The subject of Ed’s gender has long been debated by Cowboy Bebop fan. They have an androgynous appearance and it is still debated whether they are male, female or non-binary. Making things more complicated is the fact that Ed in the live-action remake played by a non-binary actor, revived the debate about Ed’s gender identity.
Is Ed a girl, boy or non-binary in the Cowboy Bebop anime and manga?
In the Cowboy Bebop anime and manga, Ed is a girl. It’s not mentioned often, but we get two identifying statements that tell us Ed is both biologically female and identified as a girl:
- At the end of episode 9 of the anime, Faye exclaims, “You’re a girl!” and Ed responded by chuckling.
- In the movie Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, Ed says, “I’m not a boy. I’m a girl.”
The only proof to the contrary to the above claims comes from series creator Shinichiro Watanabe. In one 2017 interview with IGN, he gave the following answers:
“IGN: Yes, there is also Ed. He – or She – I’m still not sure…
Shinichiro Watanabe: Its gender is meaningless, we don’t need it.
IGN: Actually, I wanted to ask about that quickly. Why did you decide for Ed to be non-binary and genderless, or their gender ambiguous?
Shinichiro Watanabe: I wanted to create a character that surpasses humans. Personally, I think he might not even be human, someone from outer space.”
Note that the IGN translation has Watanabe referring to Ed as both “it” and “he”. So this could be a poor translation or a misunderstanding of a Watanabe joke. Without the original text or audio, there’s no way to be sure. However, on-screen evidence superseded any vague comments from an interview conducted nearly 20 years after the series was released.
Is Ed a girl, a boy, or non-binary in the Netflix live-action remake?
While Ed’s actor, Eden Perkins, is not a binary (last name/last name), they refer to Ed as “she” in an interview on the official Aftershock. Other interviews and marketing have also explicitly stated that Ed is biologically female and identified as such.
https://www.gamerevolution.com/guides/698072-cowbow-bebop-is-ed-girl-boy-non-binary Cowboy Bebop: Is Ed a Girl, Boy, or Non-binary?