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If you're a fan of the Cowboy Bebop anime, you may have noticed something especially peculiar about the marketing in the lead-up the live-action adaptation which dropped on Netflix today. Almost all of the main ingredients seemed to be there from the beginning. You had visuals that echoed the anime, Yoko Kanno's jazz-infused score, and of course the core characters that make up the Bebop crew: Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda). We even got the show's version of Ein, the super-intelligent Welsh Corgi who eventually joins the crew.
But that still left one pivotal character mysteriously out of the all the trailers and images, leaving us with the all-important question: Where's Ed?
Minor spoilers for Season 1 of Cowboy Bebop ahead.
First introduced in the anime's ninth episode, "Jamming with Edward," Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV is an androgynous teenage master hacker who goes by the handle "Radical Ed" and first discovers the Bebop crew as they're chasing a bounty on a different, more sinister hacker. Full of energy, always referring to herself in the third person, and prone to simply drifting off in the middle of conversations, Ed quickly became one of the most identifiable parts of Cowboy Bebop's overall vibe. And yet, when it came time to assemble the live-action cast, she seemed nowhere to be found. Now, we know why.
Netflix revealed Friday morning that it has cast newcomer Eden Perkins (who uses they/them pronouns) in the role of Ed, and teased the character's appearance in the series with a gif showing off the character's gangly physicality and instantly recognizable wardrobe. You can check that out below:
As for what took so long, it turns out Ed didn't show up in early promos for the series because she's not actually in all that much of the show's first season. As co-star Mason Alexander Park, who plays Gren, told Entertainment Weekly earlier this month, Cowboy Bebop's COVID-production delays meant that showrunner Andre Nemec and his team started reshuffling the show's pacing a bit in the interim, which meant some characters originally meant to be saved for Season 2 actually ended up in Season 1. That includes the nonbinary Gren, and also Ed, who makes her debut in the Season 1 finale of the series. It's a little said for longtime fans who were looking forward to her energy, but it makes sense when you consider how long it took her to join the Bebop crew in the anime compared to, say, Faye.
So, if you want more live-action Ed, just keep watching. She'll get her chance when the show's second season rolls around.
Cowboy Bebop is now streaming on Netflix.