Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He is noted for blending multiple genres together, such as in Cowboy Bebop where classic cowboy western mixes with 1940s/1950s New York City film noir, Hong Kong action movies, and plenty of other personal influences.
Watanabe should not be confused with the similarly-named Shinichi Watanabe (or "Nabeshin").
He also is known for his love of music. This is reflected in the blend of jazz, blues, bebop, funk and New Age music into every note on the soundtrack of Cowboy Bebop. He accomplishes this blend on Bebop thanks to his collaboration with critically acclaimed composer Yoko Kanno and a semi-fictional band called the Seatbelts.
His directorial debut was noteworthy among anime fans, as a co-director for the well-received Macross update, Macross Plus. After finishing the 26 episode Cowboy Bebop, his solo-directorial debut came in 2001 with a theatrically-released movie from that series. In 2003, Watanabe directed his first anime for (and from) Americans with "Kid's Story" and "A Detective Story" both part of The Animatrix, an anthology of animated shorts of back stories from the box office movie hit, The Matrix. His next directorial effort, Samurai Champloo, began broadcasting on Fuji TV in Japan on May 19, 2004. Like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo is a curious blend of disparate influences, including Okinawa, Hip-Hop, modern-day Japan, and samurai.
He attended Otakon in 1999.
Watanabe-directed films or shorts usually focus on the eyes of the main character. In Cowboy Bebop Spike has eyes of two different shades of brown. When he falls from the church window, Spike falls headfirst and the camera zooms in on one of his eyes, in which the sky can be seen. When the Kid falls in "Kid's Story", the same pattern follows. In "Detective Story", Ash has a bug removed from and implanted in one of his eyes, shown as a close-up both times. All other character have obscured eyes, or eyes unclearly shown.
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