What is 'Red Eye'? 'Cowboy Bebop' Drug Explained

The Cowboy Bebop live-action series has landed on Netflix, adapting Shinichirō Watanabe's classic anime for the small screen.

And the first episode, "Cowboy Gospel", recreated the opening episode of its anime counterpart with a storyline focused on bounty Asimov Solensan (Jan Uddin) and his other half Katerina (Lydia Peckham).

Asimov is trying to sell off a drug called "Red Eye", which he tests out in front of a potential buyer in New Tijuana to show it's potency and he then uses it to kill crime syndicate members when they come to attack him and Katerina.

This makes him a target for bounty hunters, including Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda).

So, what exactly is it? Newsweek can explain all here.

What is Red Eye?

Red Eye is a performance enhancing drug that gives user's extreme strength, better reflexes and improved sensory perception, although it comes at the cost of their mental capabilities.

Kept in a small glass vial, the drug is sprayed into one's eye and the effects are instantaneous as Asimov's rage-induced frenzy showed.

As well as making a person stronger the drug also gives them bloodshot red eyes, which is how the narcotic got its name.

While the drug does give a person enhanced sensory perception and strength instantaneously it only lasts for a short amount of time before the effects wear off.

Who created the Red Eye drug?

Asimov had access to the drugs because he is a member of a crime syndicate, and he steals the large number of vials so that he and Katerina can escape off-world and enjoy a life together on Mars.

In the live-action Red Eye is mass-produced in a lab on the orders of Red Dragon Crime Syndicate member Vicious (played by Alex Hassell) who is keeping the operation a secret from his superiors.

His lab is based in the back of a fish market, and he has a group of workers making the drug on a large scale for him to sell off across the galaxy.

Remaining true to his name, Vicious also blinded the people who he has working for him so that they are unable to take the drug and use it against him.

In the original anime, Red Eye is a drug that is produced and trafficked by the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate leaders, known as The Elders.

However this plot was changed for the live-action in order to better serve Vicious' character arc throughout the first season.

Netflix's Cowboy Bebop live-action is out on the streaming platform now.

Red Eye in Cowboy Bebop
Jan Uddin as Asimov and Lydia Peckham as Katerina in "Cowboy Bebop", their characters steal vials of the "Red Eye" drug to sell so that they can escape their life in New Tijuana and live on Mars. Kristy Griffin/Netflix/Sunrise Entertainment