Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (Tengoku No Tobira) is an anime movie based on the original anime series Cowboy Bebop, released in 2001, and created by Hajime Yatate and directed by Shinichiro Watanabe. The movie’s plot is chronologically set between episode 22 and 23 of the anime series and stars the usual bounty hunter crew formed of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Edward Wong and Ein, in addition to a new support character named Electra Ovilo and a plot antagonist named Vincent Volaju as well as other characters. The movie’s story is set in 2071 on Mars, following an unknown badass-looking bioterrorist with big scale terror attacks of suspicious motives.
Once you’re caught in, you’ll soon realize Vincent isn’t your typical villain, and come to at least relate to his perspective even if disapproving of his methods, but definitely questioning if he’s really the real villain. The Bebop crew start to follow separate lines of investigation to catch the mysterious culprit after his actions (bombings, spreading an unknown pathogen) have been deemed by the Mars government as too dangerous and they put a huge bounty on his head. Individual threads followed by each of the crew’s members lead them to meet key characters (such as Electra and Rashid), discover clues and reveal secrets, all working together to catch Vincent.
Music composed by the genius Yoko Kanno and The Seatbelts, with diverse vocals in different languages, of which Pushing the Sky is my personal favorite. Again, I cannot stress enough on the impact of the music in this movie as well as the original series. The top notch animation, the sophisticated hand to hand combat, the sublime OST befitting the theme of every scene, the suspense, the revelations, and most of all, the mixture of intense emotions it shoots into you. All are ingredients of a recipe for this outstanding work. Overall, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, despite being based on the original anime series, is nonetheless a standalone plot movie, and a classic one, that will guarantee you an unequaled viewing experience. I strongly recommend it and you need only check for yourself.