- "Nobody who's seen his face has lived to tell about it... They say he appears with a smile and he leaves with a smile."
He is an older man with a light brown beard dressed in a rotund, clown-like outfit with a top hat. It is unknown if he ages at the same rate as naturally born humans..
Likely being one out of many in a series of clone iterations, Tongpu was held by a medical facility and subjected to numerous, mysterious experiments which resulted in superhuman abilities, including the ability to fly, greatly-enhanced strength and speed and a personal force shield that stops projectiles or high-kinetic energy objects. The experiment itself, however, was deemed a failure and Tongpu was kept in isolation to be quarantined indefinitely. The intense agony caused by the experimentation warped his psyche and he regressed into a childlike mental state. Due to the continued deterioration of his sanity from the memory of his traumatic past, his mind finally broke, slaughtering the guards, scientists, and all staff members present while escaping from the facility. Tongpu acquired an small arsenal of weapons, including several high-tech armaments, and set out to gleefully kill all high-ranking ISSP officials who authorized the experiments performed on him. He also relentlessly hunted down and murdered anyone who caught even a single glimpse of him. As Jet's friend, Bob, noted, nobody who ever saw his face lived to tell about it.
Spike encountered him in an alley after a night of drinking and playing pool at C'est la Vie. After finishing another merciless slaughter of an official and his bodyguards, Mad Pierrot then spotted Spike and the two had an intense gunfight. Unfortunately, Spike's bullets were repelled by Pierrot's energy shield and Pierrot beat him savagely. He only stopped attacking Spike when he heard the meowing of a nearby cat, which reminded him of the scientists' cat that watched him as he underwent the experiments. Pierrot maniacally fired at the cat in terror and Spike, sensing a distraction, took the opportunity to roll a flammable barrel towards him and shot it, causing it to explode. Pierrot was unhurt by the explosion, despite being totally engulfed in the ensuing chain reaction and sending Spike flying into a wall. After wounding Spike with a knife, Pierrot then armed a rocket launcher to finish him off, but Spike, luckily, narrowly escaped by jumping into a nearby river. He was later seen recovering from his injuries on the Bebop.
Upon finding out that Spike survived, Pierrot invited him to an amusement park, Space Land, for a "party" where he relentlessly pursued him, shooting with the many weapons in his arsenal. Faye arrived in the Red Tail to help, but Pierrot shot her down as well. Pierrot showed no signs of slowing down until he accidentally broke a shop window and a toy cat fell out and started meowing. This again caused him to panic, giving Spike time to regroup. Pierrot and Spike then faced off while a parade of carnival robots marched in the background. Just as Pierrot is about to finish Spike off, a flash of light from the parade reflects off of Spike's eyes, reminding Pierrot of the data-cat, filling him with terror. Spike used the opportunity to toss a throwing knife at Pierrot, striking him in the leg. Upon seeing his own blood and feeling the pain of the knife, he descended into a childlike tantrum and cried loudly for his mother. While writhing on the road where the parade is taking place, a gigantic dog robot from the robot parade stepped on him, killing him instantly.
The character was credited as "Tongpu."
Homages and references
- Continuing with the strong musical influences in Cowboy Bebop, the names Mad Pierrot and Tongpu are both references to songs by pioneering Japanese electronic music group Yellow Magic Orchestra.
- This episode gets its name from the 1965 French film "Pierrot le Fou".
- His overall character design is inspired and pays tribute to villains in Batman: The Animated Series, such as the Penguin.