I watched The Last Airbender and told myself I didn’t like anime. I loved Demon Slayer, but told myself the same thing. After watching Cowboy Bebop, I’m starting to wonder if I’ve been telling myself lies over all these years.
Cowboy Bebop is a fantastic slice-of-life / sci-fi anime that hooked me instantly, and the episodic adventures were lots of fun more often than not. Now that I’ve had some time to think, I’ve compiled a list of my ten favourite episodes.
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10 – Toys in the Attic
“Toys in the Attic” wears its sci-fi horror influences on its sleeve, and Spike turns into a one man wrecking crew to save his friends. The ending where Ed eats the deadly creature seemed a bit random, but at least it got a chuckle out of me.
9 – Asteroid Blues
I knew virtually nothing about Cowboy Bebop going into “Asteroid Blues”, and I was instantly hooked on the Space Cowboy premise.
The action is great, the characters are immediately cool and enthralling, but it was the sombre ending that told me this was a show worth watching.
8 – Brain Scratch
One of the most introspective episodes of the show, “Brain Scratch” toys with the idea of religion and what it means to be alive.
Finding out the truth of the situation is heart-breaking, and Spike’s showdown with the stack of TVs is an image I’ll never forget.
7 – Ganymede Elegy
There’s a point in the middle of the show where each character gets an episode focussed on them, and I liked Jet’s the most.
“Ganymede Elegy” shows the tragedy of his situation, and how he’ll never get the simple domestic life he so desires.
6 – Sympathy for the Devil
An episode that gets even better once you’ve seen the finale, “Sympathy for the Devil” is a fun adventure with a typically sombre ending.
It’s only when I rewatch the scene that I realise Spike does his famous “Bang!” line again, laughing in the face of death. After the finale, this becomes one of the most melancholy scenes in the show.
5 – Jupiter Jazz: Parts 1 & 2
This mid-season two-parter had a few plot developments that I wasn’t 100% sure about, but I can’t deny it’s impact.
Gren is such an interesting character, and their interactions with both Vicious and Spike really tugged on my heart-strings. The ending is a highlight of the entire show.
4 – Hard Luck Woman
“Hard Luck Woman” goes out of its way to rip the heart from your body, and I’m still reeling from the ending weeks later.
Faye coming to the realisation that everything she loved is gone was executed brilliantly, but it was Ed leaving with Ein that broke me. Also, “Call Me Call Me” is a banger of a track.
Fun fact – I didn’t realise this would be Ed and Ein’s last episode. I was sure they’d return for the finale, and when they didn’t it put this scene in a far sadder light.
3 – Pierrot le Fou
I wasn’t expecting a full-blown horror episode near the end of the season, and I was especially stunned when it ended up being one of the best ones.
Mad Pierrot is one of the most terrifying antagonists I’ve seen in any TV show, and his final confrontation with Spike in the amusement park was up there as one of the best scenes of the show.
2 – Ballad of Fallen Angels
The first four episodes were good fun, but it was “Ballad of Fallen Angels” that made me fall in love with the show.
The church shootout is probably my favourite moment of them all – the action is phenomenal, Vicious is a force of nature, and the iconic image of Spike falling will stick with me until the day I die.
1 – The Real Folk Blues: Parts 1 & 2
I didn’t think “Ballad of Fallen Angels” would be topped, but somehow the two-part finale “The Real Folk Blues” delivered some of the best television I’ve seen in years.
The build-up to Spike’s suicide mission is masterfully handled, and his final confrontation with Vicious is the definitive stamp on an almost flawless season of television. It’s anime perfection.
Aaand that’s my list. You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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