Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Cowboy Bebop's Anime Cast Reveal Why Ed Is The Meaning Of Life - Exclusive

The anime incarnation of "Cowboy Bebop" may have originally debuted in Japan way back in 1998, but nearly every aspect of the sci-fi series remains incredibly timeless. The concept of gate technology for interstellar travel seems weirdly plausible. That perfect blend of future technology and old school machinery ranks right up their with Ridley Scott's "Alien." Faye Valentine's wedgie-tastic short shorts are not terribly realistic, but, honestly, virtually everything else feels like you could walk right into the series and live there.

Unsurprisingly, the timeless futuristic realism made the iconic anime something people have wanted to adapt to live action for decades. Beginning November 19, Netflix will release a series that does just that: a ten-episode live-action version of the Bebop and her motley crew of bounty hunters.

Naturally, the very existence of a new adaptation of "Cowboy Bebop" (especially one starring John Cho) has put fans new and old in the frame of mind to go back and watch the original series. With that in mind, Looper got the chance to sit down with the original English voice cast of the animated "Bebop" to learn what makes the series so iconic. Along the way, we discovered one character who remains perhaps more relevant now than ever — Radical Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV (or "Ed" for short).

The Cowboy Bebop voice cast and Liquid Ed

Up until the animated movie "Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' On Heaven's Door," Ed's gender is never officially mentioned. Faye calls Ed a girl but Ed's own father doesn't even seem to know Ed's gender, so we asked Melissa Fahn, who voices the character, if she has a take on whether Ed identifies as male, female, or nonbinary.

"It's just so interesting," Fahn says. "I mean, when we did the show, I didn't think of that. I thought, 'She's a girl.' I mean, why can't a girl dress like that? Why can't a girl be like that? Non-binary was not a term that we were really using 20 years ago."

"I think if you asked Ed how Ed identifies, Ed would just say, 'Ed is Ed,'" adds Spike Spiegel voice actor Steve Blum. "And that to me crosses every barrier that way. You don't have to be anything other than who you are. I think that's the most wonderful thing about that character."

Faye Valentine voice actor Wendee Lee has a simple term for the character: "Liquid Ed."

"She flows between all of the hard edges and boxes that people try to get placed in, or that we try to put people in," says Lee. "She has no box. She's fluid. She's a circle."

"And Ed is okay with Ed," says Fahn. "So, everyone's okay with her."

"Ed is the meaning of life," concludes Blum, referencing "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." by Douglas Adams.  "It's not the number 42 as it turns out."

The animated "Cowboy Bebop" series is streaming now on Funimation and Netflix, and the live action series debuts on Netflix beginning November 19.