• Gene Starwind vs. Spike Spiegel
  • Gene Starwind vs. Spike Spiegel

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  1. #21
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    Both are great and compelling characters. I have a soft spot for the Cowboy Bebop series and I really enjoyed Spike's character and his role in each episode. I didn't particularly warm up to Gene initially, only about a third into the tv series. It's incredibly difficult to choose a favorite between the two, both are great characters and shows. The late 90's were such a great time with all this amazing anime coming out of Japan.

  2. #22
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    I love them both! "Better"? (And here I thought this might be one of those "Who would win in a fight?" threads haha.) I think Gene is more fleshed out, purposefully so; Spike is intentionally very enigmatic, and as with all the members of the Bebop crew (or most of Watanabe's characters, for that matter), we don't really know a whole lot about his past.

    Now, the same can be said of Gene (other than a few flashbacks), but herein lies the biggest difference between these two protagonists imo: Gene is a man of the future, and Spike is a man of the past. Spike metaphorically has one eye still stuck in the past (brilliantly symbolized by his fake eye), and one in the present; like so many Westerns, he's a man running from his past, but it eventually catches up to him: he makes the choice to meet it head on, and well just in case somehow someone doesn't know, I'll stop there to avoid spoilers.

    Conversely, as evidenced by his carefree lifestyle and his 'quest' to find the Galactic Leyline, Gene is also running from his past in a way: but Gene is a man of the future, gazing ever upward and onward to leave his hurt far behind (which we all learn, eventually, doesn't work).

    So, who was the better main character? Sorry to be so middle of the aisle, but I think Spike is for what Bebop set out to do, and Gene for the fun world of exploration that is OS.

    My subjective favorite? *looks around ...... Gene. There, I said it! He's a more interesting character imo, no disrespect to Spike or Bebop which is more about themes, symbolism, and compelling mise en scene than extremely complex characters (not to say that Watanabe's minimalist approach wasn't masterfully executed to effective ends).

    But, uh...I do think Spike could probably take Gene in a fight. Sorry, Gene! If he's as lucky as usual, Gene could get out of any hypothetical scrap, but if it came down to hand-to-hand? Spike's quotin' mutha[bleepin] Bruce Lee when he's casually kicking some poor fool's arse...you don't mess with that.
    No one's gonna' give you a map. You've gotta' walk your own path.
    - Hilda

  3. Agree Scarab agreed with this post
  4. #23
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    My opinion hasn't changed much from my post four years ago. Spike wins on cool points. He has style and class, and he could also kick Gene's ass in hand-to-hand combat as he's faster and has a more varied fighting style. How often do we see Gene fight hand-to-hand though? Unless it's weaker foes he's dealing with, Gene prefers to keep his distance and use Jim as a scout. Gene's arsenal is far, far superior to Spike's. Coupled with a light shield, Gene actually stands a fighting chance hand-to-hand. And if the shit hit the fan for either character, Gene has the upper hand here. Gene's allies care for him. Spike's... well, they go about their own way. In fact, everybody in Cowboy Bebop seems to be doing their own thing. Gene has some pretty skilled friends to back him up.

    How about mid-range? Both Gene and Spike are very good shots. Like I said, Gene has a large weapon choice, but some of his slower weapons like his rocket launcher wouldn't do much good against Spike. However, he has a pistol which can be modified to fit the situation (the blaster), another unnamed pistol, grenades, flashbangs and even a shotgun (though in one scene it seems to fire explosives) if Spike started getting closer. Spike would also have a tough time dodging old magic from a caster shell. I think one-on-one, Gene stands a good chance if he keeps his distance. Up-close, unless he uses various trickery (like the light shield) he's dead meat. If backup is needed (I know it's one-on-one, but wouldn't you call for backup if you were about to die?) Gene has it, Spike doesn't. Spike could be dispatched by Suzuka alone very quickly.

    Now here's one thing that you guys don't seem to be considering. Where is Gene for half of the show? That's right, space. For Gene piloting the XGP, destroying the Swordfish would be like swatting down an annoying fly. The thing is fast but doesn't stand a chance. It might not seem this way, but I'm trying to be unbiased here. Honestly, with all factors considered, I can only see Spike winning in very close quarters. And if Spike has to wait several days for Gene to return from space to defeat him rather than attacking him head-on with the Swordfish, who's the real man?

    I'd like to think of Gene and Spike as mentors when it comes to character. I mean, Gene would be a shit real mentor as he'd slack off all the time, but what I mean is that it's very subjective and we determine our answer to this based on what we want. Feel like you have it all together and you're mainly looking for a hero with wit? You might prefer Spike. I think particularly at younger ages, if we've struggled in various areas of life, seeing Gene for the first time is quite uplifting. Despite being haunted by the past he keeps pushing ahead, often succeeding with dumb luck, but he has the charisma to make him such a likeable character. We all see a bit of Gene in ourselves. He's a lazy bastard, and so are we. How much anime have you watched this year? Case closed.
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

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  5. Agree Scarab agreed with this post
  6. #24
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    I loved what you wrote Lobo; about Gene being a man of the future, and Spike being a man of the past. And I agree Mantis about Gene being a more relatable character all around-- Gene is a young delinquent trying to find his place in the world, just like we all were at one time or another, whereas Spike's grave has already been dug.

    Spike coolly and gracefully takes whatever life throws at him, 'what happens, happens', while Gene kind of stumbles and bullshits his way through with sheer willpower, with his friends always there to support him when the going gets tough.

  7. #25
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    Oh boy, this is tough...

    As much as I'd like to think Gene would win, Spike often seems to have a lot more luck/plot armour on his side. He's so damn good at whatever the hell he does that you start to wonder if the guy is even human.

    I think realistically, Gene would only stand a chance if he used a Number #4 caster shell on him. If for whatever reason, he decided to hold off on using it and Spike got close enough, he'd be screwed. Spike absolutely dominates in hand to hand combat, the guy brings Bruce Lee levels of ass whoop.

    Thinking about this makes me REALLY wish they did a crossover episode/movie with the two teams crossing paths in space. Even if they were just helping eachother it would be amazing to watch.

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  9. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nitro View Post
    Thinking about this makes me REALLY wish they did a crossover episode/movie with the two teams crossing paths in space. Even if they were just helping eachother it would be amazing to watch.
    At the risk of this sounding like sour grapes, I don't. It's my opinion (key word) that Outlaw Star isn't underrated (mostly well received), but rather overlooked in the face of shows like Cowboy Bebop, and that Cowboy Bebop is actually overrated. Don't get me wrong—I'm not calling it a bad show at all. I enjoyed it, but I'm just tired of people calling Outlaw Star inferior (it happens a lot) and making the most absurd claims. One of the funniest was that Outlaw Star is a cheap imitation. Don't get me started on the absurdity of that.

    So what's the big deal? It seems people group three shows together in some kind of space western triangle: Cowboy Bebop, Outlaw Star and Trigun. The reality of the situation is that they're apples, oranges and bananas. The shows feature space. There's a western influence. A couple of other small things. If you changed the setting just a little, they were given a more general genre and if they were released at different times people wouldn't make these comparisons. It's obvious which show I'll say is my favourite. I am biased, but I also think the shows shouldn't be compared. By making a crossover, it would only perpetuate this belief that an unrelated (for the most part) show is superior (whether or not people think so, apples and oranges) and mark my words, because of that this OVA (or film) would be marketed primarily because of its Cowboy Bebop cast, with Outlaw Star only being shoehorned in.

    New Outlaw Star episodes? Hell yeah! New Cowboy Bebop OVA? No problems here. Let's not mix ice cream with chilli con carne.
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

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  10. Agree Scarab agreed with this post
  11. #27
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    When Nitro talked about a crossover my first thought was 'hell yeah!', but after reading your post Mantis, I think I've changed my mind. Outlaw Star does end up being overshadowed by Cowboy Bebop in a lot of cases, unfortunately.

    It also reminded me of the time the TV guide said they were showing Outlaw Star, but instead I was greeted with this lanky, bushy-haired weirdo instead. 7-year-old me actually went on to hate Cowboy Bebop for a while because of that, so I share your feelings.

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  13. #28
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    On the one hand I see the point Mantis makes...But at the same time, I can see an actual crossover as possibly helpful. After all, it'd feature Outlaw Star- and that means people could really see the beauty and inspiration that OLS has to offer much more easily than just by hearing about it from fans.
    "I don't know what words I can say
    The wind has a way to talk to me
    Flowers sleep, a silent lullaby
    I pray for reply
    I'm ready"
    -Melfina's Song

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  15. #29
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    While I agree that awareness is never a bad idea in itself, there's the right way to go about it and the wrong way. I'll raise my hands and fess up to disliking seeing my favourite show taking the role of a second-place bitch. We all know that would happen. The example Hari listed is one of many. But I don't want this post to be read alone and taken out of context, so if you haven't read my previous post (saying this to anybody else reading, not June or Hari), please read that too since I do like Cowboy Bebop, but I don't think they should coexist. It's not just for the fact that I wouldn't like even more reasons for CB fans to look down on Outlaw Star, but it's most of all because I don't think they have enough in common to warrant such a crossover. There are other anime that have much more in common with Outlaw Star, but that's something for another thread.
    Gene: "Have faith in me guys, enjoy the ride—you're in good hands. I can handle this. I can do it!"
    Jim: "How do you know?"
    Gene: "I don't!"
    Jim: "I knew it."
    Gene: "That's okay. There's a first time for everything!"

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    Anime-Planet.com - anime | manga | reviews



  16. #30
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    Yeah, I see what you're saying Mantis, anime fans can be pretty toxic. I've managed to avoid the majority of discussion about this series so I've fortunately not yet encountered any haters of OLS. The most criticism I've heard in regards to OLS was the animation apparently dipping in quality after the first couple episodes. This was surprising to me as it's not something I was ever bothered by, in fact I used to enjoy noticing the slight differences in animation styles between different episodes, I never viewed it as a "downgrade" of any sort. It seems as though some people go into a show (particularly when it's an old show) and look for things to nitpick rather than enjoying it for what it is.

    I figured that comparisons between the two series would be made due to the similarities in setting and premise but it seems stupid to me to turn it into a competition of which is better when you could enjoy both. I was originally drawn to watch CB in the first place because I wanted something similar to Outlaw Star. Nothing will ever replace OLS for me as it's such a unique and memorable show but CB was fantastic in a different kind of way. The CB movie in particular is a big favourite of mine but that's more for personal reasons.

    As for Trigun, I wanted to love that show but the humour and characters unfortunately did nothing for me. I might give it another chance as my opinions can change on second viewing but for now I can't say I'm a fan.

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