify the ruthless ruthlessness – and yes, brutal – The nature of the hostility displayed. The rigor of this choice, in contrast to the consistently violent and hilarious tone of the previous four sessions, signals a shift into a darker territory — one from which the series ultimately cannot and does not return.

While the talents of Keiko Nobumoto, Shinichiro Watanabe, and Sunrise Studio artists are still well appreciated to this day, this example of deliberate honors highlights the breadth of the sources sought. bebop In addition to its ability to unite these diverse influences together into one enduring vision.



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