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Cowboy Bebop MTG cards come to Japan in Thunder Junction collab

Check out the Cowboy Bebop themed MTG cards releasing in Japan alongside the new Western set, and this elkified version of the show's intro.

MTG planeswalker oko looking like Spike from Cowboy Bebop

Wizards of the Coast is collaborating with Sunrise to create a Magic: The Gathering x Cowboy Bebop crossover, which includes postcards, a banging trailer, and by the looks of things, genuine Cowboy Bebop MTG cards.

The trailer was released on April 18, alongside details of a Japan-exclusive promotion based around the release of the new MTG set Outlaws of Thunder Junction. But, while the MTG Japan website showed off a mouse mat and postcards, a Reddit user uncovered a third image on the site showing proper Cowboy Bebop MTG cards.

The crossover reimagines Oko’s crew as Cowboy Bebop characters, with the Fey trickster as Spike, Vraska as Faye Valentine, Tinybones as Edward, and Rakdos as Jet Black. The trailer’s well worth watching – it’s a shot for shot remake with some great little details, like the Bebop ship being replaced with an elk.

From April 26, 2024, Japanese Magic fans will be able to get a free Cowboy Bebop x MTG postcard with purchases of over 3,000 yen ($19.40) at Wizards Play Network stores. Sleeves and playmats will be available to be won by the few. But according to the image below, the art from those postcards seems set to appear on real MTG cards as well.

Cowboy Bebop MTG cards in Japanese

We can’t read Japanese, but apparently those cards are Lightning Strike, Go For The Throat, Snakeskin Veil, Disdainful Stroke, and Ossification. All are pretty relevant in the Standard format, so you’ll probably recognise them from some of the best MTG Arena decks right now. Notably, apart from Snakeskin Veil, they all fit into the new ‘crimes’ category of MTG card.

It’s not clear when these cards will be launching in Japan, but the website assures ‘Campaign 2’ is coming soon. No doubt in the US and wider world, they’ll sooner or later be available second hand on eBay, for an outrageous price.

It does seem a little odd that this promotion is exclusive to Japan, given that Cowboy Bebop was a much bigger hit in the US than it was in Japan. But alas, that’s how this cookie seems to have crumbled. Perhaps we can hope for a Bebop MTG Secret Lair one day in the future.