Cowboy Bebop

Season 1 Episode 5

Ballad of Fallen Angels

Aired Sunday 12:00 AM Sep 23, 2001 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
162 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Ballad of Fallen Angels
Spike's past emerges to haunt him when a 28 Million Woolong bounty is placed on Mao Yenrai, the crimeboss of the Red Dragons. Faye goes after the bounty and is captured by a cold-hearted man named Vicious. Against Jet's will, Spike leaves to go after the murderer of Mao Yenrai and faces off against Vicious.moreless

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  • Opening: 2 crime syndicates sign a treaty. Vicious isn't happy and kills Mao. Spike was after Mao's bounty as an excuse to find him, but Jet's leads fall into Faye's hands. Vicious captures her and lures Spike w/her. They fight and there is a flashback omoreless

    The first four episodes of bebop are good, but this is the one that gets the ball rolling with the plot. This is the episode that starts to divulge Spike's past. It ties him back to his crime syndicate days and ties him to Vicious. It also has a flash back of Julia, his long lost love.
  • This episode of Cowboy Bebop is my favorite and for good reason. A high water mark for an anime show to strive for.

    This episode was simply amazing. There was excellent action, great drama, and a neat story starting to unfold. In this episode, Spike heads out to kill a man from his past called Vicious, but he has no idea what he is getting himself into. Like all Cowboy Bebop episodes the music in the episode was amazing and definitely the best so far. Having an episode this good this early in a show is a great sign of things to come. This is my favorite episode of the whole show, and everything unravels in a near-perfect way in this episode and it shows how great Cowboy Bebop really is. A level very rarely achieved in animation.moreless
  • The first episode in which we discover something about Spike's past.

    Spike Spiegel's past finally catches up to him as a former friend of his during the syndicate days is assassinated by Vicious, another one of his confidants. As Faye is captured by Vicious in her attempt to collect the large bounty, Spike decides to finally face his past.

    The dialog in the church scene between Vicious and Spike is very well-written. We see glimpses of Spike's past through Annie, a former friend of his during the syndicate days, and through flashbacks as Spike plummets towards the ground. Everything about this episode is well-executed, from the dialog to the rather-haunting music present during the flashbacks. We hold our breath for Spike Spiegel in this one.moreless
  • Considered to be a classic episode.

    A lot of this episode has to do with Spike, and all about him. 2 major characters is introduced, Faye who has really just begun to become a part of the bebop crew is in jeopardy. There's a real cool showdown, then of course some of the best music heard in the last 5 minutes of the episode. I'm not giving spoilers but it is an incredible ending or rather a conclusion to the church shootout. It does raise some questions if you concentrate and think about it more but it won't matter because the first time you'll be saying dam all the way. Ballad of fallen angels is action packed, a bit sad, and revealing.moreless
  • Faye gets kidnapped by Vicious. A mysterious person of Spike's past. Although he knows it's a trap Spike goes off to rescue Faye

    This eposide is excectional. It starts off very mysteriously. When a mysterious bounty pops up on their screen. Jet opposes the idea of going after the bounty and Faye ends up going after it alone. It turns out it was a trap. A mysterious man named Vicious kidnaps Faye and know Spike has to rescue her. This is a pivotal episode that reveals some of Spike's past and introduces Vicous a pivotal character in later episodes. You begin questioning Spike's intentions in his rescue. Is he doing this to save Faye or is he doing this to see Vicious. This really adds to the character of Spike. It reveals a certain aspect of Spike you didn't see before. The episode mainly serves as a link to Spike's past. With flashbacks and revealing dialogue. This is the best "past-revealing" episode of all time. Good action and the introduction of one of the best characters of anime makes this an episode to remembermoreless
Yoko Kanno

Yoko Kanno

Vocals: "Green Bird"

Guest Star

Richard Cansino

Richard Cansino

White Tiger Representative

Guest Star

Carol Stanzione

Carol Stanzione


Guest Star

Yoko Kanno

Yoko Kanno


Recurring Role

Paul St. Peter

Paul St. Peter


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (15)

    • (Faye takes her seat but realizes the person next to her is dead.)
      Vicious: You're trembling.
      Faye: Who are you?
      Vicious: Vicious...

    • Vicious: You should see yourself. Do you have any idea what you look like right at this moment Spike?
      Spike: What?
      Vicious: A ravenous beast. The same blood runs through both of us. The blood of a beast who wanders, hunting for the blood of others.
      Spike: I've bled all that kind of blood away.
      Vicious: Then why are you still alive?!

    • Vicious: When angels are forced out of Heaven, they become devils. You agree, don't you Spike.

    • Jet: What're you trying to hide from me?
      Spike: So, how'd you mess up your arm, huh Jet?
      Jet: What does that have to do with it?
      Spike: Nothing at all.
      Jet: So when are you going to answer my question?
      Spike: When you answer mine.

    • Spike: Where are you?
      Faye: You mean you're really going to come for me!
      Spike: Well, it's possible, I've got my reasons so don't take it personal.

    • Mao (as his last words): If Spike were here, you would never have done this.

    • Vicious: When angels are forced out of heaven, they become devils. You agree, don't you Spike?
      Spike: I'm just watching a bad dream that I never wake up from.
      Vicious: I'll wake you up right now.
      Spike: What's your rush Vicious? After all, it's been a long time.
      Vicious: Are you pleading for your life?
      Spike: Hardly, begging doesn't work on you, remember? Even if it's coming from the man who took you in and made you what you are.
      Vicious: Perhaps, but he was a beast who lost his fangs; that's why he had to die Spike. And that's why you have to die.

    • Spike: Yeah I know the whole sad story.

    • Annie: Why welcome the dead. It's all futile.
      Spike: But I'm alive.
      Annie: No you're not, you died three years ago.

    • Jet(after he cuts off a branch of one of his bonsai trees): Ahhhh! I'm butchering it!

    • Spike(referring to his memories of Julia): Just like that...sing for me, please.

    • Spike: You really shouldn't drink so much of that stuff.
      Annie: No, one more. This one's for Mao!
      Spike: If it's for Mao, then I'll drink it myself.

    • Spike: I don't want to do this Jet.
      Jet: Then why are you?
      Spike: Let's just say, my past is catching up to me.

    • Spike: You sing off-key.

    • Faye: My god, men are such babies.

  • NOTES (11)

    • The song Green Bird, composed by Kanno Yoko and sung by Gabriela Robin, is a mixture of English and Latin.

    • "Rain", the song which plays as Spike enters the cathedral in this episode was originally recorded with Steve Conte as the vocalist, but ultimately, a demo version sung by Mai Yamane was chosen for the scene. The Steve Conte version appears on the series' first soundtrack album, while the Mai Yamane version was included as a bonus track on the soundtrack of the film Cowboy Bebop: "Knockin' on Heaven's Door."

    • Introduces Annie, who is Mao's close friend.

    • This is the first episode in which Jet makes a mention about his cybernetic arm.

    • Episode Commentary
      On the Remix DVD extra, Wendee Lee (Faye) and Yutaka Maseba (English version Producer) provide audio commentary on this episode and the series.

    • Japanese Title: 「堕天使たちのバラッド」 - 「Datenshitachi no Ballad」

      - 'Da', , means 'fallen'.
      - 'Tenshi', 天使, means 'angel'.
      - 'Tachi', たち, is the plural indicator in Japanese.
      - 'no', の, is 'of' when, in this case, the sentence is reversed.
      - While technically spelled out from Japanese as 'Barrado', the Katakana (block syllabary) is Romanised instead to 'Ballad'.

    • Original Japanese Airdate (WOWOW): November 20th, 1998.

    • Some of the footage during Spike's flashback was shown in the very first seconds of "Asteroid Blues".

    • Introduces Vicious and Julia, though only through a flashback scene.

    • Ed makes a cameo as his original boy design, running in the street.

    • The Bounty Information
      Mao Yenrai
      28,000,000 Woolongs
      ID: R4B475501
      Height: 5' 6''
      Weight: 155 lb
      Age: 52
      Domi: Mars
      Record: Murder


    • When Faye goes to the Opera house we can hear the song Ave Maria being sung. This is a reference to many great composers who interpreted the song, such as Bach and Schubert.

    • Pippu cola: Jet is seen drinking a beverage called Pippu cola, which is modeled after the real soft-drink Pepsi-Cola.