The opening credits for the first four seasons of “Archer” are, above all else, a Saul Bass homage. “My plan from the very start was to do an opening using silhouettes in some form or fashion,” “Archer” art director Neal Holman told Art of the Title. “Saul Bass and some later Bass-esque opens, like ‘Catch Me If You Can’ and ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang,’ were pretty heavy influences — even the end sequence of ‘The Incredibles.’ Anything that had that sort of deft blend of fun and action went into the pot.”
“Cowboy Bebop” also took heavy inspiration from the work of Saul Bass (plus “Tokyo Drifter”) for its iconic title sequence. The opening music, the use of still and silhouette, the frenetic pace, all of these things are beloved by “Bebop” fans. “Many people have pointed to the similarities to ‘Cowboy Bebop,'” Holman said, “but honestly, that was more subconscious than conscious.”
Conscious or not, the two shows have definite parallels. Like “Archer,” “Cowboy Bebop” is about characters that lose as much as they win. Both shows center on a man who is stuck in his past. In Archer’s case, his childhood; with Spike, it’s his romance with Julia. The retrofuturism, the heavy drinking, the cavalier attitude to gunplay, the humor — the shows have so much in common, and the title sequences really highlight what people love about both shows.