This Anime Inspired The Opening Sequence For Archer

"Archer" is indebted to many spy thrillers that came before it. A send-up of the womanizing man-child James Bond, Sterling Archer's world takes inspiration from not just Bond, but the Derek Flint movies, the '60s supercool British "Avengers," Peter Sellers' and Blake Edwards' "Pink Panther" films, "OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies," and a little "Magnum P.I." thrown in for good measure.

"Archer" follows the exploits of superspy and mama's boy Sterling Archer (voiced by "Bob's Burgers" and "Home Movies" star H. Jon Benjamin), who works for his mother's espionage firm. That is, when he's not running drugs, or playing detective in a noir, or working on a spaceship. No matter what reality he's operating in, he is surrounded by coworkers that tolerate him to various degrees: his mother Mallory (the late, great Jessica Walters), his on-again-off-again flame Lana (Aisha Tyler), nebbishy Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), flighty secretary Cheryl (Judy Greer), and bawdy Pam (Amber Nash). We are introduced to these kooks and their various hang-ups in a slick and stylish opening credits sequence — one that nods to yet another inspiration for the series.

The Archer credits are inspired by Cowboy Bebop

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.