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20 Cowboy Bebop Facts That You Should Know

Cowboy Bebop Facts
Cowboy Bebop Facts

What are the unknown Cowboy Bebop facts? Undoubtedly, Space adventure and cowboys are really popular genres. But how about a fusion between the two genres. Shinichiro Watanabe directed a space cowboy series, cowboy Bebop. This anime series came out on April 3, 1998, and comprises 26 episodes. The concept of the show was very unique as it combined three different genres, Western, Neo-Noir, and Space. Therefore, fans couldn’t help themselves from loving the series. Apart from the plot and concept, the characters also allured the audience. because of its success, the series got a live-action adaptation on Netflix in 2021.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world in the future where Earth is no more suitable for humans to live. Therefore, humanity has spread throughout space, inhabiting different planets and satellites. However, the crime level has also increased. Thus, the Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) sends out contracts for bounty hunters, and they catch the criminals to claim the bounty. The anime revolves around a group of bounty hunters who are on a journey across vast space. The plot and characters attracted the fans toward the show. Therefore, they seek to know more about their favorite show. Therefore, we will look into 20 Cowboy Bebop facts that you should know.

20. Episode Names Are Quite Musical

A lot of early manga and anime artists took inspiration from music. Like mangaka, Hirohiko Araki took inspiration from popular songs and band names to name the entities called “stands” in his superhit series, JoJo’s Bizzare Adventure. Similarly, Shinichiro Watanabe named each episode after some popular song or band names, like Asteroid Blues (Ep 1), Bohemian Rhapsody (Ep 14), and Hard Luck Woman (Ep 24). Because of such musicality in the names, each episode was called session, but instead of musicians jamming, we witnessed some cool bounty hunters hunting criminals.

Cowboy Bebop Episode 1 “Asteroid Blues”

19. The Anime Is A Philosophical Poem

The series not only interests the audience because of the cool and awesome characters and the mind-blowing action but also because of the show’s philosophical intake. Throughout the Cowboy Bebop, we see the characters going through many events and explaining the situation in a philosophical tone. Like in the entire show, we see the lead protagonist, Spike, going through the question of whether he’s alive, dead, or just asleep. Even the show’s ending leaves us with something similar to Spike’s question, we see him falling but whether he’s dead, alive, or just fell asleep because of fatigue is unknown.

Cowboy Bebop Ending

Cowboy Bebop Ending

Also Read: Cowboy Bebop Anime Ending Explained

18. Each Episode Is A Movie

Director Shinichiro Watanabe wanted Cowboy Bebop as a movie, but he failed to do so. Therefore, he treated each episode of the anime like an individual short movie. Each Cowboy Bebop has a different narrative and even different music to suit that particular episode. Therefore, there are two ways to enjoy the anime series. Either you can see the entire Cowboy Bebop as a series or just watch the episodes you like. Because of the short film narrative, each episode is standalone. Thus, it will not make you feel like you have to watch the previous episode to understand the episode you are watching.

Cowboy Bebop Facts

Spike and Ein

17. Cowboy Bebop Was Meant To Sell Toys

During the 1990s and early 2000s, a lot of anime series was produced for selling toys. Like the show Beyblade, which is a very popular show throughout the globe, and because of its popularity, it sold a lot of toys. One of the crazy Cowboy Bebop facts is the reason behind Bandai sponsoring the show was to elevate their spaceship toys’ sales. Because of giving creative independence to Watanabe, the show turned out to be quite darker and is not suitable for kids. Therefore, Bandai pulled away from their sponsorship later.

Cowboy Bebop Facts

Spaceship in Cowboy Bebop

16. Spike’s Clothes Are His Mental Health Report

Undoubtedly, we all loved how Spike, the main protagonist of Cowboy Bebop, looked. Therefore, he was even the winner of the 1998 and 1999 Anime Grand Prix for a best male character. However, his cool-looking dark clothes, along with loose ties and messy hair were not a style statement but a way of portraying his mental health. The dark and cold colors reflect Spike’s existential crisis and the feeling of loneliness. Who knew there was so much thought behind the cool-looking design of Spike?

Spike Spiegel's Clothes

Spike Spiegel

15. Ein Has To Be A Corgi

It seems even the bounty hunter knew that to look cooler, they needed a pet onboard. The little “data dog” Ein on the spaceship Bebop was a delight for many dog lovers who watched the anime. But the Corgi wasn’t just an average adorable dog, he had higher intelligence than a normal human. Because not all of us humans can hack computers, but this Corgi can. Also, he is even capable of defeating Shikamaru Nara from Naruto in a match of shogi. However, Ein could have been any breed of dog, but why a Corgi. So, the answer to that is really simple because the creator loves Corgi.

Cowboy Bebop facts Corgi

Ein The Corgi

14. Spike Was the First

Cowboy Bebop’s director Shinichiro Watanabe once said that the main protagonist, Spike, was the first thing he created in the show. For his character design, Watanabe took inspiration from Japanese actor Yusaku Matsuda, especially his character in the series, Tantei Monogatari. Watanabe first drew Spike, then the rest of the plot, characters, and setting were made surrounding the main protagonist.

Cowboy Bebop Facts

Spike Spiegel’s Character Design

13. Spike Could Have Been A Pirate

We all know how a Pirate looks, he wears a Pirate hat, sometimes has a hook in place of a hand, and the most noticeable trait is an eyepatch. Director Watanabe initially wanted Spike to have an eyepatch, but he is supposed to be a Cowboy, and so the eyepatch is not what a Cowboy usually wears. However, Watanabe didn’t leave Spike’s eyes alone cause the protagonist’s right eye has a lighter shade than his left. It said he got a cybernetic right eye instead of a real one, and thus, the shade is light compared to his other eye.

Spike’s Eyes Have Different Shades

12. The Babe Ruth Reference

The Bambino or more commonly known as Babe Ruth, is one of the most successful American baseball players in the history of MLB. Further, the creators of Cowboy Bebop seem like huge fans of Ruth. Therefore, episode 19, titled “Wild Horses” features three criminals whom Spike and crew want to hunt down. However, the names of those three criminals were George, Harman, and Ruth. Further, babe Ruth’s real name was George Herman Ruth.

Cowboy Bebop Facts Babe Ruth Reference

George, Harman, and Ruth

11. Japan Couldn’t Show It All

Cowboy Bebop first aired on April 3, 1998, on TV Tokyo. However, they only aired thirteen episodes and had to censor a lot of the show, Because this series was initially meant for kids and also for Bandai promoting their space toys to kids. But the content is very much mature and dark for a kid to understand. Thus, after only airing 13 episodes with a lot of censorship, the show concluded with a mishmash blue episode and with an end message for the fans saying that it’s not the end and someday they might be able to see the true end. Thus in 1999, WOWOW got the rights for the anime series, and they broadcasted all the 26 episodes of Cowboy Bebop.

Cowboy Bebop Facts Mishmash Blues

Cowboy Bebop Mishmash Blues

10. All Journeys Began At The Same Time

The bounty hunter team boarding the spaceship Bebop is a collection of different individuals with very different personalities and backgrounds. However, it seems all the members began their journey at the same time, three years ago. Spike getting away from Dragon Syndicate and teaming up with Jet, who left ISSP, happened three years before the start of the show. Further, at that time, when Jet and Spike were becoming a duo, Faye woke from her cryogenic sleep, and Edward left his home. Maybe three years ago, Ein was also experimented to become a “data dog”.

Cowboy Bebop Facts

Jet Black and Spike Spiegel

Also Read: 13 Best Faye Cosplay From Cowboy Bebop

9. The Pioneer of Anime On Adult Swim

Cartoon Network is one of the most beloved cartoon channels on television. There are so many shows that kids watch during the day. But the network also has a variant that works at late night, and it’s Adult Swim. This is also a block of Cartoon network, which broadcasts cartoons that are mature and not safe for kids, thus they run this block late at night. Cowboy Bebop was the first anime to broadcast on Adult Swim. Maybe people in the west saw anime before, but Dragon Ball Z, Pokemon, and Beyblade are still safe for kids. But Adult Swim never showed any anime content before Cowboy Bebop. Because of this show, many started to understand that anime is not only for kids.

Cowboy Bebop Adult Swim

Cowboy Bebop

8. The 9/11 Changed The Show’s Broadcast

The terrorist attack on September 11, 2001, or more commonly known a 9/11, is one of the most terrifying criminal activities in history. The fall of the World Trade Centre that day not only affected the economy in America but also affected the broadcast of Cowboy Bebop. Cartoon Network decided not to air three episodes during their initial broadcast. Those were episodes 6, 8, and 22 because they showcased incidents like a child’s death, hijacking a spacecraft, and bombing down a building. Therefore, airing these episodes could be traumatic for the audience in America. However, these three episodes are eventually broadcasted later.

Cowboy Bebop 9/11

The bombing on a building in Cowboy Bebop Episode 22.

7. Get A Gun For Real From Cowboy Bebop

Otakus always love to get their hands on props from their favorite anime shows. But they can never get those weapons in real because all of them are just fiction. However, one of the Cowboy Bebop facts is that it’s possible to get your hands on the cool guns in the anime Cowboy Bebop. The creators of the anime series used real-life guns as a reference for making the guns in the show. If you want, you can get yourself a Spike Spiegel’s gun which is an IMI Jericho 941 R. However, make sure to get a license before getting your hands on a real gun.

Cowboy Bebop Spike's Gun

Spike Spiegel’s Gun, IMI Jericho 941 R.

6. Spike Should Always Be Cool

We all know so far that Watanabe’s first creation in the show was Spike and how his clothing reflects his mental health and not to forget his eyes. But there is more to the character and the creator of this series. One of the coolest Cowboy Bebop facts is that Watanabe always wanted Spike to be cool. Even the reason for the director to name the character Spike Spiegel is just because it sounded cool. Shinichiro Watanabe made the character so cool that the art team had to make him look uncool and normal, so when his story and past are revealed, Spike will look way cooler.

Cowboy Bebop's Spike

Cowboy Bebop’s Spike

5. A Jazz Band Was Formed Just For The Anime

Cowboy Bebop is not only getting attention for its mind-blowing characters and storyline but also because of the music. As we already sad the show had a huge influence from hit song and music bands. So, how can the show not have some outstanding music to stand up to the episode names. The Cowboy Bebop team hired the composer, Yoko Kanno, to create music for the show. She formed a jazz band, Seatbelts, only for this anime project. The music they created is just over the top. Cowboy Bebop’s soundtrack is still one of the greatest in anime history. Undoubtedly, not a single fan of this anime can hate the theme song, “Tank”.

Cowboy Bebop Yoko Kanno

Yoko Kanno

4. Flash Gordon Reference

One of the many Cowboy bebop facts is this space cowboy series took inspiration from many movies and even gave tribute to many series and movies. Cowboy Bebop even gave tribute to the 1980 space opera film Flash Gordon. This sci-fi movie might not have had huge success, but it became an enormous cult classic. Therefore, Cowboy Bebop, in its episode 22 titled “Cowboy Funk” showcased an artwork during the commercial break. In that artwork, Cowboy Bebop was written similarly to a Flash Gordon movie title.

Flash Gordon Reference

Flash Gordon Reference

3. Now A Star Trek Reference

As we said that Cowboy bebop paid tribute to many movies and shows, and one of them was Star Trek. Faye’s Cryogenic Chamber was a tribute to the 1960s epic space adventure series Star Trek. In Cowboy Bebop, Faye was sent in cryogenic sleep so that she wakes up in the future when there would be a cure for her. However, Faye’s cryogenic chamber’s serial code was NCC-1701-B which is the same code as USS Enterprise, the starship of Star Trek’s protagonist.

Star Trek Reference

Star Trek Reference

2. A Fusion of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash

The space cowboy anime already have a lot of musical references throughout the series. However, the creator couldn’t hold their love for music even in the movie. Cowboy Bebop movie came out in 2001, and the events take place between episodes 22 and 23. In this movie, the Bebop travels to Mars to take down a terrorist organization. There they come across the movie’s primary antagonist, Vincent Volaju. Further, for the villain’s character design, the creator took inspiration from Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.

Vincent Volaju

Vincent Volaju

1. The Bebop Was For Fishing

We can’t think of the anime Cowboy Bebop without the signature spacecraft, Bebop. The spaceship is an important part of our Cowboys to hunt down criminals for their bounty. But one of the mind-blowing Cowboy Bebop facts is this cool spaceship base wasn’t originally meant for catching criminals. Instead, it was built for going out fishing in grand oceans. But after Jet got his hands on this fishing ship, he upgraded the machinery to a different level because catching criminals sounds way more thrilling than catching fish.

Spaceship Bebop

Spaceship Bebop

Also Read: Anime Like Cowboy Bebop That You Should Try

Written By

I'm Ripan Majumdar. I'm from Kolkata and I'm pursuing my bachelors from West Bengal State University. Writing has always been my hobby. I write articles on entertainment, top stories, anime, k-pop, sports and many more.

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