Cowboy Bebop is a literary classic that helped shape the history of Japanese anime. After the recent Netflix adaptation, many fans of Cowboy Bebop went back to rewatch the anime. However, no matter how many times they rewatched it, the ending remained the same. The show makers have beautifully woven the story of Spike and his crew and left fans with many symbols hinting at the end of the show. So what happens at the end of Cowboy Bebop? Keep reading for a detailed Cowboy Bebop ending explanation.
Cowboy Bebop is anime that came out in April 1998. The series ran for twenty-six episodes and ended in June 1998. The anime was made at Sunrise Studios under the direction of Shinichiro Watanabe. The show has made a huge impact on the entertainment industry. It has inspired many artists, filmmakers, and other anime creators who continue to carry the legacy of the show.
Cowboy Bebop Final Episode Recap!
After running into Julia, Faye delivers a message from her to Spike. An eager Spike rushes off to meet her and reconciles with her. Julia and Spike begin planning to leave and run just like before. However, they are quickly pursued by the Red Dragon Syndicate. Julia and Spike begin running away from the gunmen. But Unfortunately, Julia catches a bullet and slowly falls to her death. As she is dying, white doves fly from behind her, and she falls forward in slow motion.
When Spike runs to her, she mutters something to him. A hollow Spike then returns to the Bebop to bid the crew goodbye. After the emotional meet-up with the crew, he leaves to fight Vicious. Spike reaches the top of the building and manages to shoot down Vicious. But unfortunately, the villain slices Spike and wounds him. A wounded Spike tumbles down the stairs. He shoots his fingers one last time and says ‘bang’ before falling to the ground. The scene then shifts to a dying star in the sky. Then, the words ‘You’re gonna carry that weight’ flash on the screen.
Cowboy Bebop Ending Explained: What Happened To Spike?
Cowboy Bebop Ending Explained: There are a lot of fans and theorists who argue that Spike could still be alive. This argument got more heat after the recent Netflix live-action adaptation. In the live-action adaptation, Spike survives at the end, however, in the anime, his fate is uncertain. Throughout the series, Spike carries the weight and burden of his past. He cannot let go of Julia and lives in a fantasy world, not caring about anything.
The only thing he lived for was Julia. However, when Julia dies in the last episode, he loses his motive and desire to live. He gets his revenge on Vicious and loses his life in the process. He does this as he has nothing left to look forward to. Considering the context of the series and the themes it supports, it is more likely that Spike is dead and no more.
How The Bebop Crew Try To Stop Spike
Later in the series, Jet and Faye try to break Spike out of his trance. During the last episode, when she confronts Spike, he tells her of his eyes. He tells her that one of his eyes is fake and looks at the past. This heavily implies that Spike, unlike the rest of the crew, cannot let go of his past. He is still torn between the past and the present and has difficulty dealing with reality. When Jet tries to stop Spike, he tells him a story.
However, Spike in turn, tells him the story of a tiger-striped cat. The tiger-striped cat led many lives and is near immortal. One day, he meets a white female cat and spends his life with her. When the female cat grows old and dies, the striped cat cries a million times and dies as well. Here, the tiger striped cat refers to Spike, who had no interest in life until he met Julia. Julia is the one who brought a desire and motivation in him. After her death, just like the cat, Spike too mourns for her and dies.
Spike Spiegel Is Actually Dead!
Cowboy Bebop is filled with many parallels, symbols, and hints that foreshadow the death of the beloved Space Cowboy. In the first episode, Spike runs into Katerina, who reminds him painfully of his lost love Julia. Spike tries to save Katerina but fails and watches her die. This scene mirrors the death of Julia when Julia gets shot and dies in front of Spike. Another prediction that foreshadows the ending comes from the Laughing bull. In the first episode, the laughing bull predicts the ‘swimming bird will meet a woman.
The bird will be hunted by the lady and then death itself.’ To which Spike replies that a woman had already killed him. This is a reference to Julia, after losing her, Spike goes into a dream-like existence far from reality. The last and important symbol is the fading star. When Jet tries to track Spike, he goes to the laughing bull for advice. However, the laughing bull tells him that every living person has a guardian star that falls after the death of the person. He then adds that he dreamt of Spike’s star falling.
This comes true at the end of the episode. After Spike collapses, the scene shifts to a fading star, indicating that Spike is dead. Do you agree with our Cowboy Bebop Ending explanation. Do you think Spike is still alive? Share your thoughts in the comments section.