After learning that Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake, I decided to revisit the much-beloved anime series from the 90s (although not aired in the U.S. until the early 2000s). Many people think of it as the best anime series ever, and with good reason. My episode reviews will contain spoilers, so be sure to watch the series before you read this.
Session 21: Boogie Woogie Feng Shui
If there’s one episode worth skipping, it’s this one due to its endorsement of statutory relations. Jet gets a mysterious message about four gods and the holy beast of Anzan from Pao, one of the greatest Feng Shui masters, but it turns out, he’s dead. We see a gravestone on Mars with 2071 as the death date, which I think is the first time the year the shows takes place is explicitly stated if you don’t count the opening credits. Pao died at 50.
At the grave, a girl knocks Jet over just in time to dodge bullets. She consults a luopan and says she found a way out. She drags Jet with her towards the street, the shooters in pursuit. They jump on to a double decker bus, then into the river. Jet brings the girl back to the Bebop. Faye thinks she’s a love interest, but Spike says she’s too young. Faye says maybe Jet’s got a thing. Spike says in that case, she’s too old! Yikes.
The girl is Pao’s daughter, Meifa. Pao died in a transporter accident. Jet last saw her 10 years ago when she was a kid. Ed asks if she’s Jet’s girlfriend and sings that all’s fair in love and war. Yikes again.
Meifa asks Jet to help her find something called the sunstone and he agrees. She explains that Feng Shui is superior to fortune telling because you can change the future with it, not just see what will happen. She compares Jet to her father and he gets mad, saying he’s not old enough to be her father, he could be her boyfriend. Triple yikes.
Meifa finds the sunstone, but the guys who shot earlier find them. Jet beats them up. They’re from Blue Snake Syndicate and they were tracking Pao, but he got away. Jet tests the stone. It’s a piece of the moon from the gate accident 50 years ago, about 2021. Meifa explains it absorbed a lot of energy from the accident but she doesn’t know what to do with it.
Ein grabs the stone and takes it to Ed who is playing with the luopan. Meifa figures out that the sunstone can lead her to her father if she puts it in her luopan. Spike thinks Jet and Meifa make a good couple. Ugh. Faye says men who were righteous in their youth always fall for younger women when they get older.
Meifa wants to know why the syndicate was after her father. Jet tells her Pao was a consultant for the syndicate and leaked info to Jet looking for a way out, but he knew too much for them to let him leave. Someone fires on their ship. Spike and Faye get into their zipcraft and engage the robot ships coming out of the enemy craft.
Ed, who’d been staring at equations, figures out how to use the sunstone’s energy. She flushes it out the toilet. Spike shoots it, and it opens up a portal to Pao’s ship. He’s inside a force field and can’t get out. He just wanted to see his daughter one last time. She says she doesn’t hate him anymore. The force field disappears.
Session 22: Cowboy Funk
A man leaves a teddy bear in a building and walks away laughing. Spike returns it to him. He’s Ted Bower, the Teddy Bomber. Spike arrests him, but he reveals there’s other bombs in the building. Then Andy Von De Oniyate, another bounty hunter, jumps through the window on horseback. (It must not have been real glass because neither he nor the horse have a single cut on them.) He thinks Spike is the bomber. Teddy gets away while the two squabble. The bombs go off and Andy rides his horse over Spike to get away!
Jet and Faye joke that Spike made the story up. Ein is wearing a wig. Ed looks Andy up. He was a member of YMCA, the Young Men’s Cowboy Association, but he got kicked out for being a nuisance. He’s responsible for lots of property damage, just like Spike.
The next building the bomber will target has a costume party going on. Jet’s disguised as a hippy, Spike has a mask. The bomber is dressed as a teddy bear, so they find him easily. Andy shows up, this time thinking Jet is the bomber! He doesn’t remember Spike at all. He claims his horse Onyx can play chess. The bomber is mad he’s being ignored. He was about to explain the message he was trying to send with his bombs when Andy interrupted. He sets the bombs off and escapes in a car.
Andy chases after him with Faye along for the ride. Spike shoots at Andy from his ship and Andy shoots back. They cause property damage that makes Teddy crash. Rather than capturing him, Andy just rides past him. Back at his place, Andy serves Faye his son-of-a-gun stew. “It will sure blaze a trail.” His horse is in the apartment and eats from the bathtub. He proposes a toast to himself and his reflection in Faye’s eyes.
She brings back several tins of Andy’s stew. Spike refuses to eat it even though they don’t have anything else to eat. The bomber sent a message to be read on the bounty hunter show Big Shots, but they run out of time before getting to the part explaining why he does what he does.
Ed says the next building will be city hall. He always bombs the tallest buildings in order and city hall is 136 stories tall. Spike finds the bomber, but ignores him, waiting for Andy to show up. The bomber starts to explain his reason for bombing, but they ignore him, wanting to fight each other. Mad that they’re ignoring him, he sets off a bomb. They decide to catch him first before continuing their rivalry. He traps them in an elevator rigged to explode.
The bomb goes off. Faye punches the bomber in the face. Spike and Andy survive, racing each other to the top of the building. Spike and Andy shoot at each other until they’re out of bullets, then they fight hand to hand. Spike falls to the floor below and angrily punches a table so hard, Andy’s floor collapses. He says Spike wins. He’s the real cowboy. He’ll retire from bounty hunting. His horse gets off the elevators and he rides off.
In police transport, a cop asks Teddy why he blew everything up. He finally gets to tell somebody. Andy rides by, dressed like a samurai. In the teaser for next episode, Andy claims he’ll be coming back, but Spike insists he isn’t.