What is the ‘alternate take?’
Spike’s story within Cowboy Bebop is built a bit deceptively-it will seem one thing and then you dig deeper to realise there are multiple layers you had not even considered before. Things are shown pretty fleetingly but when you sit down and really think through the stuff that doesn’t add up, you can find it may logically point toward another interpretation of events than what you get in a cursory watch. Sometimes there are blink-and-miss scenes which change context of the narrative completely. We are not exactly told a story but rather shown it and it’s pretty much designed on Hemingway’s Iceberg Theory with high minimalism, where the most key incidents are not even shown or the thing which is most important in the story will be the most downplayed. Hemingway is also referenced in Cowboy Bebop’s last episode through his story ‘The Snows of Kilimanjaro’…which I take to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to how deceptive the events of the show are at that point when Spike’s arc is at its height.
I keep reading/watching these takes on social media that Cowboy Bebop is a story of “nothing” but that’s its most surface-level self. Its creators were always very people-focused in all their works. Space, “coolness,” martial arts and spaceships are all motifs used to tell a story which is at the end of the day about people and their lives. Nobody is fighting aliens from outer space here but broken relationships, friendships, and circumstances which they found themselves in. If you see it as a story of “nothing” then you miss out what it actually is. At its core, its monomyth is very much a love story like it or not. You can’t separate it or underplay it. But the question is which is that love story truly? How does it shape the narrative? Is it the story of a stunted man who lives a pointless life with no emotional development and dies or is it the story of a man who has suffered a lot but finds healing and redemption, faces up to the past he was running away from and finds freedom at-last? I feel it’s the latter. And I also feel it is very intentionally constructed to look like the former. The series is created by a director who will rarely ever give a straight answer on it so to me it seems fitting. It’s my view of course and no one has to agree to it.
My alternate take on Cowboy Bebop is basically that the intention was for the viewer to eventually figure out a story-within-a-story for…at-least for the monomyth of Spike. And the character of Julia, more a plot-shaping device than a real character, is the key to this charade. There is a lot more to the show than just Spike’s story but his arc is the heart of it. I feel that the whole tale of Julia heroically running away to protect Spike is a false trail constructed by the creators to confuse the story, contradicting what they actually show. It’s all very clever mind play. Is Julia really the woman we create in our minds basis the few romantic-looking clues we are given or is she something else if we break it down logically?
We are shown what Spike “feels” for Julia in literally just two episodes-a very tiny aged-memory sequence at the end of Ballad of Fallen Angels but mostly it’s truly depicted in the first part of Jupiter Jazz. Everything else we construct ourselves basis that one tiny tidbit. But what about the sequences in the second part of that same arc? Spike’s flashback recalling Vicious warning him about Julia? Why do we ignore that? There are many things in the show which don’t really add up to the idea of Julia being this all-encompassing love which causes him to throw away everything at the end but this “veil of Julia” situation covers our entire calculation of the series downplaying sequences which are showing a lot more happening for him outside of just that one equation.
When Spike meets her at the end in the graveyard and the sequence in Annie’s shop, he is shown being very cold to her versus how he behaves toward others during those same episodes. His behaviour on the topic of Julia in Jupiter Jazz and in the finale are shown very differently. He’s dying to find her in JJ but bides his time in the finale, even pretending to not understand Faye when she relays her message.
Julia herself seems very keen on him not arming himself during the sequence in Annie’s shop, asking why he needs weapons if they will just run away. Don’t you need more weapons if you’re running away from a deadly Syndicate trying to kill you? There are a ridiculous amount of coincidences in both the finale and in Jupiter Jazz, which suddenly become not coincidental at-all if you plug in the perspective of Julia still being affiliated with Vicious. I mean how much Deus ex Machina can a story get away with really? I’ve covered this in my analysis of the finale.
I feel the story of her running away is actually intended as a cover she builds to get herself out of a Catch-22 situation, caught between two dangerous men. Spike is seen aware of the story of her running away to a protect him the entire time-it’s not new information revealed to him in the finale. During his flashbacks, he thinks back to Vicious’ gun to her head, her tearing up his letter etc.
But it’s pretty ridiculous if you think about it-she could not have killed him when Vicious asks her to do so, not really. I mean isn’t that kind of contradictory to what Vicious himself keeps harping “I’m the only one who can kill you.” Spike is not easy to kill and Julia is not depicted as a fighter of his caliber in the rooftop sequence in the finale so she does not seem like a real threat to him, not after he had already faced an ambush alone and faked his own death. Even if she had succeeded in killing him somehow, she would not be free. Vicious was not the kind of guy to let betrayal go. Him saying he will kill Spike with Julia’s hands is more him toying with her and planning to kill both…just think a moment on exactly how sadistic Vicious is shown. Would he really have said “Oh hey! You killed the guy! Now I totally trust you and you can be free.” I feel this story was kept so flimsy intentionally for the viewer to see through it if we think more on it. When we see Julia in the finale, she is living a very stable, even flashy life which does not align with anyone on the run.
So, I feel that instead of running away, the story actually indicates that she stays connected to Vicious, going underground and acting as his wild card in his ambition to take over the Syndicate. Spike’s decision to run away was shown as one-sided and she did not seem very onboard with it. In the sequence where he asks her to leave with him, they feel like recent lovers and not people who have had a common desire to run away together for a while. The story tells us Spike is a damaged and broken man within the Syndicate much before he gets together with Julia. His fake eye represents and was a fallout of whatever trauma caused him to begin viewing his life as a dream and both he and Julia speak of feeling like watching a dream during his flashback in Jupiter Jazz. He continues to be that way, unhealed, even after that relationship, putting himself through danger and not caring about his life for most of the series. I feel they were two very different people brought together by dire circumstances for a moment in time which benefited neither. That’s why I feel “feeling the fear of death for the first time” and wanting to live which he talks about in the CB movie to Elektra is not connected to some healing which happens for him in the Syndicate past due to Julia but a more recent shift in him. It’s covered here.
Julia’s relationship with Vicious was an abusive one so either Stockholm Syndrome, fear of him, or maybe even love for him keeps her where she is. She’s not the “mwahaha!” evil villain but in the flashbacks, she is a scared and diffident woman for whom breaking away may not be possible simply because of who she is. I mean what’s more realistic? This diffident woman lacking combat instincts to the point that she actually stands up straight in the middle of a gun fight managing to fend off the entire Syndicate for three years or her giving in to her emotional captor and getting used by him in his plans? I’m all for women’s agency but seriously?
I feel Spike realises her affiliation during the events of Jupiter Jazz or gets an understanding then which he builds on later (again the gaps and omissions of Hemingway’s Iceberg style of writing) and that’s why he’s belligerent toward her at the end. He’s not the kind of character who would do that unless he had good reason to. He only shows reaction when she is shot and that has always looked to me more like a reaction to the death of a long-term friend, even if estranged, than someone you love deeply. There are also quite a few parallels to the deaths of both Vicious and Julia, most notable being Spike looking up at the sky after each death. The show also gives Julia a coward’s death, shot through the back, barely there before she is killed. She doesn’t get the slightly more heroic death Annie has received just a little while earlier.
I feel Julia asking to meet him at the end is her trying to lure him out and covertly lead him to his death since, after killing Mao and the Van, Spike is pretty much the only one standing in the way of Vicious’ plans considering he still has loyalists within the Syndicate. He is not very easy for Vicious to kill and hence using Julia, attacking his comrades etc. helps lure him out. I even feel Spike’s exit from the Syndicate was not just him having a sudden awakening but something engineered by Vicious since he did not run away from Mao, a capo who was pure evil, but rather a mentor who loved him like a son and who was anyway taking things in a benevolent direction.
Even the way she finally gets him out through Faye. The anime guides say she knew about Faye through Shin but how was Shin able to not just track down Spike and his companions but also Julia who was on the run so hard even Vicious and Spike couldn’t track her apparently? She just happens to find Faye on that particular day just like she just happens to find Gren earlier? Why do the Syndicate ships follow Faye back to the Bebop right after meeting Julia even though they lost the tail long back? I have seen other stuff written by Nobumoto. She’s not such a bad writer. She wrote both parts of Real Folk Blues and Jupiter Jazz herself.
Why were Vicious’ people attacking Julia at the end then? If she is his wild card, there is so much going on at the end that he would not be able to go back and tell them she’s working for him so they will assume she’s a woman on the run from him and attack her just as they attack Spike. Vicious being the kind of guy he is, her life would probably not matter a whole lot to him.
I also believe there is character development for Spike in the series, again fairly surreptitiously, where the Bebop crew come to mean something to him and he moves from being in a state of indifference toward his life to having a life-wish by the end, which is also referenced to in the movie during his conversation with Elektra. That’s not him talking about the past. That’s him talking about the fear of death he feels for the first time during the events of the movie and admits to Laughing Bull in the earlier sequence after Vincent shoots him.
All the subtle equation with Faye (I did not particularly like her for a while when I first watched the show…largely because I did not understand her character…and I’m not saying this because I “ship” Spike and Faye…because I’m not 12….this just developed), both of them being built as very similar individuals by the show, their arc of saving each others’ lives/taking care of each other, being the only ones to get an understanding on the pasts and true stories of the other, is actually the “romantic” track within Cowboy Bebop which is also Spike’s movement from not caring if he lives or dies to having a reason to live by the end. I used to see it as just a friends equation but all his talk of the “woman” in his life toward the second half got me down to the romantic angle. It is a juxtaposition of immature, half-baked, destructive feelings from an equation born out of bad circumstances of the Syndicate with Julia against genuine commitment, love, and care which he comes to find in her. It’s covered in detail in the analysis on these two characters. There’s a lot there.
Like I said, his story is told like the Iceberg Theory and there are multiple incidents with him and Faye through the series which seem like something is going on but are then underplayed. In this kind of writing, the thing which is most underplayed usually is the thing which is most significant and that’s been the basis of this particular exploration. If you trace out these seemingly innocuous instances through the series, a pattern does emerge.
This equation is not perfect because both characters are badly damaged emotionally and unable to express themselves and we don’t exactly get a happily ever after at the end. But I do feel his “healing” happens through his general association with people who truly care about him versus whatever he had before. These new connections are also emotionally stunted, dysfunctional, fleeting, and he is unable to value them initially but they are important. Their resolution also seems partial, with an implied “to be continued.” For instance, Ed leaving with the captions of “someday, somewhere” seems to me more like the creative team saying goodbye to her than the actual crew. The kid can find them any day she wants to even if she has left. She is not required to stay on at the Bebop, she has her own journey, but that does not mean the people on it are no longer important to her.
Spike’s “death” at the end was never about his injuries anyway but the will to live on and that’s why I believe he does not die at the end. There’s really no reason for him to. All the things supporting his “death” like the star going out, the doves, the dual meanings of death in the show, reference to the “True Samurai,” the general motif of stars/west etc. all have second layers to them in culture, philosophy, and spirituality which negate the idea (I’m gonna publish that one pretty soon…I promise). I hear people talking about him achieving “Nirvana” at the end and becoming truly free indicated by the star going out but this is my perspective on that basis what Eastern philosophies actually mean when they speak of these concepts. Nirvana doesn’t come that easily. He is far from being free of his karmic debt at the end to just achieve Nirvana. He has just faced up to his past but there are too many unfinished threads remaining for him to just be free of it all. One phase of his life is over because he has finally faced up to his past but there is a lot more left for him to do. Death in the show does not mean death of the body. Looking at the kind of philosophy incorporated in the show and the movie otherwise I don’t think its creators were unfamiliar with these ideas. He speaks of his leaving the Syndicate as dying too. The cat story was never about Julia (as per me) so that doesn’t point toward death either. Vicious is as much of a Samurai as I am Madonna. He shows zero traits of Bushido-just having a Katana doesn’t make you a samurai. So he’s not the “true Samurai” who can kills Spike either.
I believe Spike’s motivation for attacking the Syndicate at the end is because Vicious has succeeded in becoming very powerful by then and if he does not stop the man now, he will definitely come after Spike and the others in his life. We have been shown Vicious targeting them to reach Spike already. Have covered that and Vicious’ general Syndicate takeover arc/motivations in this analysis of Ballad of Fallen Angels. Spike’s motivation then is not revenge at-all, though it’s the conclusion we usually draw but to protect people he got into the mess and finally face up to the past/unresolved Karma from his Syndicate days which he has been running away from (tying into the theme of the show being his Karma as stated by Watanabe). This is also shown to us in advance through the metaphorical episode Toys in the Attic.
There is also a “veil” of Julia which is built up basis the few and deceptive clues we are given about her and her false positioning as Spike’s prime priority which completely confuses the narrative and builds his character up as an emotionally-stunted man, causing us to actually ignore the true story which is being shown to us. The moment you take that aside, you get clarity into his true relationships with and importance of the new people in his life.
I genuinely believe that the intention of the creators was never to downplay the importance of our main characters, the Bebop crew themselves, within the narrative or to Spike either. Jet is a huge influence in his life, someone he moves from rebelling against like a teenager to respecting like a mentor and father by the end, prioritising him when things start to go bad. Faye is a companion whom he gets an insight into which no one else does and who also gets to understand both aspects of him. A lot happens between those two characters on subtle levels to just brush the equation off as nothing. I also don’t think the show glorifies emotionally unhealthy behaviour but rather satirises and critiques it. There is a lot of poignance, intelligence, and beauty in how it is written and developed and you really cannot take it at just face value. You need to look deeper, question and doubt what you are told till you find a narrative which actually adds up. This is not a story which you can interpret just with cold logic-you need a mix of both logic and emotions to understand it fully.
I did not pull anything out of thin air but just analysed the narrative and what is depicted on screen. I used to believe the popular ‘canon’ version for years too though was never completely satisfied with it, found it too simplistic, and when I looked at it this way, I found sense in it. It’s not as nihilistic as the usual version but is still quite complex in a very different way. This article is a summary of my insights based on multiple analyses (key ones related to Spike’s story linked below) built from the sequences of the show itself and actual ideas from the philosophy and cultural references within it. It just requires dissection and rethinking because it can actually be quite deceptive. This is what I believe in but I’m not saying anyone else has to.
The Essays which make up this Analysis
There are three essays which trace out critical episodes dealing with Spike’s past. These can be supplemented with the analysis on Ballad of Fallen Angels, though that is neutral and can exist outside of the ‘alternate take’ as well.
- Vicious’s Motives: A breakdown of Ballad of Fallen Angels to trace out Vicious’ coup and level of planning in targeting of the Bebop crew/why he keeps going after Spike
- The Pivot of Jupiter Jazz: A sequence-by-sequence breakdown of Jupiter Jazz and Spike’s change in perspective on Julia
- Analysing the events of the two-part finale
- Analysis on Spike and Faye (it’s quite long cause there is a ton to cover):
This is not a “shipping” war, just an analysis
Since some random person on the internet, who apparently worships the character of Julia, took this piece of work as a source of personal offence and an excuse to be rude to me, another random stranger on the internet, I thought let me clarify the intent here. The opinion of someone like that means little to me but it did reflect a mirror to me on how this work can be perceived so here goes.
My intention behind writing this was not to get into some sort of “shipping” war over why one fictional woman is better for a fictional man over another. If you are like me and have no clue what the term “shipping” means, since I heard it for the first time like a month ago too, it is the act of rooting for a fictional romance. I can understand why me writing essays proving one character is an antagonist and then spending four long posts on tracing the romance of two other people would seem like I’m trying to enter a “shipping” war but no. That’s not it. Trust me, if I had to get into a “shipping” war, I’d fight to death over why Spike should’ve married Jet cause that’s such a wholesome equation, but anyway…
Literary analysis is a thing. I did not start off with the intent of writing these essays-I wrote speculations and other stuff which gave me an idea that the story may be different from how I have always perceived it and then this happened as an exploration. I’m noting down two key points below on why this analysis got structured the way it did.
- I did not start off trying to prove Jules was an antagonist. Spiko definitely seems really off and rude toward her at the end so I was trying to reason out why and initially figured maybe his view of her evolved post seeing other people’s relationships/behaviour. But then there were so many coincidences in the finale that those, coupled with his coldness, gave a reflection that something deeper may be wrong. Then I went back and re-analyzed Jupiter Jazz and that threw up more alternate interpretations.
- I had no intention to trace out any romances but Spaiku is still going on about some lady at the end even as he shows up to meet Julia looking like he wants to shoot her. So I thought let me revisit all that UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension) we are shown between him and Faye. I found patterns so I wrote them down and holy crap there is so much.
To me, all the characters in the series were very important and great in their execution. I love what we are told and what is left out because that leaves scope for individuals to fill in aspects to the characters which are meaningful to them and therefore connect to the story more personally. The scarcity in presence of certain characters defines the story as much as the constant presence of others. It’s a monomyth but covered up by a meandering melange of equally-important stories. My purpose was just to spend some time with it and explore it further. I wrote these and then moved on to writing about the characters/philosophy/spirituality etc.
I like this particular version because it makes sense to me and is a more positive take on the series. I’m not floating pamphlets on social media trying to convince anyone to this view and don’t plan to do that ever. I wrote this independently and not to try and disprove anyone else’s views cause I don’t got time for all that. Believe what you want to, what makes sense to you. Try to be respectful of divergent views if you can. If you can’t…well, you do you boo.
How we got here…
The reason behind exploring the possibility of Julia as an antagonist in Cowboy Bebop was all the different plot points and seeming loopholes in the story which have not made sense/added up over the years. Don’t get me wrong-I’m not saying the show is not perfection as it is but, I’ve known this story for the better part of two decades now and there were always things which I questioned, where 2+2 does not equal 4…or even anything in the general dynasty of 4. Yes, there is artistic liberty and suspension of disbelief (fall from a 4-5 story window and survive? Duh! suspension of disbelief!) but for something written and created by extremely brilliant people, I feel it can’t all be randomly disconnected and highly coincidental material either, especially during critical, serious episodes.
“The best things a writer can do is to not write something the viewers will expect.” This is a line from Mish Mash Blues, the “extra” episode of Cowboy Bebop which you can watch here. So, with Cowboy Bebop I’ve learned by now that you need to look deeper, and question what your first perception of something is.
The whole idea of ‘color association’ which I’ve covered here and the depiction of the color red in the context of Spike’s past, including Julia, got me started down this path. It’s like saying the same color which belongs to the Red Dragon Syndicate and Red Eye, a chief motif representing evil in the story, is still coloring her as well…though, of course, it could just be due to all the love. On the topic of colors, it is also interesting that toward the end of the series, the director wanted both Julia and Vicious drawn in similar shades of dark colors, using a lot of black. It’s mentioned in Toshihiro Kawamoto’s commentary in the artbook ‘The Wind.’ I’ve also seen people draw a parallel between the red umbrella carried by Julia, Shinu (Samurai Champloo) and Scarlett (Space Dandy) but all three are unfulfilled romances….and Shinichiro Watanabe did not direct Space Dandy directly so not sure how involved he was in the umbrella motif there. He has multiple other works which feature love tracks but no umbrellas.
There is also the reference to Pierrot Le Fou in the show which is again covered in detail here. It’s a French New Wave film, a genre of cinema Watanabe has mentioned in interviews was one of the influences behind Bebop, and he has directly paid homage to this film through an episode title. In the French film, Marianne, the woman our protagonist Pierrot falls for and is seen in love with the entire film, turns out to actually be working with another man, presumably her real lover, at the end. She works with him to betray Pierrot, who then kills both. Both Marianne and Julia are associated with the color red. Julia is also apparently named after a song about Yoko Ono…which seems a weird association to give a protagonist. The end card of the last episode ‘You’re gonna carry that weight’ is also a Beatles reference to a song often considered connected to Ono and the general breakup of the Beatles. You can read more about the other Easter eggs in Cowboy Bebop linking Julia to Ono here.
All of this could be random associations too, of course, but the more I thought about it, the more I felt it was worth exploring if the creators had maybe intended Julia as an antagonist and the narrative got misunderstood over time, or they intentionally left it ambiguous for people to figure out some day. They never spoke much on the story or clarified anything, remaining largely media-shy or giving only very ambiguous snippets of information in interviews.
A Ridiculous amount of coincidences
There are quite a few things which we are supposed to assume as “coincidences” in the serious episodes dealing with Spike’s past that don’t really add up. But we are too distracted by the sweeping, tragic romance of Spike Spiegel and the elusive Julia to focus much there. Logical discrepancies are swept under the carpet as just divine hand or fate in the lives of two lovers. But, the romance doesn’t answer questions like why is he pretty much apathetic, detached, and downright rude to Julia when he finally meets her? How does Julia run completely accidentally into Faye at the very time that Vicious starts his coup and she needs to reach Spike? How does she even know who Faye is? If Shin is her ‘informant’ who told her Spike is a Bounty Hunter now and Faye is one of his companions, then how did he locate her when Vicious could not? If Vicious does not trust Shin then how did Shin get this information in the first place to be able to inform Julia? Why do the Syndicate ships follow Faye back to the Bebop right after her meeting with Julia? How does everybody run into Gren? etc. There are some vague, loose explanations offered in the anime guides but those books are just all over the place so I am very skeptical of what they say. And honestly, I’d be ok with accepting all that divine intervention too if just tweaking perspectives on Julia did not mean the events fall into place a lot better.
What’s up with Spike at the end?
For a man who grew so anguished at the mere mention of Julia’s name in Jupiter Jazz, who dreams of her while waking up in Ballad of Fallen Angels and gets annoyed to find Faye humming instead of her, Spike’s reaction shown when he finally gets to meet her makes no sense. Yes it could be that he knows their situation is bleak, maybe he is a little angry with her by then but honestly some tenderness, some affection, something is bound to come through if you love that person. It is not shown though, not even after she offers her explanation of why she didn’t meet him in the graveyard three years ago. Also, from the fact that we see pieces of this explanation like the gun to her forehead, her tearing up his letter etc. in his flashbacks, we can assume he was already aware of this.
This is an animated show, not a live action thing where wrong acting by an individual can give things a completely different meaning. We are deliberately shown Spike’s anguished reaction to Julia’s name earlier to establish what that looks like and then not shown the same thing again when the most pressing time for it comes. Jet was shown zipping around in his Zipcraft during Real Folk Blues to visit Laughing Bull so he could’ve survived on his own or Spike could’ve stowed him and the Bebop at some safe location and set off to find Julia the same way he did in Jupiter Jazz but nope. Doesn’t happen. He starts to head toward Tharsis but taking his sweet time, in no seeming hurry to leave, leaving the Bebop only after both Jet and Faye are accounted for. When he meets Julia, he is pretty cold to her. During the sequences in Annie’s shop he pretty much ignores Julia while still showing warmth toward the dead Annie. Who is the “woman” he talks about with Jet then? Well, I got a theory on that too…a detailed one, based on a breakdown of events spanning the entire series. You can read that here.
Talking about the below still of Spike and Julia in the graveyard, which was released separately but is aligned to the timeline of their meeting in the anime, the illustrator wanted to draw Spike with a lot of emotion befitting his reunion with his lost beloved but the Director asked him to not do so and draw him in the stoic manner he is shown.
They are back to back, him with a rose in hand and her with a gun. Does this really give the sense of two people in love? Since the Director of this series is also someone who did not bother to inform his team they were creating a show with the sole purpose of selling Bandai toys to the point that Bandai pulled their funding because it was so different from what they wanted, one has to wonder what else he did not tell them…perhaps the true intent behind the scene? Or maybe Kawamoto knew perfectly well what he was doing (likelier option) and just gave vague commentary exactly like literally everyone else on the creative team.
There is also the fact that our boy has three flashbacks in the entire narrative when he is coming back to consciousness, two during the series and one during the film. Julia is a part of both flashbacks in the series but is mysteriously missing from the one in the movie, which occurs later in the timeline. In fact, the earlier flashbacks are all about his past while this one is only images from the present. Where did she go?
What’s up with Julia at the end?
I’ve covered it in more detail in the analysis of The Real Folk Blues linked below but how is the lady living in a home in Tharsis of all places and driving a bright red convertible if she is on the run from the Syndicate? When they are fighting in Annie’s shop, she actually stands up on the rooftop in the middle of a gunfight and is dazed pretty easily. I’m no trained fighter but even I know that’s a dumb idea. She is not depicted as someone strong in combat instinct/skills…how would she stay ahead of the entire Syndicate for three years then? Also, why does she not want Spike to carry any weapons even if they are running away? Do they not need protection? Why is she shown insisting he stay sparsely armed?
Sketchiness of the Anime Guides
I know that the anime guides do not support any of this but honestly the anime guide really don’t do a whole lot. I wrote a short about this on Tumblr and might do a longer take here (will check on if copyright laws allow it here.) Reading them is like watching the show again, giving vague narrations which just describe exactly what is happening on the screen. They are also factually incorrect and downright absurd in multiple places. The only additional information in them are the characters’ stats like height and birthday and other random information of the kind. So we can send them cards and knit them sweaters I guess. Also, the English translations of the guides seems to have not been done very accurately or perhaps the base material itself got things wrong.
The guides were not written with direct involvement from the creative team of the show either and were written at the Publisher’s end based on interviews and production material. When you read them, the guides answer zero questions and actually almost consistently keep speculating key plot points themselves, thus not giving me much confidence on their content.
Please Note: The content on this site is covered by Copyright and a Creative Commons license. Have a look at these in the sidebar and understand the terms. If you want to reuse anything fully or partially you need to take permission and give proper credit.