I just finished watching the final disc of BeBop. Steven said he got “mugged” by the ending (his minireview here). I am frankly, dazed.
Interestingly, Madeline Ashby at Tor.com is beginning a rewatch of BeBop, which is pretty timely! I have to agree with everything she said about the series as a whole in her first post on the first episode:
Bebop has what most live-action SF television from English-speaking countries does not: a definite end date, a genuinely compelling story, great production value, interesting speculations on technology and a merciful lack of deus ex machina. Itâ€™s a series set in the future, not about the future, and is thus liberated from making any sweeping statements regarding the future. Perhaps for that reason, the world of Cowboy Bebop is neither a sun-dappled utopia nor an unforgiving dystopia. We watch it from the point of view of bounty hunters, so we see the dirty cops and the crime syndicate lowlifes and the momâ€™s basement-terrorists with delusions of grandeur, but 2071 remains a recognizable iteration of our current world. Ganymede fishing trawlers can be converted to achieve escape velocity, bounties on cross-colony fugitives can be paid from ATMâ€™s, hyperspace toll gates are vulnerable to bugs in proprietary software and need regular firmware upgrades. Its most optimistic prediction is also its most accurate: every colony from Io to Titan is full of signage in Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish. There are brown people, black people and pale people with dreds, turbans and mohawks. Watanabeâ€™s future is off-planet, and everybodyâ€™s there.
Given how strongly I loved this series and Champloo, I wonder if there’s a good label for this type of anime genre. What do space cowboys and samurai breakdancers have in common?
Anyway, my comment on the ending is as follows:
I’m not convinced Spike is dead.
anyway, the ending was basically like all the other endings. We just dont know what happens next. There wasn’t really a story arc to speak of though – I do note that in the penultimate episode’s ending preview of the final, there was some cross talk about who would be taking care of Ein; this suggests to me that Ed returns. In a sense, even if Spike is dead, it doesn’t matter – the rest of them will continue on doing pretty much the same thing.
I dunno. It wasn’t a satisfying ending, but it wasn’t a kick in the gut either. To be honest I assumed Spike would die before Julia would. Spike had no mystery left, after all.
7 thoughts on “Cowboy BeBop ends”
I’m convinced Spike is dead. That’s the whole point of the bit with the star during the credits of the final episode.
I’ve blathered on about this on my site, so I won’t repeat myself too much, but I think that Spike is dead and that his death was not a punch in the gut. I speculated that perhaps bracing for the blow makes it easier to take a gut punch, and I think it does. But the Spike part didn’t bother me at all. He achieved closure, which was the important thing. The thing that bothered me the most was that Ed and Ein left, and that the backstory of Ed was so poorly executed. As you mention, I like to think that Ed and Ein would return and hang out with Faye and Jet, but it still left a bad taste in my mouth. Otherwise, though, a fantastic series.
ok, I admit that the whole episode was full of foreshadowing – Spike’s little story about the cat who died a million times basically had me convinced he was toast anyway. And I admit too that really it doesn’t bother me given that in alot of ways, Spike was already over. His mystique in the first arc of the series was how he could just be so badass and so mellow at the same time. By the end he had become another angsty reluctant hero. I had alot more fun when he was chasing the Other Cowboy around town, or when he was flirting/fighting with that chick in the movie, or when he was driving Jet insane with zenlike passiveness. And the refrigerator episode!! omg hysterical.
Spike needed to die, in some ways. If there had been any chance of romantic allusion between him and Faye then there may have been a reason for him to live, but that window closed early on. I was intrigued by the suggestion (imagined?) of that window opening between Faye and Jet though.
Ed was always a mystery. I kind of saw Ein and Ed’s departure as totally unexpected, but also somehow appropriate. Ed never was really “part of the crew” (though I think we can definitely assume a return at some point. Hey, if Kino can grow up…)
The more I think about it, the more I dont see it as an ending and more of just the last chapter of an infinite book. Nothing about the ending really detracts from the series for me in any way. It was just a masterpiece.
If anyone out there does feel it was a ruinous ending though I’d be interested in why.
Ed always was a drifter. She drifted in because the crew was interesting. (Remember, she found them, not the other way around.) By the end of the series, they weren’t interesting anymore — Spike wasn’t cool anymore, Jet wasn’t cuddly, and Faye was clingy instead of aloof. So she moved on. It’s her nature.
Spike is dead. He went there to die. He was a samurai who had failed his master, over a woman, and at that point, even the woman was dead. He was ronin, and was only going to regain his honor in death. He could chose the Bebop, and ride the waves forever, or he could stay true to his nature. So he went and fought.
Jet will survive. Being a survivor is his nature. Jet is the only one on the Bebop that understands what Spike is doing. Jet is also ronin, but rather than failing his master, his master failed him. He might be able to cleanse that away later, but the opportunity isn’t there.
The only one I really don’t have a feel for is Faye. Just as she was putting her life back together, it gets torn apart. I honestly don’t know what she’s going to do. She was never very good at being a con artist or a cowboy, and I don’t know how long Jet will abide her.
I’m pretty sure Spike’s alive. No indications that he died, he just fell down.
Also, if both Vicious AND Spike died, wouldn’t two stars have gone out? Vicious was significant enough in that session as well as the series as a whole, he’d warrant a star (Heck, Gren did).
Personally, I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer on that count. They left it deliberately open ended, so whether you think he’s dead or alive, you have an equal chance of being right.
I guess that’s true, Spike could be alive and maybe an open window will form for the two. (Faye)
Vicious was a mighty warrior (no matter how insane he was) and only one star went out, why assume it was spikes?
“One eye sees the past, and the other the present.”
His past finally caught up with him, what if the past Spike had died and the Spike in the present could finally live?
Either way if they ever redo it (which I doubt) I hope it’s not another slayer
I personally believe that this was the perfect way for this series to end and that Spike had to die.Throughout the entire series Spike has been fighting in order to free both him and Julia. The whole thing that i saw his death being was that he is now finally free from everything.Its really a beautiful ending to me.
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