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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What are the differences between the Amazon and FUNimation exclusives?, September 12, 2014
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
Yes, yes, yes, Cowboy Bebop is one of the greatest Anime of all time (in my top 3). However, I'm posting to inform you of the following 4 versions of this re-release of the Cowboy Bebop series:

- DVD standard edition
- Blu-ray standard edition
- FUNimation.com Exclusive BD/DVD Premium Edition
- Amazon Exclusive BD/DVD Premium Edition

What I've found so far is the following (thanks to Nicholas Gold for commenting on my original review)

FUNimation Exclusive Premium Edition

* Complete TV series on Blu-ray and DVD (combo pack)
* Exclusive Limited Edition tri-fold packaging in the style of a vintage record cover
* Display easel for packaging
* Four exclusive art cards
* One additional exclusive art card with foil-stamp autograph from series director Shinichiro Watanabe
* As of 9/12/14 Market Price is $89.98 and pre-order price is $64.98 directly from FUNimation

Amazon Exclusive Premium Edition

* Complete TV series on Blu-ray and DVD (combo pack)
* Exclusive Limited Edition clamshell art box
* 140 page black and white art book featuring concept sketches and designs that highlight Cowboy Bebop's origins
* 48 page vibrant, full-color art book
* As of 9/12/14 the Market Price is $99.98 and you can see the current Amazon Price above

So, as far as I can find so far, the actual content is the same. In my opinion, the difference is that the Amazon exclusive has more interesting physical extras. However, at a $25 premium. So, if you're a collector and don't mind shelling out another $25, then get the Amazon version. If all you care about is watching the videos, then the FUNimation version may be for you or the Blu-Ray standard edition. If you're super hardcore, than you're gonna tear your hair out trying to decide if you should buy both LOL!

I cannot confirm yet if the actual video (and on disc extra) content is any different between the standard and premium editions.

If you find any other info regarding the differences to these edition, then please post in the comments and I'll update this post with those comments or any info I find as well!

Regarding the standard edition: someone posts in the comments below that it is $36 elsewhere; as of 9/17/14 there is no standard edition listed on Amazon.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Regarding the FUNimation Exclusive, I've copy/pasted their info below:

DETAILS
Includes: Eps 1-26
Format: Blu-ray & DVD
Language: English,Japanese
Subtitles: English
Closed Captioning: No
Rating: TV-14
Aspect Ratio: 4x3
Main Feature Video: 1080p High Definition 4x3 (SD Remaster)
Main Feature Audio: Dolby TrueHD: English 5.1,Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 5.1,English 5.1 Surround,Japanese 5.1 Surround
Special Feature Audio: Dolby TrueHD: English 2.0,Dolby TrueHD: Japanese 2.0,English 2.0,Japanese 2.0
Main Feature Runtime: 650
Region: A|1
Number of Blu-ray Discs: 4
Number of DVDs: 5
Studio: FUNimation
UPC: 704400090578

SPECIAL FEATURES
Exclusive tri-fold packaging in the style of a vintage record cover
Display easel
Four exclusive art cards
One additional exclusive art card with foil-stamp autograph from series director Shinichiro Watanabe
On-disc extras TBA

-------------------------------------------------------------

Don't forget, if you haven't already, add the Cowboy Bebop: The Movie [Special Edition] to your order! Read the first review on that page; I agree to get the DVD version (unless you're a completest)
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68 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back, space cowboys!, August 20, 2014
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
I remember the first time I watched "Cowboy Bebop" like it was yesterday. It was a cold Saturday night in September 2002 and I was eager to watch something fresh. This was during a time when Cartoon Network still hadn't reached a creative decline and didn't have ridiculous live-action shows cluttering the network like infested roaches. As I browse through the TV menu to see what I could watch on the channel, I accidentally highlighted "Cowboy Bebop" for Saturday night. I never heard of "Bebop" before, but what struck me about this show was that it was rated TV-14. Now back in those days, the highest rating of a show on Cartoon Network was TV-PG, so imagine my surprise when I found out that a Cartoon Network show that was for older audiences. Imagine my bigger surprise when this was an anime, which I never cared for at the time. But the biggest surprise was just how damn good this show was. Hell, it wasn't good. It was fantastic. Even though it was the final episode of "Bebop", I was immediately drawn into the show: it had interesting characters, marvelous art direction, exciting action scenes and...an ending that moved me to tears?!! No wonder this was TV-14; this show was created for the audiences' best interest, an interest that doesn't involve bulky robots, talking mice or space warriors spending three hours talking and three seconds fighting.

Much like how words cannot describe my love for "Cowboy Bebop", no review, no matter how long and deep, can entirely express the timelessness of that show. But I'll do the best I can. There may be greater Japanese cartoons. Cartoons of greater vision, emotional complexity and political importance. Cartoons that have significantly altered the course of an industry (ex: "Evangelion"). And even cartoons that we would put above it on our lists. But no Japanese cartoon is more loved and has greater appeal than "Cowboy Bebop". This is an anime that transcended categories and genre conventions. It has appeared on more "greatest anime" lists than any Japanese cartoon, even "Evangelion" and the Miyazaki films. It has outlived many of the climatic changes in the anime industry, including the poisonous moe phenomenon and even the closure of its distributor Bandai Entertainment. And whereas most anime of the 1990s have become interesting relics and forgotten, "Bebop" keeps growing and gaining more fans. And now with Funimation finally releasing this show on Blu-Ray this December, the popularity of "Bebop" will continue to endure. "Cowboy Bebop" isn't just an anime; it's THE anime.

What is it about "Cowboy Bebop" that makes it an enduring classic? What exactly makes this 15-year old Japanese cartoon so appealing that it outranks far more popular cartoons like "Evangelion", "Naruto" and "Fullmetal Alchemist"? For starters, It's got great action, terrific comedy, a splendid blend of film noir, science-fiction and crime drama, dramatic moments that will move you to tears and a wonderful sense of pacing. It paints a marvelously convincing portrait of a universe smeared with corruption and on the verge of anarchy, a universe that may be set in the future but feels exactly like now. And lastly, it boasts one of the greatest soundtracks of all time, courtesy of the irreplaceable Yoko Kanno. In short, "Cowboy Bebop" is a show that has something for everyone and things that people don't like wind up enjoying anyway.

But most of all, "Cowboy Bebop" has got great characters that we identify with, characters that we love so much that we empathize their plights and even dread when their lives are threatened. There's Spike Spiegel, an expert gunman and martial artist whose seemingly laid-back attitude conceals his longing for a woman he loved and lost. There's Jet Black, a former ISSP police officer who has grown disillusioned with the world he used to serve. And last but not least, there's Faye Valentine, a gambling addict suffocating under a mountain of debt while also hiding a painful secret that has left her alienated and rejecting solitude. Adding to this cast of wounded souls are genius hacker Radical Edward and the data dog Ein, who is not your average Welsh Corgi.

"Cowboy Bebop" is about four bounty hunters who struggle to live in a universe while being haunted by their turbulent pasts. This is immensely appealing. Whereas in a typical sci-fi anime, a protagonist would seek a reward that would make them prosperously rich and escape somewhere at the far reaches of space, the "Bebop" try to make ends meet, hunting their targets to sustain themselves and coming in terms with their personal demons. Their top priority isn't wealth or even escape, but survival. If that isn't universal, then nothing is.

The beauty of watching "Cowboy Bebop" is seeing the characters grow and realize where their place in the universe is. At first, they seem like a squabbling family whose presence irks one another. The interplay between these four is touching, even hilarious; they could be four people at work, except their work is to hunt criminals. But by the end of the series, the characters (as well as us) mourn their hasty disbandment, as one returns to her home planet to find what she lost and the other goes back to confront HIS past, one that will never stop until either it or he is destroyed. It's melancholic without being overly depressing, but as they always say, every beginning as its end.

Watching "Cowboy Bebop" today, I'm amazed at how fresh it is. Seeing the whole 26-episode series is like getting acquainted with an old friend and remembering the fun moments we spent together. Anyone who saw "Cowboy Bebop" the first time will never forget the spectacular space battles ("Wild Horses", "Gateway Shuffle"), the intense action (the church shootout in "Ballad of Fallen Angels", the alley brawl in "Jupiter Jazz Pt. I", Spike's riveting battle with a psychotic madman in "Pierrot le Fou" and the climatic sequence in "The Real Folk Blues Pt. II", and more), hilarious comedy ("Mushroom Samba", "Cowboy Funk") and genuine moments of pathos ("Waltz for Venus", "Hard Luck Woman"). They certainly won't forget the wonderful dialogue ("In order to receive, you have to give". "There are three things I particularly hate: kids, animals and women with attitude". "How long you've been listening?"/"Too long. Your story needs editing". "If you see a stranger, follow him". "Man, I hate theme parks." "It's all a dream?". "Easy come, easy go." "I'm going out there to find out if I'm really alive", just to name a few), which now feels welcoming at a time when most Japanese cartoons feature uninspired one-liners and boring exposition.

And the music! Oh, how I love the music. For many viewers, including myself, my introduction towards jazz, blues, country, ambient music, salsa, funk, classical music and even 60s-70s rock n' roll came not from a radio station but from this very show. I would never have gotten into the likes of Miles Davis, Waylon Jennings, Moby, Funkadelic and Massive Attack if I didn't hear "Piano Black", "Forever Broke", "Cats on Mars", "Ave Maria", "Mushroom Hunting" and "Spokey Dokey". But praising the soundtrack because of its diversity is damning it with faint praise. Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts' music represent the heart and soul of the show, capturing the mood, atmosphere and emotional power of what happens on screen. Fewer songs are charmingly hilarious as "Want It Back" and the Morricone-influenced "Go Go Cactus Man". Few anime song get you emotionally riled up like the thunderous "Rain" and the potent "Space Lion". And if you don't weep when listening to "Call Me, Call Me", "Blue" and the electrifying "Real Folk Blues" after watching this show, then there's something wrong with you.

And last but not least, let's talk about the English dub. My God, is it amazing? Most English dubs are either charmingly cheesy or feel like a pale imitation of the original Japanese version, but Bebop's English voice acting sounds just as good today as it did back in 1999. When released in America, Japanese cartoons either lived or died by the dubbing and "Cowboy Bebop"'s English voice acting is so superlative, so emotionally resonant that even the show's creator feels it surpasses the original. Not a bad compliment, considering that the Japanese version featured the likes of Koichi Yamadera, Megumi Hayashibara and Unsho Ishizuka.

"Cowboy Bebop" is on more of everyone's favorite anime lists than any Japanese cartoon in existence and for good reason; it is an anime that even people who hate anime love. Seeing the anime again and again, it never feels over-familiar, only fresher and more relevant. Funimation has truly hit a home run in snatching "Bebop" and preparing its Blu-Ray release in mid-December. And seriously, what better Christmas gift to give to a new generation of fans than the Blu-Ray box set of "Cowboy Bebop"? It is one of animation's greatest treasures, and like all great treasures, it will continue to endure while many of its contemporaries have been long forgotten and buried.

"Love never dies"/"Love never fails"/"Love never ever fades away"

And neither will this series.
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23 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best anime series of all time, hands down, August 19, 2014
By 
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
If you're even a casual fan of anime I believe you will love Cowboy Bebop. Unlike many animated movies / series of its time, Cowboy Bebop isn't heavy handed nor super violent. Instead it concentrates on a fantastic group of misfit characters thrown together like a science fiction A-Team. The story telling, action and animation is superb. I also love how the series has a great sense of humor (as well as a cool soundtrack), something severely lacking in many animes. By the time the series wraps up you will really care about these characters.
A few years ago I had to hunt down the original DVDs that make up the series. I'm more than happy to buy this again on blu-ray!
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36 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterwork of one of the best animated series of all time., August 16, 2014
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
Cowboy Bebop has been, since it's release in 1998, the bar by which every new anime series is judged by. It's just that good. Many have described it as 1970's cop show-meets western-meets high-quality drama-meets film-noir, and I am gonna have to agree with them.
Cowboy Bebop revolves around futuristic bounty hunters Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, and the series is really just their exploits through the universe. Along the way, they meet female bounty hunter Faye Valentine, computer hacker Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky 4th (simply Ed for short), data dog Ein, and various bounties and figures from their past.
The beauty of Cowboy Bebop is that although the show does have a recurring story based around Spike's past, this is more or less tossed aside for "filler" episodes, or one episode storylines. Through filler episodes, we make a very strong bond and attachment to these characters, and it makes the ending to it all the more heartfelt.
When I watch Cowboy Bebop, I really do feel what happens to the characters. You feel sympathy and plight, happiness and joy, sadness and sorrow. You care about the characters, and I commend the staff who worked on the series for doing this. Very few anime series have characters for whom you can actually relate to, build bonds to emotionally, and frankly, give a damn about. Cowboy Bebop pulls it off with elegance and grace, as if it were nothing.
All in all, Cowboy Bebop is one of the best anime ever created, hands down. it has excellent characters, wonderful story lines, beautiful animation, and mesmerizing locales. It remains to be one of my favorites of all time.

I am so excited for this Blu-Ray release and can't wait to see what Funimation has whipped up this time in the release of this amazing nostalgic series for me.
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20 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece, August 18, 2014
By 
COREY B BENGISU (La Jolla, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
This is one of the best shows of all time. The art direction, cinematography, and music are all top-notch. It feels like you're drawn into living, breathing world, and though the characters aren't particularly complex, they are uniquely charming and it's interesting to watch their stories unfold. To me, this series feels more like a piece of art than a typical anime.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally on Blu-ray!, September 4, 2014
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
As everyone who enjoys anime knows that Cowboy Bebop is just a masterpiece, in style, tone, animation, that soundtrack, the voice acting, just all around glorious. I own this on the Remix DVD andI haven't bought it yet but all I have to say is......darn it, now I gotta buy the series all over again.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A series for the ages., August 31, 2014
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
I have owned this series on dvd for many,many years now and since purchasing it originally have accrued quite an anime collection as a part of of my entertainment library. That being said, to this day not one anime I have seen since can truly hold a candle to the brilliance of this show (for that matter most visual media, both animated and live action can match up to the genius of Bebop). Unfortunately far too many movies and television series find a way to get their hooks into you regarding the characters or the plot itself of the movie / show but far too few put you into a position to have fully vested interest in both. Bebop accomplishes this with an originality and poise I wish newer anime makers would take a lesson from. If you're a writer, artist director, voice actor, music writer or any individual with decision making power regarding anime creation and have not seen Bebop it should be a requirement before you begin your own creative adventure.
Admittedly I am a bit more old school when it comes to anime (Record of Lodoss War, Robotechans so forth) but with friends much more connected I have found myself drawn into the modern era of this pop culture juggernaut. Nonetheless, I make it my personal crusade to track down any that have not seen Cowboy Bebop and encourage, cajole or even beg them to watch it if necessary. I tell them the one simple fact that none have failed to agree with me on after they watch it; it is the best animated series they will ever experience. That would be the better word in regard to Cowboy Bebop. You don't simply watch this iconic series. You experience it. You wrap it within yourself and every element of it becomes a part of you, from the amazing characters to the storytelling and high quality music soundtrack that is an element far too many more recent anime fail to include with their visual journey. Groundbreaking and memorable storytelling and visuals require an equal level of audio brilliance (and vice verse) to mesh into something that may inevitably transcend time and become a permanent part of culture, not matter what era. This not merely in essence or theory, but in fact, is the heart string pulling, soul taking, emotion gripping roller coaster known as Cowboy Bebop. It is timeless, and will always remain that way.
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7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic, August 23, 2014
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
One of the Best cartoon period... This collection is a must own :)
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6 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i'm sure you've heard how amazing bebop is before, August 21, 2014
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
look, i'm sure you've heard how amazing bebop is before. Well it's all true. Watch it. This show is known for being the most soul consuming show ever next to neon genesis evangelion. If any show can still have people discussing it and have a large fanbase that only grows and stronger and more plentiful 15 years after it's creation it must be a testament to it's greatness. Amazing animation, great fight scenes, the best character development i've ever seen, and a GOD-TIER soundtrack composed by yoko kanno. The only reason you're not liking bebop is because you're not watching it, or you're an anime hipster that hates popular/classic anime.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest anime of all time!, August 20, 2014
This review is from: Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)
You can't call yourself a true anime fan until you have seen Cowboy Bebop. I'm so glad that the series is finally getting a Blu ray release! This is a legendary anime that everyone should see!
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Cowboy Bebop: The Complete Series - Amazon Exclusive Edition (Blu-ray/DVD Combo)
$99.98 $89.98
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