Will Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop Live-Action Adaptation be any good?
The Netflix TUDUM festival showed a series of shows that Netflix was developing or renewing, giving fans a first look at several of their favorites. This included Emily in Paris season 2, Stranger Things season 4, The Witcher season 2, Enola Holmes 2, and Sex Education season 4 among many others. But, Netflix also revealed a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. Now, that has anime fans quite confused and concerned. And their concerns aren’t unfounded.
What makes 1998 Cowboy Bebop so good?
To put it simply, the 1998 anime Cowboy Bebop was as close to perfection as one can expect. It was a cyberpunk anime that focused on the lives of a team of bounty hunters trying to survive in an inter-planetary solar system. But, instead of focusing too much on the plot, Cowboy Bebop was an emotional roller coaster. The characters, Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, and Radical Ed, captivated the audience with their rich backstories and their own internal conflicts that they had to face in this epic journey.
And to top that off, the anime had an incredible soundtrack, which is honestly an understatement. It was a wonderful mix of jazz and the blues, truly making the viewers aware of the mood that they are going through. But, that’s not all, as the cinematography blew everyone away. Even though it was just a cartoon, the sceneries the artists made were truly awe-inspiring. It’s extremely difficult to top that off. However, Netflix has taken it upon itself to make a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. And the main question is, will it be any good?
That said, what should fans expect from the Netflix live-action Cowboy Bebop mini-series?
At their TUDUM festival, Netflix gave us the first look at their Cowboy Bebop live-action intro. So far, we saw John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, and Alex Hassell as Vicious in the cast. So far, we haven’t actually seen Radical Ed in Netflix Cowboy Bebop intro. But, he could make an appearance. You never know. But, will this adaptation be any good? Take a look at the intro yourself:
What we do notice from the intro is that it uses the same theme song as the original Cowboy Bebop. Moreover, the theme of the intro is also quite similar. It pretty much looks as close to a real-life version of the theme as it can be. But, it doesn’t abandon the animated nature of the original as well. This could be a statement from Netflix that they are truly honoring the original and the themes that it exhibited.
But, the problem with adopting an animated show for the TV screen is that the viewers have some visual content to compare the adaptation to. And regardless of the budget, no real-life adaptation of any cartoon can ever compare to the original. And here, we’re talking about one of the greatest animes of all time. While adopting a book for a movie or a show, you have the slight advantage of not being juxtaposed to any visuals. But, that won’t be the case with Cowboy Bebop.
So, the jury is still out. So far, the Netflix Cowboy Bebop intro seems good and respectful for the show. But, animes have mostly had a tough time making an impression on their US audience. And to try to do that with a live-action adaptation is truly brave. We’ll have to wait till the November 19, 2021 release date, when the miniseries will it the streaming platform.