Radical Ed, a fundamental member of the crew that leads the cast of Cowboy Bebop, has not been mentioned or seen once in promotional material or trailers for Netflix’s live-action remake of the fan-favorite anime.
Mega-fans on social media hounded the streaming service with questions asking, “Where’s Ed?” one of the most beloved characters on the show. A genius hacker and a young teen, Ed, a.k.a. Radical Ed, joined the original series around a third of the way through and stayed with their new found family.
Appearing on the press tour, the trio of John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine were announced as our live-action heroes, but their fourth member was seemingly absent altogether.
Did Netflix leave Radical Ed out of the new series?
WARNING: HUGE SPOILERS AHEAD
Teased in Episode 6 of Cowboy Bebop‘s first live-action season released on Netflix Friday, Jet the Bounty Hunter gets a tip from a hacker that later turns out to be Radical Edward, though the character is not shown. The lead is, of course, a big setup, and the characters fall right into their trap.
Appearing for the first time in the final scene of the series, a dying Spike is awakened by the roar of an over-excited child, which fans of the original animated series will no doubt recognize as this series’ version of Ed.
The tiny, goggle-wearing hacker then makes a first appearance in the final moments of the first season, already driving the main character wild with their bubbly and hyper persona.
Played by Eden Perkins, the actor is a relative newcomer, since confirmed by Netflix to be portraying Radical Ed. An “Ed” themselves in real life, Perkins also identifies as non-binary, which may follow into the series’ depiction of the fan-favorite character.
Though Ed was never revealed to be non-binary in the original series, she was a very androgynous character, and the decision would surely be welcomed by the series’ longtime fans.
“To everyone who’s been asking “Where’s Ed?” — you don’t have to wait any longer,” Netflix tweeted in their official announcement. “Introducing newcomer Eden Perkins (they/them), who plays the role of Radical Ed in Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop, now streaming.”
Speaking with fans, Eden Perkins said that she was “so excited about people getting to know Ed,” and that she thought Ed was “such a cool character.”
Eden Perkins plans to talk about Ed and their future role in the show should it receive the green light for a second season. A special titled Cowboy Bebop: Unlocked premieres Saturday, Nov. 20, and is billed as the official “after-show” on YouTube.
Cowboy Bebop‘s liv-action Ed seemingly also has a connection to the crew’s dog, Einstein, and mentions a new bounty for Spike and the gang to chase: Volaju. For mega-fans, the name will sound quite familiar, but only if they’ve delved into the animated movie released years after the original series aired.
A character named Vincent Volaju ends up being the main antagonist of the Cowboy Bebop animated film, and Ed’s mentioning of him seems to indicate that he will follow our heroes into Season 2 of Netflix’s live-action adaptation.
“We really take our time to get to know our characters and Ed is a very complicated character in all of the good and right ways,” said showrunner Andre Nemec.
“Fingers crossed, we get to a season 2 that we really have the appropriate amount of time to explore the character of Ed,” he continued. “Ed is a proper disrupter and really gets the guys into some real s**t every now and again. So, I think to really properly tell the story of Ed, the real estate was necessary to know who our characters were before disrupting their world with Ed.”
A second season of the live-action anime adaptation has yet to be announced.