Cowboy Bebop

April 13, 2014

I read comments here and there and they say this was a classic anime. Well, I take it that Cowboy Bebop must be that good so it is a reason why I decided to give it a try. Or maybe there wasn’t many animes back in the late 90’s that anyone could classify as great. Or maybe I just couldn’t remember them. No harm in taking a look at it since it is one of those times where I picked a retro anime to watch. Judging from the very short synopsis, it is about a group of Cowboys, a term in this anime that refers to bounty hunters, and their adventures from planet to planet trying to make a living by apprehending targets with bounty on their heads. Oh, did I mention that the setting is in the future and you can see all sorts of cool futuristic gadgets and equipment? Space travelling is possible and the norm although it isn’t the kind of utopian future that we had in mind. Well, it was kind of cool looking for an anime produced in that era. You didn’t think it was going to be a typical western flick with real cowboys on horses and their six-shooters, didn’t you?

Episode 1
Jet Black is telling Spike Spiegel their next target, Asimov Solensan who is in some shady syndicate. He killed his own men and fled. Currently he is hiding at Tijuana with a woman. But Spike is more concerned about the food Jet cooked for him. Lacks lots of stuffs. This is what you get when you’re broke. The last bounty he collected was used up for repairs and hospital bills for the injured. Still not interested despite the $2.5 million bounty for a nobody? Jet heard there is good food at Tijuana. There’s you r motivation. Asimov enters a bar with his lover, Katerina. He sees the bartender at the back and shows him Bloody Eye. The bartender wants to prove it’s the real deal so Asimov sprays droplets in his eyes. At the same time, several men start spraying bullets all over the bar but Asimov has turned into some sort of wild beast. He can see those bullets and dodges them. He slaughters everyone. Spike is doing his investigation. He gets his info from a fortune teller shaman? He tells Spike where to find the red eye coyote and that this will lead him to a woman that will get him killed. He isn’t fazed since he was almost killed by one before. Spike’s ship runs out of fuel so he takes a break at a toilet. Asimov is there too. But Spike just washes his hands and leaves. Spike bumps into Katerina outside and they strike up a conversation. It seems she wants to escape the harsh life here and head to Mars with her lover. But she gets defensive when she learns he is a Cowboy. However he isn’t going to take them in because he has no interest in nobodies. Besides, her partner looks ill and I suppose it’s not his policy to take on the weak. Maybe he’ll regret that because Asimov strangles him from behind. But she tells him to stop it so they escape.

Jet then comes by. He tells Spike he is giving up on this case because he has dug up some information that this dude is impossible to catch. When he betrayed and ran from the syndicate, he took with him a bunch of illegal eye drops drugs called Bloody Eye. The organization of course is hunting him down to get the goods back but all Asimov left behind is a trail of dead bodies. Spike instantly knows he wants to sell Bloody Eyes because it will be their ticket to Mars. Asimov is at the next bar trying to strike up a trade with a Mexican. But when Asimov is going to show him Bloody Eye, he finds it missing. The Mexican turns out to be Spike in disguise and he stole Bloody Eye from him when Asimov was strangling him. The guys fight but Spike is better since Asimov is relying too much on his eyes. He can’t see everything at the same time. At the same time, those syndicate guys come into the picture so it’s one big messy hell. Asimov and Katerina hijack somebody’s plane and flee. The woman gets shot in the stomach but it seems her pregnancy is fake as it is filled with capsules of Bloody Eye. After Spike and Jet manage to give the syndicate men the slip, they chase after their target up to space. Asimov becomes desperate and sprays another dose into his eyes. With space police before them, she realizes they are not going to make it and cannot run away or anywhere anymore. By the time Spike catches up to them, he sees her putting a bullet into Asimov’s head before a hail of bullet takes out the ship.

Episode 2
Abdul Hakim is a serial pet kidnapper and it seems he is at it again, easily dispatching his pursuers even while taking a dump. Of course he ends up on the wanted list and the bounty on his head is $8 million. Spike takes up the job when the Doctor tells him too. Oh, Doctor has a request of him too. Beat the crap out of that guy! Because he’s got a swollen cheek for that. Hakim is at a Chinese medicine shop trying to punish some guy for bumping into him. Cockroach in his drink as his treat? Some guy then steals his suitcase. Hakim chases him but soon loses sight of his target. That guy tries to sell the suitcase to a pet shop when Spike points his gun at him. He doesn’t believe this guy isn’t Hakim since that dude has undergone many disguises. Upon opening the suitcase, seems there is a cute dog inside. Doesn’t even worth much since this Welsh corgi is common. Disappointed? Spike leaves but that’s when the real Hakim shows up. He wants his dog back but the dog gets agitated and pounds on him. In the commotion, the dog escapes. And the big chase begins. The dog being chased by Hakim being chased by the vet guys being chased by Spike. Eventually Spike and Hakim have a showdown at the bridge. The dog jumps off onto the boat. When it lands, it jumps back up into Spike’s face and into the water. Hakim of course fell onto the boat loaded with crabs. Spike brings back the dog to Jet. Although Spike isn’t very fond of the mongrel, Jet has a plan. The dog might be worthless (in monetary terms) but the owner is loaded.

Part of the plan sees Spike walking the dog through the streets. Meanwhile the vet guys are desperate in catching the dog because they have put a lot of data into it and do not want their illegal experiment to be exposed. So desperate that they start using the dog whistle. All the dogs in the vicinity nearby start chasing after the vet truck. Hakim after calling somebody to put off the meeting for a while, he sees a bunch of dogs running after the truck and goes after it (by stealing a newlywed’s car – so sad the groom got punched in the face). Spike flies his ship. Another round of chase begins. This time in vehicles. The dog is smart enough to evade the net capture by the vet guys. But it gets caught by Hakim who sprays it so sleep. But I think he didn’t spray enough because the dog wakes up and messes up the controllers on the steering wheel. It causes the dog to be flung out and Spike somehow goes to save the mutt instead of getting the $8 million bounty guy. Yeah, even though he hates the dog, I guess this shows he has a soft spot for them. Hakim and the vet guys crash off the highway and down into the police station. How convenient. Talk about turning yourself in. In the end, both Hakim and the vet guys are arrested. It is revealed the dog contains data, making it a very intelligent dog and thus a precious collector’s item. However, the dog is still missing. Actually, it is living with Spike. Still hate it? Then why bring it back? Anyway they call it Ein.

Episode 3
Faye Valentine walks into a Chinese medicine shop. Sexy. Cool. Oh baby. She senses baddies outside so she fires first. Then they fire back. She gives up when too many guns are pointing at her. And nobody cares that the poor old Chinese chap’s shop got trashed. Faye is taken to see the boss of a space casino, Gordon. Looks like she has racked up lots of debts. He cuts her a deal to cooperate with him or the police. Spike and Jet are also at the casino. Spike plays blackjack at the table where Faye is the croupier. This is part of Gordon’s plan to steal a chip the target has when he loses at a certain point. As expected, Spike loses but decides to keep a chip as memento. Faye goes after him. The real target is some goofy guy who looks like Spike. They bump into each other and their chips switch. Faye confronts Spike and tells him this wasn’t part of the plan and should have given her the last chip. Spike blurts out loud that he doesn’t want to since he played along with her. Everyone thinks the dealer cheated. Some guys want Spike to come with him to the office but he fights back. Seriously, those baddies need to take up basic martial arts. So many of them and they still can’t best Spike. Faye meanwhile summons her ship to make her escape. Jet has to cut short his winning streak as Spike drags him along to escape. Didn’t even have time to cash in. They jump onto Faye’s ship for their getaway. Meanwhile the fake Spike is caught and the Gordon is not happy the chip with him is fake. He orders his men to hunt for it as well as Faye and will not allow the chip to fall into the police’s hands. Oh, he shoots the fake Spike too.

Faye is tied up in the toilet of Jet’s ship, Bebop. She tries to convince them to give back the chip to Gordon for a handsome reward. Of course now that they know the chip is something, they aren’t going to just do that. Jet does his research while Spike sees Faye’s name popping up on the bounty hunter’s list. She’s worth $6 million. Imagine, she herself feels disappointed. Just how much debt has she accumulated? Faye secretly contacts Gordon about the chip and their whereabouts. So when Gordon contacts Jet, he hopes to strike a deal. Jet has discovered that there was some decryption programme, some sort of ‘magical keys’ that can decode and unlock every code. The problem is that the creator was killed, and it was left it encrypted and the chip serves as the key to open the programme. Jet wants $300 million if he wants the chip back. It should be a good price for a ‘magic key’. Spike goes off into space onto Gordon’s ship to make the trade. On the count of 3, they’re supposed to exchange it. But you know… They never trusted each other so when the count ends, the baddie starts shooting and Spike makes his move to kick him into space. Seriously, that guy should have taken shooting lessons. Loading off so many bullets and yet couldn’t hit Spike. At that time, Faye was able to free herself and escape to her ship. In that commotion, she steals the suitcase containing the money. Gordon fires all his missiles but the chaff she releases has the missiles hitting back at Gordon. What kind of missile is that? I guess this guy is just bad luck. Thankfully it will be his last. Faye escapes with the money and all Spike and Jet got is this lousy chip. I guess there is only one way left to properly use it. Try their luck at a casino. Starting from scratch, eh? Easy come, easy go.

Episode 4
Faye is floating in space. Out of gas. She tries to use her sexy charms and communicate with passing ships to hitchhike but they just zoom past. Something tells me they did the right decision. Meanwhile Jet and Spike are in some posh restaurant, eyeing on their next target, Morgan. Before they could go and apprehend him, an old lady, Twinkle Maria Murdock and her ‘sons’, confront him and open fire everywhere! As they escape, they drop a hologram message saying they are Space Warriors and protectors of endangered species (Morgan was trying to order some endangered rat species). However Spike points a gun to Twinkle and though her sons are distraught, she tells them to back down as they are no match for bounty hunters. I guess she has a higher bounty than Morgan who is now riddled with holes. The sons are forced to flee empty handed but Twinkle is keeping cool. Back on Bebop, Jet does his research and it seems Space Warriors were once a good organization preserving and protecting endangered species. When their previous leader died, the group reduced in its numbers and its goal changed. It’s now like a terrorist group keen on protecting that Ganymede sea rats. However they can’t cash her in because her bounty was just cancelled. It seems her sons have made a deal with some Minister to cancel their mom’s bounty but even so as long as mama isn’t back with them, they’re going to set that plan into action immediately. Jet suddenly finds all the data on Space Warriors deleted. I mean, he just saw them moments ago. See Twinkle’s grin? Something fishy is going on. Meanwhile Faye stumbles upon a wrecked ship. The dying pilot wants her to take the suitcase to ISSP without opening it. Of course she ‘accidentally’ opens it only to find a vial. Can’t fill her stomach with that, can’t she. Another ship passes and once more she uses her sexy charms. She gets no response. That’s because it is Jet and Spike and they recognize this sly woman’s voice. The silent treatment is taking too long so she blows her top and when she looks up to see the familiar ship, she just went “Oh my God…”.

Faye is tied back on Bebop. While Spike is trying to open the vile (Twinkle seems to be keeping a close watch on what he is doing), Jet contacts his old friend Bob to find out what has happened. After a little threat, Bob reveals that Space Warriors is threatening under the mask of negotiation as some 8 million residents of Ganymede are being held hostage. Then there’s some virus they created to their liking called Monkey Business. If humans get in contact with it, they’ll turn into a monkey. As they lost their spy that infiltrated their group (I guess he got turned into a monkey), they are forced to go with their terms. Spike is about to shoot the vile (no prizes for guessing what’s in it) but Jet catches it and relays the bad news that they have to release Twinkle. No bounty, no worth. After Twinkle is released to her sons, she contacts the Minister and since he didn’t completely do as she wishes, she’ll punish him. Later Bob contacts Jet and wants him to watch a certain channel because Twinkle is making a live broadcast. She’s blabbing about humans committing crimes against nature that can’t be amended. They are going to get rid of those ‘bugs’. The Minister thought he had his men secure the ship she was broadcasting on but was a decoy and it exploded, killing those close by. Twinkle lets loose a missile that contains Monkey Business to turn everyone into primates. As the bounty on her is established, Spike goes into action since Bebop is the only one closest to them. However they have to stop the missile too because if it hits the planet and turns the people to monkeys, they won’t have anybody compensating their reward. Spike enters the hyperdrive to destroy the missiles. Since he is having problems, Faye offers to help but with a cut of the reward. 60-40. But I guess she won’t be much of a help because the missile suddenly split into several smaller ones! Is this some kind of warhead? Spike and Faye fly as fast as they can since the portal is closing. In the nick of time they manage to do so. As for Twinkle and her crew, they make an emergency brake. But the vile that Twinkle stole from Spike before she departed his ship flew out of her pocket and breaks. You reap what you sew. Going back to nature… Because of that, Jet and Spike rue another wasted effort. All that work and no reward. Faye sounds optimistic that they’ll make money next time. That, coming from a thief?

Episode 5
Mao Yenrai and some other syndicate boss reach a deal regarding some alliance. But soon after they are killed by Vicious and his men. His last words were things would be different if Spike was around. Meanwhile Jet and Spike are in an argument. Because Jet thinks Mao is an easy bounty to collect but apparently Spike isn’t interested in taking up the job and leaves on his own. Faye returns and is told to shut up by the angry bald guy. She intercepts a message meant for Jet. Meanwhile Spike sees an old acquaintance, Annie. She is shocked to see him because the story goes around here that he is supposed to be dead 3 years ago. She knows with him back, he wants to know something. It’s about Mao and what happened to him. She also knows he won’t be listening to what she tells him to but she just says. After Spike left, Mao searched in vain for him believing he was still alive. And now that he has returned, Mao’s dead. Faye dresses up gorgeously and heads to the opera disguising as some sort of acquaintance to Mao (she’s doing this for the bounty). She is ushered in by his men but they seem to know who she is and let her take her seat. She sees Mao’s bloodied face sitting nicely on the chair. She asks who these guys are and what do you know, it’s Vicious. Jet has bought a mini arsenal back and Jet smells he is up to something. He tells him the bounty for Mao is off because he is dead. Spike knows that too and is not doing it for the money. Apparently he owes it to Mao for something and he considers this one of his life’s duties. They receive a message from Faye that she has been taken hostage and to come to a certain place before she is killed. Jet didn’t really care about her but Spike is interested to know where. For your information, it’s not to save her.

Spike meets Vicious in the chapel and it has been a long time since these guys seen each other. Faye is brought in as a hostage so Spike is ordered to drop his gun. He fired an accurate shot into that guy’s forehead! Then all hell breaks loose. Gunshots fired everywhere. Faye escapes by the skin of her teeth. It’s mind boggling that the baddies equipped with machine guns and better arsenal can’t even hit Spike and his pistol. Thank God for the thick church pillars. And Spike shoots them with deadly accuracy. Rage? To show that he isn’t perfect, Spike receives one lousy shot in the stomach. Even so, he pumped lots of bullets into his giver. Then the ultimate showdown with Vicious. He says they are of the same. Those who desires the blood of others. Although Spike has thrown away that kind of life, Vicious is not happy that he is alive. Both men attack but Spike is thrown out of the window. Prior to that, he dropped a grenade and safe to say Vicious goes boom along with the church. While falling down, this chapel scene must be reminding Spike of his old days and scattered memories of his. Buddies with Vicious. Some woman. Lots of gunfire. Spike gets shot. He survives somehow. Yeah. All that. Spike wakes up all bandaged in Bebop. Seems Faye saved him. She thought he would be grateful but he commented on her tone deaf singing. She gives it to him.

Episode 6
Spike wakes up from a nightmare. He was on some operation table. He and Jet are now in a blues bar, trying to get their next bounty target, Giraffe. They see an old ‘acquaintance’, Fatty River so Jet has no chance but to go talk with him to distract the dude. At the end of the play, Giraffe tails the blues harmonica kid, Wen and a wheel chair guy, Zebra into a taxi with Spike closely following them. Giraffe tails them to a hotel room and barges in but was shot through the window. I guess that was how long Spike took to get his ship and arrive at the scene. Only enough time to retrieve his body. Before Giraffe dies, he wants Spike to save Zebra and gives him a stone ring. There goes his bounty. Jet talks to Fatty to find out more information. Seems Zebra and Giraffe were on the same Volunteer Self Defence Squad 10 years ago where they tried to reclaim some facility. However Zebra ended up missing and Giraffe found himself kidnapped in some unknown place. Giraffe wanted to go after the top heads in the group but was betrayed. Zebra was also found alive. In the end Giraffe was killed by some betrayal. Back on Bebop, Jet does more research. Seems Wen has appeared in some article 30 years ago and looks the same exactly as he is now. Meanwhile Spike tails Wen and Zebra into some facility. He is spotted by them. Wen shoots away his gun and warns him that despite his kiddie look, he has been around since humans crawled the planet. He explains his body ceased to age and can’t die on the day some accidental explosion of the hyperspace gate. Everything around him just got decimated. There were many interested in him and experimented on him but all died. Then Zebra sneaked in, Wen used this change to use him to escape and made him his ‘parent’ to hide himself. Wen wants him to hand over the stone but whether he does it or not, he tries to shoot and kill Spike. When Spike manages to retrieve his gun and shoots the one off Wen’s hand, Wen throws Zebra at him. Spike shoots Wen’s forehead but when he goes over to check, there is blood but no body.

Zebra is brought back to Bebop and he is in a vegetative state. They see tears coming out from his eyes and they plug in some device to see his memories. He is thinking when Giraffe barged into the hotel room. Giraffe said something about the stone that will return time to him and to hand over Zebra back. However Wen shot him. From what Jet explains, due to the explosion of the gate, a vast amount of energy is stored inside it. An imagery coordinate system was created from the resulting twists in hyperspace and it got enclosed inside the stone, which broke his whatever rhythm or gland and prevents him from aging. The only way to deal with this is to stick this stone into Wen. It is a dangerous mission since the stone might explode upon contact and Spike won’t come back. Well, he’s excited for it. Even Faye is here to see him off. Since when did she care? Meanwhile Wen kills a taxi driver and takes his taxi. Spike finds him and fires at the vehicle, conveniently crashing into a petrol station. Of course Wen is still standing and looking fine. Spike exits his ship and plants the single bullet (which is laced with stone) into his forehead. I thought it was dumb of Wen to just stand there to get shot. But then again, he didn’t know the bullet contains the stone. Suddenly he starts aging and becomes a bag of bones. Looking very much like a zombie. He feels old. Duh. But he is glad that he can now die. And he dies with a smile. So where’s that big explosion they feared so much? All unfounded for, eh?

Episode 7
A burly space trucker woman, VT and her cat, Zeros enter their usual diner only to learn it is filled with lots of bounty hunters that she hates. They heard some target called Decker is passing by here and are waiting to catch him. Spike is here too but he’s having a bad case of stomach ache. Faye is also on this planet but in a desserts bar. She spots this big yakuza-like guy entering and believes it to be Decker since the only description about him is a dragon tattoo. She tells him to stick ‘em up while wanting the other customer in the next table to call the police. Hmm… Something tells me this scrawny little nerd is Decker. See that dragon tattoo? Oh yeah. It’s him. He runs away as Faye realizes her mistake. I guess that’s what happens when you jump to conclusions. That big fat guy’s ‘dragon’ tattoo turns out to be a love eel. She chases the real Decker but he gives her the slip when he tosses a bomb. There goes her ship. Meanwhile at the diner, a group of Mexican bounty hunters are harassing a waitress. VT goes to tell them off and the next thing you know, it becomes a brawl. Because Spike’s food got messed up in the process, he also joins in and beats the crap out of them. VT appreciates him and will treat him to a drink. While talking, there are other people who come in to do some bet with VT. They’re trying to guess her name but always wrong. Spike wants to play too but gets a call from Jet to go after Decker since Faye screwed up. VT realizes he is a bounty hunter and tells him to get out. Spike’s woes continue because those Mexicans, they trashed his ship. So he has to hitchhike. VT didn’t want to bother with him but seems Zeros takes a liking for Spike. He requests another passenger to hitchhike. And so Faye journeys with them and they have to endure her loud metal music all the way.

VT contacts his trucker pals to get information on Decker’s whereabouts. She finally spots his truck and chases after him into an abandoned asteroid. She calls Spike about this but was told to stay away because the cargo Decker is carrying is very dangerous. He is a master of explosives and is currently hauling solid nitro to some people he made deals with. Spike and Faye hurry to their location. I think Jet didn’t have time to finish fixing the badly messed up ships. Decker tries to shake VT off and even drops one of his bombs but it is going to take more than that to kill her. Of course with the impact in such an enclosed space, the place starts blowing up. Decker is killed and there goes the bounty. Spike, Faye and VT are trapped and this place could blow up any time soon. Oh, did I mention this asteroid was an old mining area? What are the chances? How can they get out alive? VT suggests using one of the solid nitro to blast their way out. Since Faye’s ship has hands, she is forced to extract the solid nitro and be very careful to it. Because it is sensitive to touch and the slightest mistake means they all go boom. The next plan is very risky and dangerous. Because Spike exits his cockpit (he must have taken a deep long breath) so that Faye can put the solid nitro into it and when the timer is over, the little pod will accelerate and rams towards the blocked exit. VT quickly brings Spike into her truck in time before the pod speeds up and blows up an exit. They barely survived. Spike thanks Victoria Telpsicorei for the help. He saw her name in her locket. Her late husband was a legendary bounty hunter. She gives him the reward money but he only takes a note and has her keep the rest as offering to her husband in Heaven.

Episode 8
A plane is being hijacked (Lewey, Hewey and Dewey?). Spike is one of the passengers but he is sleeping. When is rudely awakened by them, I’m not sure if it’s his lady luck or sleepy kung fu that knocks them out. Of course, with a little help from Faye. At the airport, Spike cashes in on the captured target and Faye didn’t waste time in asking for her share. She’s going to blow it all at the casino. Better than putting in the bank? Spike is suddenly attacked by a passenger on that plane, Roco Bonnaro. Of course he blunders. But this Roco guy views his kung fu as the real deal and bugs him to teach him. After all that pestering, I guess Spike relents. He even demonstrates using his flow and be like water Chinese kung fu philosophy thingy. I wonder if Roco gets it. But since a group of baddies are after him, Roco shoves a package onto Spike, telling him to hold it and bring it to a cathedral at the outskirts of town tomorrow night. Back on Bebop, Jet suggests in making some extra cash by capturing a small time crook, Piccaro Calvino. If the entire gang is captured, the price doubles. Seems they have stolen some remedy for planet Venus sickness. That plant is hard to grow and it’s worth tens of millions. Guess what? It’s the package Spike is holding. Oh Gosh. And Roco is one of the gang members. Faye suggests to just sell this plant since it’s more profitable than nabbing the baddies. Jet disagrees as he doesn’t want to get involved with trouble. But Spike is going to handle Roco and leaves Piccaro to them. Spike arrives at Roco’s home but a lady tells him to stick ‘em up. She is Roco’s sister, Stella and has some sort of eye disease that makes her blind. She mistakes Spike as Roco’s friend. As they talk, she doesn’t mind staying this way but Roco cares about her and wants to get her treated. She shows him an orgel that Roco sent her. Inside there is a little package inside which I believe is seeds of the plant. She adds that Roco may have hung out with bad people but he is a good person. She doesn’t think Spike is one of those bad guys.

Meanwhile Roco is so good at running that he manages to lose his pursuers. However when he goes to take the leak, he realized too late that the baddies and even Piccaro himself are easing themselves at the toilet. Cornered. They force him to reveal the whereabouts of the plant. Elsewhere, Faye is in foul mood. She is extorting information of Piccaro’s whereabouts (including one that leads her to a couple of gays having sex!). Roco sees Spike waiting at the cathedral. Spike mentions he has peeked into the contents as Roco realizes he is a bounty hunter. At first he thought he was here to nab him but when Spike mentions Stella needs this, Roco tells him to run. Piccaro and his men surround the place. Care to hand it over? Roco makes a daring move to subdue one of the baddies. A gunfight ensues. It gets messier when Faye comes crashing into the picture and starts firing away. She’s in a bad mood for being sent on a wild goose chase. Roco uses his newly learnt kung fu move on one of the baddies. Wow. He looks like an expert but then he gets shot in the chest. He drops the plant and when the glass breaks, it withers. Piccaro and his men are arrested. Roco has one last favour for Spike to leave Stella in his care and it’s in the orgel. Spike knows what it is and will do it. Spike goes to see Stella at the hospital. She is happy that Roco has got the money for her to undergo the operation (I guess the plant’s seed did the trick). However with Spike being silent, she realizes something is wrong. He’s dead. She’s sad as she wanted him to be the first to see her recover her eyesight but that won’t happen now. She wonders what kind of person Roco is as she has never seen him with her own eyes. Spike says she doesn’t need eyes for that because he is a great guy.

Episode 9
Radical Edward seems to be trying to hack in Bebop when some laser satellite shoots at her position. Well, he’s still alive although the place is toast. The news interviews some guy on the mysterious South American drawings. He insists it is the work of aliens despite proofs that somebody hacked into the satellite and made the art. Even so, the crazy guy thinks it is a conspiracy of the government to hide something. Maybe aliens controlled that guy’s mind to hack the satellite. Whatever. As there is a bounty placed on the hacker’s head, this attracts Faye’s attention. She’s going to do it but Spike wants to sit this one out. In another news interview, it is mentioned that the Gate accident 50 years ago, Earthlings have migrated underground due to the changing climate and falling moon rocks. Thus space networks are necessary for them to stay in contact with those living in space. Thus it becomes a foundation to create hackers. Ed hacks the police’s ship (they’re here to arrest him), toys with it and crashes it. Faye and Jet get down to Earth to find more information on the hacker. Jet’s leads have him learn that everyone knows the famous hacker called Ed. But ‘his’ description varies. Some think ‘he’ is a woman, a gay or even an alien! Ed hacks into somewhere and finds an information area not connected to Earth and only between satellites. Nobody else has hacked it too. She hears a voice saying that nobody is here. The voice is a programme controlling a satellite. Ed calls it MPU as its nickname. Just like how Ed is for Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV. Seriously? MPU explains before the Gate incident, Earth was beautiful and filled with such pictures and always looked at them. He remembered them and tried to recreate them. Their conversation is cut off when the police put on a jamming signal.

Ed contacts Bebop and tells them the real culprit isn’t a hacker and is willing to tell them in return for a favour. As explained the A.I. of the satellite is the one responsible for the doodling. As it is listed as a weather satellite, nobody suspected anything. This means the satellite is their bounty. As MPU’s access code is lost, they have to go directly to the satellite, break its communication to other satellites and download MPU to a disk. They have to do it manually because the other laser satellites connected to it will sense and attack them. Jet thinks it’s impossible but Spike loves this kind of stuff. Spike approaches it and everything seems to be proceeding as planned. But a satellite blocks his shot and this alerts the other satellites. Now they’re firing at him and the only way left is to take them all out. Seriously. Hundreds of them? Ed suggests Faye be the decoy while Spike approaches 20 metres of MPU so that he won’t be attacked. Once Spike touches down, he starts downloading MPU as Ed talks to MPU one last time. She wants him to come over to this side filled with lots of friends it must have been lonely up there. The news reports the strange end twist to this strange drawing. The culprit is the A.I. of a satellite and the police are dumbfounded on how to reward Spike and Jet about this. However they didn’t get any reward because the target can’t be something non-living. Bummer. Ed has packed her bags and ready to board Bebop. The favour she asked was to be part of their crew. Faye wants Jet to fly away. What about the promise? Promises are made to be broken. Bebop flies off but not to worry. Ed has hacked into the system and remotes control Bebop like her own toy to land at his feet. Welcome aboard? Not only Jet and Spike have no money, they are stuck with things they hate most: Beasts, kids and tomboys. The woman is a tomboy? Well, nothing feminine about her except her racks and curves… Shouldn’t Ed be the tomboy?

Episode 10
Bebop is to turn in a fugitive at Ganymede when Jet comes into contact with an old friend, Donelly. They talk on the good ol’ days when Donelly remembers the girl Jet was once with: Alisa. Jet takes some personal time off to go see Alisa who is working as a bar master. They haven’t seen each other for a while and catch up on things. She plans to close business and move to somewhere else but Jet is concerned if she can cope with the high cost of living of new island cities. She believes she can since she has her boyfriend, Rhint Celonius. Yeah. That guy who gave Jet that suspicious look when he entered the bar. With Jet away, Spike takes the liberty to fix Bebop (Faye is just sunbathing her ass). Spike gets a personal call from Donelly. This next target bounty has not been announced publicly yet. Rhint is a port thug and last night he contacted Law Rentzuo the financial broker (read: loan shark) and the latter was killed. He warns that Rhint is Alisa’s gigolo. All Spike is interested in is how much the bounty reward will be. I guess it must be enough for him to take off and earn some pocket money. Jet continues his reminiscing. One day when Jet came back from work, Alisa was gone. All she left was the clock which is now in his possession and a farewell note. Oddly he didn’t feel sad. He felt something inside him grew numb. He made a bet with himself. In 6 months if she did not return by the time this clock stopped, he will leave this planet. He doesn’t want to blame her and just want to know why she disappeared back them. Alisa says she’s forgotten about that long story and bids him farewell again.

After Jet leaves, Rhint is seen squirming in guilt. He really did kill the loan shark but he was cornered and out of self defence. He thinks Jet was here to arrest him as a bounty hunter. Alisa suggests they run away. So happen when they are riding their boat, Spike sees them and engages the target. He almost collided with Jet and tells him what is going on. Jet wants him to go home and will handle this himself. He assures him he will not let the target go because this is his home planet and was once a tough cop. Once he bites, he never lets go. After chasing the duo through tight waterways, Jet fires his spear at the boat. The propeller gets dislodged and sends the boat crashing onto land. Alisa points the gun at Jet and doesn’t want him to get close. Jet is not cowed even after a few warning shots. She tells him to find other bounties but if he lets her go, somebody else will come after her. If she runs, she’ll be an accomplice. She explains that he has been the same since. He decided everything and was always right. She never to do anything when she was with him. She wants to decide how to live her life even if it is a mistake. As she breaks down, Rhint tries to run away, squirming like a coward that he doesn’t want to go to prison. Jet punches him and tells him to be strong to protect her. After the police apprehend Rhint, Jet asks Alisa for her next plan. She isn’t going anywhere but will wait in her bar for Rhint. He doesn’t think it will take long because time is flowing. Jet throws away the clock into the sea.

Episode 11
Just like some horror movie, there is something lurking on Bebop. Jet must be desperate to make cash but he should have known better than to gamble with Faye. He lost everything. Including his underwear. We know Faye cheated, right? Jet is in the storeroom and stumbles upon the fridge where he gets bitten. The rest think it is a mice but he is certain it wasn’t. And nobody gives a damn to what Ein is growling at. Should have been a sign. Jet is made to drink crushed lizard as herbal remedy for his sore. It’s that or crushed scorpion. This is going to go down well. Right after that, he collapses! I don’t think it’s the drink because the bruise is getting bigger. Spike tries to match what kind of virus he has but none of it in the database matches. Ed thinks it’s some mysterious space creature along with the crappy theory of mysterious evolution, mysterious mutation and mysterious poison it carries. When Faye is taking a bath, she encounters that mysterious creature. And so the reason why she is panicking to Spike that if you get bitten you may die is because she too got bitten on the leg. Young, beautiful and sexy. She’s got a full life ahead of her and things she wants to do. Why does she have to die so early when she didn’t even commit a single crime?! Oh, Faye… Maybe that’s why… So the rest go hunting for the creature with heat vision goggles. Spike gets a close encounter with the mysterious creature, which turns out to be some freaking fast blob after hearing Ein’s scream. Yeah. Doggone it. With Ed’s goggles on the floor, I guess something has happened to the kid too. So Spike is now alone. Okay, alone with the blob. Arming himself with all sorts of weapons, he hunts down the blob. Then it’s the showdown. All weapons fail to kill it till he blasts it with the flame thrower. Feeling hungry after that, he remembers something important. A year ago, he got a real lobster and hid it in the storeroom’s fridge for his own. He forgot all about it. As he slowly opens the fridge to take a look what is inside now, he slams it back. Some horror growth that we don’t want to see. Yeah. You might lose your appetite. He disables to ship’s gravity to throw the fridge out into space but the blob attacks and bites his hand. The fridge bounces back and the door threatening to open. Spike summons all his strength to open the gate to suck it out and close it in time before he passes out. So with everybody out on Bebop… Oh wait…. Ed is just sleeping. The blob slides to her and she eats it! WTF?! I thought that thing is poisonous?! And it’s like nothing happened to him. Lesson of the day: Never leave things in your fridge… So that’s it? What happened to the crew? Will they get treated? So? SO?! Unless the virus isn’t lethal to begin with. Everyone just falls asleep… Enjoy Waltz of the Flowers while you’re at it…

Episode 12
Vicious lives. He is before some Chinese council of old men (more like corpses) requesting to do some deal with Red Eye. I can’t understand what their conversation is about but it seems those Chinese buggers give him the permission and warns him about betraying Van because those who did will be punished. They send Lin to accompany him to the cold planet of Callisto. Meanwhile on Bebop, Faye has fled. Yeah. She left a note telling them not to look for her and took off with their loot. So predictable of this woman, right? Using Ed to track her down, Ed receives a connection with someone with a codename called Julia. Spike instantly sits up and wants to know where that connection comes from. Blue Crow on Callisto. Spike immediately leaves. What about finding Faye? He leaves it to Jet while he finds his own woman. Jet warns him not to be so rash but since Spike is still stubborn, he threatens he won’t be welcomed back again. So be it. I guess their 3 year friendship only goes so far. All because of women… Well, at least Jet has got odd new shipmates to keep him company. Spike gathers all information he can to find Julia. It leads him to a transsexual named Julius. Ugh… Julius thinks Gren might know. He is a saxophone player at Blue Crow bar. And it seems Faye is at that bar too. She thought this guy Gren wanted to pick her up but he notes he is not interested in women. He also warns her that this planet has no women in town so she’ll be very popular and watch out. Spike must be poking around for information too much that he runs into bad company. They think he is Vicious but Spike gets mad instead and beats the hell out of them! No mercy! It is revealed there is going to be some deal taking place from Gren to Vicious and he thought of taking that cash. It is then Spike realizes the codename for this trade is Julia.

Jet is on this planet too. He sees the bounty hunter programme that a bounty named Gren who escaped a military facility 3 years ago, his statute limitation is about to expire and so his bounty will be doubled. Jet wanted to call Spike to tell him this info but perishes the thought. Faye is being confronted by those guys whom Spike beat up. Never learn their lesson, eh? I’m sure Faye would have given them another round of good beating had not Gren took her hand and fled the scene. In his home, she seems to speak from experience that she came here alone. She doesn’t need comrades because they’re not worth having. Viewing herself as a good girl, guys always end up fighting over her. It’s said that humans can’t live long by themselves but oddly you can live pretty long by yourself. Instead of feeling alone in a group, it’s better to live in solitude. Gren thinks she is afraid of losing them and distanced herself. When Gren is in the shower, the phone rings. Faye is surprised to hear Vicious’ voice as he leaves a message for their meeting place. Faye gets ready to take out Gren but is shocked to see him a woman. Or is Gren a male? He is both… And neither… Has your brains exploded yet? Meanwhile Spike confronts Vicious and didn’t like how he used Julia’s name for crooked deals. They’re ready to face off seeing they didn’t settle their previous score. But Lin comes in between them. Spike doesn’t want to kill him but Lin fires back.

Episode 13
Vicious and Gren were once comrades in some mercenary army on Titan. Close enough for Vicious to give him a little orgel and save him from a scorpion’s sting. I don’t know what war they were fighting for but when it’s over and Gren returned home, he was imprisoned because he was suspected to be a spy. Vicious testified against him. He had insomnia while doing time and took some drugs. The side effects caused his body to ‘morph’ into such. Faye wonders why he wants to see Vicious. Didn’t he betray him? He wants to see it for himself even if he knows he’s going to die. Faye calls him selfish because he drags people into his problem and then goes off to die. She fires a few rounds at him but he was fast enough to dodge them and take her out. Jet’s investigation leads him to the bar where Gren plays. The bar master recognizes Faye because it has been a long time he has seen a woman and can’t be mistaken. A prettier one came by 2 years ago. She was beautiful but disappeared barely after a month here. Spike is having that strange dream again. Vicious. Gunfire and that woman. I guess this is a sign he is still alive. Because he wakes up only to realize Lin fired tranquilizers into him. Jet enters Gren’s room to see Faye tied up. After freeing her, he contacts Spike and tells him about this ‘Julia’ case. If he catches the culprit, he’ll allow him back on Bebop. Gren sees Vicious and Lin to make the trade. What he has is genuine but before the deal could end, Gren kicks a suitcase containing a bomb towards him. Gren reveals that he tore apart the orgel and found a transmitter. More like it was Julia who found it. He wonders if he wants to kill him again despite being comrades and fought on that desert battlefield. He believed in him. Vicious replies there is nothing to believe. Gren shoots back but Lin uses his body to protect Vicious. Spike sees this before his eyes and gets distraught. Now it’s time for some aerial battle. With Gren in the fray, it’s going to be a threesome. Vicious hears the sound of the orgel in his cockpit. When it ends, his ship goes boom and he crashes. Gren’s body couldn’t hold on any longer so he too crashes. Spike wants to know about Julia but he requests to be put back in his ship. He wants to return to Titan. It might be a long way but he wants to be close to it. Gren knows he is Spike because Julia always talks about him. Those eyes of different colours. His left eye sees the past. She always sat in the same corner of the bar, requesting to play the same song and putting on that sad smile. Spike gives Gren a little push back into space. He returns to Bebop and despite he has nothing, Jet lets him back in.

Episode 14
Our Bebop crew each apprehend their bounty. But when they get back, why to long sour face? Seems they get no reward for it because they weren’t the target. As Ed puts it, everyone caught a criminal but have no clue of who that person they’re really after. And so it is revealed that around 20 criminals have been caught by several bounty hunters but because the criminal isn’t the mastermind, they aren’t paying out. Too bad. As the gang do their research, Jet notes the crime of hacking the Gate tollbooth is done in a similar fashion. Something about the laundering of funds that makes it hard to track where the funds went. All the caught criminals have nothing in common and you can say they come in all age, gender, nationality, religion, etc. Besides, they don’t even have the stolen money. Faye has a flyer that states an easy way to make money for a thief. There’s a manual on how to rob? It’s from a website that no longer exists. Perhaps all the criminals were reading from that same manual. From Spike’s side, he believes somebody who is familiar with the Gate system should only know how to hack it. It must be somebody from that company or who once worked there. Even worse, Gate Corporation suddenly became uncooperative in assisting them. The only clue is a king chess piece. Ed fools around (got electrocuted but lives) and hacks into some system (why didn’t they ask this kid instead). She has Jet give her the chess piece. It is a memory cartridge to play chess over the internet. Though Ed isn’t sure if this has anything to do with the hacking. Jet thinks all this is some game. He wants Ed to continue playing while he goes to see those Gate guys again. He shows the chess piece but was told to just do his bounty hunter job. How can they? When they don’t even know who the mastermind is. I mean, they put a bounty on a mastermind that they aren’t sure even exists. He hints that it is perhaps someone they don’t want the police to know. Jet is shown the door and not to pry any further. Of course he has planted a transmission to hear their conversation later. Seems they are very concerned of the risk if this gets out to the public. It’ll get worse if they don’t catch him. They are puzzled why Chessmaster Hex, a ghost of 50 years ago would come back. Maybe it’s really a game he setup because he gave everyone a chess piece.

Spike and Faye couldn’t decipher and hidden meaning behind the chess moves. Maybe they’re just normal chess moves. Jet contacts the gang to investigate on Hex. Ed won’t budge from her game because she’s in an interesting match with Hex! Hex was once a genius programmer in his teens. He was also a genius chess player. At 30 years old, he created some central control system that Gates use today. However he undermined its safety when he put them to practical use. As a result he was banned from the company and his whereabouts unknown for the last 50 years. But why get his revenge now? Furthermore, they easily traced him to an abandoned place where scrap metals gathered. It is the perfect hideout since there is no government, no nationality, no anything. You don’t even have to pay tax here. Too easy? A trap? One way to find out. Spike and Faye head in only to find it inhabited by weird homeless or stateless people. There are even animals and plants! Meanwhile, a bounty hunter named Jonathan who has eavesdropped Jet crashes into the place because he has something to settle with Hex. Spike and Faye are about to arrest Hex in his room, still playing chess but that’s when Jonathan comes in and wants this old bugger to return his life savings! But Hex seems genuinely senile as he talks with his old friends about this amazing chess player he is playing with. The rest realize he has no memory of what happened yesterday, what more 50 years ago. Jonathan is upset that his life savings will never come back and tears up the place but is punched out by the duo. Jet explains to the Gate guys that Hex wanted revenge and planned it all out and made it so that this incident will happen 50 years later when the system programme gets an automatic update. He even made those who commit the crime to hold chess pieces to hint it was his doing. But 50 years is too long a time and he turned senile, forgetting the traps he set. Though this is good news for Gate Corporation, it also means Jet has learnt about the defect. The guys wonder if he wants money to prevent this being leaked to the press. But all Jet wants is to leave Hex alone. Because Ed will be sad if she loses a chess companion. Yup. She’s still playing it for a week now. And she lost. Oh, Jonathan becomes a senile occupant in that abandoned station. No money, no life.

Episode 15
Faye is awakened by Ein. Somehow the dog’s face reminds her of an old acquaintance, Whitney Hagas Matsumoto. Want to hear her story? Ein yawns… Faye is seen ‘defrosted’ in a hospital’s operation room. She has no memories of herself. Then this Whitney guy pops up and claims to be a lawyer hired by the insurance company for her medical bills. It seems Faye was involved in a horrible accident 54 years ago! Medical technology wasn’t advanced then so she was kept frozen in deep sleep until today. Look at her body. No scars or anything. She’s like Sleeping Beauty too. Faye couldn’t believe things as they are now. I mean, that television is actually a washing machine? That night, she escapes from the hospital. Can’t afford to pay $300 million hospital fees with compounded interests, eh? Being not technology savvy, she triggers the alarm but kept running. She experiences culture shock from hologram videos and flying ships on highways. Eventually Whitney catches up and wants to help her. She accepts his help and starts trusting him as he treats her like his precious woman. One night the insurance company got impatient for the collection and chased them. Whitney drops Faye somewhere to lose their pursuers and hopes they will meet again at the hospital. Why is he helping her so much? Because the prince must help the Sleeping Beauty. To her dismay, he got done in. At the hospital, the doctor mentions how Whitney has left all his assets to her. All she needs is to put in her thumbprint. Faye is touched that she truly cares about him. And then on the screen… It appears all his massive debts… It makes Faye’s like a tiny drop in the ocean. Hey… Debts are assets? That’s when Faye blew her top. Now do we understand why she became a distrustful sly thieving fox? Spike heard everything but has his reservations. She did tell lots of lies, right?

Jet has just come back and captured a small fry bounty with him. Faye seems to find him familiar and realizes this is Whitney! OMG! He’s so fat now! Of course Faye interrogates him. The past is brought up. Seems everyone was in it. Whitney mentions he prefers to be handed in to the police for his crime. The police is here to pick him up but Faye won’t hand him over and takes him with her. She wants to repay her debts to him. Imagine how surprised the guys are because this woman is taking the man instead of the money. It’s really odd to see a fat guy and a sexy bombshell squeezed into a cockpit and flying off into space. Spike chases them and disables them. Faye wants to know the truth but to her dismay he doesn’t know anything about her past. When the police is here to pick him up, she recognizes that familiar voice. It’s that doctor! Faye is mad that this is another one of Whitney’s lies because she was told he was dead. The doctor confirms that he is the one who named her Valentine after his favourite song. She was in cryogenic sleep in his hospital but as to why, who she is or anything else, it will remain a mystery because all data of her was wiped out during the Gate incident. With the real police entering the scene, the doctor decides to flee, causing Whitney to panic and call to his uncle not to leave him. That black doctor is his uncle? I suppose Faye got enough of it and decides to claim the paltry bounty on him. Seeing him land in prison really makes her day. Whitney notes that of all the lies he told, there is one truth: He fell in love with Sleeping Beauty while she was asleep. A lie? The truth? Well, Faye won’t be swayed anymore. And perhaps to further take out her frustrations, she draws fake eyebrows on Ein and returns to sleep. Now she’s a Sleeping Beast.

Episode 16
A prisoner onboard the prison transport, Udai Taxim slaughters all the authorities with ease. When the other death row inmates take control of the ship and one of the hot-headed one kills the pilot for not wanting to be ordered around, Udai slices his throat. The other prisoners remember him as an assassin for a syndicate. Meanwhile Jet receives a call from his friend from the police force, Fad. He meets up and is told about the electrical malfunction on the prison transport ship that caused a riot and hijacking incident. The ship’s whereabouts is unknown. The point is, Udai is on that ship. He is someone who has to do with Jet quit being a cop and his now mechanized left arm. Though Jet says he isn’t interested in that old story, he still thinks back how they were after Udai and fell into his trap. He’s still going to do something about it, right? Meanwhile Udai has a plan on how to bust through security with limited ammunition. When the police force finds him, they feign releasing the prisoners. But the pod was filled with explosives that caught them off guard. The prisoners use the gun turrets to finish off what is left of the force. By the time Jet and Fad arrive, there is only ship wreckage carnage. But Jet knows where Udai has headed: Europa. He knows this guy is old fashioned and wants to get back with the syndicate. True enough, he is contacting the syndicate but they have cut all ties with him since he was doing time. They don’t want him back anymore no matter what he thinks.

Jet goes in solo while the other prisoners fire all they’ve got at him. He barely makes it into the ship and makes his presence known. Udai is going to welcome his guest. One of the prisoners doesn’t want to be caught up in this mess and tries to escape. However he didn’t know Fad has crashed his ship into the exit so when he opens the door, he gets sucked out into the vacuum. Fad then goes to kill the rest of the prisoners. Meanwhile Jet and Udai have their fight. Thanks to his mechanized arm, it saved him from being shot. Udai reveals it wasn’t him who shot him back then but his partner. Everything was planned out from the beginning. He was long betrayed and been used. As the story ends, Fad puts a bullet in Udai’s head. So why? Fad blames him that it ended this way because he went on his own. He is tired of people leaving the syndicate either they quit like Jet or die. They can’t keep living on their petty ideals, that’s why he betrayed and kept fooling him. But he really wanted to team up with him back them. Fad is going to shoot him but Jet is faster as he picks up Udai’s gun and fires back. Or is it? Jet realizes that Fad let him to shoot back on purpose. Jet gives him one last smoke before his last breath.

Episode 17
Jet summons the crew and wants to know who is responsible for eating the emergency food. Nobody admits. They’ve been without food and gas for 2 days. Suddenly a ship crash into them and flies away. Hit and run? The impact causes them to go off trajectory and fall into the planet. On ground, Faye suddenly feels the urge to go to toilet. Is she trying to be lazy again? Till the rest realize the expiry date on the emergency food was a year ago. Serves her right. Divine punishment. But this doesn’t solve their stomach woes. Ed and Ein go out exploring in the vast desert. They have no money to buy at the watermelon stand when a sexy Foxxy Cleopatra babe pulls up. She gives extra cash to the guy and also hopes he could contact her if he has any news on this bounty guy she is looking for, Domino Walker. Ed and Ein hide in her boot. At the petrol station, the police are conducting checks as they are after Domino for selling illegal mushrooms. They see Ed and Ein in the back and misinterpret she is some child kidnapper and arrest her! The duo then continue their journey in town where they see Domino munching away some food. When they confront him, they are interrupted by this black guy, Shaft who wants revenge on Domino because his brother ate his mushrooms and died laughing. A happy way to die? Yeah, his intestines got twisted. He even brought a coffin to bring his body back but it got smashed by the truck. Shaft chases after Domino who doesn’t remember who that guy is. Ein eats the mushroom Domino drops and starts hopping like a stiff bunny. Noticing they are inedible, she takes it back and sets them as obvious traps for the adults to eat. No effect at first. It comes later. They are absorbed in their hallucination. Spike is climbing an eternal stairway, Faye ‘air swimming’ in the toilet and Jet talking to his bonsai plants. When Ed sees Domino on the bounty hunter programme, she decides to go catch him and earn money to buy food.

Foxxy manages to give the dumb policeman the slip because he is on the phone with his girlfriend. He abandoned the interrogation just to talk to her? She sees Ed zooming past and goes after her. Likewise, Shaft sees Ed and also hurries finishing his ice cream. Ed finds Domino cultivating his mushrooms in a wrecked ship. He won’t be caught so the chase begins. Domino escapes by hoping on the train. Shaft hijacks the watermelon guy’s truck, Foxxy in her sports car and Ed on her scooter. It ends when Ein bites one of Domino’s bags. He lets go and it hits Shaft in the face. In turn he crashes down into Foxxy’s car. Game over for them. The train puts on the brakes when there is cow in the middle of the tracks. Domino wants Ed to take the bag of mushrooms containing $100,000 each. I guess she is happy as long there is food. Back at Bebop. The hallucinations must be over. Spike has climbed his stairway to heaven, Faye rolled with toilet paper and Jet has lipstick on his face. Ed shows them the mushrooms when a policeman checks up on them for anything on Domino. Jet and Faye shut up Ed because she was going to tell everything. Unfortunately Spike is still under hallucination so he shows the officer the bag. He checks it and deems it to be normal. In the end, our Bebop crew except Ed and Ein are disgusted after having nothing but mushroom dishes for days. Hey, it’s better than no food at all, right?

Episode 18
Faye just lost her bet on a horse race. You can tell her mood. When she gets back, Jet gives her a package from a courier service. Since the sender is unknown, Faye flees. She thinks it’s some collection agency or something that would want revenge on her. How many bad things have she done? So the guys are puzzled because she doesn’t want to claim something that belongs to her and when they check it out, it is an old fashioned cassette video tape. Of course this is the future so they don’t know what it is. Based on the courier service records, this package has been forwarded to and from various places like a nunnery, prison, studio and observatory. Not having a proper use for this, they decide to sell it to cover the courier cost to some antique maniac. He is excited they have some beta video tape and starts ranting about the history of cassettes. I don’t think those guys are interested. Is he going to buy it or not? Playing the tape to check its contents, seems pretty normal of somebody videotaping but when the image starts to blur as the player is eating into the tape, Spike kicks the player to restore it but breaks it instead. Well, he thought this method always works. Now the maniac wants them to pay for the repair cost! Jet calls it even since he’s not going to buy the tape. Now that it has come down to this, Jet is going to find out the contents of the tape and Ed locates it to some underground city electrical museum in old Asia. Meanwhile Faye is having her luck in dog racing. She is winning every bet! She loves it!

The guys seem to be going through a lot of trouble just to get the player. Crawling through ventilation spaces, sliding down ropes and wires, wading through waist-high water. All for just a player and a monitor? And when they find a room filled with them, they take the biggest one. Under what assumption. But when they bring it back, the tape doesn’t fit because Ed points out it is VHS type. All that effort for nothing. Didn’t they try it first back then? Of course they’re in such a gloomy mood. On the other hand, Faye’s luck is also short-lived. She loses all her bet. Easy come, easy go. Calling Bebop, she thinks the guys are feeling lonely without her and decides to come back. Really? Just then, another package for Faye arrives. Jet refuses it but Spike has already opened the package. Pay up. Inside the package is a beta type player. Faye has to pay back the courier charges if she wants to watch. Not going to. Of course she watches secretly from afar. The video contains footage of a group of girls filming themselves for their future selves. One of them looks like Faye. IT IS HER! Wow. She is so different when she is young. She is making a video tape of herself and thinking about her future. Who she’ll be with, how she’ll turn out. Whatever happens, this tape serves as motivation and cheer for herself. Although Faye cannot remember all this, tears start welling in her eyes.

Episode 19
Jet and Faye are preparing to bait and capture Starship Pirates. But where is Spike? He has never been heard off since he went to overhaul his ship. Actually he crashed and is stranded in the middle of the desert. He calls his old buddy, Doohan to pick him up but he sends his baseball crazy assistant Miles to do so because he is busy fixing some ship of his. Of course Doohan might be a slave driver but he knows his work as he starts fixing Spike’s ship and getting the necessary parts. Meanwhile Jet and Faye fall into Starship Pirate’s trap. Their computer got hacked and so their machines are firing at each other while the pirates escape. When Spike is able to contact Bebop, he learns Jet is having a hard time fixing the ship’s computer. Everything has gone haywire by the virus. Based on some info, they conclude the pirates are operating in some suspicious delivery truck. Jet wants payback for what they’ve done but to overcome their hacking, he gives spike a normal communicator and will navigate him with this as this is based on an old communication system. When they approach where the pirates operate, they see 2 delivery ships. They have this bright idea that if they fire a warning shot, the one that runs must be the pirates. Never thought that they’d both be genuine delivery trucks? And they didn’t see this one coming either. When they fire, both flee! Spike and Faye chase one each but Faye gets the fake one. Spike and Jet face off with the pirates. Of course they try to hack their system but Spike cuts off his system and has the pirates get a taste of their own medicine. As they can’t control their ship, they collide into the asteroid. Miles hears Jet and Spike’s communication and lets Doohan know. He is going to start up his space shuttle. From Spike’s position, the re-entry will burn up his ship. Oh, he is out of fuel too. That’s when Doohan tells him he is going to tow him back. He lets Spike know the basics of using Earth’s gravity, atmosphere and the angle he needs to maintain to escape the burn. He knows he can do it. That’s why he gave him that ship. Spike manually controls the ship to reach a certain angle. In great timing, he fits nicely into the space shuttle. However during this entry, the ship scraped off the heat resistant tiles and the landing gear won’t work. Oh sh*t… Miles is panicking he is too young to die… I don’t know how but I guess God was on their side because they crash land in the desert and miraculously survive without a scratch. Can’t say the same for the space shuttle.

Episode 20
A big fat joker, Mad Pierrot waltzes into the dark alley, announces his intention to take their life and slaughters everyone. Spike so happen to come in the picture so Pierrot wastes no time in shooting him. Bullets can’t penetrate this dude and he can even fly! Spike gets beaten with some funny juggling combo that only exists in fighting games. Spike is about to die when a cat distracts Pierrot. He becomes cat and tries to shoot the cat. This gives Spike enough time to throw and shoot a canister at him. The entire alley is blown up but Pierrot still lives. I don’t know how Spike miraculously escaped but he didn’t do so without getting wounded. Yeah. All bandaged back in Bebop. It’s like Faye is here to piss him off, eats his mandarin orange and leaves the skin on his head. Like everything has got nothing to do with her. Meanwhile Jet sees an old friend, Bob. He cautions Jet that his partner is in danger. Pierrot is a perfect killing machine and has already killed several high profiles. The people in ISSP don’t want word of this to go out so it’s a tightly guarded confidential secret. Nobody lives to see Pierrot’s face. Even those who do will be tracked down till the ends of the Earth. He is also the mysterious killer known as Tongpu. Faye gets a message of some part at an amusement park. She knows this is a trap laid out by Pierrot and doesn’t want Spike to see it. Too bad he already did. He is going to settle the score. And the moment he arrives, they didn’t waste any time to get the party started. And that means they trash the place as they try to kill each other. Meanwhile Jet has Ed hack into ISSP’s server to find out more about Tongpu. Flashback reveals he was in some sort of inhumane experiment, supposedly trying to turn him into a killing machine. Whenever in pain, he always saw a cat staring at him. That’s scary, right? Eventually the experiment failed due to his mind regression and was cancelled. Pierrot was to be quarantined forever but he broke out and started killing everybody involved. Now he is killing for fun but his mind is regressing like a kid. Faye also arrives to help but I doubt she would make a difference. Spike crashes into a souvenir shop. A cat plushie falls out. Pierrot becomes scared and shoots it till it is destroyed. Enough time to regain his ground. In the final standoff, Spike throws his knife at his knee although he takes a bullet in his shoulder. I suppose that is the only part Pierrot isn’t protected. He starts screaming like a kid that it hurts a lot (obviously). Then he gets squashed by the giant mascot parade. Over? Just like that? By the time Jet calls Spike for info on Pierrot, he doesn’t really need it anymore.

Episode 21
Jet receives mail from an old friend, Pao who was one of the greatest feng shui masters. To seek the sacred beast from Anzan and at the meeting place of the 4 gods. He tracks Pao’s whereabouts but by the time he did, he is already dead. Paying his respects at his grave, he is almost shot by MIBs. He is saved by Pao’s daughter, Meifa as she uses her feng shui for their escape. Back at Bebop, having Meifa around raises the eyebrows of the other members. Girlfriend? Secret love child? Whatever. When Jet mentions about the mail he received 3 days ago. It was just before Pao’s death. Meifa wants Jet to help her find the sun stone since his time and arrival were the best feng shui combination. As they begin their search, Meifa explains about some basics of feng shui and how it is divided into 3 classes like Heaven (energy from the sun), Earth (planet’s surface) and Magnetism (organisms like humans). Eventually they find Anzan to be the Mountain Hotel building and it is surrounded by the 4 gods of Seiryuu, Byakko, Genbu and Suzaku. At least the surroundings make it look like so. They find a black coal which is supposed to be the sun stone. Noticing those MIBs are tailing them, Jet beats them up to cough up their objective. Seems they are from the Blue Snake syndicate and were ordered to get the person who received Pao’s mail since they couldn’t get Pao himself. In this case, Jet thinks Pao is still alive somewhere. Analyzing the sun stone back on Bebop, it turns out to be a moon rock from the Gate incident and conceals a tremendous amount of energy. At first they aren’t sure what to do with it till they realize it is reacting with the feng shui board. Sticking the stone into the middle, Meifa remembers her father also possesses a sun stone. As the stones resonate with each other, it will show them the way to his whereabouts.

But Meifa doesn’t understand why Jet received his mail and not her. Due to some difference in feng shui beliefs, Pao and his wife divorced and the latter took Meifa along with her. She couldn’t understand why her father never went to see her as they weren’t hard to find. Jet shows her a picture of him and Pao together. When he was a detective, Pao works for a syndicate as a consultant and used to leak information to him. He wanted out then and as you know, nobody leaves the syndicate especially those who know its secrets. He is sure Pao was afraid bad things would happen to his family and never looked for them. Using the sun stone to track Pao’s whereabouts, they are attacked by the syndicate. Spike and Faye go fend them off. Jet has an idea. He is going to use the sun stone to amplify their power. After Ed flushes it down and out of Bebop, Spike fires into it and it creates a large energy barrier that zaps all the small fries. A wormhole also opens but since it is unstable, they are unable to go close. Pao appears on the screen and is alive but has not much time left since the place he is in is going to run out of oxygen. He sent Jet the mail because he wanted to bring his daughter here via using feng shui. Jet corrects him that it is not his doing but rather Meifa who came here on her own accord. Pao is glad to see her daughter for one last time but she tells him how much she hated him all this time. Is that what she really wanted to say? Too bad, time over. Communications cut. I can guess what she wanted to say. In the end, this strange case solved. Meifa went back to her home planet and Bebop return to their ordinary lives. Only difference is, Jet stopped reading fortune telling in magazines.

Episode 22
Spike manages to stop Teddy Bomber from blowing up buildings with bombs hidden in teddy bears. Teddy Bomber knows Spike too because his name is famous among the criminals. He is going to blow up the building but Spike has already defused it. However he has set more than 1 bomb. Suddenly here comes Andy Von De Oniyate the cowboy riding his horse! Wyatt Earp wannabe? He mistakes Spike as the bomber! It gives the criminal enough time to run away and set off the remaining bombs. And then Andy flees. WTF. So it’s no wonder those Bebop guys don’t really believe Spike. Ed does research on him and he turns out to be part of YMCA (Young Men’s Cowboy Association). But he was kicked out soon after as he caused lots of trouble. Damaged property and public property destruction. Due to some tracking device, the gang knows he is going to strike at a costume party. True enough, he turns up. They want to know why he likes blowing up things. It’s for warning. Before he could finish. Here comes Andy on his horse. So now you believe? Guess what? He mistakes Jet to be the bomber! Or Spike. WTF?! He couldn’t remember Spike’s face yesterday? Teddy Bomber gets upset because he is being ignored so he sets off the bombs causing panic. Faye hitches a ride on Andy’s horse and they go chase Teddy Bomber in his car. Spike is hot on their tail in his ship too. He’s mad. The chase causes destruction and chaos all around and when Teddy Bomber crashes, Andy just rides past him. What the? Faye is brought back to his stylish rich place. He tells her the reason why he is doing this is because it’s his hobby. He’s rich, right?

On the bounty hunter programme, Teddy Bomber leaves another warning message that he is going to blow up another building and hints this one is to those who made fun of him. You know who you are. The letter even states his intention of blowing things up but the programme ran out of time. Jet and Faye wants to stay out of this troublesome mess but Spike has his own grudges to fulfil. And so Teddy Bomber waits outside the building… Yeah. He really waited for them. But when Spike and Andy arrive, they want to settle the score with each other and have no interest in Teddy Bomber! So pissed off that dude, that he blows up the place! For now, Spike and Andy cooperate to take him down. They are tricked and trapped in a lift whereby if it reaches the top, it will explode. The duo panic and try to break out. They manage to do so in the nick of time. Meanwhile Faye knocks out Teddy Bomber and is going to turn him in. As for those monkeys, they continue their match as they race to the building top and engage in gunfight and fist fight on the dangerous edge. In the end, Andy concedes defeat because he views Spike’s punch to be beautiful. He gives up being a cowboy and passes his hat to him. Is that how the term Space Cowboy came about? Andy will find a new hobby. Meanwhile Teddy Bomber is being escorted in a van to prison and reveals his intention of blowing buildings up. It’s to raise awareness of the wasteful thinking created by capitalism. Then he sees Andy in a samurai outfit galloping on his horse. Call him Musashi now. Space samurai? Teddy Bomber couldn’t care less now because he realizes everything was just a waste. Even the guard took pity on him.

Episode 23
There is this electronic transcendence group called SCRATCH advertising how one can free oneself from the filthy desires of this world. Something about existing as a soul without a body. In short, some sort of religious cult. And it’s gaining popularity by the day. There are 20,000 members now. What follows next are several interview programmes of this cult. Some praising it and some scorning it because there are already hundreds of suicide deaths involved. But the most surprising one has got to be Faye! She is a member! Because she wants to be free from her debt! The Bebop guys discuss how the cult leader, Londes was once some sort of neurology researcher 50 years ago but believed to have received vision of God. He then immersed himself in some research to store human spirit as digital data. He went missing since but reappeared 2 years ago forming SCRATCH. They go do investigate more details on Londes but unfortunately, they got nothing. Either his followers believe he is in Heaven, suspicious of them joining (because they really want to meet Londes in person) and his last surviving researcher colleague has gone senile. Even Ed is frustrated she can’t find anything on him on the internet. The guys get a distressing call from message. She looks like in trouble but communications got cut off. Jet stands in line to buy some game helmet (old version of NerveGear?) that dives into virtual reality so he could hack the site. Accessing it on fake pretence he wants to be a member, suddenly he feels sleepy and is losing his consciousness as Londes speaks to him. Ein has been barking at the programme ever since. Before Jet could black out, he feels a sharp pain on his leg. It’s Ein’s bite. Jet concludes there is some sort of contraption that paralyzes the sympathetic nerves. This time Ein wears the helmet. I guess a dog’s brain is constructed differently because Ein could easily hack into it (even better than Ed) and reveal some surprising information. Londes never existed and everything was made up and all controls are traced back to Alles Valley Hospice.

Spikes has found Faye lying unconscious in an abandoned building. There are many monitors and Londes’ face pops up. He admits Londes never existed in this world and a character merely created. He continues about humans believing in God. Because they wanted to. Londes never forced anyone into anything. A penny for your thoughts: Is it God who made human. Or humans that made God? He adds the greatest invention ever made is the TV. Because it controls all sorts of information flow and steals their sense of reality. TV itself is religion. People are easily fooled by such idiotic fantasies. Spike refuses to give in as he feels weak. He shoots the monitor but how many can he take out? He tells Londes that he is the one who can’t tell fantasy from reality. Suddenly Londes feels strange. Like as though he is going to be unplugged. He pleads this is unfair blah, blah, blah, before disintegrating into some error programme. This is because Jet and Ed visit the hospital pretending as father and daughter who have found their other long lost child. Jet really put up a sad sob story to make the guards allow him to enter. They see a comatose kid and with Ed’s hacking skills, she shuts down the computer beside him. This kid, Ronny Spangen was once a hacker and became a vegetable 2 years ago due to a medical accident. Jet puts the handcuffs on him and calls him a con artist. Faye wakes up like as though nothing happened.

Episode 24
Faye rewatches the video of herself. That place looks familiar… A Merlion… She is surprised Ed is next to her. Unsure if she knows anything or not, she takes her along. And the guys especially Jet what the heck they are doing on Earth when they are bound for Mars to catch a fugitive. Pipe down. The women are gone. While Ed is searching through a pile of garbage, several odd children surround Faye. They can be as eccentric as Ed if I must say. One of them was even odd enough to ask Faye for her nails because she collects them! The nun reigns the kids in and recognizes Ed. She wandered in here 5 years ago and then wandered away again. She never thought she would see her back in this place again. The nun has Ed look into the drawer. A holographic picture of a man pops out from a wallet. This guy is supposedly to be Ed’s father. He came looking for her here 2 months ago and said he forgot to put her in a day care and ever since has been looking around the world for her for 7 years! Faye takes her leave and as she is at the Merlion, an old lady is surprised to see Faye. She is Sally Yung and her classmate. Yeah. She thought she was a ghost. Faye doesn’t want to overstay her welcome and leaves. When she gets back on Bebop, she spaces out a lot. The kind of reaction that scares the guys because she actually apologizes. This woman, apologize? Then bits of her memories return. Especially some space shuttle accident. That’s when she decides to leave because she remembers where she belongs.

The guys see their next big bounty catch worth $50 million and this one looks like an easy job. Appledelhi Siniz Hesap Luften. Weird name. But doesn’t he look like Ed’s father? Speaking of which, he and his assistant whose name he can never remember (it’s Macintyre by the way) seems to be chasing freshly crashed meteors. The guys go apprehend Appledelhi but it seems he doesn’t want them to interrupt their work of creating a map. Because the Earth is constantly being hit by meteors, they are creating maps to save this planet as only true happiness comes in the form of a map. What? I don’t even… The bounty hunters aren’t going to buy this crap and try to arrest him but Appledelhi fights back. He is no pushover. He is big. He is strong. He knows his kung fu. Even giving Spike a run for his money. Suddenly Ed leaps into the scene. The father and daughter (or son, daddy isn’t even sure) happily reunite in their odd dancing fashion. So Ed’s real name is Francoise? I guess it’s all in the genes. Can’ believe this girl even had a father? Jet takes a closer look at the reward bounty and somebody must have just add in the zeroes because he is only worth $50! Suddenly another meteor crashes nearby so Appledelhi and Macintyre rush to the scene. So much about that. Probably this was how Ed got left behind. Meanwhile Faye rushes to the home where she used to live. There is nothing there left. Only marks of the foundation. The guys return to Bebop only to learn the women have left for good. Faye stays at her old ‘house’ (draw some lines on the ground and call it a room) while Ed also leaves on her own journey. Ein decides to follow Ed. Now the guys are back to where they once were. Peace and quiet? At least they have more share of the hard boiled eggs.

Episode 25
Vicious and his men storm in to kill the Chinese elders but his coup failed because the elders predicted his move. Vicious wants them to kill him right now but they won’t allow it. He will be humiliated first and thrown into prison. Meanwhile Jet and Spike are at the bar. Talking about the finicky women that come and go. Luckily they are sober so they manage to go into action when bad guys suddenly storm the place and fill it with rain of bullets (too bad for the bartender). Trigger happy, aren’t they? Spike thought he saw Lin. But he is Shin, Lin’s younger brother. He is helping though although he knows he risks being kicked out of the syndicate. He tells them Vicious is going to be executed at the city of Tharsis. They are in danger. Julia is also in danger. As Jet gets treated (he was shot in the leg during the attack), Spike remembers talking to Julia. He wants to leave the syndicate and live a life of freedom once this is over and she come along with him. She felt she can’t. Eventually Vicious caught her and will have her kill Spike with her own hands. Either she lives or they both die. Faye is bumming around at a hangar when she receives a distress call from Spike to come back. Like hell she cares. Suddenly a car chase zooms before her. Julia is being chased by the baddies. Faye shoots the tire of the baddies’ car. As gratitude, Julia lets her ride on. Faye’s precision shooting has her take out more baddie cars. They shoot so much and they couldn’t hit them? But Fay just fired a shot and their car goes crashing… When the threat is over, the women strike up a little friendship. Faye wonders if they should become partners but Julia has something to do. After she sends Faye back, she tells her to relay a message to Spike. She’ll be waiting at that place. She leaves Faye in shock.

Jet talks to Spike about men always trying to think about their past before their death to look for proof they were alive. Spike mentions about Julia. For the first time in his life, he saw a woman that was truly alive. She was a piece of him he had lost and the other half she had longed for. Faye returns and she looks like in a foul mood. Jet receives info from his police pal about the coup in the syndicate regarding their successor. Since the elders won, they are annihilating anyone who is against them, right down to the last seed. Including those who have left the syndicate. Shouldn’t they have done this when they tried to leave instead of now? Anyway he wants Jet to get out of here. Too late. Here comes those syndicate bastards. Faye seems hesitant to tell Spike. But he plays it cool. And he doesn’t have money to pay for her information. Faye manages to tell him Julia’s message before Spike launches to counter attack. Meanwhile Vicious is about to be executed. He’s not afraid. That’s because his crow drops in smoke bombs. Some of Vicious men storm in to cause chaos. Vicious is freed and kills the elders. He declares himself the new leader and will dictate all authority and symbolism of this syndicate. Once Spike has finished disposing of the baddies, Jet tells him to go and get what he lost. Spike meets Julia at the graveyard. She points a gun at him.

Episode 26
Julia says had she killed him that day, she would have been free. Why didn’t she? Because of love. She wants them to run away to a place far away from it all. Just the 2 of them. Shin reports his failure about his pursuing team on Julia. Not sure if he’s lying or not but you can see him sweating his pants off. Vicious just tells him not to follow Lin’s footsteps. Spike and Julia go see Annie but looks like somebody has beaten them to her. She is bleeding in her stomach. She managed to not tell about their whereabouts. Once Annie breathes her last breath, the place is swarmed by the syndicate guys. It’s going to get noisy. Spike and Julia fight their way through while escaping the murderous bunch. And then Julia gets shot. How does it feel to have a beautiful dangerous woman die in your arms? Jet sees a shaman for Spike’s whereabouts but was being replied in riddles about the stars and humans’ life and death. Spike’s star is about to fall. Don’t fear death. If you do, it’ll spring up faster than you know it. If you don’t, it’ll always gently watch over you. Vicious inspects the scene and sees Julia’s coat and passport. He knows Spike will come since there is nowhere for him to go. Spike makes a surprise return to Bebop. So is he here to have his final meal? I’m not sure about that cat story he tells Jet but he hates that story because he hates cats. Huh? Before he leaves, Jet wonders if it’s for a woman. Well, you can’t do anything for a dead woman.

Now it’s Faye’s turn to stop him. Where the hell does he think he is going? He was the one who told her the past didn’t matter but looks like he is the one tied to the past. Spike has her look deep into his eyes. One of them is fake because he lost it in an accident. Ever since, he has been seeing the past in one eye and the present in the other. He believes what he sees isn’t entirely reality. He thought he was watching a dream he would never wake up from. Before he knew it, it was over. Faye is not pleased he never told her anything. Well, did she really care? Besides, she didn’t ask, right? Faye mentions her memories returned but was nothing good. She realized she had no place to return and that’s why she came back here. This is the only place she could return. But now he’s going away. Is he going to throw his life away? He assures her he isn’t going to die but to see if he is really alive. That was reassuring alright. Spike waltzes into the syndicate’s headquarters and starts shooting and blowing every damn thing. Yeah. Nobody can best this one man show. Useless bodyguards and all. All the bullets flying and they miss. Spike just needed a few bullets to pump into them and if I’m not mistaken, every shot of his counted. And those lucky enough not to get shot, gets blown to bits by the explosives he placed as he runs deeper into the building. Of course he gets a little help from Shin but his appearance is limited and got killed off. He hopes he will defeat Vicious. The final showdown on the rooftop as expected. Both are evenly matched. Now that Julia is gone, they want to end it all. Spike wins. His gun is faster than Vicious’ sword, I guess. Spike remembers Julia’s last words. “It was all a dream”. A bad dream. A deeply wounded Spike walks down the stairs and collapses. Victory smile?

Riding Off Into The Sunset?
An ending that leaves up to viewer’s discretion? Not my kind of ending but I suppose it can’t be help seeing the way things are going. So does Spike lives or he dies? It’s tough to call since it can easily swing either way. And since there isn’t any sequel after that, I suppose he’s dead. Or not. The movie and that special episode commentary do not count. Not that I have watched both of them anyway. Not only Spike’s fate is left hanging, but what about the rest of the Bebop crew? Jet lets him go. Faye reluctantly lets him go. Ed and Ein are never to be seen again. And I suppose with Vicious dead, I figure the syndicate won’t be anything as it used to be since Spike single-handedly killed almost everyone in it. So will the real space cowboy rise again someday or has it rode into the sunset for good?

There is a good and bad thing about the episodes of this series being standalones. Being episodic, it makes it easier for casual viewers to just jump in into any episode and watch without cracking their brains much since there isn’t really a storyline to follow. However the lack of that means episodes feel like fillers and it lacks that great ingredient to call it one of the most epic anime ever as the feel of continuity isn’t there. With the exception of episodes that involve Vicious or Spike’s past (and that of Faye’s), watching the rest of the standalone episodes also make you feel that you have to accept what happens in that episode as that. No more follow up after it so it is pretty much left to our guess what happens to guest characters that appeared on their only episode. Thus it is sometimes hard to connect things together although if you watched all the episodes like yours truly, you can pick out certain parts especially the past of the characters and connect the dots.

I feel that due to the episodic nature of the series, there isn’t much past delved on the main characters besides Faye. Even those were sparring. Spike’s past felt like a rush in the end because we were given glimpse of his past in very short flashbacks in very limited screen time. Then when his past gets caught up to him in the final couple of episodes, it ended as quickly as it started. I just don’t feel the depth in it. The moment he gets reunited with his woman, she dies. Then classic hero-goes-all-out-war-with-villain style ending with the final face off with Vicious. Victory. At a price? Then there’s his eye too. I kept thinking there was more to it but his simple explanation somehow let me down. Maybe I just expected too much. Maybe it’s a reason for us to see some of the flashbacks. How did he get such cursed eye? Well, if you care that much to ask this question. I know I usually don’t care that much but that is what happens when you don’t know much about a character’s past to let it explain some stuffs. Jet too has his own past but it was just enough to know that he was some sort of detective in the force back in his heydays. I don’t know how long Jet has been working in the force before he quit but from the looks of it since he has different friends in the department to give him information, it just shows he has got ties and rapport with lots of people and the reason why he still survives in this bounty hunter business. So we must be wondering how Spike and Jet met. Well, like I said. If you care enough to ponder this much.

Faye is quite an interesting character because she uses her sly womanly charms and wiles to get what she wants. At first she seems like a loathsome person especially when she doesn’t care and is a selfish person. It’s always about me, me and me. Then when you see what she went through in her past, you’d feel sympathetic for her. In this vicious world, it’s either you take advantage of others or be taken advantage of. Faye will have none of that bitter experience anymore and thus explains her scheming ways. Sometimes too, it feels hard to sympathize with what she is doing because she’s been on Bebop for so long and surely she’s a smart woman who can tell Spike and Jet are good guys, though they aren’t necessary angels or knights in shining armour. The case of once bitten twice shy? Not taking any risk, maybe. Might as well leave others stranded instead of herself being the victim. And now that her memories have returned, I’m curious to know what it is. And perhaps like she said, it was nothing good so it’s something trivial that we viewers wouldn’t even bother. But it did make her realize where she belongs and what she considers important. Well, I thought there was some sort of last minute romance being squeezed into it. Faye who always leaves Bebop as she pleases suddenly has a problem when Spike is going to do the same. Call it a woman’s intuition that he might not return. So Bebop is like her family, now? Ever since her memories gradually returned, I notice she wasn’t as sharp as before and spaces out more often. It wasn’t the Faye we used to see.

I can’t comprehend Ed and Ein’s role in this anime. I believe Ein is to be the pet mascot of the series. It was mind boggling that Spike adopted it after a failed bounty hunter catch but there could have been many other animals that he could have brought on board. Maybe a dog is cuter than say, a lobster. That would only make you feel hungrier. Anyway in the limited episodes that Ein pops up (and I don’t mean scenes of showing him bumming around), Ein displays human-level intelligence, if not smarter than the average human. It’s just a shame Ein wasn’t featured more prominently. As for Ed, I believe this computer hacker genius only serves as a comic relief. In the sense that you see her act so weird and eccentric like as though she was born to be a clown-cum-monkey. She’s like a mad person but not mad enough to be put in an asylum. Also, her limited role in the episodes means she doesn’t make a great impact like the adults. I believe that mushroom hunting episode was Ed and Ein’s most prominent episode which they had more screen time. So mysterious this Ed person that even her gender is left unknown. Or at least not confirmed. There are several hints that indicate Ed is a girl but I read somewhere that Ed was originally a boy and the anime adaptation had a gender change to even up the gender ration on Bebop. What? Does it matters? Maybe back then. Heck, not even Ed’s dad knows whether he had a son or daughter. Perhaps not even know her real name. Hell, does he even have a child?! So when Ed and Ein left Bebop towards the end, it felt like the producers wanted to kill them off when it gets grittier. You can’t have kids and animals involved, right?

Vicious as the only recurring antagonist of the series, again I don’t feel anything deep for this character. I can see the cold blooded viciousness (pun intended) in his eyes but still not enough to warrant him as a big threat. What do you expect for somebody who only appears for 5 episodes? Hey, it’s better than the many others who on average only make one stinking appearance. Though, I really think he does live up to his name. Who can be as ruthless to kill off 3 powerful Chinese corpses? Just like Spike, his flashbacks are short and nothing deep so we just know enough that they were once buddies of the same organization but turned enemies along the way that will ultimately lead them to a final showdown. I noticed that there are 3 old guys appearing in a handful of episodes. It feels like they are for comic relief and do not have any serious impact in the series. You wonder if they are the same people from previous episodes because it’s like they’re almost everywhere (at least for the episodes they appeared) and bumming around or doing something that isn’t really important.

Some of the action in the series be it Spike’s kung fu fighting, the gun fights or space battles can be engaging but they are short and don’t last very long. On a grimmer note, almost in every episode, there is somebody who dies, be it the villain of the week, some supporting cast or some innocent bystander that has nothing to do with it all. Well, like they say. Life is cheap. At the rate we’re going, I just thought everybody should have died in the end. This was what I thought after finishing watching the anime. The good guys always get the girl, right? Well, apparently not here. Julia’s dead. What’s there left to live for? Faye’s not entirely the romance kind of woman too. Then some side characters like Lin or Shin whom I thought there would be some potential were killed off too. Of course Vicious himself in the end meets the end like many big bad villains. And with Spike’s undecided fate, that’s when I thought everybody should just end up dead. Jet should have got shot in the heart instead of the leg. Faye should have freeze herself to death living outside her non-existent home. Ed went crazy and eats up Ein before committing suicide. Yeah. That would have left a bad taste but I’ve come to accept the terms about death in this anime. Just like what the shaman said.

Some parts of the series have its comical parts too. No, I’m not talking about when Ed is in it. Sometimes it’s from the sarcasm and one-liners they say to the next episode preview. Speaking of that, sometimes this segment can be serious and gloomy. At other times it’s like a section to be funny. At least that is how I feel about it. I thought there are times they were trying to break the fourth wall. I remember vividly that bounty hunter programme. It’s like as though they’re telling it to us that this will be the last time they will go on air. And that’s the last you’ll ever see of that show. There are lots of trivia too. Take a look at this site: Anime News Network. Neat? Overwhelmed? Well, I’m not really familiar with lots of them. Though I have a feeling that some of them like that space shuttle episode is to pay tribute.

For that era, the art and animation style I would say that it is pretty much okay. There is this convincing feel when the setting is in the slums or dilapidated places and you can feel the gloomy sense of that location. Is this the future that we will have to live in? Even the China town in here seems to look and feel like one. Crowded. Messy. Cramp buildings. Haphazard signboards hanging everywhere. The technological advances shown in this anime are pretty much dated but as I said, if you’re watching this anime then instead of now, it would have looked pretty awesome and cool. They did put some effort into the design of the ships, machines and space stations but as I said, after watching too many concurrent anime, it just feels dated and old. Some of the concepts are quite interesting too like that cult episode because it makes you think and question your own beliefs.

Music is perhaps one of the great points of this series. In addition to the bebop jazz style that is heavily peppered throughout the series, there are also blues and soul and many of them sung as insert songs all sung in English. Of course it has to be English. Do you know how weird you would sound for such a genre that originates from America to be sung in other languages? Say for example, not that I’ve never heard rap in other languages but I’d prefer to hear them from their place of origin. Like how you should sing anime songs in Japanese :p. But as far as this blues and soul music, I’m not really a fan of this genre so I don’t really know how to appreciate it. The opening theme is Tank by Seatbelts. Essentially this is a jazz style instrumental opening song (I don’t consider those spoken words at the beginning to be lyrics) and it’s quite exciting and befitting the nature of this series. On the ending theme side, The Real Folk Blues is done by Seatbelts too but featuring Mai Yamane as the lead vocals. Sounds like a slow-moderate jazz piece with some hints of soul in it. Not bad actually and somehow sounds like the perfect tonic after watching an episode and especially how some of them ends in a bizarre manner. The final episode’s ending theme sung totally in English, Blue by Mai Yamane is a slow rock that also suits the way the open ending it gives. But I just find it odd that there are choir voices to complement this piece. I thought the singer’s voice would suffice.

I doubt I will ever call this one of the top classic animes in my books but at least I have watched it myself and dubbed it in the same category as one of the many other animes as okay. Neither bad nor good. You get your piece of sci-fi action, decent amount of drama, good music and some eye candy in the form of Faye’s sexy curve and attention grabbing semi-revealing tight yellow outfit (sorry lolicons out there). There were some good entertaining stuffs but nothing that in my experience would get me thinking about it for months. It will all soon fade into memories. Hah. Am I dreaming? Better than waking up from one and realized I have watched this entire anime as a dream! If I could really do that, I don’t think I want to ever wake up from it. See you, space otaku!

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