I regret to inform you that NetflixThe long-awaited live action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop there are some problems. It wasn’t a total disaster, according to that. Cowboy Bebop there is much to recommend it: John Choan all-incandescent turn as leading man Spike Spiegel, Mustafa ShakirDeadly Jet Black, Yoko Kanno’s genius score, and Ein, the most perfect corgi in the universe. Still, all the good things about Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop betrayed by poor writing, uncharacteristic action sequences, and a really nasty obsession with the most annoying characters in the series. Cowboy Bebop is the text book definition of a mixed bag, rife with extraordinary promises and confusing choices that undercut what made the anime version such a masterpiece. I hate it. I love it. It makes me desperate to just watch the anime again.
Original Cowboy Bebop is a groundbreaking anime series that originally aired in Japan in 1998 and later became a hit on Cartoon Network’s Toonami in 2001. Set in a future where humanity flees a dying Earth. died to take over the solar system, Bebop depicts the future as an interstellar version of the Wild West. Criminals rampage and the bounty hunters known as “cowboys” barely live enough to track down these goons. Cowboy Bebop focuses on this group of bounty hunters led by former gang boss Spike Spiegel, former adult cop Jet Black, amnesiac woman Faye Valentine, child computer genius Radical “Ed” Edward , and a lab-designed corgi named Ein. Each character is defined by their hurt, loneliness, mistrust, and heart of gold. They break the law and kill people by abandonment, but ultimately try to do the right thing.
Cowboy Bebop loved for its iconic cast and praised for its groundbreaking approach to anime. At that time, the Japanese animation genre was filled with childish concepts and endearing motifs. Bebop adult, sexy, violent and really unique. The visual style of the series blends neo-noir, sci-fi, comedy, kung fu, and old American west. Cowboy BebopSmart and concise storytelling, full of humor and fun. Every element works together in perfect synchrony. Unfortunately, the team behind Netflix Cowboy Bebop seem to have spent so much energy trying to mimic the signature anime visual style that they forgot to take notes.
One of the biggest problems with live action Cowboy Bebop adaptive is that it disregards its source material in every worst way. Even if you might enjoy the show’s fluid approach to bringing the visuals of anime to life, the Netflix series assumes an obsessive familiarity with anime. The supporting characters are given confusing hero shots and easter eggs fill every frame. This would be fine if the live action’s storytelling was as excellent as the anime, but it’s not. The twists of self-declared conspiracy from 57 minutes away and the dreaded “Netflix bloat” took their toll on Marvel’s popular mid-season Netflix shows. At worst, the show takes so far mysterious characters from Spike’s past and tries to humanize them in the worst way possible: somehow making them boring and obnoxious.
And yet, Cowboy Bebop Not a complete failure. John Cho is absolutely phenomenal as Spike Spiegel. Tortured, irritable, and severely traumatized like a puppy wet in the rain, John Cho Cowboy Bebop like a real hero. He’s sexy, tough, and awesome. Basically, Cho is the perfect Spike Spiegel! Likewise, Mustafa Shakir does something magical by nailing the vocals and physicals of the animated Jet Black, while also bringing a fresh soul to his entire character. Follow the rules of the corgi. Yoko Kanno’s score is breathtaking. Lots of amazing pictures. And there’s nothing more fun than when Cho’s Spike and Shakir’s Jet are finally teaming up with Daniella Pineda’s Faye Valentine to make (almost) the entire Bebop family. Some of my favorite moments are just watching this naughty team play around. That’s when the faint plot infiltrates to ruin the vibe that I feel so drained.
Shadow cast by the original Cowboy Bebop is a blessing and a curse for Netflix’s live action series. Without that show’s imagination, this 2021 version wouldn’t exist. We wouldn’t be happy to see John Cho actually become the Spike Spiegel. The problem is that the animated version of this story is still far superior.
Cowboy Bebop premieres on Netflix on Friday, November 19
https://decider.com/2021/11/15/cowboy-bebop-on-netlfix-review/ | ‘Cowboy Bebop’ on Netflix Review