Filler in Cowboy Bebop? Blasphemy! Cowboy Bebop is unique as far as anime series go because it wasn’t based on a pre-existing manga series. The anime came first, manga adaptations followed. That being said, there are episodes which advance the story more than others, and that is what this guide is meant to help you with.
The critically acclaimed anime series features a crew of bounty hunters on the space-faring ship Bebop, including Spike Spiegel, Jet Black and Faye Valentine. Bounty hunters (known as cowboys) are enlisted by planetary governments to deal with the lawlessness that has fallen over the solar system after an accident left Earth mostly uninhabitable.
How Much Filler is in Cowboy Bebop?
Cowboy Bebop aired from 1998 to 1999 with a total of 26 episodes. Since the anime series preceded any manga adaptations, Cowboy Bebop is 0% filler and tells a completely original story.
Cowboy Bebop is different from many other anime series in that it is mostly episodic featuring many stand-alone episodes without long story arcs. Some fans claim that there are really only a handful of episodes which could be considered to advance the story.
Quick Filler & Canon Lists
Complete Filler List
|2||Stray Dog Strut||Canon||04/03/1998|
|3||Honky Tonk Women||Canon||04/10/1998|
|5||Ballad of Fallen Angels||Canon||11/21/1998|
|6||Sympathy for the Devil||Canon||11/28/1998|
|7||Heavy Metal Queen||Canon||04/17/1998|
|8||Waltz for Venus||Canon||04/24/1998|
|9||Jamming with Edward||Canon||05/01/1998|
|11||Toys in the Attic||Canon||05/15/1998|
|12||Jupiter Jazz (part 1)||Canon||05/22/1998|
|13||Jupiter Jazz (part 2)||Canon||05/29/1998|
|15||My Funny Valentine||Canon||06/12/1998|
|16||Black Dog Serenade||Canon||02/13/1999|
|18||Speak Like a Child||Canon||06/19/1998|
|20||Pierrot Le Fou||Canon||03/13/1999|
|21||Boogie Woogie Feng Shui||Canon||03/20/1999|
|24||Hard Luck Woman||Canon||04/10/1999|
|25||The Real Folk Blues, Part One||Canon||04/17/1999|
|26||The Real Folk Blues, Part Two||Canon||04/24/1999|
Our Guide to Cowboy Bebop Story Arcs
Unlike most anime shows, Cowboy Bebop isn’t big on long, sprawling story arcs. With an episode count of only 26 episodes, there isn’t much room for sweeping arcs. The series mostly consists of stand-alone episodes showing the crew of the Bebop embarking on a mission to claim a bounty on this or that criminal.
But for fans craving a more story-centric approach, here is a way to approach the series.
Episodes That Advance the Story
- Episode 1: Introduces Spike Spiegel and Jet Black
- Episode 2: Introduces Ein
- Episode 3: Introduces Faye Valentine
- Episode 5: Introduces Vicious
- Episode 9: Introduces Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV
- Episodes 12 & 13: Jupiter Jazz arc provides backstory for and Vicious
- Episode 15: Provides backstory for Faye Valentine
- Episode 16: Provides backstory for Jet Black
- Episode 18: Spike and Jet unearth details about Faye’s distant past
- Episode 24: The pasts of Faye and Ed come back to haunt them
- Episodes 25 & 26: The Real Folk Blues arc concludes the series by tying up all the character development from the aforementioned episodes
- Episode 4: Faye Valentine joins the Bebop while the Environmentalists attack
- Episode 6: Spike Spiegel battles an old enemy
- Episode 7: The crew of the Bebop tracks down a bounty while Spike connects with an old friend
- Episode 9: Spike welcomes an apprentice
- Episode 10: Jet Black returns to Ganymede
- Episode 11: The Bebop fights an alien invader
- Episode 14: Tells the backstory of “The Gate Accident”
- Episode 17: Ed goes on an epic adventure
- Episode 19: Spike brings his mono-racer in for repairs
- Episode 20: An assassin hunts down Spike
- Episode 21: Jet Black helps the daughter of an old friend
- Episode 22: Spike takes on the Teddy Bomber terrorist
- Episode 23: The Bebop hunts down a cult leader