Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball is a delightfully demented, acerbic show about anthropomorphic animals (and, um, other things) living in the suburbs, and it delights in breaking the fourth wall. A new homage to Cowboy Bebop reminds us how great the minds behind the show are.
From time to time, Gumball will take narrative detours whose sole purpose is to reference something else from the world of animation that the artists behind the show are really into, like Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon. In the show’s most recent episode “The Spinoffs,” Rob the evil cyclops muses about television show heroes who could potentially replace the missing Gumball. In addition to a robot from a cooking show and a frightened banana from an after-school special, Rob briefly considers the star of Barcode Cowboy, a spoof of Cowboy Bebop (which, you’ll recall, is slated to get a live-action, American reboot.)
The title sequence, styled after Cowboy Bebop’s, is simple amazing.
Given that Gumball creator Ben Bocquelet is slated to leave the show after the end of its sixth season, the entire premise of “The Spinoffs” could, in a way, be a nod to him. Though Boquelet’s leaving, he’s said that Gumball isn’t coming to an end quite yet, so there’s a solid chance that there’ll be even more pitch-perfect anime tributes from it in the near future.