Boogie Woogie Feng Shui is the twenty-first session, or episode, of Cowboy Bebop.
- Sadayuki Murai
- Shinichiro Watanabe
- Hiroshi Takeuchi (Studio Live)
Mechanical Animation Director:
- Masami Goto
Jet is on Mars to track down an old acquaintance, Pao Pu-Zi, who had recently sent him a message that simply said, "Seek the Holy Beast of Ahnzahn. I am where the four gods meet." Pao has a reputation as one of the three greatest Feng-shui masters on Mars, so this was intriguing. However, Jet's search seems to only reveal a tombstone that says that Pao had died that year. As Jet ponders who could have sent the message if Pao is dead, he is met by Pao's daughter, Pao Meifa, though he doesn't know that. Suddenly, she makes him dive, saving him from being shot when two assassins open fire on him. He gets his gun ready, though, oddly, she looks down at a device she has, and then says she's determined an escape route. The two escape by jumping onto a nearby bus and then into a canal. Indeed, they escape.
Jet takes Meifa aboard the Bebop where he explains to Meifa that he had not heard from Pao in ten years. Meifa tells Jet that Pao had died in a transport accident on the way to Jupiter when a hyperspace fluctuation had occurred. Jet shows Meifa the message, which she wasn't aware of, and she confirms that it was sent right before the accident occurred. She requests Jet's help in tracking down her father, believing that it is possible he may have survived. She states that Jet's arrival coincides with the best combination for feng-shui and that her father's disappearance has something to do with the sunstone. While they talk, Spike, Faye and Edward wonder if Jet is interested in her, and Ed promptly embarrasses Jet by asking directly.
Jet doesn't feel obligated, but since there are so many questions he helps Meifa search the city for clues as to Pao's possible whereabouts. During, Meifa teaches Jet the concepts of Feng-Shui and of the three chis: the chi of heaven which comes from the sun, the chi of earth, which comes from the planet that people live on, and the magnetic chi that comes from living organisms. Feng-Shui is the science of studying these three chis and how they interact with one another. Meifa states that a Feng-Shui master like her father can use their understanding of the chi to change their destiny. After searching the city, Meifa leads them to a large building, the Mountain hotel, which she believes is the "Ahnzahn" from her father's note. From the top of the hotel, she points out different buildings and transports as representative of the "Blue Dragon, the White Tiger, the Snake and Tortoise, and the Red Phoenix," the four gods from her father's note. She uses her device, a Luopan, a Feng-Shui compass, to confirm that the representative four gods are in alignment with where they are on the top of "Ahnzahn". She tells Jet that her father's note is pointing them in the direction of the sunstone.
Upon leaving the hotel, Meifa uses her Luopan to locate the sunstone, hidden in the mouth of a statue at the base of the hotel. Jet is confused, as Meifa's sunstone looks like a black rock the size of a fist. Jet just then notices the two assassins from before in a car, and takes Meifa into a nearby bar. Jet ambushes them when they come in and forces one of the assassins to reveal that they are agents of the Blue Snake crime syndicate who were tailing Pao before his disappearance. They have been following Meifa ever since, hoping that she would lead them to her father. However, the assassins have no more information as to what Blue Snake wants with Pao.
Jet and Meifa then return to the Bebop and analyze the sunstone, which reveals that it is a piece of the moon which was destroyed in the Astral Gate accident years before. Meifa claims that the accident caused time space fluctuations to be absorbed into the debris from the accident. These stones have a tremendous amount of energy inside them as a result, which can be amplified by the sun, hence their name. Jet asks Meifa the purpose of the sunstone, but she has no idea what her father had planned for it. Just then, Ein grabs the sunstone and brings it over to Meifa's Luopan which begans to spin wildly despite having its magnet removed. This causes Meifa to realize that the sunstone has a twin which is with her father. She tells Jet that if she replaces the Luopan's magnet with the sunstone, it should lead them directly to her father.
Following the Luopan's coordinates, The Bebop leaves Mars. During their journey, Meifa reveals to Jet that she was never close with her father and is saddened that Pao contacted Jet instead of her with the message. She reveals that Pao believed only in universal Feng-Shui and neglected his relationships, causing his wife to leave him. Pao's wife took Meifa with her, and she has not seen Pao in seven years as a result. She wonders aloud why Pao never tried to track her down and see her, as they were not hiding from him. Jet tries to reassure Meifa that Pao probably had a good reason, but she becomes agitated at his words, claiming that Jet knows something about her father that he's not telling. Jet reluctantly tells Meifa that Pao was a consultant for the Blue Snake syndicate and leaked information to Jet back when he was a detective with the ISSP. Pao helped Jet in the hopes that he would return the favor and help him escape from the syndicate's control. Jet had tried his best, but since Pao knew so much about the syndicate's inner workings, escape was impossible. Jet hypothesizes that Pao was worried that Meifa might be hurt by the syndicate if he resumed contact with her.
After entering the Astral Gate near Mars and into hyperspace, the Luopan centers itself, appearing to indicate that Pao is somewhere in the hyperspace stream. However, the radar shows nobody is present. As they continue to search, a ship does show up, but it is an attack ship sent from Blue Snake. Spike in his Swordfish II and Faye in the Red Tail engage the syndicate craft which, surprisingly releases robot ships to shoot down the Bebop. Jet comes up with a new plan, telling Spike that if they apply enough energy to the sunstone, they should be able to draw out the forces trapped inside. Edward flushes the sunstone out of the ship and Spike shoots the stone with his plasma cannon. As the blast hits, a vortex opens within the hyperspace stream, destroying the remaining robot craft. As Meifa and Jet look on, a ship materializes in the vortex. The ship hails the Bebop and the pilot is revealed as Pao himself. Jet tells Pao that he is in an unstable force field and that they need to get him out as soon as possible. However, Pao says that leaving the vortex is impossible, and it doesn't matter anyway, since his ship is almost out of oxygen.
The message sent to Jet was so he could reunite with his daughter before he died. He tries to talk with Meifa, but Jet rebukes him, calling him out for trying to use Feng-Shui to manipulate them into coming. Jet tells Pao that Meifa didn't come on account of Feng-Shui, she came of her own free will. Pao agrees with Jet's assessment and apologizes to his daughter. Meifa tells her father that she had hated him for many years for staying away, but now that she sees him, she doesn't hate him anymore. As father and daughter reconcile, the vortex collapses, and the transmission cuts out, leaving Pao to die. Jet concludes the episode by telling the audience that Meifa returned to Mars and that things returned to normal. However, one thing has changed, he no longer has any interest in horoscopes.
Themes and MotifsEdit
- While Faye and Spike talk in the kitchen, Faye remarks about a "righteous guy" falling for a young girl later in life. Spike replies, "really?" and Faye shakes her head, saying that guys are clueless. This mirrors her situation in My Funny Valentine.
Homages and ReferencesEdit
- Boogie Woogie is a style of piano-based blues that originated in the southern United States during the 1910's and became popular for dancing in the late 1930's and early 1940's with swing bands.
- Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy based on aesthetics, astronomy and geography used to improve ones life.
- The name of Pao Pu-Zi comes from Baopuzi, a Taoist and Confucianist book.
- The two thugs who pursue Jet are based off The Blues Brothers. A musical duo from the famous American variety show Saturday Night Live.