Faye Valentine’s Childhood Video Is Tear-Inducing

WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Cowboy Bebop, now streaming on Netflix.

Faye Valentine has one of the most tragic backstories in the original Cowboy Bebop anime. Originally born in 1994 in the anime's timeline, Faye was put in cryogenic sleep in 2014 when she was just 20 years old after a space shuttle accident killed her entire family. While she managed to survive, her injuries were too fatal to treat with the technology of the time. As such, she was preserved for 54 years before being revived in 2068 to a whole different world. She suffered amnesia as a result of prolonged brain inactivity.

In the live-action Cowboy Bebop series, Faye -- as portrayed by Daniella Pineda -- was still cryogenically preserved, but the reasons for her cryogenic preservation remain a mystery, even to her. Still suffering from amnesia like her anime counterpart, Faye spends the majority of Season 1 investigating her past. She becomes a bounty hunter as a way of earning a living as she works to piece together the bits and pieces of her past. She only has a few items in her possession that hold clues to her real identity: her patient file and the key to her identikit.

RELATED: Cowboy Bebop's Original English Voice Cast Explain Why the Anime Endures

Most of Faye's character arc in the live-action series is informed by her backstory in the anime, with the difference being that the live-action Faye prioritizes unearthing her past more than her anime counterpart does. For her, this means tracking down the people who revived her and forcing them to give back what they stole from her. The first person she targets in Episode 4, "Callisto Soul," is a man called Manley, who's named after the female nurse who revived her in the Cowboy Bebop anime.

In the live-action Cowboy Bebop, it was Manley and not Dr. Bacchus who authorized her revival and sold her out to a con artist named Whitney Haggis-Matsumoto. This is another detail that differs from the anime: Whitney is not a male con artist who poses as Faye's lawyer and courts her as a way of tricking her into inheriting his debts. For the live-action series, Whitney is reinterpreted as a female con artist who poses as Faye's mother so that she can gain access to her assets and steal them. Since Faye in her amnesiac state genuinely believed Whitney was her mother, her sudden betrayal cut her to her core and she's been seeking revenge on her since.

RELATED: Original Cowboy Bebop Voice Actors Reveal Their Favorite Episodes

Faye is reunited with Whitney in Episode 7 of the live-action series, "Galileo Hustle," where the latter coerces Faye into helping her escape from a new husband she scammed, who happens to be a dangerous arms dealer. This means forcing her to lie to her comrades Spike Spiegel and Jet Black in exchange for her identikit. Whitney's scam doesn't last long, however, once Spike and Jet do a background check on her and find out she's a con artist with a huge bounty on her head. They only agree to let her go on the condition that she gives Faye her identikit.

Fortunately for Faye, Whitney does have her identikit, which she returns to her as a way of repairing the broken trust between them. When Faye sees that her identikit is nothing more than a VHS tape (in the anime, it's a Beta tape), she is a bit disappointed but takes it back to the Bebop in hopes that Spike and Jet can help her figure out what it is. Faye also acquires her iconic ship from the anime from Whitney, who had it stashed away along with all the other things she stole from other people.

Back at the Bebop, Jet plays the tape for Faye as a favor to her. The tape is a near replica of her childhood video from the Cowboy Bebop anime episode "Speak Like a Child," where a 10-year-old Faye decided to send a message to her future self. The tape even hits all of the same emotional beats as its anime counterpart, right down to the piano music that plays during this sequence. Faye even tearfully struggles to recall making the tape, which proves to be an emotionally painful moment for her. From there, Faye starts using clues from the video to identify her childhood home like she does in the anime and communicates to Jet her need to continue searching for her missing past. This perfectly sets up her potential storyline for Season 2.

All 10 episodes of Cowboy Bebop are currently streaming on Netflix.

KEEP READING: Cowboy Bebop: 5 Episodes Key to Understanding Faye Valentine

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About The Author
Diane Darcy (171 Articles Published)

Diane Darcy is a features writer for CBR with an educational background in psychology. She is also a graphic designer and a podcaster. As a huge lover of anime, manga, comics, film and television, Diane created several fan blogs and websites over the years. Her most popular blog is the Helena Wayne Huntress blog. Diane has also contributed publications to WWAC, Comics Bookcase, and Shelfdust. Diane is also a regular podcaster on DC Comics and Doctor Who for the Wright On Network. Diane can be followed on Twitter at @HelenaWayneBlog and Instagram at @dianedarcywriter

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