'Cowboy Bebop': Does Spike Spiegel die in the anime? A look at his final moments
The anime ends on a seemingly vague note and here's what director Shinichiro Watanabe has to say
For fans of 'Cowboy Bebop', the anime has a cult status. From its lovable characters to its soundtrack, no matter how you dissect it, it remains a fan favorite to this day. Everyone on the Bebop crew has their own story, often filled with tragedy and loss, bringing them together in the most unlikely way. And at the center of it all is Spike Spiegel, whose own mysterious past is revealed in vague fragments through the 26 episodes until it all comes together in the end. However, this also marks what seems like the end of his journey. Or is it?
If live actions aren't your thing and you'd rather stick to animes than live-actions, here are a few you can check out on Netflix -- 'Yasuke', 'Castlevania', 'Record of Ragnorok' and 'Seven Deadly Sins'.
The last two episodes of the anime, titled 'The Real Folk Blues' part 1 and 2, delves into Spike's past and, more importantly, his deep love for 'his woman', Julia. Having escaped the Red Dragon Syndicate, the love between these two never died, and they find themselves in the same situation they were years ago -- with Julia promising never to leave Spike's side. However, with Vicious taking over the Syndicate, he has assassins track them down to end them. Spike manages to take down said assassins until one shoots Julia in the back, ending her life. Spike decision is clear as he goes back to Bebop for the last time. His final conversations with both Jet and Faye are rather telling.
With Jet, he talks about the story of a tiger-striped cat that died a million deaths and lived a million lives, which had owners who never cared about him. Until he was a stray cat, left on his own. He then met a white cat, and they lived happily until she died of old age. It was only then that the tiger-striped cat cried a million times and died. Spike concludes that he not only dislikes cats but hates the story. The metaphor is clear enough, seeing that for Spike, the only driving force in his life was Julia. Even when he says goodbye to an upset Faye, who argues relentlessly to have him stay, he explains that he is not going there to die but to find out if he is alive.
In the end, Vicious and Spike battle to what seems like death, with Spike shooting Vicious and him slashing Spike with his katana. While it looks like Spike dies in the end or is fatal wounded, his fate is technically an open ending. In a conversation with The Daily Texan, Shinichirō Watanabe, the creator and director, spoke about how Spike's death or future is rather ambiguous. "I've never officially said that he's died. At this point, I can tell you that I'm not sure if he's alive or dead." he said back in the 2006 interview. "I think probably rather than being yelled at for killing Spike, I think ... people are more upset that I might make a continuation." he added. While there hasn't been a continuation or a sequel to the series, Spike's fate is what fans or viewers make it out to be.
What do you think, keeping in mind Spike's last conversation with Jet and the loss of Julia, do you think he is dead? Or is there a chance he survives his injuries? Tell us about your fan theories below!
'Cowboy Bebop' preimeres on Netflix on November 19, 2021.