Domestic debut: April 3, 1998

A group of bounty hunters navigate the untamed universe in search of wanted criminals. The crew is cool guy Spike Spiegel, cynical ex-cop Jet Black, impulsive finesser Faye Valentine, and the androgynous hacker prodigy Edward Wong. Unlike other anime dramas, Cowboy Bebop isn't just one singular plot; there's no 26-episode arc with a major pay off at the finale. For the most part, each episode is its own open-and-shut storyline driven by incremental character development. Yet there's a consistent feeling of suspense and mystery surrounding each member of Bebop's quartet, and these characters each receive enough of a backstory and conclusion to leave the fans clamoring for more. If you're picking this one up, it's best not to overthink it. Like the ragtag crew steering the Bebop from one disastrous payday to the next, you ought to kick back and simply enjoy the ride. —Gregory Babcock