Asimov Solensan is the first bounty we see in Cowboy Bebop in the very first episode, “Asteroid Blues,” and yes, it’s my favorite. Because I’m me, I didn’t watch the series in order (the first DVD was unavailable at the Sam Goody/Suncoast where I worked, so I purchased the second), which means I didn’t see the first couple of episodes until they came out on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. But y’all, I love this bounty so much.
The whole episode is fantastic, honestly, and if you only watch one episode of Cowboy Bebop, this might be the one for you. The chemistry and relationship between Spike and Asimov’s girlfriend/accomplice, Katerina, is just riveting, albeit brief, and seeing how Bloody-Eye works through the eyes of the person using it was an inspired choice, animation-wise. Spike’s ingenuity and Jet’s general obsession with bell peppers and beef is one of my favorite bits, and the fight between Spike and Asimov just shows the skills of the animators (and makes me wonder what fighting references they used for it). Of course, the music is just absolutely beautiful, but I think I should make a blanket statement on that particular thing (because otherwise, I will be saying it a lot more than I already have).
I’m sure there are other memorable bounties, but this one just really hit me with how good this show was. It was the late 90s when Cowboy Bebop came out, and I’m not entirely sure what the economic environment was in Japan at the time, but I think it’s safe to say that many Japanese knew that type of desperation and what it drove people to do to survive. Desperation provides the opportunity for very poor decisions, and Asimov clearly has made some big ones here: stealing the entire supply of a very potent drug from a crime syndicate, using the drug to fight off anyone who would chase him, and then trying to sell it, thinking that if it’s all gone, the syndicate will just, like, let them live on Mars? He pays the price, but he also drags Katerina down with him, although she’s the one who sees the truth of everything: they will never achieve her dreams, and she made the mistake to trust and love a man controlled by addiction and greed. So she kills him and essentially commits suicide, floating away in space. It’s a tragically poetic ending to their short spree. Basically? It’s the little people who suffer the most, and that is definitely a theme throughout the series.
Also, Asimov is way hotter than he is in that picture. He’s just … hopped up on caffeine probably.