Clarification with Cowboy Bebop

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Clarification with Cowboy Bebop

Postby SpaceCowboy » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:54 am

So, as a huge fan of sci fi I decided to start watching Cowboy Bebop. Truly amazing - perfect blend of comedy, drama, action and that japanese unique feeling.
However, there is something bugging me that, as I am NOT a native english speaker, has cast the long shadow of doubt on me.
At the beginning of the sixteenth episode (or, for those familiar with the anime, "session"), there are two charachters - two inmates - talking. One of them, relieved by the fact that all the prison guards have been butchered by the other, attempts small talk; seeing the other as hostile, he declares: "Hey, let's be amiable. We shouldn't waste what our whimsical God has given us" (for those who don't remember, or haven't seen the show but still would like to help, here's a link to the episode on youtube. The moment is around 00:40 https://youtu.be/iBd7Q5rPXow ).

Now, I've searched for "whimsical" a lot of times, and each time it gives me different explanations, some positive, some negative.
could you please shed light on this? My fear is that the man is actually insulting God by using "whimsical" as derogatory, and insulting Him is one of the very few things I can't tolerate in any media, anime or not.

Any help is appreciated!!
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Re: Clarification with Cowboy Bebop

Postby shooraijin » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:09 pm

Even if irreverent, I would be very unwilling to junk a show on what is almost certainly a throwaway line.
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Re: Clarification with Cowboy Bebop

Postby SpaceCowboy » Thu Dec 08, 2016 1:21 am

I never said I wanted to ditch the show or even "promote" the idea of it being garbage (it's probably one of the best anime around), I just wanted to know the meaning of that phrase in that context and not if it is irreverent (as long as it is playful or lighthearted, I have no problem with irreverence) but if it can be considered offensive
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Re: Clarification with Cowboy Bebop

Postby EventualDay » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:55 am

I mean, it definitely isn't a compliment--he's basically saying that God is arbitrary and doesn't really act according to reason but just "does whatever he wants" or maybe "lets chance decide people's lives." Something along those lines.

But also, I'm with shooraijin on this. I mean, if you consider the characters saying the lines--they're prison inmates. Of course they think their lot in life is unfair, and they might think that God just randomly or carelessly gave it to them. More importantly, since this is anime, it's highly unlikely that they're actually talking about the Christian God. Though there are themes of Buddhism and Christianity in the show, this line is probably more referring to "fate" in general than God.

I'm not telling you to ignore it if it bothers you; I just think it's good to consider exactly why: why was it said, why does it bother you, why would someone feel this way, etc.

Also, if you are hung up on this, I am going to give you a little warning that you may not like Episode 23 much since SPOILER: Highlight text to read: it is about the main characters seeking a bounty on a cult leader.
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Re: Clarification with Cowboy Bebop

Postby SpaceCowboy » Thu Dec 08, 2016 9:57 am

EventualDay wrote:I mean, it definitely isn't a compliment--he's basically saying that God is arbitrary and doesn't really act according to reason but just "does whatever he wants" or maybe "lets chance decide people's lives." Something along those lines.

But also, I'm with shooraijin on this. I mean, if you consider the characters saying the lines--they're prison inmates. Of course they think their lot in life is unfair, and they might think that God just randomly or carelessly gave it to them. More importantly, since this is anime, it's highly unlikely that they're actually talking about the Christian God. Though there are themes of Buddhism and Christianity in the show, this line is probably more referring to "fate" in general than God.

I'm not telling you to ignore it if it bothers you; I just think it's good to consider exactly why: why was it said, why does it bother you, why would someone feel this way, etc.

Also, if you are hung up on this, I am going to give you a little warning that you may not like Episode 23 much since SPOILER: Highlight text to read: it is about the main characters seeking a bounty on a cult leader.


First of all, thanks for the info - all in all, it is one way to see a divine being: generous, but pretty whimsical (even some Christian sects, like Calvinism, believe Him to be arbitrary to point of random)

Second, thanks, but I already knew of "Brain Scratch" - and here's the thing: I get all bothered when a peaceful, loving deity is under attack - first of all ours, but also those of other religions. However, if the god being offended is a violent, "Do-what-I-say-or-I-smite-you-and-you'll-go-to-hell" merciless kind of deity, it's absolutely no problem.
And, since the religion of that episode was based off the crazed, sucidal cult "Heaven's Gate", it's not a problem. In fact, as a veteran Dead Space player, I myself enjoy taking down corrupted and murderous cults
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