What breed of dog is Cowboy Bebop’s character “Ein” and why were the two actors who played him considered spoiled on set?
We all know that in any TV series or movie and a dog is one of the main characters, it’s always a win-win.
I Am Legend, Turner and Hooch, Spy Dogs and most recently Finch have all been inducted into the Canine Film Hall of Fame, but there’s a new dog on the block.
Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the iconic “Cowboy Bebop” animated series just aired around the world and everyone’s talking about Ein.
So what breed of dog is Ein and why was playing with the adorable pooches particularly difficult on the set of Cowboy Bebop?
What breed of dog is Ein in Cowboy Bebop?
In both the original Cowboy Bebop animated series and Netflix’s live-action adaptation, Ein is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi – played in the latter by two nearly identical dogs called Charlie and Harry.
The breed is a herding dog originating in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and dates back to 1107 AD; they are also one of two known ‘Welsh Corgi’ breeds, the other being a Cardigan Welsh Corgi.
Pembroke Welsh Corgi are descended from a line of Northern Spitz-type dogs, typically stand 25–30 cm (10–12 in) tall and weigh 11–14 kg (24–31 lb).
They have a typical lifespan of 11 to 13 years, but unfortunately they can suffer from various health complications associated with being “achondroplastic”, i.e. a “true dwarf” dog breed.
Aside from Cowboy Bebop, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi are most famous for being the desired pet of Queen Elizabeth II, who is said to have owned over 30 of the dogs during her reign on the British throne!
Interestingly, Ein was voiced in the original anime by a Cardigan Welsh Corgi called Jack, who was series producer Kazuhiko Ikeguchi’s dog.
A few spoiled actors…
While the production set of any great TV series is sure to have big personalities, it turns out that Charlie and Harry (the Pembroke Welsh Corgi who play Ein) were well and truly pampered on the set of Cowboy Bebop.
Showrunner Andre Nemec and some of the Cowboy Bebop cast members recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about filming with Charlie and Harry.
“It’s like when you work with children or babies, you want twins. We have two corgis. They are both fantastic. They are the little kings of the board. Everyone wants to spend time with corgis. — Andre Nemec, via EW.
Lead actor John Cho remarked that the couple are “showstoppers” and that “everyone is off work, and it’s cuddle time.”
Daniella Pineda added that Charlie and Harry were a nightmare for the makeup department, explaining how “there was a scene with just me and the dog, and I had to hold him and he was drooling all over my arms.”
“I looked like I had white hair sticking out of my arms, and the makeup artists had to scrub and clean up all the saliva and hair between each strip. That was a lot!” — Daniella Pineda, via EW.
Backstory on Ein from the original anime…
In the original anime series, Ein was rescued from a secret lab where he was experimented on for many months – although we don’t know exactly what kind of experiments were done.
The result was that Ein developed super-intelligence and although this is largely overlooked by many characters because he cannot speak, Ed realizes that one bark means ‘yes’ and two barks mean ‘ no”.
Among other things, Ein is known for driving a car, answering a phone call, talking with other animals, hacking into online databases, watching TV, and playing Shogi.
Original anime series director Shinichiro Watanabe explained to IGN in 2017 why the race was specifically chosen for Ein.
“I had a very strong request from the screenwriter that she really liked corgis and we had to have a corgi. She told me there was no way to do any other type of dog , it had to be a corgi.—Shinichiro Watanabe, via IGN.
By Tom Llewellyn – [email protected]
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