| Speak Like A Child
"Supīku Raiku A Chairudo"
|Previous Session|| Mushroom Samba|
|Next Session|| Wild Horses|
|Original Airdate||February 27, 1999|
"Speak Like A Child" is the eighteenth session, or episode, of Cowboy Bebop.
In order of appearance:
An anonymous package addressed to Faye is delivered to the Bebop. Fearing this a hostile gesture from debt collectors and past enemies, Faye leaves the Bebop to gamble so she can avoid any potential confrontations with the package's sender. Against Jet's warnings, Spike opens the package instead and finds an old Beta tape inside, a media format that was once popular in the 1980s, but is no longer recognizable nor viewable to them in 2071.
Driven by the curiosity of its contents, Spike and Jet venture to a vintage video shop. Its owner plays the tape for them on his sole Beta player. The footage reveals a beautiful, scenic port town with a young girl overlooking its cape. Before her identity can be revealed, the Beta player malfunctions. Spike attempts to fix it with swift kicks, shattering the player in the process and rendering it unviewable.
Still curious about the tape, Spike and Jet next go to Earth in order to find a replacement player with which to view its content. After a perilous journey through old department store ruins, they raid an old electronics shop and find what they think to be the right kind of player. Back at the Bebop, however, Spike and Jet find that the tape is not compatible with the player they had found. To their shock, Ed informs the two that they have procured the wrong type of player (a VHS), and the two finally give up their search.
Having failed in her gambling, Faye calls the Bebop to check on everyone. Ed informs Faye that Spike and Jet are distraught but fails to explain why. Thinking that Spike and Jet are distraught over her disappearance, Faye resolves to return to the Bebop.
At the same time, another anonymous package for Faye arrives, conveniently housing the Beta player needed to view the tapes. This time, the crew of the Bebop watch the tape in its entirety.
The crew learns that the tape is actually a time capsule video message, taped by several girls from an unknown boarding school in Singapore, addressed to their respective "future selves." The video's director and key speaker appears to be none other than a younger Faye herself, who offers poetic gestures and words of encouragement to whom she believes will be her older self. Sadly, the older Faye cannot recall these memories and, moved by the warmness of her younger self words, can only cry.
- Younger Faye (on a tape): "And now a big cheer from my heart. Let's... go... me, alright! Do your best! Do your best! Don't lose, me!"
Themes and MotifsEdit
Homages and ReferencesEdit
- "Speak Like a Child" was an 1968 album and song by American jazz musician Herbie Hancock.
- When Spike and Jet first enter the Tape Expert's shop, he is watching a taped 20th-century drama "produced by" Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty, two of the actors on Beverly Hills, 90210.
- The story Jet narrates with through the entire episode is actually a famous Japanese folktale about a guy named Tarō Urashima. Taro was a young fisherman who one day comes upon a turtle being bullied by children, and rescues it. To thank him for his deed, the turtle brings Taro to the beautiful and mysterious underwater palace of Ryuuguujou, where he meets a lovely princess. He enjoys his time there so much that he doesn't notice the passing of many years. Finally, he feels a longing for home, and decides to leave Ryuuguujou. As a remembrance, the princess gives him the tamatebako, a precious treasure chest. She warns him never to open it, however. When Taro returns to his village, he finds that he doesn't recognize it, nor any of its people. Soon, he realizes that many years had passed since he left the village, and everyone he knew was dead. He resigns himself to living this life, but desperately searches every day for the turtle to bring him back to the paradise of Ryuuguujou. Eventually, in desperation and loneliness, he opens the tamatebako. Suddenly, it turns him into an old man and he dies of despair.
- Another fable that is referenced in the story is The Tortoise and the Hare. The first helicopter, which brings a C.O.D. package for Faye, looks like a turtle; the second one, a hare.