Escaping The Past


Running away and starting fresh often has a romantic connotation to it. Many forms of media including television, and novels express this idea. Some keep the romantic notion alive throughout the entirety of the piece. Others show how the past always catches up.

You can forget the past, and change as a person. Hopefully we all change for the better, but that is only up to us. However, when you run away from longstanding problems, or stuff them in a lockbox, they will come back when you least expect. Sometimes this works out in a great way since we mature…and stuff.

This got me thinking about one of my favorite pieces of media; Cowboy Bebop. If you haven’t watched it, it’s a great series. Also noteworthy is it’s short, and sweet length. (Hundred hour tv dramas be damned.). Oh yeah, there may be spoilers ahead.

One of the themes in Cowboy Bebop is existence. The series features a cast of characters who are all somehow divorced from their individual pasts. Slowly, layer by layer, each character simultaneously develops, and reveals their past. Consequently, they must deal with their issues and tie up the loose ends of the plot. Each character’s arc winds up feeling a bit different, but the real treat is watching the cast grow.

Why I bring up this series is that it captures our romantic fascination of starting over, and then deconstructs our romanticization. But the uncertainty of the past nags at each character similarly to how our own pasts nag at us . Viewers then watch characters who simply must deal with their stuff. Much like life, every character has a different set of results. What will happen when you are forced to deal with the past?

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