Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 Japanese anime series developed by Sunrise. It featured a production team led by director Shinichiro Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno. The twenty-six episodes ("sessions") of the series comprise a complete storyline set in the year 2071. It follows the adventures, misadventures, and tragedies of a bounty hunter ("cowboy") crew travelling on the Bebop, their starship. The series is rated TV-14 LV on Adult Swim.

In December 2012, Anime Limited announced via Facebook and Twitter that they had acquired the home video license for the United Kingdom. Part 1 of the Blu-Ray collection will be released on July 29, 2013, while Part 2 and the standard DVD Complete Collection was released on September 23, 2013. In North America the series was acquired by FUNimation who announced that they plan to release the series on Blu-Ray and DVD on December 16, 2014.

On September 2, 2001, Cowboy Bebop became the first anime title to be broadcast on Adult Swim in the United States. Since then, the series has aired continuously in rotation due to its success.

Cowboy Bebop aired on Adult Swim's Toonami block from May 26, 2012[1] to October 19, 2013, when Adult Swim lost the rights to the series. During the Toonami panel at Momocon 2014, it was announced that the series had been relicensed by Toonami.[7] The series returned to Toonami on July 26, 2014.[4] The series began airing in HD from episode 1 on January 3, 2015. However, the series was removed from the block after January 31, 2015. From September 9, 2017 to October 13, 2018, the series returned to Toonami, airing in HD.[6]

Plot[edit | edit source]

The 26-episode series revolves around the often violent adventures undertaken by the arguably mismatched crew of the BeBop spaceship. The crew is made up of four unique characters: Jet Black, a former ISSP police officer who retired following a mob hit that cost him his arm, Spike Spiegel, a laid-back exiled hitman of the ruthless Red Dragons' Syndicate, Faye Valentine, a beautiful amnesiac con artist who awakened into the future world after a lengthy period of cryogenic hibernation, and Radical Edward, a hyperactive and barefooted preteen girl with a reputation as a prolific computer hacker. They are also accompanied by Ein, a hyper-intelligent, genetically-engineered stray Corgi.

By a strange twist of their respective fates, this foursome ends up partnering together, using their unique talents to become a ragtag team of bounty hunters, although their fortunes as such are at best mixed.

Throughout the series, Bebop crew members' deal with unresolved issues from their pasts, and the show regularly utilizes flashbacks to illustrate the history of the main characters. The day-to-day life of the crew is also explored throughout the series. The series is set in the year 2071, when the entire Solar System has been made accessible through reliable hyperspace gates. In 2022, an explosion of an experimental hyperspace gateway severely damaged the Moon, resulting in a debris ring and meteor bombardments that eradicated a large portion of the Earth's population. As a result, many survivors abandoned the barely habitable Earth to colonize the inner planets, the asteroid belt, and the Moons of Jupiter.

Mars has become the new central hub of human civilization, and interplanetary crime syndicates exert influence over the government and the Inter-Solar System Police (ISSP), limiting their effectiveness in dealing with crime. As a result, a bounty system similar to that in the Old West is established to deal with fugitives, terrorists, and other criminals; the bounty hunters involved are frequently termed "cowboys".The standard currency is the woolong, which is roughly equivalent to the present-day Japanese yen.

The technology in Cowboy Bebop's world is a mixture of the futuristic (cybernetics, jump gates, energy weapons) and the modern (cars, handguns, zippo-styled lighters), both of which are blended together. Yet, even "new" technology often looks a bit older and battered.

The three main classes of vehicles are ground vehicles, air vehicles, and space vehicles. Ground vehicles are the most mundane of the three, being wheeled automobiles not much different from modern automobiles. Aircraft are mostly jet-powered, although helicopters are not uncommon. Spaceships range in size from small one-man "fighters" to immense passenger liners and cargo ships.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Spike Spiegel — the main protagonist of Cowboy Bebop, Spike is a former member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate. Spike is a master in firearms and hand-to-hand combat, practicing Jeet Kune Do, and is also a skilled pilot. He flies a red customized Mono Racer, an atmosphere-capable spacecraft called Swordfish II. His right eye is cybernetic. He is haunted by the memory of his time in the syndicate, and particularly by his romantic relationship with a mysterious woman named Julia, and his conflict with arch-rival and former syndicate partner, Vicious. He is also a skilled pickpocket.

Jet Black — is a former ISSP (Inter-Solar System Police) detective and is the owner of the Bebop. Once called "The Black Dog" by his fellow officers, he left the ISSP in disgust due to its corruption and red tape, and turned to bounty hunting as a way to apply justice. Although medical science could replace his lost arm, he voluntarily wears a cybernetic prosthetic as a reminder of the consequences of rushing into danger. He also owns a small yellow utility ship called Hammerhead. The Hammerhead has been equipped with a mechanical claw, and a harpoon that can be used as a tow cable. Like Spike, he too is haunted by the memory of a woman, Alisa, his longtime girlfriend who left him without reason.

Faye Valentine — is a novice bounty hunter with a gambling addiction. She joins the crew of the Bebop uninvited, to the consternation of Jet and Spike. Though she abandons the ship several times during the course of the series, her attachment to the crew always brings her back. These feelings are apparently reciprocated, as Jet and Spike always allow her to return despite claiming they're pleased to see her leave. She pilots a generic heavy spacecraft called Red Tail which is pale blue despite the name and has been heavily modified with armament and tracking sensors. Her gambling, cheating, and competitive skills are unrivaled except by Spike. Much of her past and her real last name are a mystery, however it appears that she was severely injured in a space shuttle accident and was then cryogenically frozen until she could be healed. This expensive medical procedure left her deeply in debt, made worse when she inherited the debts of her husband (a man who married her shortly after her surgery, then later faked his death in an automobile accident). She emerges from the cryonic sleep in an amnesiac state, from which she eventually recovers. All vestiges of her past — home, family, possessions — are gone.

Edward (Ed) — is a young computer genius and master hacker. She uses the alias Radical Edward when hacking. Ed is a girl, though her name and androgynous appearance suggest otherwise. She had followed the travels of the Bebop before encountering the ship, and agrees to help the crew track down a bounty-head in exchange for becoming a member of the crew. Although extremely intelligent, Ed is still a child, and looks up to the crew of the Bebop as members of her family. She uses the fanciful name Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV, but an odd encounter with her father reveals that her real name is Françoise Appledelhi. She spends much of her time with Ein.

Ein — a former lab animal identified as a "data dog" by the scientists who reared him. The scientists used him for unspecified experiments, enhancing him to give him extraordinary data-sniffing and pattern-recognition abilities. It is suggested that he possesses enhanced intelligence, which he subtly displays throughout the series, including showing the ability to speak to other animals (and possibly Ed), and perfectly hacking the Scratch website in session #23. The rest of the Bebop crew, with the exception of Ed, often fail to notice these qualities and treat Ein as an average pet.

Vicious — is a grim enforcer of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate, a former ally of Spike within the syndicate and now his nemesis. Vicious wields a katana for a weapon and is always accompanied by a strange, crow-like bird perched on his shoulder. He lives up to his name both through his violent actions and his treacherous scheming within the syndicate. Vicious is the series' only recurring antagonist, appearing in five episodes.

Voice Cast[edit | edit source]

Character English Voice Actor Japanese Voice Actor
Spike Spiegel Steve Blum Koichi Yamadera
Jet Black Beau Billingslea Unshō Ishizuka
Faye Valentine Wendee Lee Megumi Hayashibara
Edward Melissa Fahn Aoi Tada
Ein Kōichi Yamadera
Vicious Skip Stellrecht Norio Wakamoto
Julia Mary Elizabeth McGlynn Gara Takashima
Victoria "V.T." Terpsichore Melodee Spevack Tomie Kataoka
Grencia Mars Elijah Guo Eckener Michael Gregory Kenyū Horiuchi
Punch Paul St. Peter Tsutomu Taruki
Judy Lia Sargent Miki Nagasawa
Antonio (3 Old Men) Steve Kramer Hitoshi Hirao
Carlos (3 Old Men) Richard Cansino Toshihiko Nakajima
Jobim (3 Old Men) Paul St. Peter Hiroshi Naka
Lin David Umansky Hikaru Midorikawa
Shin David Umansky Nobuyuki Hiyama
Rocco Bonnaro Tom Fahn Takamasa Nakao
Laughing Bull Michael Gregory Takehiro Koyama
Bob Bob Buchholz Yutaka Nakano
Annie Carol Stanzione Miyuki Ichijō
Chessmaster Hex Paul St. Peter Takeshi Watabe
Andy von de Oniyate Daran Norris Masashi Ebara
Teddy Bomber (Ted Bower) Tom Wyner Takaya Hashi
Mad Pierrot Tongpu Kirk Thornton Banjô Ginga
Asimov Solensan Kirk Thornton Rintarō Nishi
Katerina Solensan Katia Moraes Yurika Hino
Abdul Hakim Joe Romersa Ryûzaburô Ôtomo
"Twinkle" Maria Murdock Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
Wen Mona Marshall Yumi Tôma
Giraffe Michael Sorich Ryuji Nakagi
Mao Yenrai Kazuaki Itō
Whitney Hagas Matsumoto Akio Ôtsuka
Doctor Bacchus Peter Spellos Kousei Tomita
Fad Doug Lee Masashi Hirose
Udai Taxim Barry Stigler Kōsei Hirota
Appledelhi Siniz Hesap Lutfen Barry Stigler Kenji Utsumi
Domino Walker William Bassett Tesshou Genda
Coffee Nicole Edward Atsuko Tanaka
Fatty River Bill Whizins Daisuke Gōri
Gordon Jamieson Price Shinji Ogawa
Julius Hiroshi Iwasaki
Sally Yung Angie Callas Ikuko Tani
Doohan Simon Prescott Takeshi Aono
Doctor Londes Robert Axelrod Chikao Ohtsuka
Alisa Debra Jean Rogers Mika Doi
MPU W.T. Hatch Jōji Nakata
Meifa Puzi Patricia Ja Lee Arisa Ogasawara

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episodes[edit | edit source]

Color Season Episodes Toonami Premiere Toonami Finale
1 26 May 26, 2012 December 8, 2012

Cowboy Bebop is a 26 episode anime series developed by Sunrise. Most episodes ("sessions") are named after a musical concept of some sort, usually either a broad genre (i.e. "Jupiter Jazz") or a specific song (i.e. "Honky Tonk Women"). "Cowboy Bebop Session XX" is a special clip show that was created as the final episode, when the show was briefly canceled because of violence in Japanese schools after 13 episodes had aired. A movie was released in 2001, titled Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. It serves as a midquel taking place between episodes 22 and 23 of the anime series.

Cowboy Bebop was originally released on DVD by Bandai Entertainment, but said release has gone out of print since Bandai halted DVD production. The series was released in three separate editions in North America. The first release was sold in 2000 individually, and featured uncut versions of the original 26 episodes. In 2001, these DVDs were collected in the special edition Perfect Sessions which included the first 6 DVDs, the first Cowboy Bebop soundtrack, and a collector's box. At the time of release, the art box from the Perfect Sessions was made available for purchase on The Right Stuff International as a solo item for collectors who already owned the series.

The second release, The Best Sessions, was sold in 2002 and featured what Bandai considered to be the best 6 episodes of the series remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS surround sound.

The third release, Cowboy Bebop Remix, was also distributed on 6 discs and included the original 26 uncut episodes, with sound remastered in Dolby Digital 5.1 and video remastered under the supervision of Shinichiro Watanabe. This release also included various extras that were not present in the original release. Cowboy Bebop Remix was itself collected as the Cowboy Bebop Remix DVD Collection in 2008.

The rights to Cowboy Bebop now belong to FUNimation Entertainment whom released the entire series on DVD and Blu Ray in December 2014.

Broadcast History[edit | edit source]

In Japan, the series had an aborted first run, from April 3, 1998 to June 26, 1998, on TV Tokyo, broadcasting only episodes 2, 3, 7 to 15, 18 and a special. Later that year, the series was shown in its entirety from October 24th to April 24, 1999, on the satellite network WOWOW.

In the United States, the English dub of the series premiered on Cartoon Network's brand new Adult Swim programming block on September 2, 2001, making it the first anime series to air on the block. Unfortunately, after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, the series was put on hiatus and was replaced with reruns of ToonHeads and The Bob Clampett Show.[8] The series returned to Adult Swim on September 23, 2001 but skipped episodes 6 and 8, due to the content of the episodes being similar to the recent catastrophe. (episode 22 was also later skipped)[9] After the initial run was completed, the series was rerun and two of the previously skipped episodes (6 and 8) were aired for the first time. Episode 22 was accidentally skipped for a second time but was aired the following week.[10] The series has aired on Adult Swim consistently since its premiere in 2001.

  • Japan (TV Tokyo) — April 3, 1998 - June 26, 1998
  • Japan (WOWOW) — October 24, 1999 - April 24, 1999
  • United States (Adult Swim) — September 2, 2001[11] - August 11, 2012; October 6, 2012[2] - October 19, 2013[3]; July 26, 2014[4] - January 31, 2015[5]; September 9, 2017[6] - October 13, 2018
  • Latin America (Locomotion) — 2001
  • United Kingdom (CNX) — October 14, 2002[12] - 2003
  • Canada (Razer) — December 24, 2006[13] - 2007

Toonami Broadcast History[edit | edit source]

  • Toonami (United States) — May 26, 2012[1] - August 11, 2012; October 6, 2012[2] - October 19, 2013[3]; July 26, 2014[4] - January 31, 2015[5]; September 9, 2017[6] - October 13, 2018

Toonami Marathons[edit | edit source]

The following is a list of Toonami marathons in which at least one episode of Cowboy Bebop appeared.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Adult Swim's Toonami Block to Air Casshern Sins, Deadman Wonderland ". May 21, 2012. Retrieved on June 8, 2015. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Toonami on Adult Swim to Rerun "Sym-Bionic Titan", "ThunderCats" Remake ". September 26, 2012. Retrieved on June 8, 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "UPCOMING TOONAMI LINEUP CHANGES ". September 26, 2013. Retrieved on May 27, 2015. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "Cowboy Bebop Returns in July ". June 11, 2014. Retrieved on June 11, 2014. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Toonami's Adjusted Schedule Cuts Attack on Titan, Cowboy Bebop, GiTS, Space Dandy ". January 27, 2015. Retrieved on May 27, 2015. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "Toonami proud to announce the return of Cowboy Bebop! ". August 31, 2017. Retrieved on August 31, 2017. 
  7. "Toonami News From @momocon ". May 24, 2014. Retrieved on May 24, 2014. 
  8. "Cowboy Bebop Off Adult Swim? ". September 15, 2001. Retrieved on May 10, 2016. 
  9. "Cowboy Bebop on CN Explained ". September 24, 2001. Retrieved on May 10, 2016. 
  10. "Adult Swim Skips Cowboy Bebop 22 Again ". February 11, 2002. Retrieved on May 10, 2016. 
  11. "Cowboy Bebop Confirmed for Adult Swim ". August 2, 2001. Retrieved on May 10, 2016. 
  12. "Anime Channel? ". October 2002. Retrieved on July 25, 2016. 
  13. "Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo to Air in Canada ". December 16, 2006. Retrieved on May 10, 2016. 
Toonami Series

.hack//SIGNAkame Ga Kill!Assassination ClassroomAstro Boy (1963)Astro Boy (2003)
Attack on TitanBakugan Battle BrawlersBallmastrz: 9009Batman BeyondThe Batman
Batman: The Animated SeriesBen 10: Alien ForceBeware the BatmanThe Big O
Black CloverBlack LagoonBlade Runner: Black LotusBleachBlue DragonBlue Exorcist
Blue Submarine No. 6Bobobo-bo Bo-boboBoruto: Naruto Next GenerationsCardcaptors
Cartoon RouletteCasshern SinsCowboy BebopCyborg 009D.I.C.E.Dai-Guard
Deadman WonderlandDemon SlayerDimension WDr. StoneDragon BallDragon Ball GT
Dragon Ball SuperDragon Ball ZDBZ KaiDuel MastersEureka SevenEyeshield 21
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest HeroesFena: Pirate PrincessFire ForceFLCL
FLCL AlternativeFLCL ProgressiveFood Wars!FMA: BrotherhoodG GundamG-Force
G.I. Joe: A Real American Herogen:LOCKGhost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIGGigantorGundam 0080Gundam SEED
Gundam WingGurren LagannHamtaroHarlock SagaHellsing Ultimate
He-Man and the Masters of the UniverseHikaru no GoHunter x HunterIGPXInuYasha
InuYasha: The Final ActJackie Chan AdventuresJoJo's Bizarre Adventure
Jonny Quest: The Real AdventuresJustice LeagueJustice League UnlimitedKiba
Kill la KillKing Star KingKorgoth of BarbariaLupin the Third: Part IV
Lupin the Third: Part V

MÄR: Märchen Awakens RomanceMartian Successor NadesicoMegalo Box
Megaman Star ForceMegas XLRMichiko & HatchinMobile Suit Gundam
Mobile Suit Gundam: The OriginMobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded OrphansMobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team
Mob Psycho 100My Hero AcademiaNarutoNaruto ShippudenNeon Genesis Evangelion
One PieceOne Punch ManOutlaw StarParanoia AgentParasyte -the maxim-Patlabor
PokémonPokémon ChroniclesPop Team EpicThe Powerpuff GirlsThe Prince of Tennis
The Promised NeverlandRave MasterReBootRecord of Lodoss WarRobotech
Ronin WarriorsRurouni KenshinSailor MoonSamurai 7Samurai Champloo
Samurai JackSand Whale and MeSD GundamShenmueSoul EaterSpace Dandy
Star BlazersStar Wars: Clone WarsStar Wars: The Clone WarsStorm Hawks
Super FriendsSuperman: The Animated SeriesSword Art OnlineSword Art Online II
Sword Art Online: AlicizationSym-Bionic TitanTeen TitansTenchi in TokyoTenchi Muyo!
Tenchi Muyo! GXPTenchi UniverseThunderCats (1985)ThunderCats (2011)Tokyo Ghoul
Transformers AnimatedTransformers: ArmadaTransformers: Beast Wars
Transformers: CybertronTransformers: EnergonTrigunUzumakiVoltronWulin Warriors
Yu Yu HakushoYu-Gi-Oh!Yu-Gi-Oh! GXZatch Bell!Zoids: Chaotic Century
Zoids: New Century

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