"Mushroom Samba" is the seventeenth session, or episode, of Cowboy Bebop.
- Michiko Yokote
- Shinichiro Watanabe
- Melon man
- Frog (William Bassett)
- Takuro Shinbo
- Eiji Nakada (Nakamura Production)
Mechanical Animation Director:
- Masami Goto
The Bebop finds itself without fuel or food, including the emergency rations. Every member of the crew is hungry and blaming each other, but Jet Black says they should just hold out, as they will eventually drift to Europa. Spike so much so he even considers eating Ein, but Faye tells him to watch himself, as Ein is probably thinking exactly the same about him. Edward remembers she has a peanut to eat, but is caught by the other crew members. At that exact moment, the Bebop is hit by a smaller ship, causing them to lose the peanut to Ein. Jet tries to contact the ship to see what happens, but the driver flies away without saying a word. Soon, they realize the ship is off its original drift course, and they come crashing on the surface of Io. Every member is shaken up, along with all of their things on the ship.
Fortunately, everyone is fine. Jet wants Faye to look for food, but she soon has a pain and leaves. Ein brings the ration box over, informing Jet that the rations were a year out of date, and expresses relief that he didn't eat it (and notes that Faye obviously ate the rations). Jet and Spike start to fix the ship. Interrupted by Edward, she soon makes herself a bother and they suggest she go find food. Edward instantly agrees and heads outside with Ein. The two adventure together for a while, but the only thing they found after miles of walking were desert and cacti. Just as they were about to quit and head home, a ship flies over both of them. It was the same ship that hit them and knocked them of course earlier. Eager to find out more about it, Edward does a mad dash in the direction of the ship. Obviously not fast enough, Edward eventually loses the trail of the ship. She then looks around to see where she has run, and notices a watermelon truck. Ed pleads the man give them watermelons, but he refuses, as they have no money to pay for it.
Just then, a woman, Coffee, shows up at the watermelon truck and buys some, asking the man to let her know if he sees someone in a picture she has. During, Edward and Ein jump in the trunk of her car secretly. Coffee then pulls up to a gas station, where she meets two officers. They ask her if she's heard of a man named Domino Walker. Ironically, that is the exact man she's looking for, she tells the officers. The cops still insist they have to check her trunk for any clues on the Domino case. Unknowing of Edward and Ein being in there, she has no problem with this. The cops are flabbergasted to see Edward and Ein, (who are now sleeping) and immediately take Coffee down to the police station. While arresting Coffee, Edward and Ein quietly sneak away.
Edward then stumbles upon a town, where she sees Domino Walker finishing a sandwich. Edward bursts towards him, hoping to reach him and get the last bite of his sandwich, but she wasn't in time. Just then, a man named Shaft appears and tries to stop Domino, saying his older brother died from mushrooms he bought from him. Domino says it isn't his fault, and so Shaft pursues him with his gun out. As he runs away, he drops some mushrooms on the ground, one of which is immediately eaten by Ein. Ed protests, saying they need to share when Ein starts hopping uncontrollably. They're apparently bad mushrooms.
Curious if they're edible to humans or not, Ed goes back to the ship and tests the effect of the mushrooms on her crew. After everyone on the ship had tried one, they each hiccup once, and have extreme hallucinations.
Faye's hallucination begins in the bathroom, after flushing the toilet, that water is filing up the room. Eventually filling up so high, she is completely submerged underwater. Fish also enter the hallucination, hundreds of fish swim all around Faye. In actuality, the audience see Faye in the bathroom repeatedly making some sort of swimming motion.
Spike's hallucination begins as he is walking up the steps. Suddenly his four steps he's used to turns into hundreds of thousands of steps. Spike begins walking up at a slow pace, when he stumbles upon a frog with a deep voice. The frog explains to him he's walking up the stairway to Heaven. In actuality, the audience see Spike is just stepping on the same step over and over.
Jet's hallucination involves his special bonsai trees talking to him. He carries on a long and humorous conversation with them, discussing some heavy stuff, like the meaning of the universe. After his hallucination, he finds himself smeared in lipstick.
After witnessing this, Ed sees these mushrooms aren't safe for human consumption. They watch Big Shot later, and see Domino Walker featured as a bounty head. Ed decides to capture him and use the bounty for food. They pack up and head out on a scooter. They don't find him immediately, instead attracting the attention of both Coffee and Shaft. They eventually find the hit-and-run ship and discover Walker inside, growing his mushrooms. She shoots "stinky gas" to subdue him, but he's able to run away. Pursuing him to a train, they get cut off while he jumps on. However, Shaft and Coffee are able to catch the train. Ed and Ein catch up eventually, jumping on to the train. Ein bites one of his bags, forcing him to let it go. It hits Shaft, on top of the train, knocking him onto Coffee following in her car. They fall behind in a crash, leaving Walker to Ed's mercy. Soon, the train grinds to a halt seeing a cow ahead. Domino begs that Edward lets him go, and offers instead the illegal and valuable mushrooms, worth much more than his bounty to let him go. Edward happily agrees and, after Ein thanks the cow, brings the mushrooms back to the Bebop.
That night, the crew has woken up from their hallucinations and are shocked that Ed retrieved the valuable haul. However, they turn out to be regular shiitake mushrooms, as a police officer comes by to ask them about Walker. Seeing Spike holding the bag, he goes to test them and confirms it.
After several meals, the crew (except for Ed) is sick of mushrooms. Ein, however, eats one and has a hiccup.
- “Hey mister, this here is the stairway to heaven. You know that don'tcha'?”
- — Frog
- Tank! (TV Edit) – Opening titles
- Chicken Bone – Ed and Ein search for food
- You Make Me Cool – Coffee heads to town and immediately gets busted
- Vitamin "F" – Eyecatch card I
- Vitamin "G" – Eyecatch card II
- "Stairway to Heaven I" – [Unreleased] Spike hallucinates an infinite staircase
- "Worst Toilet on Io I" – [Unreleased] Faye hallucinates a giant toilet
- "Stairway to Heaven II" – [Unreleased] Spike talks to a frog
- "Worst Toilet on Io II" – [Unreleased] Faye swims with the fishes
- American Money – "Big Shot"
- Give and Take – Coffee avoids a grilling, Shaft gets a headache
- Mushroom Hunting – Everyone wants a piece of Domino
- The Egg and You – The Bebop crew enjoy/endure a mushroom-exclusive diet
- The Real Folk Blues – Closing titles
- Black Coffee – Preview for Speak Like a Child
Themes and Motifs
Homages and References
- When the Bebop crashes, the sign "Western World Development Tract 8271" is a reference to the Wim Wenders' film "Paris, Texas".
- A restaurant which appears is named "Mobi Dik," presumably after the famous novel. Moby Dick is also a reference to a Led Zeppelin song of the same name.
- The frog saying "This is a stairway to heaven. You know that, right?", is a possible reference to the song "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin.
- The bounty hunter Coffee was inspired by the protagonist of the Pam Grier film Coffy.
- Similarly the male bounty hunter claims to be one of the Shaft brothers - a reference to another 1970s blaxploitation film, Shaft. The coffin he is seen dragging mirrors that of the main character of 1966 Spaghetti Western Django, building on the show's cowboy theme.
- The name of mushroom dealer Domino Walker references both Led Zeppelin (via guitarist Jimmy Page's 1999 song "Domino") and modern-day cowboy Walker, Texas Ranger.