After the release of the new trailer for Netflix’s adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, fans’ worries can ease a little due to its faithful nature.
Cowboy Bebop is the poster child for what a successful anime is. It has a stylish art design, a smart narrative, and actually likeable characters. The bounty hunting adventures of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, and Co. are reminiscent of everything that a series could do right.
Netflix has made some awesome adaptation content in the past few years, an amazing live-action The Witcher series with blockbuster actor Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia right from the pages of the first novel (and an anime movie about the origins of his mentor). Plus, an award-winning loose adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.
Not everything is so cut and dry, Netflix has blundered with anime before. Deathnote is widely regarded as one of the best ever with its premise on the anti-hero Light Yagami’s murderous rampage on his way to becoming a new god. There is surely no way a movie with Willem Dafoe can bomb, is there? Netflix decided to morph the source material into a poorly received live-action film that almost has nothing to do with the original besides character names and the basic premise. Even Willem Dafoe’s incredible presence couldn’t save the sinking ship that received a lousy 23% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Enter Cowboy Bebop, a classic anime that was released to universal acclaim back in 1998. The slapstick comedy style and serious undertones gave true depth to the characters, with the fight choreography leaving its mark on fans even to this day. Interest remains high in this 26 episode series, which features everything a sci-fi fan could want. There are bounty hunters, fight scenes in space, and epic showdowns. The conflict between the personalities of the crew adds just the right amount of humour to the plot.
With the release of the new Cowboy Bebop live-action trailer, it seems the casting choices hit their mark amicably. Spike Spiegel is still faithful to his Bruce Lee ideologies, as seen by the brief clip of the wooden dummy actor Cho is fighting in a scene. Jet Black remains as serious looking as ever, and Ein seems to be played by an actual corgi. The setting looks stunningly realistic, and the characters’ costumes are almost chameleons of their anime counterparts, except Faye’s design is revamped in the live-action version.
This live-action Cowboy Bebop adaptation looks high in budget (as all Netflix Originals do), and looks truly faithful to the source material, although the Netflix version may expand on the anime’s universe rather than remake it as Andre Nemec told Entertainment Weekly. Not only is this show canonical to the series, but fans should also care about this adaptation. If it fails, it may mean Netflix will put further anime projects on the shelf.
With the Bebop due to take off on November 19 exclusively on Netflix, fans won’t have to wait long to see if this adaptation makes the cut…The last thing to mention, Ein’s casting choice was spot on.