So preface that these are still half-baked ideas from my first viewing.
“You’re gonna carry this weight”
Trauma and grief underpins so much of the characters, and I believe they represent stages people go through when faced with trauma that they are going to carry.
First this quote, there is no choice you don’t choose what is your trauma but it’s your weight and you are gonna carry it with you no matter what happens.
Second is how our 4 main characters represent the growth that trauma has shaped their lives.
I don’t see Ed as a bright spark as they outwardly show, but a real depiction of children in traumtatic situations.
They grew up abandoned by a father who ignores them emotionally, they feel unwanted and unable to take up space and so run away from their home. They are just a child and protect themselves by being overly optimistic and happy all the time through their own will without addressing the severity of their situation.
They start to form a connection with the Bebop’s, but unfortunately the child returns to the source of their grief and trauma on a whim and dream that it will give them the connection they need because nothing else fills that love.
They are still young (emotionally and biologically not chronologically) and start flailing in the world, brash overconfidence. But they want to know whats wrong, and try to confront their trauma, only to find the world has moved on without them and they are left alone to carry this weight.
They struggle with their identity, and the only aspects of who they are comes from their isolation in a world they don’t know, and the trauma from their few connections to the world being betrayed. She finds someone to commiserate in their grief for what they lost (The Bebop’s), but at the moment they have overcome their past to live in the present and the future it’s too late.
Jet, for me represents the ideal for survivors of trauma and grief. He’s lost everything of himself, but in his age and growth focusses on today and lives in the moment. He is not free from the weight of his past and due to his trauma is only surviving and not living to his potential as a younger man, but he has moved on into his life the best.
He is a solid foundation for the other Bebop’s and a true representation of someone who has been able to continue living and adapting. He has lost everyone he knew and is alone, but he is alive, he has his small existence and routine in cooking, cleaning, and bonsai trees, and has room to share with others.
It’s still not a happy story, he feels closest to people who separate and isolate themselves from everyone else; and so despite his growth and him carrying his weight, he does so alone.
Spike to me represents the opposite of Jet. He can’t move on, his sense of who he is and what he wants and needs is stuck in a past version of history that will never happen. He is given the opportunity to connect meaningfully with others and to stop living through his past trauma, but doesn’t.
He is unable to because that past is the only him he knows, either the weight of that trauma is too much and he was already dead; or self-destruction, he didn’t want to be anyone else but that person he saw in his future back then and didn’t let himself become who he could of been.
As much as the love of Julia is evidently a huge aspect of Spike’s journey, I think it is merely the catalyst for his stolen future living happily with someone who loves him as much as he loves them. Once that future was taken, he was stuck in his trauma, that he carried with him everyday until he decided to face it head on and chose to destroy his past and future.
Apologies for the mind dump, it’s super rough but also I don’t feel like proofreading it.
Maybe I am projecting a lot, and forcing an interpretation that wasn’t intended, but wanted to get my thoughts out there.
Image source: https://society6.com/product/youre-gonna-carry-that-weight1181435_stretched-canvas
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“He is unable to [move on] because that past is the only him he knows”
I feel kinda attacked lmao
I guess this is where someone points you towards the Beatles song they’re quoting for context?
I don’t get this, what does it mean and why has this sentence become iconic to the show?