Commentary: Cats on Mars


My history with the song Cats on Mars from the acclaimed anime Cowboy Bebop goes back to sometime around 2006 or 2007. At the time, I had never seen Cowboy Bebop, despite its accessibility on the Adult Swim segment of Cartoon Network. How, then, did I come across Cats on Mars?

The truth is that I had a boyfriend who was interested in anime, and he kept a copy of the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack in his truck. I have many fond memories of riding along, enjoying the jazzy and bluesy sounds of Cowboy Bebop, from composer Yoko Kanno. Two tracks in particular stood out to me, and those were Cats on Mars and Rain.

Years passed. My relationship ended, and the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack fell into the depths of my memory. I gave it little to no thought for 5 or 6 years. Then, one fine day, in 2012, I found myself casually sitting in my apartment with my then-roommate as a playlist of anime music shuffled in the background. Suddenly, a familiar sound entered my ears and the realization hit me: “I know that song! What is it? What is from?”

It was Cats on Mars from Cowboy Bebop.

I was struck with a sudden burst of inspiration. Over the next several days, I took to my keyboard with determination to learn how to play the song.

I would not say that the process was difficult, as Cats on Mars actually translates quite well to piano, however, it was time consuming. The most difficult aspect was the ending of the song, which adds some additional vocals. I was puzzled as to how to incorporate these into my arrangement. Eventually, I settled on something, although, to this day, I admit that it is somewhat difficult to play that portion of the arrangement. Nevertheless, I am satisfied with my work, and I am particularly proud because it appears to be one of the only piano arrangements of Cats on Mars floating around the Internet.

Here’s the playback video, if you’re curious:

As of today’s date (03-24-2017), the video has accumulated over 4,000 views since its original posting in 2014. That’s quite impressive, considering that I have done virtually no self-promotion since then!


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