Cowboy Bebop

Season 1 Episode 6

Sympathy for the Devil

Aired Sunday 12:00 AM Dec 16, 2001 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
111 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Sympathy for the Devil
Jet and Spike are out chasing their next bounty named Giraffe. When Spike is following Zebra, Giraffe's old comrade, he meets a kid named Wen, a musical child prodigy. There is something strange about Wen. Jet discovers that there is a connection between Wen and a stone Giraffe handed to Spike with his dying breath.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Horrorscope: Be wary of a child who plays a harmonica.

    An amazing episode that keeps you on the edge of your seat. From blues music to heart pounding scenes, it's a fascinating bit. I didn't dislike anything in this episode except perhaps it was too short. I would have liked it to go on, but as we know that wouldn't allow for any variety. I quite enjoyed the mystery surrounding the child and how Spike inevitably figures it out. Although unfortunately Spike has very bad luck when it comes to bounty hunting, sometimes I question his presence in the profession, but that's what makes it so interesting. The stories they encounter on the journey.moreless
  • A misunderstanding leads the trio to look into who exactly their last bounty was gunning for- and why!

    The title is a little misleading because there was I felt no sympathy for that particular devil.

    The kid,Wen, was malignant, when he could've just faded away somehow. He was fairly smart; he'd evaded huge publicity for decades. To borrow a phrase, he used his powers for evil, and thus came to be the target of a bounty by picking of folks he assumed were expendible.

    The casual death he decided to dole out, or have others dole out for him, marked Wen as one of the worst sociopaths our gang ever tried to bring in.

    I enjoyed the moment of Zen when Spike put his weapon to his forehead briefly, in the final face-off. It seemed very right and in-character for him.

    Jet and Fatty were nice and just the lightness the episode needed. Faye's Greek chorus of disbelief fit right in too. I loved her "Men are such total idiots" line, especially as she's had her 'total idiot' moments herself. Jet's wide net of friends and acquaintences is an interesting contrast to Spike, who while he knows folks, he tends to not call on them much, if at all. Jet and Fatty's chagrin at seeing the other was fun and felt genuine, as did the dessert scene.

    Wen's backstory is sad, when you think about it, but not enough to pull sympathy from me. I enjoyed finding out more about the universe our friends live in. The Earth Gate is a big piece to be handed.

    A very good episode over all. Recommended.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Giraffe's bounty sheet from Faye
      Wanted: (name in Japanese)
      3,000,000 Woolongs
      Cord Name: Giraffe
      Real Name: Unknown Sex: M
      Id.No.: MU1832…

      Giraffe's information on Spike's glasses scanner
      Wanted: Giraffe
      Real Name: Unknown
      ID No.: M018321BC1
      Sex: M
      Nationality: Mars.

      Profiles on Zebra and Giraffe on Jet's Computer
      Personal Particulars No. Z89641BUS
      Code name: Zebra Real Name: Unkown
      Sex: M ID No. : Z89641BUS Place of Berth: Mars.
      Nationality: Mars. Marital Status: Single.

      Working Experience
      2044.09.30. Retirement from Sakai.Co.Ltd
      2045.04.15. Participation in the "Gate" protest movement
      2053.08.08. Certified Be in the Military Action of "National Defence Volunteer Corps"
      2057.12.25. Issue a official statement of "NDVC"
      2058.03.01. Taking up the top of "NDVC" with Giraffe
      2061.07.08. Making a protest agains the WWW Lavortory .08.20. Disappeared

      Code name: Giraffe Real Name: Unkown
      Sex: M ID No. : M018321BCI Place of Berth: Mars.
      Nationality: Mars. Marital Status: Single.

      Working experience is identical list as Zebra's.

    • When Wen fires off his three shots at Spike in the final scene, one of the bullets nicks Spike on his right cheek, causing a small trickle of blood to flow. But later, when Spike goes over to the dying Wen, the nick and blood are both gone.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Wen: Now where's the ring?
      Spike: Ring? What ring?
      (Wen shoots at Spike's foot.)
      Wen: That's OK. Even if you had it, it'd just be a case of casting pearls before swine.

    • Jet: Anything could happen. It could blow sky high the moment it hits.
      Spike: Kinda makes it interesting.

    • Jet: Betrayal may come easily to women, but men live by iron codes of honor.
      Faye: You believe that?
      Jet: I'm trying to. Real hard.

    • Wen: You better stay out of it. A little twerp like you sticks his neck out too far, he'll get it cut off. Understand?
      Spike: Don't give me that crap, kid.
      Wen: Sorry, but I'm not a kid.
      Spike: Yeah, all kids say that!
      Wen: I know what I look like, but I was alive when this place was an outpost, before the asteroids were being settled. Get the picture?

    • Wen: I can finally die at last.. I feel so heavy...but I feel...I finally feel at ease... Do you understand? Do you understand? Do you?
      Spike: Yeah, I if.
      Spike(throws the harmonica in the air): Bang.

    • Jet: Don't be dense, I started wailing the blues when the doctor whacked my bottom on the day I was born.
      Spike: A baby hipster, very cool.

    • Jet: I had no idea you were a fan of the blues, Fatty!
      Fatty: You kidding me? I listened to the blues when I was still in my father's sac, if you know what I mean!

    • Faye: If you don't work, you don't eat. You're a hunting dog, hunt up some food. We girls are different, we have to be pampered cause we're delicate and refined.
      (Faye then gobbles down some dog food.)

    • Spike: Yeah, I understand. (mumbles under his breath) As if.

  • NOTES (5)

    • The two bounties in this episode are both named after animals.

    • English Voice Talents:
      David Lucas, Bull Whizins, Peter McGlynn, Samantha Magrite, John Billingslea, Wendee Lee, Michael Sorich, George C. Cole, Mona Marshall, Chick P. Garbonzo, G. Gordon Baer

    • Original Japanese Airdate (WOWOW): November 27th, 1998.

    • Japanese Title Translation:

      「悪魔を憐れむ歌」 - 「Akuma o Awaremu Uta」

      The title literally translates to "Devil Sympathy Song".

    • This episode, featuring Giraffe falling out of a building's window, did not air during the initial run of Cowboy Bebop on [Adult Swim]. It would air during the series' second run on the network.


    • Okapi: A mixture of a zebra and giraffe, after which the two main bounties are named after.

    • Circadian rhythm: Jet explains that Wen's circadian rhythm was affected by the hyperspace gate crash, causing his body to produce a substance that inhibits aging.

    • The English title of the episode is a reference to the 1968 Rolling Stones song of the same name. "Sympathy for the Devil" can be found on the Stones' album Beggar's Banquet.

    • Wen plays his harmonica while facing a building that is adorned with a top similar to that of the Chrysler Building. The Chrysler Building is a New York City landmark.

    • When Spike tosses Wen's harmonica into the air at the end of the episode, it is shown rotating à la the bone that the prehistoric man tosses into the air in the 1968 Stanely Kubrick film 2001: A Space Odyssey.