Cowboy Funk is the 22nd episode or "Session" of Cowboy Bebop.
- Toshihiro Kawamoto
Mechanical Animation Director:
- Masami Goto
The crew of the Bebop tracks a bounty named Teddy Bomber, a terrorist that blows up buildings by stuffing teddy bears with explosives. Spike successfully apprehends him, having pulled the pin out of one of his bears. Teddy is about to tell him why he's a terrorist when a horse blasts through the window, his rider being Andy, another bounty hunter known to Teddy. Oddly, he mistakes Spike for the terrorist and ignores Spike's claim that the guard is Teddy, saying faces are too unreliable. When Teddy starts to run away, Spike darts after him only to be roped around the neck. Spike is forced to watch the teddy bomber escape and detonate his other bears. Andy now finally realizes his mistake and brushes it off, riding out of the building over Spike's body.
With his body and pride injured, Spike returns to the ship to relay the tale to an unbelieving Bebop crew. Ed, however, pulls up the man on the database, and he is revealed to be Andy Von De Oniyate, an heir to a fortune. He joined the YMCA and was kicked out for being a nuisance. He also bears a striking similarity in appearance and mannerism to Spike.
The crew attempts to nab the Teddy Bomber again, this time, at a masquerade party. Jet, dressed as a hippy, Spike, wearing a mask, and Faye, dressed as a socialite with a Venetian mask, find the Teddy Bomber dressed conspicuously in a giant teddy bear costume. Just as they are about to capture their bounty, Andy, on a horse, rides up on the elevator and distracts the crew and everyone around him. The commotion bothers Teddy to the point he yells about being ignored and sets off his explosions. He darts for the nearest elevator while all the guests and the bounty hunters get their own. He makes it to his car on the garage floor and is soon in pursuit by Andy (with Faye on his horse Onyx behind him) and Spike in the Swordfish II. Thanks to their similarities and rivalry, they soon engage in a vehicular brawl, ignoring the Teddy Bomber.
Andy brings Faye to his boat and, while he prepares some of his Son of a Gun Stew, she notes his total lack of taste in the interior decoration. Ignoring the unpleasant stew, she asks him about his choice to be a bounty hunter despite his lifestyle. He says he likes the thrill of it, and says he's set his mind on it. He's obviously full of himself, which Faye notes reminds her of someone (Spike).
Faye returns to the Bebop with more of the stew of the ship. She also notes how similar Spike and Andy are, enraging Spike. Big Shot interrupts the conversation, showing Teddy's bounty and with a message to read on air. With no time to read the whole message, which would have described his reasoning for blowing things up, the show wraps up (and probably angering him further). Ed chimes in quickly, saying that the targets have been ordered by height and City Hall is next. Jet and Faye decide they don't want to go after him, saying it's not worth it, but Spike feels the need to confront Andy again.
At a water fountain, Teddy waits. Spike shows up, more concerned with where Andy is than him. Teddy is annoyed, but just then Andy arrives. The two now argue, further angering Teddy through ignoring him. He sets off an explosive to get their attention and runs, drawing them into the building and into an elevator. He's hid in a different one, clearly having laid a trap for them in the locked elevator. The top of the shaft has several teddy bears ready to explode. Both Andy and Spike are confident they fixed the security measures of the elevator, but that means they are now set to the original settings – Teddy's. They fight through the top door of the elevator and make it out, fortunately. The elevator explodes, leaving them to race to the top of the building and fight it out. One mirroring the other, they run through their bullets and have a standoff. Spike, in frustration, punches a ruined desk and, oddly, Andy's high ground almost throws him off the ledge. He catches it and admits defeat, giving Spike his hat and riding off on his horse.
While riding in a police wagon, the Teddy Bomber finally reveals that he blew up the tallest buildings as a protestation against the waste resulting from practicing capitalism without philosophy. A sympathetic policeman comforts him, until Andy is revealed to be riding alongside the police wagon, wearing a samurai outfit and riding a horse. The episode ends as both Andy and the wagon move into the sunset.
- Main article: Memorable Quotes from Cowboy Bebop#Cowboy Funk
- Tank! (TV Edit) – Opening titles
- Go Go Cactus Man – Cowboy Andy rides in to "solve" the case
- Slipper Sleaze – The Bebop team scout out the masquerade party
- Go Go Cactus Man – Cowboy Andy rides in to "solve" the case again, but the Teddy Bomber hates being ignored
- Piano Bar II – Faye visits Andy's boat
- American Money – "Big Shot"
- Go Go Cactus Man – Cowboy Andy rides in to "solve" the case yet again, but now Spike and Andy have underestimated The Teddy Bomber and each other; they have a face-off
- Go Go Cactus Man (Extra Guitar Version) – [Unreleased] The Shootout! And then later Andy decides to retire from the cowboy life. [Note these two cues are different to the preceding and following cues of this song]
- Go Go Cactus Man (Guitar Version) – See you, Space Samurai!
- The Real Folk Blues – Closing titles
- "Hip-Hop Bebop" – [Unreleased] Preview for Brain Scratch
- While the series as whole takes heavy influence from Western films, (most notably Spaghetti Westerns) this episode is the most direct in its homage to the genre. With the song "Go Go Cactus Man" being influenced by the compositions of Ennio Morricone whose contributions to the genre established the "sound" of Western films. In addition, the stare down between Spike and Andy during the final scene are characteristic of Italian director Sergio Leone, who is most famous for his Westerns.
- The character Cowboy Andy is an homage to the character "Nobody" played by Terence Hill in Tonino Valerii's film "My Name is Nobody"
- The Teddy Bomber appears to be a reference to Ted Kaczynski, the "Unabomber". This is most noticeable during his final speech in which he shares his anti-capitalism views.
- Andy tells Spike to call him Wyatt Earp, the name of a famous deputy sheriff and town marshall.
- The eyecatcher for the episode bares a resemblance to the logo for Flash Gordon.
- Andy's quote "Here's looking at my reflection, kid" is a reference to the line "Here's looking at you, kid" from the romantic drama film Casablanca.
- Andy becoming a samurai could be a reference to Westerns inspiring Akira Kurosawa, who directed several samurai films.
- This episode was pulled from broadcast in the United States shortly after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City due to including terrorist attacks on skyscrapers.
- When Spike, Jet and Faye go to a costume party to catch the Teddy Bomber. Jet is dressed up as a hippy with a marijuana leaf on his shirt. In the original Adult Swim broadcast the leaf was replaced with a peace sign.
- Coincidentally, Andy becoming a samurai at the end of the episode foreshadows the production of another anime by series creator Shinichiro Watanabe, Samurai Champloo. Much like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo also makes use of a blend of film and music genres, in this case the mixing of hip-hop and chambara.
- Andy's intro is a reference to Kaiketsu Zubat, a cowboy themed detective. When first introduced Andy whistles and clicks his lips in the same fashion as Zubat when he introduces himself to the episode's villains.