From Virtual Japan
Cowboy Bebop (Kaubōi Bibappu) is different from most manga series out there. Most of the time, a manga, or comic book, series is created, and then an anime is made if the manga becomes a big enough success. With the Cowboy Bebop manga, things happened in reverse. The manga was created after the anime became a huge success. The manga was written by Hajime Yatate and was released in the magazine Monthly Asuka between April of 1999 and April of 2000. The manga series follows the original story from the anime. Two video games were also created, making this one of the most well-known mangas and animes to come out of Japan recently, especially among teenage boys.
- Spike Spiegal – Spike is the leader of a crew of bounty hunters that live and work on the ship, Bebop. He is twenty-seven years old and is an excellent bounty hunter. He is skilled in pick pocketing and in slight-of-hand tricks and uses them frequently in his missions. He is also an excellent fighter, having skills in both weapons and in unarmed combat. His character was partially inspired by the well-known martial artist, Bruce Lee, and Spike often fights like Bruce did. He tends to laze about the ship when he is not working, which drives his crew members crazy. He has a strange relationship with the female crew member, Faye, in which he appears to be antagonistic towards her, but the undertones of the series show that he cares for her.
- Faye Valentine – Faye was born in 1994, but was cryogenically frozen and awoken years later. She had amnesia when she first awoke, but begins to regain he memory as the series progresses. She is an excellent fighter, and it is believed that she is in love with Spike. The two never show their affections, however, but the series hints that they do truly care for each other.
- Jet Black – Jet is a former cop who has a cybernetic limb. He became disgusted with the police force and opted to become a bounty hunter instead. The rest of the crew see him as the father figure on board, which annoys him as he is only 36. He is an excellent mechanic and often keeps Bebop running when they are between ports.
- Edward – Edward is a hacker that gets taken on board Bebop because of her amazing computer skills. Ed is a young girl, somewhere around the age of 13, who is extremely hyper. She jumps, runs, flips and walks on her hands to get where she is going, especially when on board the ship.
- Ein – Ein is the animal in the series. He was a Pembroke Welsh Corgi that is actually a data dog. H can speak in other languages to other creatures, but only Ed can understand what he is saying.
The story takes place in the year 2071. Space has been explored and needs policing, and bounty hunters take care of catching criminals who have escaped from their sentences. Bounty hunters are now called Cowboys, and the crew’s space ship is called Bebop, hence the title of the series. Each episode is about the crew going after a bounty, with a little bit of one of their pasts creeping up in the story as well.