5 Facts Fans May Not Know About Cowboy Bebop

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If there is one anime that single-handedly spread its influence in the western media, it has to be Cowboy Bebop. The show was released at a critical time, just when anime had begun to popularize across the world. 

In fact, it could be the very reason why you’re into anime. Even with a short runtime of 26 episodes, fans have been left craving for more to this day. 

So, while we may have seen the anime several times. Here are some facts that you may not have known about this masterpiece.

First Anime to Debut on Adult Swim

Adult Swim is known to air several anime series nowadays. But the reality was quite different many years back. 

Anime made its debut through Cowboy Bebop and its success in the West. It first aired back in September 2001, the series continues to air to this day. 

While the run was stopped in 2013 due to some legal problems. 2021 marks the 20th year for Cowboy Bebop’s runtime on the platform.

Tribute to Music Bands

Fans had several reasons to remember this amazing show. From its mesmerizingly fluid action to its enchanting soundtracks.

However, a detail that may have slipped many fans is the tribute paid to numerous famous music bands. Shinichiro Watanabe named the title of each episode after some of the greatest bands, with the example of episode 1’s “Asteroid Blues”

Throughout the 26 episodes of the anime, the anime paid tribute to The Stray Cats, Miles David, Samba Music, Aerosmith, and Rolling Stones. Perhaps you could look up these bands and tracks, and exploit the musical taste of Shinichiro Watanabe.

The Babe Ruth Reference

The entirety of Cowboy Bebop had a bunch of references to famous personalities. However, episode 19’s charm lies in the easter egg for Babe Ruth as one of the villains. 

Don’t believe us? Take a look at the episode’s title: Wild Horses. The premise for this episode revolves around Spike and the team hunting down three pirates. Namely George, Harman, and Ruth

Interestingly, the real name of Babe Ruth follows the villains’ name — George Herman.

Faye’s Cryogenic Capsule

The beloved yet notorious Faye is known for her mischievous acts. In one episode Faye escapes her cryogenic chamber with the serial number NCC-1701-B

At first glance, the serial number may seem meaningless and could be ignored by the majority of viewers. However, this serial number is the same as Star Trek’s USS Enterprise

The NCC is a ship registered in the 20th century, where the N indicates the US registration. The first C represents civil aircraft. And the second C was simply added in Star Trek. 

Thus, the message here behind the capsule, and its serial number, is about Star Trek.

Censorship in Japan

Cowboy Bebop’s censorship comes as no surprise considering Japan’s strict censorship policies. Although the anime’s censorship in the US was due to the occurrence of 9/11, the case for Japan varied significantly. 

The American audience got the chance to view a larger portion of the series. While the Japanese media had censored the series down to 12 episodes. 

The major issues were the indications of explicit content like violence and sexuality. Nevertheless, Cowboy Bebop eventually found a complete runtime on the TV channel WOWOW.


Annnnnd there you have it. Our top facts that even the most serious fans may have not known.

  • First Anime on Adult Swim
  • Music Band Tributes
  • The Babe Ruth Reference
  • Faye’s Cryogenic Capsule
  • Censorship in US & Japan

Cowboy Bebop really revolutionized access to Anime in the west. So I’m thankful for its success. Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree!

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