I think it's time we blow this scene. Get everybody and their stuff together. Okay.
3, 2, 1, let's jam!
01 The Crew
Director - Shinichiro Watanabe
Story Editor - Keiko Nobumoto
Character Designer - Toshihiro Kawamoto
Mechanical Designer - Kimitoshi Yamane
Composer/Arranger - Yoko Kanno
Spike Spiegel - Koichi Yamadera
Jet Black - Unsho Ishizuka
Faye Valentine - Megumi Hayashibara
Ed (Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV) - Aoi Tada
02 The Story
It is the year 2071, the galaxy ignores most of the original governments and ethnicities are lost among each other. Due to the Phase Difference Space Gates created in 2022, humanity has been able to spread itself throughout the galaxy. Which is good considering that Earth now has meteorites continually slamming into its already damaged surface. Criminal organizations and criminals have increased greatly due to the widening gap between the rich and poor. Most crime is now regulated by the independent states of the planets and the ISSP, the Inter Solar System Police. However, when the criminals get out of hand the governments can always go to the age-old method of bounty hunters. That's where Spike Spiegel and Jet Black come in.
Jet: Despite being a nobody, he's worth 2.5 million.
Spike: Don't feel like it.
Spike Spiegel mostly keeps to himself, even though he has been Jet's partner for quite awhile. He's a devout follower of Jeet Kune Do, and always carries around a Jericho 941, a semiautomatic pistol. He also can pilot like a pro in his speedster space ship, The Swordfish II. Spike is a great fighter, but he feels that he has already died, and so lacks a great sense of preservation.
Jet Black was originally an ISSP agent, but after a mission went wrong almost causing his death he left the force. He has an cybernetically augmented arm due to his injury and a scar across his right eye. He tends to be very fatherly, giving his advice to the crew. He normally carries a Walther P99, and pilots his converted space tower, The Hammerhead. The Bebop is also his, which was a converted trawler, and has a great amount of space for storing ships and people.
On Spike and Jet's hunts, they also attract new members: Ein, Faye Valentine, and Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV.
Ein is a Welsh Corgi that was used in labratory experiments and made into a data dog. He's quite more intelligent than any of the members know.
Faye Valentine is a thief and gambler, but don't blame her it's because of her upbringing. She meets up with the crew of the Bebop due to having her head on a bounty. She ends up sticking with the crew due to the simplicity of freeloading and adventure. She prefers to carry a Glock 30, and pilots the Redtail.
Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, or simply known as Ed, is the youngest member of the crew at the age of (probably) thirteen. However, she's also the most computer literate of the crew. A top-notch hacker, she can nearly get into any computer... if she feels like it.
03 The Backstage
In 1998, Shinichiro Watanabe presented the idea of a new anime, named Cowboy Bebop, to TV Tokyo. TV Tokyo was known for being careful of how much questionable material they released including violence and suggestive forms. In the past year, they had also run into a few other problems. Their series Pokemon had created a great amount of bad press when an episode caused epileptic fits in people due to them sitting too close to the television and the rapidness of the changing colors. In national news, school violence had risen having such problems as students stabbing their teacher due to them complaining of their tardiness, a peer joking about their "frizzy hair," and a student attempting to steal a policeman's gun.
TV Tokyo, extremely wary, told Watanabe that they would show only twelve of the Cowboy Bebop episodes. The rest would not be shown due to their violence, and the ones that they did show were also edited down. The episodes that did end up being shown were: Stray Dog Strut, Honky Tonk Women, Heavy Metal Queen, Waltz for Venus, Jamming with Edward, Ganymede Elegy, Toys in the Attic, Jupiter Jazz, Bohemian Rhapsody, My Funny Valentine, Speak Like a Child, and an extra thirteenth episode that was a montage of the previous episodes named Mish-Mash Blues. These episodes were aired from April 3, 1998 to May 26, 1998 on every Friday.
At the end of Mish-Mash Blues there was a small message:
This is not the end.
You will see the real "Cowboy Bebop" someday!
They weren't lying. On November 23, 1998, the satellite station WOWOW began showing Cowboy Bebop in all its glory. They showed all 26 episodes without any editing. Also starting on December 18, 1998, Bandai began releasing all of Cowboy Bebop on VHS, DVD, and Laserdisc.
On September 14, 1999, Pioneer began released Cowboy Bebop in the States on VHS, and then on DVD on April 4, 2000. On September 2, 2001, Cowboy Bebop began to be shown on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. However, it was also edited to suit American television standards.
The series also spawned a movie Knockin' On Heaven's Door which was released on September 1, 2001 and two manga series. The movie takes place between Episodes 23 and 24.
04 The Tunes
Cowboy Bebop's music is one of the many things that make the series so popular. Most of the songs in the series are performed by The Seatbelts and composed by Yoko Kanno. The songs were actually part of a personal project that Yoko Kanno was doings, and were purchased for Cowboy Bebop after they had already been recorded. The songs are extremely varied going through different styles.
There are five soundtracks of the Cowboy Bebop TV series and two released for the movie. All of the soundtracks were released by Victor Entertainment in Japan. The OST CDs have sold over 700,000 copies, and "Music for Freelance" has sold over 70,000 copies.
Original Soundtrack 1
- Tank! The Opening Song (3:30)
- Rush (3:34)
- Spokey Dokey (4:04)
- Bad Dog No Biscuits (4:09)
- Cat Blues (2:35)
- Cosmos (1:36)
- Space Lion (7:10)
- Waltz for Zizi (3:29)
- Piano Black (2:47)
- Pot City (2:14)
- Too Good Too Bad (2:34)
- Car 24 (2:49)
- The Egg and I (2:42)
- Felt Tip Pen (2:39)
- Rain (3:23)
- Digging My Potato (2:34)
- Memory (1:31)
05 The Scenes
The sessions(episodes) have a general theme to their naming. They're named either after songs, or a musical style is combined with another word in the title. This tends to help the feel of the series, as well as making references to many of the works that helped inspire the series.
Most of the sessions tend to be able to stand by themselves, however there are certain story arcs that do occur. Many of these are based around a single character.
Spike's story arc is the Vicious cycle. Spike and Vicious used to be friends, but things changed due to a woman. Now Vicious is in a high position in an important crime syndicate, and Spike is still looking for information on his lost love. The episodes that cover this conflict are: Ballad of Fallen Angels, Jupiter Jazz, Real Folk Blues.
Jet also has a past that he doesn't tell much of to Spike. It tends to go back to when he was working in the ISSP. These episodes are: Ganymede Elegy, Black Dog Serenade, and Boogie-Woogie Feng Shui.
Faye has a clouded past due to a lack of memories. She was woken up from cryogenic sleep only to find that she could remember nothing of why she was there. The search for her past is covered in episodes My Funny Valentine, Speak Like a Child, and Hard Luck Women.
The movie, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, was released after the series ended and takes place between Episodes 23, Brain Scratch and 24, Hard Luck Women.
- Asteroid Blues
- Stray Dog Strut
- Honky Tonk Women
- Gateway Shuffle
- Ballad of Fallen Angels
- Sympathy for the Devil
- Heavy Metal Queen
- Waltz for Venus
- Jamming with Edward
- Ganymede Elegy
- Toys in the Attic
- Jupiter Jazz (Part 1)
- Jupiter Jazz (Part 2)
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- My Funny Valentine
- Black Dog Serenade
- Mushroom Samba
- Speak Like a Child
- Wild Horses
- Pierrot Le Fou
- Boogie-Woogie Feng Shui
- Cowboy Funk
- Brain Scratch
- Hard Luck Woman
- Real Folk Blues (Part I)
- Real Folk Blues (Part II)
06 The Manga
There have been two manga series released in Japan that were spawned off the series. The first was written by Hajime Yatate and illustrated by Cain Kuga. The character designs in the first manga have a few differences from the anime. This series ran for two volumes.
The second manga series was also written by Hajime Yatate, but was illustrated by Nanten Yutaka. The character designs are more similar to that of the anime, but there are still some noticeable differences. The manga ran weekly in Asuka Fantasy DX. It was collected in three volumes, each able to stand on their own much like the anime series. It has been translated and released in the States by Tokyopop.
07 The Sources
Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com.
Cowboy Bebop - Knockin' On Heaven's Door - http://www.cowboybebop.org/.
Emily's Cowboy Bebop Page - http://www.futureblues.com/.
The Jazz Messengers - http://www.jazzmess.com/.
The Real Folk Blues - http://rfblues.aaanime.net/.
"Teen Violence Rising in Japan." CNN - http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9803/14/japan.teen.violence/.