‘Cowboy Bebop’ Showrunner André Nemec Reveals Why Radical Ed Didn’t Appear Much in the Live-Action Series

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop brought fan-favorite characters from the classic anime to a live-action medium. And thanks to talent like John Cho, Daniella Pineda, and Mustafa Shakir, the transition didn’t alter the dynamic between the Bebop crew. However, there is one member noticeably missing from the show’s iteration of the gang: Radical Ed. With Cowboy Bebop officially out, fans know Ed’s (Eden Perkins) screen time is significantly reduced. Showrunner André Nemec opened up about why.

[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop.]

Ed appears once at the end of ‘Cowboy Bebop’

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Although Ed remains with the Bebop crew for a prolonged period of time in the original Cowboy Bebop, she doesn’t show up until the very end of Netflix’s adaptation. She’s still the group’s resident hacker; in fact, she even gets name-dropped several times early on. However, she’s only physically present at the end of the finale. She’s the one who finds Spike (John Cho) after he’s been beaten down by his fight with Vicious (Alex Hassell).

Of course, the live-action ends differently from the anime — and it seems like the creators are hoping for a season 2. If that’s the case, it might explain why they didn’t feel the need to rush Ed’s introduction in the new Cowboy Bebop.

André Nemec explains why Ed isn’t in much of the live-actions series

Poster art for Netflix's live-action 'Cowboy Bebop' featuring John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, and Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black
John Cho, Daniella Pineda, and Mustafa Shakir in ‘Cowboy Bebop’ | Netflix

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During Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop: Unlocked, Nemec delved into his reasons for introducing Ed’s character so late in the live-action series. And it seems he wanted to keep events in line with the anime, which doesn’t bring in the hacker until its ninth installment:

“All we wanted was for Ed to make an appearance on Cowboy Bebop. You know, Ed doesn’t show up until the ninth episode of the anime. So it wasn’t like Ed is a core member of the Bebop crew from the gate in the anime, and it was important to spend enough time with these characters in order to really understand them and get traction.”

Although the Netflix show certainly diverges from the original in places, it makes sense the creators want to preserve the anime’s timeline. If they’re gunning for a second season, they’ll probably cover the episodes that feature Radical Ed then.

Will the hacker play a bigger role in ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Season 2?

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Netflix has yet to renew Cowboy Bebop for season 2, and mixed reviews of the live-action series beg the question of whether it will get a second go-round. Those wishing to see more of Ed are obviously hoping for the streamer’s green light.

Now that Eden Perkins has officially been announced and introduced on-screen, it seems likely they’ll get more time to bring Ed to life. Some fans even believe Ed’s entrance was held until the finale to build excitement for another round of episodes. Whether we’ll actually see more installments — and the rest of the anime adapted — remains a question.

Season 1 of the live-action Cowboy Bebop is currently streaming on Netflix.