Cowboy Bebop: Series 1 (2001)


Series 1
Cowboy Bebop

Critics Consensus

Blending a head-spinning array of genres and references, Cowboy BeBop is an anime television classic that must be experienced.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 22

96%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 138

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Episodes

Air date: Sep 2, 2001

In the first episode of Cowboy Bebop, the characters Jet and Spike are introduced as two broke and hungry bounty hunters living on a ship called the Bebop. Jet and Spike go to the asteroid Tijuana after the bounty of Asimov Solensen, a villain addicted to the drug Red Eye. Asimov and his girlfriend, Katerina, are on the run heading for Mars when Spike meets up with them and shows off his Bruce Lee-style fighting skills. The reoccurring background characters of Antonio, Carlos, and Jobin make their first appearance. "Asteroid Blues" bears some tributes to the film Desperado.

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Air date: Sep 2, 2001

The title being a take on the tune by the Stray Cats, the episode "Stray Dog Strut" marks the first appearance of the data dog Ein and his joining of the Bebop crew. Jet and Spike are after the bounty of thief Abdul Hakim. Hakim is chasing after the valuable data dog while illegal research scientists try to get it back. One of the more lighthearted and funny episodes, it makes some references to Bruce Lee's Game of Death.

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Air date: Sep 9, 2001

Named after the Rolling Stones tune, "Honky Tonk Women" features the first appearance of Faye Valentine. Taking a tip from a dream about Charlie Parker, Jet and Spike go to the Spiders From Mars casino. Trying to get money to pay off her debt, Faye works as a blackjack dealer in a scam with casino owner Gordon, and Spike gets involved in the transaction. After accidentally stealing a valuable casino chip, Spike and Jet capture Faye, who soon has a bounty on her head. This episode features Faye doing some crafty flying and dramatic escapes in her ship, the Red Tail.

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Air date: Sep 9, 2001

While after a different bounty, Jet and Spike capture Twinkle Maria Murdock, the leader of the Space Warriors, an eco-terrorist group planning to release a virus on Ganymede. Meanwhile, Faye runs out of gas in Jupiter's orbit and retrieves a mysterious vial from a dying ISSP cop. This episode features the first battle team up between Spike and Faye, and a daring escape sequence through the hyperspace gate.

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Air date: Sep 23, 2001

One of the most visually striking episodes, "Ballad of Fallen Angels" sets a narrative standard for the episodes to come. Spike and Jet are arguing, both refusing to reveal important events of their past. Jet is apprehensive about going after the bounty of Mao Yenrai, but Spike has personal reasons. Faye goes after him herself and gets captured, calling the Bebop for help; what follows is one of the most beautifully rendered sequences in the series. This episode contains references to John Woo's action classic A Better Tomorrow.

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Air date: Sep 23, 2001

Titled after the Rolling Stones' tune of the same name, "Sympathy for the Devil" is one of the darker episodes, opening with a series of flashbacks from Spike's past. While going after the bounty of a criminal known as Giraffe, Jet and Spike go to a club where a little kid, Wen, is playing blues harmonica. Giraffe goes after Zebra, Wen's companion, and is thrown out of the window of a high-rise building. Spike catches Giraffe, who gives him a gem and a message. Spike holds on to the gem, tries to figure out the message, and battles Wen.

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Air date: Sep 30, 2001

While looking for the bounty of a criminal named Decker, Faye and Spike stake out some locations. Spike encounters a tough-talking truck driver named VT, who travels with her faithful cat, Zeros. Nicknamed "the Heavy Metal Queen," she has a deeply felt resentment toward bounty hunters, but Spike manages to charm her. Faye and Spike both gets their ships wrecked, causing a nagging Jet to have to fix them. With VT's help, Faye and Spike chase Decker into the Linus Mines, an unstable asteroid area. With failing weapons systems on both ships, and Decker hauling a shipload of explosives, VT, Faye, and Spike have to make a daring escape.

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Air date: Sep 30, 2001

"Waltz for Venus" opens with Spike and Faye teaming up to successfully earn a bounty against some airplane hijackers. Faye gambles away her winnings at the casino, while Spike gets harassed by a kid named Roco, who wants to learn his technique. Spike reluctantly offers him some bits of wisdom in keeping with his Bruce Lee-style fighting skills. When some gangsters show up, Roco takes off and Spike unwittingly gets stuck with a mysterious healing plant called gray ash. Spike meets Roco's sister, Stella, who has been blinded from the spores that fall on Venus. Jet discovers that Roco has a bounty on his head, along with the gangsters who are after the gray ash.

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Air date: Oct 7, 2001

This episode, "Jamming With Edward," is the first appearance of Radical Edward, the 13-year-old girl genius computer hacker, whose trademark is a smiley face. An artificial intelligence satellite carves cave drawings on the surface of Earth, and a huge bounty is placed on the mysterious culprit, believed to be Radical Edward. Thinking hackers are boring, Spike stays on the Bebop while Faye and Jet go to Earth searching for clues. Edward makes contact with the Bebop, and Faye makes a promise to her in exchange for information about the bounty head. Spike gets involved and the crew embarks on the dangerous task of downloading a copy of the A.I. satellite. Due to Faye's promise, Ed officially joins the Bebop crew.

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Air date: Oct 7, 2001

The crew is heading to Ganymede, a fishing planet and Jet's home, to cash in on the bounty of thief Baker Panchorero. Jet talks to the authorities on Ganymede and Faye realizes he used to be a cop for ISSP. Jet goes into a bar to visit his ex-girlfriend, Alisa, and find out why she left him eight years ago. Alisa's shady boyfriend, Rhint, gets a bounty on his head and Jet chases after them in his ship, the Hammerhead.

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Cowboy Bebop: Series 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

Bounty hunters roam the final frontier of outer space in this anime series.

Cast

Steve Blum
as Spike Spiegel
Megumi Hayashibara
as Faye Valentine
Beau Billingslea
as Jet Black
Wendee Lee
as Faye Valentine
Unshô Ishizuka
as Jet Black
Aoi Tada
as Edward
Koichi Yamadera
as Spike Spiegel
Yuzuru Fujimoto
as the Doctor
Yurika Hino
as Katrina
Joe Romersa
as Abdul Hakim
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Critic Reviews for Cowboy Bebop Series 1

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (9)

Each of the 26 episodes of Cowboy Bebop exemplify a concerted effort to create artwork, music, plot, and character that best play off one another, establishing subtle but consistent series-long themes and arcs.

Feb 22, 2019 | Full Review…

Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime series ever.

May 7, 2018 | Full Review…

One of the all-time great anime series, this romp set in the year 2071 features plenty of action, but never skimped on character development.

May 4, 2018 | Full Review…

The show ultimately features so many cross-ranging influences and nods to other famous works it's almost impossible to keep track. It's Sergio Leone in a spacesuit. It's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with automatic weapons.

May 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Choose subtitles over English dubbing; the native vocal performances, in Japanese, convey a hypnotizing malaise.

May 8, 2020 | Full Review…

The show's greatest asset is its ability to look cool and be smart in ways that other anime only strive for.

Feb 26, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Cowboy Bebop is perfect, hitting every off-centre beat and crazy subplot with reckless energy and momentum that nails it every episode.

May 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Its tightly-wound narratives, gorgeously three-dimensional characters, vast original universe, and distinctly mesmerizing visual style help it stand apart from the crowd.

Feb 26, 2019 | Full Review…

For all its superbly detailed backgrounds, funky jazz/hip-hop soundtrack and Philip K Dick-esque story, it's let down by stiffly drawn characters and some annoying supporting players.

Feb 26, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

The characters in Cowboy Bebop are engaging, mysterious, and likable misfits one can easily sympathize with... Having one of the best English dubs out there, Cowboy Bebop is an excellent first anime.

Feb 26, 2019 | Full Review…

The jazz used for the intergalactic-western setting is smart. It gives it an old-timey noir feeling and it meshes well with the way the characters are written and the way they're animated.

Feb 26, 2019 | Full Review…

The stories, dialogue, action, setting, and music all had to be in absolute harmony and they were. It's an amazing feat of creativity.

May 4, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Cowboy Bebop: Series 1

  • 9h ago
    Its one of those older shows that not only hold up to modern scrutiny, it far surpasses anything and everything that's on the market right now. A timeless masterpiece.
  • 11h ago
    Cowboy Bebop is immensely enjoyable, a game changing anime anthology. I have watched this ground breaking series twice so far. Hint - go to Tubi. Each of the characters is unique, haunted by their past, bringing unique skills to their roles in the bounty hunting business. As far as solar system storylines, this series is in par with the Expanse and other plausible tales. The soundtrack is just to die for, each song and musical number perfectly melded to the moment and mood. The bottom line is you really cannot escape your past, especially your previous sins. And home is not a place, its a state of being, its people who cross your path on your wayward journey. A sad theme of loneliness runs through the entire series. Are we really all alone. Seems like even in the technologically rich future, ancient questions continue to plague humans. I am so glad Netflix decided to pick this up, and that shooting continues even during the pandemic. I certainly hope they stay true to the spirit of the source material, like they did with Witcher.
  • Jul 30, 2020
    A true masterpiece, there's not much I can say that can capture how strongly I feel about this beauty of an anime.
  • Jun 16, 2020
    It deserves to be in the same conversation as Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, and The Wire!
  • May 27, 2020
    Everything in this show is made primarily to compliment the theme/message and when it finally hits, wow dude.
  • May 20, 2020
    A true landmark show. It is the bar by which everything that has come after it is held to.
  • Apr 21, 2020
    An evergreen classic which has every right to call itself a legend in the anime realm.
  • Feb 04, 2020
    One of the best animes ever made.
  • Jan 25, 2020
    A masterpiece. It gets better at each and every rewatching. With the exception of Spike's backstory (which brings to the slightly rushed finale), most of the episodes are standalone gems. Mature but always hilarious. Deep thematically and emotionally, yet packed with a lot of action. The rhythm of the storytelling is always on point, every image is where it should be, and the soundtrack is adding so much to the whole thing. Definitely one of the most important pieces of animation ever.
  • Dec 24, 2019
    Amazing u need to watch it

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