So, where's Ed?
Fans of classic anime series Cowboy Bebop have had plenty of questions about the new live-action remake (starting with ‘How did John Cho get his hair to do that?’) – but perhaps the biggest concerns revolved around a major character missing from this version of the show.
The anime’s main bounty hunters Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) are all present, as is super-smart “Data Dog” Ein – but non-binary hacker extraordinaire Ed (full name Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV) is nowhere to be seen.
Even the opening credits, closely based on the anime’s, have removed Ed’s image from where it would have appeared.
Understandably, fans around the world have wondered: where’s Ed in this Cowboy Bebop?
Well, now that the series has been released we finally have an answer – though it does involve spoilers, so look away now if you don’t want to know anything about the Cowboy Bebop season one storyline.
*Spoiler warning for Netflix's Cowboy Bebop*
Where’s Ed in Cowboy Bebop?
The simplest answer for Ed’s absence from the live-action Cowboy Bebop is that Ed isn’t in the early episodes of the anime either, first cropping up in the 10th episode of the original series after a run of Spike, Jet, Faye and Ein working without them.
While the runtimes are extended from the 20-minute animations to 40-minutes plus on Netflix, that prohibition apparently remains – though showrunner André Nemec had already hinted the character might turn up at some point.
More like this
"Ed – everybody wants to know about Ed!” he told Polygon. “People will be... very delighted when they watch the season."
And he’s not wrong – read on to see how Ed is included in Cowboy Bebop, with another warning for spoilers…
Is Ed in Cowboy Bebop?
Yes! Though not very much.
The first reference to the hacker character comes in episode six, when the crew of the Bebop receive a helpful communication from ‘Radical Ed’ – a name used by Ed regularly in the anime series.
This sows the first seeds for Ed’s live-action appearance, which only comes much later in the final scene of the series finale (aka episode 10), where the character is played by newcomer Eden Perkins in the Cowboy Bebop cast.
As Spike lies in an alleyway, dazed and bruised after the events of the finale, he’s approached by a strange, goggle-wearing figure who tries to get his attention, warning him about the need to find “The Butterfly Man”. This newcomer is none other than Ed, who coos with delight at finally finding Spike even as our hero groans in the ground, unwilling to help with another new mission.
It’s a quick scene but an impactful one, and the series hints at more to come, with its usual end-of-episode caption “See you, Space Cowboy” replaced with: “See you Space Cowgirl... someday, somewhere.”
So there you have it – episode 10, whether anime or live-action, is the place for Ed to eventually turn up in Cowboy Bebop. Fans will have to wait and see if this version of the show gets a season two before they see more from the character, but at least we can put one longstanding question to bed.
Where’s Ed? There’s Ed.
Cowboy Bebop is streaming on Netflix now.