Rescuing Faye Valentine

At last year’s IKKiCON (my first convention experience), I was surprised to see someone cosplaying as Faye Valentine.  After all these years, she remains a popular character for cosplaying.  And why not?  Faye’s looks (and moves) scream femme fatale, while she also has a “sad girl in snow” kind of side.

At the end of “Gateway Shuffle,” the fourth episode of Cowboy Bebop, Faye Valentine more or less invites herself onto the Bebop as the newest member of their crew.  She gives off no air of humility or thankfulness, even though it’s unusually kind for Spike and Jet to take her in after she’s already left them in the dust once, and possibly has a massive debt and other more sinister things hanging over her head.

Faye Cowboy Bebop
It’s not easy finding a picture of Faye appropriate for this blog (Art by Morrow)

Faye may be grateful, but she doesn’t show it.  And honestly, she may not have much reason to.  She knows little about Spike and Jet, except that they really don’t like her.  For Faye, her joining of the crew is temporary.  She doesn’t see it as something permanent, and she certainly doesn’t expect to form bonds with the rest of the bounty hunters.  They are a pit stop on the way to her next scheme.

I’m reminded of Jesus’ words when comparing a “sinful woman” to Simon, a religious teacher who was hosting him for dinner:

Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven–for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.

– Luke 7:47

Faye doesn’t feel “forgiven,” nor does she feel welcomed or loved.  Not yet.  And because of that, she demonstrates little gratitude.

But Faye quickly becomes bonded to the crew, and certainly starts to show her caring for them after Spike rescues her from Vicious, though it’s not until near the very end of the series that we fully see how indebted she feels to the gang.  As Spike leaves, Faye’s unwilling to let him go.  She cries, she screams, she pulls out a gun – she’s unwilling to let her family be torn apart.  She won’t say the words, but it’s obvious that Faye loves the Bebop crew, as she’s discovered that not only do they accept her as one of their own, but that they’re also all that she has left in the universe.

For those of us who’ve turned to God, accepting His forgiveness, we often act toward him as the Faye Valentine of the early Cowboy Bebop episodes.  We play Simon the Pharisee, who doesn’t lavish the LORD with love or even the most basic of manners.  We act as if we’ve been forgiven little.  And when we do so, it demonstrates a misunderstanding of the depths of our condition before Christ, and the power of God’s grace.  Or else, as may be the case with most of us, we forget.

Instead, we should try to live a life of thankfulness.  We should demonstrate a desperate love, as Faye does near Cowboy Bebop‘s end.  After all, He is our family – our Father – and without Him, we’d be like Faye – lost and hurting souls.


9 thoughts on “Rescuing Faye Valentine

  1. Faye Valentine is most definitely on the short list of favorite anime characters, and it’s rather sad to see her falling by the wayside as a cosplay favorite. But with CB getting older each year, and I keep seeing new anime fans not wanting to watch anything ‘more than 3 years old’, I suppose that’s rather inevitable.

    I think her ties to the crew visibly grow stronger as the series goes on – one of the biggest acts of trust she does is share what happened to her with her new family. It’s a huge thing to be able to put yourself on the line like that.

    1. Absolutely. The characters on the Bebop are all generally very closed off, but grow close subtly in spite of that. It’s a surprisingly realistic portrayal of bigger-than-life characters.

  2. We have a complete set of Cowboy bebop, but here’s the thing…. does CB really die ? My brother doesn’t think so, and he showed me proof that CB is alive ! What do you think?

    1. CB is merely short for Cowboy Bebop, and Bebop is the name of the ship – the character that might/might not die is Spike. The creator of the anime has been quoted as saying “I’ve never officially said that he died. At this point, I can tell you that I’m not sure if he’s alive or dead.” If the author himself isn’t sure, then I certainly can’t be. My personal opinion is that he’s dead, but it was so ambiguous I’m always willing to entertain the other possibility.

      1. I wish I could find the quote, but I think the last word from Watanabe was that yes, Spike did indeed kick the bucket. If I remember correctly, this was in reference to rumors of a sequel.

    1. You’ll be waiting a long time. It’s been shelved. 😛

      Actually, you and I both would be waiting on it. I think we’re in the very small minority that would look forward to Reeves playing Spike!

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