Netflix’s ‘Cowboy Bebop’: Why the Excitement is Real

For those who may not know, the beloved 1998 anime series, Cowboy Bebop, has been chosen by Netflix to be adapted for a live-action version.

Some who are not familiar with the show (or the anime genre as a whole) might be thinking, ‘what’s the big deal? It’s not like it’s Dragonball Z…’

(sip my scotch) Cute!  This might not be the most well recognized series by casual fans, but it is hands down one of the most iconic anime’s of all time! So, what makes it so great and why do we have to look forward to it? Well, “3, 2, 1, let’s jam.”

1: The Soundtrack of All Soundtracks: Right out of the gates one of the things that makes this series so special is its music. the opening sequence shows us flashes of images, black panels, our lead character lighting a cigarette, and the bongos begin. From this moment you know you’re in for something special.

The soundtrack consists of original jazz pieces that breathe so much life into the series. I am COMPLETELY EXPECTING every song from the anime to be featured in this show. It would be a F#$^#^#& crime for them to not be included. Hopefully there might even be some new music!

2: It’s Unique Genre: We are about to enter a post Game of Thrones world.  As a culture I think we are used to our phenomenons. Though I don’t know if this will be the next fever, I know that audiences will be looking for something to fill the void.  We should note that GoT not only was a global success but in some ways it challenged how we tell stories and what we can expect from television.

In it’s way, should it honor the anime, the live-action Cowboy Bebop COULD do the same.

Following the smooth soundtrack we have a show that combined elements of Western, crime, and sci-fi to create a tone and aesthetic that just WORKED. Unlike modern space tales that show slick, smooth, and futuristic technologies, Cowboy Bebop maintained a feel that was grounded, street-level, and embodied its own unique space in the noir genre as well.

3: The Cast is Correct:  As of right now my main focus for the cast is on those who have been placed in the lead roles of Faye, Spike, and Jet. Spike, being our main character will be played by John Cho….Y-yes. Not only is this a wonderful opportunity for an Asian lead but this guy can ACT. There’s comedic elements to Spike as well as deep emotional moments that I think he’s going to pull-off phenomenally.

Mustafa Shakir has been cast as Jet and Daniella Pineda as Faye. I am not as familiar with the work of these two. I have only seen Shakir in Luke Cage and that was a very different kind of character.  However, I am content to see this level of representation in such a special project.

4: The All too Real Experience:  Yes, the show is about bounty-hunters in space. Though what I believe has helped the series stand the test of time is how it, since its premiere in 1998, has become a predictor for what a generation of viewers was in for.

These characters are broke, traumatized, and struggling to make ends meat. Despite all their hustle these guys are lazy and have an air of, “Whatever” to them. They find a way to be alright in the shit they find themselves in. Yet it doesn’t make them any less great. To me they embodied the idea that there is nothing wrong with NOT being the over ambitious, the super passionate. There is value too in just trying to make it through one adventure to the next and evolve with the people you have around you.


Will they capture the essence of what made the anime so special or will it be a dud? I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. For now, go on youtube to listen to that opening theme music if you’re interested in getting hyped.


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