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The Japanese anime series Cowboy Bebop consists of 26 episodes, referred to as "sessions." Most episodes are named after a musical concept of some sort, usually either a broad genre (i.e. "Jupiter Jazz") or a specific song (i.e. "Honky Tonk Women"). The show had an aborted first run from April 3, 1998, until June 26, 1998, on TV Tokyo, broadcasting only episodes 2, 3, 7 to 15, 18 and a special. TXN canceled the show in June 1998 because of low ratings. Later that year, the series was shown in its entirety from October 24 until April 24, 1999, on the satellite network WOWOW. In the U.S., the series has aired continuously in rotation since 2001 on the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim.
The show takes place in 2071 and follows a group of bounty hunters who hunt criminals on their ship, the Bebop. The main characters include Spike Spiegel, a laid-back former member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate and hotshot ace pilot; Jet Black, a retired cop and the owner of the Bebop; Faye Valentine, a gambling-addicted amnesiac who always finds herself in financial debts; Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV (nicknamed "Ed"), an eccentric computer hacking prodigy from Earth; and Ein, a "data dog" and the group's pet.
A movie was released in 2001, titled Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. The movie takes place between episodes 22 and 23.
|#||Title||Original airdate (WOWOW)||English airdate (Adult Swim)|
"Asuteroido Burūsu" (アステロイド・ブルース)
|October 24, 1998||September 2, 2001|
|In a flashback, Spike Spiegel is shown waiting near a church holding a bouquet of flowers, before leaving as the church bell rings. As he walks away, images of a gunfight he participated in are shown. In the present, Spike, currently a bounty hunter, and his partner Jet Black head to the Tijuana asteroid colony on their ship, the Bebop, to track down a bounty-head named Asimov Solensan. Asimov is wanted for killing members of his own crime syndicate and for stealing a cache of a dangerous combat drug known as Bloody-Eye. On the colony, Asimov and his girlfriend, Katerina, are ambushed at a bar by his former syndicate while attempting to sell a vial of Bloody-Eye, but Asimov manages to fight his way out by using the drug himself. Spike later encounters Katerina and reveals to her that he is a bounty hunter searching for Asimov; Spike is promptly assaulted by Asimov and is nearly killed before Katerina intervenes. In the confusion, Spike is able to steal Asimov's Bloody-Eye vial before the two leave. Spike later confronts Asimov at a staged drug deal with the stolen vial, but Asimov escapes with Katerina in a ship when the two are interrupted by an attack from Asimov's former syndicate. With Spike giving chase in his own ship, Asimov attempts to take another dose of Bloody-Eye, but a horrified Katerina shoots him before he can. As Spike approaches Asimov's ship, it is destroyed by attacking police cruisers, forcing Spike to pull away. The episode ends with Spike and Jet once again traveling through space on the Bebop.|
|2||"Stray Dog Strut"|
"Norainu no Sutoratto" (野良犬のストラット)
|October 31, 1998||September 2, 2001|
Spike and Jet's next bounty takes them to Mars, where their target, Abdul Hakim, is wanted for stealing a valuable lab animal. To avoid capture, Hakim has had plastic surgery to change his appearance. At a bar, Hakim loses the briefcase containing the animal when it is stolen behind his back. Spike discovers the thief attempting to sell the animal at a pet store and, mistaking him for Hakim, holds him at gunpoint. Spike orders the store owner to open the case, revealing the animal to be a Welsh corgi. As Spike leaves the pet store, the real Hakim appears and attempts to take the dog back; the dog manages to escape, prompting Hakim, Spike, and the group of scientists who had illegally experimented on the dog to give chase. Spike ultimately loses Hakim but gains possession of the dog, whom he brings back to the Bebop. Jet suggests that Spike take the dog for a walk in order to lure Hakim into trying to take it back. However, the scientists activate a dog whistle to find their "data dog", resulting in the corgi escaping from Spike. Hakim uses a stolen car and manages to grab the dog, while Spike and the scientists pursue him in their ship and truck, respectively. The dog manipulates the car's controls to open the doors and jumps out, causing Spike to reluctantly save it by having it land on top of his ship. Meanwhile, Hakim and the scientists crash their vehicles and are apprehended by the police. The dog, named Ein, is shown to now be living on the Bebop, much to Spike's chagrin.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on April 3, 1998.
|3||"Honky Tonk Women"|
"Honkī Tonku Wimen" (ホンキィ・トンク・ウィメン)
|November 7, 1998||September 9, 2001|
With Ein as a new companion, the crew of the Bebop cross paths with Faye Valentine, a wanted fugitive drowning in debt, who ends up being forced to act as a middle-woman for an illegal transaction at a space station casino.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on April 10, 1998.
"Geitowei Shaffuru" (ゲイトウェイ・シャッフル)
|November 14, 1998||September 9, 2001|
|After gambling away all the money she obtained, Faye ends up getting her hands on a mysterious suitcase while exploring the wreckage of a derelict spaceship. Meanwhile, Spike and Jet pursue a bounty on the leader of the Space Warriors, a group of eco-terrorists armed with a terrifying biological weapon.|
|5||"Ballad of Fallen Angels"|
"Datenshi-tachi no Baraddo" (堕天使たちのバラッド)
|November 21, 1998||September 23, 2001|
|While pursuing the bounty on an executive of the Red Dragon Syndicate, Spike ends up confronting Vicious, an old enemy of his.|
|6||"Sympathy for the Devil"|
"Akuma wo Awaremu Uta" (悪魔を憐れむ歌)
|November 28, 1998||December 16, 2001|
|Spike and Jet chase a dangerous enemy who, despite having the appearance of a little boy, is actually more than eighty years old.|
|7||"Heavy Metal Queen"|
"Hevi Metaru Kuīn" (ヘヴィ・メタル・クイーン)
|December 5, 1998||September 23, 2001|
The crew of the Bebop chase a bounty named Decker, who is running a load of high explosives. While nursing a hangover at a diner, Spike meets a cargo hauler pilot named V.T., who hates bounty hunters, but ends up lending him a hand.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on April 17, 1998.
|8||"Waltz for Venus"|
"Warutsu fō Vīnasu" (ワルツ・フォー・ヴィーナス)
|December 12, 1998||December 23, 2001|
While the crew hunts down a Venusian mobster, Spike meets Rocco Bonnaro, who is on the run from the same mobster the crew is tracking for stealing a very rare and valuable plant, which he plans to sell to pay for surgery to restore his sister's eyesight.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on April 24, 1998.
|9||"Jamming with Edward"|
"Jamingu Wizu Edowādo" (ジャミング・ウィズ・エドワード)
|December 19, 1998||September 30, 2001|
The crew enlists the help of an elite computer hacker nicknamed "Radical Edward" to help them track down a bounty-head who has been vandalizing Earth's surface with hacked laser satellites. However, when they finally meet Edward face-to-face, the hacker's true identity proves to be a surprise for everybody.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on May 1, 1998.
"Ganimede Bojō" (ガニメデ慕情)
|December 26, 1998||September 30, 2001|
Jet is even more taciturn than usual as the Bebop lands on Ganymede, his last post before leaving the ISSP and the home of his ex-girlfriend, Alisa, whom he has never quite left behind. Meanwhile, Spike pursues bounty Rhint Celonias, who just happens to be Alisa's new boyfriend.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on May 8, 1998.
|11||"Toys in the Attic"|
"Yamiyo no Hevi Rokku" (闇夜のヘヴィ・ロック)
|January 2, 1999||October 7, 2001|
A strange blob-like creature with a venomous bite infiltrates the Bebop and incapacitates Jet, Faye and Ein. With half the crew out of action, it's up to Spike and Ed to destroy the creature and find out where it came from. This episode makes reference to the movie Alien, with Spike using a motion tracker and a flamethrower and by having the characters slowly attacked by an unknown alien one by one. The scene where Spike ejects the refrigerator into space was inspired by the scene in Aliens where Ripley gets rid of the Alien queen. The episode's use of Waltz of the Flowers from the Nutcracker is reminiscent of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey's use of well-known classical music.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on May 15, 1998.
|12||"Jupiter Jazz (Part 1)"|
"Jupitā Jazu (Zenpen)" (ジュピター・ジャズ(前編))
|January 9, 1999||October 7, 2001|
Faye cleans out the crew's safe and leaves the Bebop for Callisto, one of Jupiter's moons. While Jet chases after her, Spike decides to follow up on some clues about the location of his ex-girlfriend Julia, which leads him to another confrontation with Vicious.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on May 22, 1998.
|13||"Jupiter Jazz (Part 2)"|
"Jupitā Jazu (Kōhen)" (ジュピター・ジャズ(後編))
|January 16, 1999||October 14, 2001|
Faye is helped by Gren, a man who holds a grudge against Vicious. After explaining his story to Faye, he chases after Vicious, and when he and Spike end up reaching him at the same time, a three-way battle takes place.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on May 29, 1998.
"Bohemian Rapusodi" (ボヘミアン・ラプソディ)
|January 23, 1999||October 14, 2001|
The Bebop crew hunts for Chessmaster Hex, the rumored mastermind behind a series of robberies at hyperspace gate tollbooths. However, while trying to dig up dirt on their target, they unearth some very valuable data regarding the gate accident that devastated Earth fifty years earlier.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on June 5, 1998.
|15||"My Funny Valentine"|
"Mai Fanī Varentain" (マイ・ファニー・ヴァレンタイン)
|January 30, 1999||October 21, 2001|
Faye ends up meeting an important man from her past, and part of her origin is revealed, including the source of her massive debt.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on June 12, 1998.
|16||"Black Dog Serenade"|
"Burakku Doggu Serenāde" (ブラック・ドッグ・セレナーデ)
|February 13, 1999||October 21, 2001|
|An ISSP prison ship has undergone a mechanical malfunction, and has been taken over by the prisoners it was transporting, led by Udai Taxim, the Syndicate assassin who took Jet's arm. Jet's former partner, Fad, enlists him for the retrieval operation, but Fad's motivations might not be as noble as they seem.|
"Masshurūmu Sanba" (マッシュルーム・サンバ)
|February 20, 1999||October 28, 2001|
|The Bebop, out of food and fuel, is sideswiped in a hit-and-run off of Europa and crash-lands on Io. Ed, with Ein by her side, is sent out to procure food, and ends up running across Domino Walker, a bounty-head who is smuggling hallucinogenic mushrooms.|
|18||"Speak Like a Child"|
"Supīku Raiku A Chairudo" (スピーク・ライク・ア・チャイルド)
|February 27, 1999||October 28, 2001|
While Faye wastes money betting on horse racing, a package addressed to her arrives on the Bebop containing an old Betamax tape, prompting Spike and Jet to look for an appropriate device to view its contents.Note: This episode first aired on TV Tokyo on June 19, 1998.
"Wairudo Hōsesu" (ワイルド・ホーセス)
|March 6, 1999||November 4, 2001|
|While Spike takes his mono-racer in for maintenance, Jet and Faye take on a group of pirates who use computer viruses to terrorize cargo ships.|
|20||"Pierrot le Fou"|
"Dōkeshi no Chinkonka" (道化師の鎮魂歌)
|March 13, 1999||November 4, 2001|
|Spike is targeted by an insane, seemingly indestructible assassin named Mad Pierrot after accidentally witnessing the killer in action.|
|21||"Boogie Woogie Feng Shui"|
"Bugi Ugi Funshei" (ブギ・ウギ・フンシェイ)
|March 20, 1999||November 11, 2001|
|Jet, spurred on by a cryptic e-mail, tries to find an old acquaintance but discovers only his grave—he disappeared under mysterious circumstances. His daughter, Mei-Fa, an expert in feng shui, asks for his help finding a "sun stone" that can lead them to her father's location.|
"Kaubōi Fanku" (カウボーイ・ファンク)
|March 27, 1999||February 15, 2002|
|A terrorist known as the "Teddy Bomber" has been using explosives hidden in teddy bears to bring down high-rise buildings in protest of humanity's excesses. Spike attempts to stop him, but constantly runs afoul of "Cowboy Andy", a fellow bounty hunter who is far more similar to Spike than either would care to admit.|
"Burein Sukuratchi" (ブレイン・スクラッチ)
|April 3, 1999||November 11, 2001|
|Unbeknownst to the rest of the crew, Faye goes undercover to infiltrate SCRATCH, a cult that believes in achieving eternal life by digitizing the soul and uploading it into the Internet, in order to collect the bounty on the cult's leader, Dr. Londes. Faye soon finds herself in danger, however, and while Spike goes looking for her, Jet and Ed try to track down Dr. Londes themselves.|
|24||"Hard Luck Woman"|
"Hādo Rakku Ūman" (ハード・ラック・ウーマン)
|April 10, 1999||November 18, 2001|
|While heading to Mars, the Bebop is diverted to Earth (unplanned, of course). After arriving, Faye decides to investigate her past by traveling to the landmarks she sees in the video she recorded as a child, taking Ed along with her. She and Ed manage to find what looks like an orphanage where Ed had stayed at previously, where it is revealed that Ed's father had been looking for her several months back. Faye and Ed manage to find one of the locations in the video, whereupon Faye is surprised by an old schoolmate. Jet and Spike notice a bounty on their computer which looks to be a lucrative payoff. After having returned to the Bebop and dwelling on what has happened, Faye leaves again. Jet and Spike find their bounty, but are interrupted by Ed maneuvering the Bebop by remote control, whereupon it's discovered that their bounty is not only just a measly fifty woolongs (instead of the fifty million they mistakenly thought it was), but is Ed's father. Ed's father asks if she wants to stay with him, but before Ed can answer, he and his assistant see another meteorite strike the Earth's surface in the distance and they hastily and absent-mindedly speed off, leaving Ed behind, dumbfounded. Faye manages to find herself at the bottom of the hill from her old house and runs to the top, like she did when she was younger, only to find ruins where her home used to be. After having briefly seen her father again, Ed decides to leave the Bebop, and Ein leaves with her.|
|25||"The Real Folk Blues (Part 1)"|
"Za Riaru Fōku Burūsu (Zenpen)" (ザ・リアル・フォークブルース(前編))
|April 17, 1999||November 18, 2001|
|Left alone by the rest of the crew, Spike and Jet are ambushed by members of the Red Dragon syndicate. They are saved by Lin's brother, Shin, who explains that Vicious has tried to seize control of the organization and was sentenced to death. He also states that all people connected to him are also being hunted down, and Spike rushes to find Julia.|
|26||"The Real Folk Blues (Part 2)"|
"Za Riaru Fōku Burūsu (Kōhen)" (ザ・リアル・フォークブルース(後編))
|April 24, 1999||November 25, 2001|
|Reunited, Spike and Julia pick up where they left off in their plans to escape the Red Dragon syndicate, but Julia ends up being shot and killed. Spike returns to the Bebop for a meal with Jet and Faye, and then storms the Red Dragon's headquarters to confront Vicious for one last battle. Shin helps him, but is killed, managing to reveal that if Vicious is killed, Spike will be the new leader of the syndicate. Spike fights his way to the top floor of the Red Dragon syndicate skyscraper, but is badly wounded, and then fights Vicious, getting wounded during the battle. The pair manages to get the other's weapons and they trade, with a brief struggle, in which Spike manages to shoot Vicious in the chest, killing him. As Spike stumbles down a set of stairs and faces the syndicate members that rushed to the scene, he makes a gun with his fingers and says "Bang" before collapsing.|
"Yoseatsume Burūsu" (よせあつめブルース)
|-||December 2, 2001|
Due to the violence portrayed in the series, and the violence occurring at the time in Japan, the series was briefly canceled and "Mish-Mash Blues" was created. The characters provide a philosophical commentary and it ends with the words: "This Is Not The End. You Will See The Real 'Cowboy Bebop' Someday!"Note: This episode aired on TV Tokyo on June 26, 1998.