By Dan Exclaims!
I mean, where to start?
Thankfully, this isn’t an overall top five moments from Cowboy Bebop, because my 11-year-old self would likely try and figure out time travel to hunt me down if I changed my opinion on Vicious vs. Spike. Fortunately, today we’re looking at everyone’s favorite fluffy butt/good boi, Ein!
5. Meet Ein
Ein makes his very first appearance in Episode 2 of Cowboy Bebop, and he’s immediately a fan favorite. From the jump, this genius dog imprints on all of us with his hilarious personality.
Ein, which has been refuted as short for Einstein, surprises Spike by refusing to leave his side, and after a woman makes a suggestion of selling the dog or eating it, Spike finds himself the proud parent of a pupper–the second thing he hates most.
I’m all in on good boys, so it’s not hard to see why Ein is one of my all-time favorite anime characters, period.
4. Ein eats a bad mushroom
In Episode 17, the Bebop is stranded, and the crew sets off to search for some food to tide themselves over. After coming into contact with some shady illegal mushroom dealers, Ein chomps down on one.
This is scary at first, since it’s explained that a man laughed himself to death after eating one, but that doesn’t stop Ein. He is all over these mushrooms. This is where we get the wondrous scene of Ein hopping and barking in a most peculiar way.
The lesson here? Don’t let you dog eat a sketchy briefcase mushroom.
3. Ein does the preview
It’s 3 a.m. and it’s a school night. All of a sudden, I hear barking coming from my television. I had a huge dog at the time, so I thought maybe there was some other dog in my house? Nope. I sit up and see that Cowboy Bebop is on. But it’s not Jet or Faye or Spike previewing the next episode (as I would soon learn is usually the case), but Ein!
I sat there staring at the TV for about five minutes. That was my first exposure to the series, and I was quickly hooked. All it took was a dog barking and the words “Wild Horses.”
2. Ed and Ein walking the desert
Ed and Ein are a one-two punch combo that literally make this show at certain points. In this episode, Ein’s intelligence is on full display, and you can kinda catch how his barks translate to “yes” or “no.” On a rewatch, you’ll actually see when Ein disagrees with things!
But I digress. After being stranded due to a hit and run, Ed is sent out of the Bebop to find some food. What happens next is a beautiful art display as the two wander the desert, stroll to upbeat jazz and tackle the harsh climate as two best friends.
1. Ed and Ein’s farewell
Three episodes from the series finale, we say goodbye to Ed and Ein. These final episodes do such a great job at showing us how much this crew cares about one another, even Spike.
While always seen as a bit of an outlier, it’s learned that Ed’s true motive all along was to find her father, and with Faye’s restored memories and motivation, Ed is inspired to do it. Come to find out, he’s been searching for her too.
And so, Ed leaves the crew, but a bark grabs her by the ear. It’s Ein, and he’s telling Ed that they don’t have to walk alone. Ed insists that Ein doesn’t need to leave the Bebop, and in the beautifully painted, meteor-colored sky, Ein takes one last look at his new friends and says, “See You, Space Cowboy.“
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