It’s been twenty years since the broadcast of Shinichiro Watanabe’s legendary science-fiction series Cowboy Bebop, and Animate Café is celebrating by running a special café based on the cuisine of the series.
Now, if you’ve seen the series, you might be a bit apprehensive – after all, most of the time the characters suffer in poverty, only motivated to do their jobs as bounty hunters so that they can eat the next day. And when they can’t find a job, they have to make do with what they have – which is often the bare minimum of ingredients. Even so, it looks like Animate have actually managed to craft some dishes that look really appetizing.
The obvious stand-out food item is the “Green pepper and beef stir fry, no meat” dish that Spike and Jet argue about in the first episode. Even though there’s no meat, it certainly doesn’t look unappetizing, and it’s probably still far better than anything I could make. Other dishes include the “Mushroom Samba” burger that takes its inspiration from the magic mushrooms of episode seventeen, and the “Ganymede seafood pizza,” which may or may not be made from the endangered Ganymede sea rat of episode four.
Each character also gets their own themed drink, and with alcohol such a key part of the series, Animate have paid extra special attention to their drinks menu this time around. The “Spike Spiegel” is an Old Fashioned cocktail that comes with a gun-shaped chocolate and mixed nuts; the “Jet Black” is a Cowboy cocktail; the “Faye Valentine” is a classy martini; and the “Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV” is a non-alcoholic Cinderella cocktail – after all, she’s just a child. Other drinks include the “Prairie Oyster,” the ‘hangover cure’ that Spike drank in episode seven, and I’m really curious to see if it tastes as bad as he makes it out to be.
With regards to food and drink, it’s worth noting that there are two different times of service which will affect the composition of the menu. Lunch service, which runs from 11 am to 4 pm, will focus more on lunch dishes such as hamburgers, whereas the night service (5 pm to 9:30 pm) will focus on dishes that go well with alcoholic drinks. As a result, some dishes may change portion sizes and price depending on the time of day, so be sure to check the menu beforehand.
There are also some seriously cool goods on offer, the best of which has to be the exclusive Zippo lighter with a Spike Spiegel design on it, which won’t actually release until August later this year. The other goods are available to buy in the store immediately though, such as a Swordfish II neck-tie, engraved whiskey tumblers, and cork coasters. To be honest, it’s going to be very hard to resist buying everything, because Bebop was never the type of show that lent itself to merchandising, and thus the number of goods from the show is very limited.
So if the thought of sharing in the poverty cuisine of the Bebop crew has your stomach rumbling, or if you simply want to celebrate twenty years of the legendary show, then good news – the café is now open until June 10 at the Akihabara branch of Animate Café in Tokyo, and the Nihonbashi branch in Osaka. You don’t need a reservation either, so what are you waiting for?
For more details on the menu, be sure to check out the official website.