I hardly ever re-watch shows, but something about Cowboy Bebop has brought me back again – so soon after my first viewing, as well. If I had to place it, it would probably be because of the incredible soundtrack (Top 10 on the way) and the captivating characters.
A lot of the minor characters are hit-or-miss, but the main players are so much fun to watch. The main gang especially have such fascinating backstories and motivations, and it makes the world seem that much more real. So, what are my top 10 characters in the seminal anime series?
Before we start, you can check out some of my related blog posts below:
10 – Wen
Some of the one-off characters were fairly memorable, but “Sympathy for the Devil” had the one that affected me the most.
The story of Wen, the kid who can’t age, was surprisingly in-depth and emotional within the twenty minute timeframe. His final conversation with Spike also takes on a whole new meaning on a re-watch.
9 – Annie
Annie is a fascinating addition to the Cowboy Bebop universe – she is intimately connected with Spike and the Red Dragon Syndicate, and yet she has a heart of gold.
Her demise in the finale hit me way harder than I thought it would – that just goes to show how well the writers built up each individual character.
8 – Ed
Hot take – I wasn’t a huge fan of Ed. She was far too over-the-top and anime for my liking, and she undercut the tension in a lot of scenes.
She does have her moments though – her trip with Ein in “Mushroom Samba” was loads of fun, and her departure from the crew wrecked me.
7 – Ein
The Bebop’s trusty dog, Ein doesn’t do much but he’s just a little nugget of purity.
I actually felt that Ein had a lot of wasted potential – he proved to be quite an intelligent thinker in “Brain Scratch”, but that plot point never really went anywhere.
6 – Gren
The central figure of the fantastic “Jupiter Jazz” two-parter, I’m amazed the writers ended up going to the places that they did.
Gren has such a tragic backstory, and their desire for revenge for the system that wronged them leads to one of the saddest scenes I’ve ever seen. Accompanied with “Space Lion”, I almost shed a tear when they died over Titan.
5 – Julia
Spike’s love interest from afar, we heard so much about Julia across the show that actually meeting her felt like meeting a forgotten deity.
She’s just as badass and driven as you’d expect from the woman that won Spike’s heart, and her death in the final episode was what sent him on his climactic rampage of vengeance.
4 – Jet Black
The ex-cop turned bounty hunter, Jet had the least interesting backstory of the Bebop crew and yet it was still brilliant.
He acts as the sort of father figure to the group, and while he could be a little bossy and narrow-minded at times he was usually the voice of reason within the chaos.
3 – Vicious
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a TV antagonist with so little screen time, and yet that’s what made Vicious stand out.
He’s an enigmatic, mysterious dude that you learn next to nothing about, and that made him all the more menacing. I would have loved to see more of him, but every episode he appeared in ended up being a banger.
2 – Faye Valentine
At first Faye seemed like a generic femme fatale, a woman who abused her good looks in cliché ways to her advantage, but over time she became far more than that.
Her backstory of being the woman frozen in time was much more captivating than it needed to be, and the brief glimpses we get into her lost past lead to some of Cowboy Bebop’s saddest moments.
1 – Spike Spiegel
The protagonist of the show, Spike Spiegel was a force of nature. He could use his charm and masterful combat ability to destroy his opponents, and yet it was his wounded heart that drew me in.
Much like with Faye, he’s a man frozen in time – except it’s a lot more metaphorical this time around. His endless pursuit of Julia, and the fallout that resulted from her death, led to one of my favourite character endings in all of TV. So long, space cowboy – hopefully now you can shed off a little of that weight.
Aaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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