Mark Watches ‘Cowboy Bebop’: Session 9 – Jamming With Edward

In the ninth session of Cowboy Bebop, EDWARD!!! Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Cowboy Bebop.

Oh, this was just a treat, y’all. Not only was the story this sweet exploration of the loneliness of artificial intelligence, but I finally got to meet the character who inhabits the fourth panel in the opening credits: Edward.

Along the way, I finally learn what happened to Earth. Edward – who is Edward – is a radical hacker. No, she is the Radical hacker who still lives on Earth, in a place called District 39. Yes, yes, this just reminded me of The Hunger Games. I couldn’t help it! As far as I understand the timeline, the Earth Gate exploded at one point in the past, causing part of the moon to break off and fall in pieces to the surface, while the rest got caught in the atmosphere. There are rock showers on Earth! Well, parts of it, that is. And amidst this, there’s Edward. She lives all by herself. We don’t know where she came from, who her parents are or where they are, and she is the best hacker on the whole planet. I really loved the idea that the citizens of Earth largely went underground and developed an online culture in response. Can we see more of this??? It’s so great!

So when a satellite mysteriously draws a bunch of symbols on the Earth’s surface that look exactly like the Nazca Lines in Peru, the Earth’s government sends out a bounty: Find out who controlled the satellite. 8 million Woolongs is quite a bit for the Bebop team, so they jump at the chance. Instead of making this out to be a big mystery, the writers brilliantly give us the answer just minutes later: NO ONE DID IT. Edward, the only person willing to look into the situation without personal gain in mind, manages to get in contact with the Central Processing Unit. The opening sequence is now re-contextualized: That voice we heard was within the satellite itself. There’s nothing malicious here, either. MPU (named lovingly so by Edward) simply got lonely. After spending decades in space, ignored by humankind after they had no need for the satellite, MPU drew friends for itself. I don’t care, I FUCKING LOVE THIS SO MUCH.

This highlights what an incredible character we are getting in Edward. She’s a rambunctious, joyous, and glowing person, eager to find new things and discover shit about the world around her, and always willing to make a connection with a another person. It’s because she reaches out to MPU that the Bebop team finds a way to turn over the true culprit to the Earth police without giving up MPU. I wonder if we’ll ever see MPU again! Regardless, Edward outshines everyone else here. She is a million steps ahead of Faye, Jet, and Spike, and she doesn’t gloat. She doesn’t do it to be rude. She just wants to help out, and she derives joy from it. So I am utterly enamored with the fact that Edward is now a part of the Bebop crew. Oh god, can she help them get a bounty??? For real, they actually caught the culprit, turned it in, and they still didn’t get a bounty. I just feel bad for the team. But now they’ve got a master hacker on board. Surely that will work for their benefit, right?



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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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