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Cowboy Bebop Showrunner Explains Why Ed Doesn’t Show Up Until The End

By: Christy Mathew

cowboy bebop

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The live-action premiere of Cowboy Bebop was received with significant bewilderment; due to the absence of popular anime character Radical Ed until the finale; which showrunner Andre Nemec responded to. Cowboy Bebop is a film version of the 1998 anime series of the same name. The ten-episode live-action series aired on Netflix on November 19th.

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Cowboy Bebop follows the crew of the Bebop, a spaceship that the protagonists utilize to hunt down bounty and explore the universe. Spike, Jet, Faye, and Radical Ed, a juvenile prodigy hacker; who joins the crew last in the ninth episode of the anime, are the four main protagonists in the original 

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series. The first season of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop has already distinguished itself from the anime by introducing a number of new characters and plots.

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Ed’s presence late in the first season was purposeful, according to Nemec, in an interview with Netflix Unlocked (via ComicBook); the after-show for Cowboy Bebop. He talks about how Ed’s presence later in the anime served to build conflict between the other established members of the Bebop; and how he wanted the audience to be invested in the relationships of those characters before introducing Ed to change things up.

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Though Ed’s first appearance in the first season was brief, it’s quite possible that she will play a greater role in the second season; which Netflix has yet to renew. Below is a remark from Nemec about Ed’s debut:

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“All we wanted was for Ed to make an appearance on Cowboy Bebop. You know, Ed doesn’t show up until the ninth episode of the anime. So it wasn’t like Ed is a core member of the Bebop crew from gate in the anime, and it was important to spend enough time with these characters in order to really understand them and get traction….

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[T]here needed to be some stability amongst who these people were before we could introduce this other sort of wild and crazy component into the show. That Radical Ed is always up to something wild and kooky, and getting the gang into trouble.”