The 20th Anniversary of Cowboy Bebop

- Tribe Interactive
Clear background image of Cowboy Bebop character Spike Spiegal

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Cowboy Bebop was the most influential project of my career – and will continue to be a part of my life forever. At conventions worldwide, it’s consistently the number one topic of conversation for me with thousands of fans. This year is extra special. We’re celebrating 20 years since it’s initial release! With the new Blu-Ray re-release of the series from Funimation, the Theatrical screening of the movie, and the announcement of an upcoming live-action series, I’ve been doing a lot of interviews lately.  The #1 question is always some version of the same thing:

Why is Cowboy Bebop still going so strong, still gathering new fans, 20 years later?

In the beginning Bebop was the scariest thing I’d ever done. I was certain they’d cast the wrong guy and I had a ton of personal stuff to work through including feeling like I was gonna throw up or worse the first day of recording. I talk a lot about this with the students in my VoiceOver class because I didn’t feel worthy of the part. That happens to a lot of new Voice Actors, and they have to move through it. 

It was my first leading role, but I had the part, so I had to step up.

Spike was the very antithesis of how I saw myself at the time.  He was cool, elusive, confident, and he didn’t give a damn about anybody (at least on the outside). I had to learn really quickly how to really act. You have to remember, this was 20 years ago. Back then I was a guy mostly known for creature voices, monsters, screaming etc. I’d never been expected to invest myself that deeply into a character before.

Cowboy Bebop taught me some powerful life and voiceover lessons in the process that changed me on a cellular level and altered the course of my life. Spike had to sound authentic, and to get there, I had to find some of his qualities in myself.

Some were not easy to admit I possessed. Others, I had to step into his shoes and experience fully.  Sometimes it was wildly uncomfortable.

Cowboy Bebop changed my life – personally and professionally.  It led to shows like Toonami, Megas XLR, even Avatar: Legend of Korra and my entire game career, and shaped everything to follow. It was my proving ground, it’s where I decided to fully commit to acting because it exemplified the true power of this medium… in how it can profoundly affect real people’s lives. I am continually humbled by fan’s stories of how this little show that we weren’t sure anyone would watch – helped (and continues to help!) people through some of the toughest times in their lives. I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

To read the full article, check it out on Steve Blum’s personal site

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6 thoughts on “The 20th Anniversary of Cowboy Bebop”

  1. to be honest, ive never seen Cowboy Bebop, my exposure to anime is fairly limited. But i love Steve and I love his characters so Cowboy Bebop is on my list of things to watch. My son is heavy into Naruto so i have had more exposure lately. my favorite anime of all time is Ninja Scroll, i swear by it and have loved it aince the 1st time i watched it. looking fwd to checking out Spike.

  2. This show became a way of life. When I introduce people to watch anime this is my number one start-up show. Everything about this show is perfect, the music is sublime and perfectly placed throughout each story. This show and at the time GTO were by far the best English dubs. The care for every scene and shot is shown through-out with not one story being rushed. There’s always other shows that come along that are admitted very beautiful to watch with strong stylistic stories trying to vie for the title of G.O.A.T. but this one is the MUHAMMAD ALI of anime.

    • I absolutely loved the show from the incredible fight scenes with the absolutely amazing soundtrack to the top notch voice acting from everyone. I can’t wait for the live-action to be made. This anime was truly amazing and I’m glad that other generations continue to watch it and truly appreciate this incredible anime.

  3. Cowboy Bebop was already a great show, but i’ve noticed the dub breathes a new life into it even past that. Between its art, music, and just general writing, its almost no question why it’s still alive and well as a show in my opinion.

  4. It’s one of those shows that just seems to have gotten everything right. Cowboy Bebop has an outstanding soundtrack, incredibly relatable and awesome characters, hilariously fun but realistically existential plots, a stylishly cool visuals, and of course, the best English Dub ever! I’ve rewatched it almost every year for a little while now and it inspires me to know that there is such creatively impressive art out there and makes me want to make something of myself.


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