“You know what they say cowboy, easy come, easy go”
Okay, 3, 2, 1 Lets Jam
I first heard of Cowboy Bebop when i spent the majority of my childhood in Korea. Watching some Fullmetal Alchemist(the old one), the ending theme rolls in then i see the words “BONES” and “Cowboy Bebop”. Those words i would never forget, why? Well it was just plain absurdity to my brain at that time, i was but a little child.
Back in the USA, Cowboy Bebop would air a bunch of times on [adultswim], but i didn’t really watch it then either. During the year i came back, or one year after that, i watched Samurai Champloo. Violent, cool, awesome, smooth, hot-damn this was awesome. However, i wasnt able to watch the entire thing, only like 2-5 episodes of it. Years later when i actually knew what i was watching, i finished the series (prolly about 1-2 years ago, present day). The name Shinichiro Watanabe rung in my head. Then i learned that Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo were made by the same guy. A guilty confession: I watched Champloo before Bebop.
After some more neglecting, i heard the opening theme, i was hooked, but just not yet. One saturday night, i watched an episode completely, and i had to finally finish the series, 12 years late.
Cowboy Bebop, boy where do i begin. The series starts with a blast and ends with a bang, quite literally
CB tells the tale of a rag tag team of lost souls. Sprawled in the our very own solar system; ex-policeman Jet Black travels with ex-gangster Spike Spiegel to hunt down criminals and bounties,on their ship: The Bebop. On their way, they meet their pet dog, Ein. The female fatale, Faye Valentine, and the genius earthborn hacker, Ed. The tale of two loners making their way through the stars, would become a thrill ride with a likeable cast of characters. A tale of sorrow, regret, lonliness, and knowing oneself.
- Spike Spiegel: The character that would become legend. Spike is a likeable guy, easygoing, chill, and a kickass fighter. Being a practicioner of Jeet Kune Do (Bruce Lee’s style) he can easily disarm and kick anyone’s ass without taking out his gun. Spike’s sorrow comes from his past, when Spike was once a member of the Red Dragon Syndicate, he knew a girl named Julia and his best friend Vicious. They two liked eachother a lot. When a deal gone wrong brews, Spike and Julia have to leave the syndicate and rendezous at a location. Spike shows up, but Julia does not. Spike regrets his choices and the thought of being responsible for Julia’s death pains him. Spike pilots his ship, The Swordfish II. Spike usually doesn’t like his new shipmates, but later comes to care for them.
- Jet Black: Jet is the owner of the ship Bebop. He was a cop during his earlier years he later grew tired of the corruptions and restrictions of the law and decided to become a bounty hunter to hunt down injustice. His love interest also leaves him which kinda makes him sorta low. Even if his pasts haunts him, he is the “father” of the crew, much to his chagrin as he is only in his 30’s. Jet is more nice and considerate and is noticably taller and bulkier than Spike is. Jet pilots both the Bebop and his personal ship, The Hammerhead. He also sports a cybernetic arm, a reminder of his police days and his old habit of rushing without thinking. Jet takes his bounty hunting seriously and always plans ahead, he’s also been around the system and knows many people. He also owns a bunch of bonsai trees he takes care of, however he considers himself butchering them as he cuts too many branches
- Faye Valentine: Faye first appeared to our duo (technically trio because they found Ein first) during one of the du’s earlier bounty hunts. Faye showed up a few times after many incidents involving our duo. Eventually, she decides to stay with them. Faye dress lightly, but she’s a tough woman to crack. She specializes in trickery and isn’t a bad fighter. Faye was actually earthborn, but after an incident gone terribly wrong, she was stuck in cyro for YEARS. She wakes up after atleast 50+ years, dazed and confused in the new world. Once a cheerfl girl with dreams, living a life of a swindler, just making her way through the stars. Faye happens to be my favorite character, not because of her looks, but because her character has so much meaning(will explain). She pilots the Redtail
- Ed and Ein: Ein is simply put a Welsh Corgi do. Adorable and extremely smart. She can drive, play chess, you name it. Theres not that much to say about Ein, but she’s cute and she tried shrooms. Edward is the most “Cheery” of the crew and shes the only kid. Ed is from earth, abandoned by her parents, she became a distinguished hacker in the solar system. Ed is bright, energetic, and livens up the mood of the ship. She doesn’t really fight but helps the crew with information regarding their bounties.
Cowboy Bebop contains 26 episodes. These episodes are sequential but they rarely make connections to a past episode, unless it involved one of the main characters. Even without the continuity of a number of episodes, each and every episode is one hell of a joyride. Each episode is unique and fun to watch. Episodes usually deal with past problems, character introduction, or a bounty. Sprinkled in between these kinds of episodes are episodes that deal with the main plot, involving Spike and his past life. Spike like i mentioned above, left his gang. During the years of his absence, his former best friend Vicious takes over. Spike runs into Vicious many times and each time usually results in a fight.
A few things i must mention: The music is almost orgasmic. These Jazz pieces are great to listen and fit in so well, you can barely hear it sometimes. Oh yeah, the crew of the Bebop got shrooms once. Last but not least, Great dubbing.
Before i go on, writing the ending of this series, i want to make a small analysis, as well as someone else’s analysis as well. In of the later episodes. The crew finds a video, involving Faye. It takes the entire episode to find out what the video contains. The video is a recording of Faye that she recorded in her childhood for her future self. Faye tells her future self to never forget who she is, and to always remember that she is there for herself. The irony of course is that Faye doesn’t remember her past at all. This kind of reflects to the real world. In our childhoods, we had dreams to become famous. Our hopes reached the heavens, but the sad truth as reality grounded us down. But people should never forget the dreams they had. Another analysis is shown by the presence of smoking, i found this article a few weeks back. It’s late but, hey so is this review
Below is the video of Faye
I chose the subbed ver. because i liked Faye’s voice better in Japanese.
Let lets get cracking on spoilers, they are below this column and you must highlight to see
Much like how Champloo began concluding the series in 3 sequential episodes, Bebop does the same (yeah i know, Champloo got it from Bebop). In the beginning of the end, the crew return to Earth as Faye wishes to find the remnants of her past. At the same time, Ed finally meets her father who abandoned her. Faye meets one of her old friends who recognize eachother. She also finds her old home and decides to stay there. Ed reveals that the reason they came to Earth was to find her father, she put a fake bounty on his head to track him down. Once the bounty duo find him, Ed finds her as well and reveals the truth. Ed’s father than tells Ed to follow him to map the new Earth. However, he leaves her behind when he spots another meteor. Before Ed’s father left, he gifted the crew with a bunch of eggs for them eat. Later that night, Ed appears to Spike, smiling. She gives him her paper windmill and mysteriously leaves as always. While Jet prepares the eggs, Ein wakes up, takes a last look at Jet and leaves as well. Ed and Ein meet eachother outside the ship, and the two decide to travel the Earth together. Jet tells the crew that dinner is ready, however he finds Spike looking at a orange smiley face on the ship reading, “Bye Bye” with Ed’s signature hacker markings. They also find Faye gone as well. The two begin to eat dinner, without any words, and a mix of emotions written on their faces. In the last two concluding episodes, Faye meets Julia, the girl Spike was so concerned over. Spike and Jet is ambushed by the Red Dragon Syndicate and is told by Spike’s friend Shin that Vicious is to be executed and that all the people who were connected to him were being hunted down. Spike eventually tracks down Julia, with Faye. The two finally reunite and begin again their plans to leave the syndicate. However, Julia is shot down and tells Spike that “This is a dream….” Spike is pissed for revenge. Vicious’ execution actually revealed to be a failed plan. Vicious’ bird detonated a bomb and those loyal to Vicious took over the syndicate with Vicious as their leader. With Julia dead, Spike returns to the Bebop. The crew share a last supper and Spike heads down to finish his last bounty. Faye however tries to stop him. She tells that he told her to forget the past. Spike tells that one of his eyes are artificial. One sees the past and one sees the present. Faye yells at him for telling his part of his story to her now, when he is about to commit a suicide mission. Spike replies that he is going there to see if he is really alive. Spike leaves, Jet washes the ship, Faye stands in silence.
In Spike’s fury, he singlehandedly takes down many Syndicate members and finds his friend Shin who helps to get past the thugs and get to Vicious. Shin is shot down and tells Spike to finish the job. Vicious and Spike meet for the last time and engages in a short duel. A stalemate seems to appear, however, just about Vicious raised his blade, Spike is able to kill him. Severely injured, Spike sees a vision of Julia’s last word and replies to them. As he walks down the steps of the syndicate base, light flows into the room. A few members hold their guns but do not fire. Spike gives a weak smile and p
oints his fingers and says “Bang”, he then collapses onto the ground
Spoilers end here. So with that done lets finish this up
So is it good?
Well i wrote this much, so YEAH ITS GOOD. If you call yourself an anime fan, you would already appreciated this thing. This series is considered the best anime ever made. 26 episodes packed with action, story, music, and awesomeness. I heavily recommend you watch this series.