COWBOY BEBOP (2021)
Aired On: Netflix
Release Date: 11/19/21
Action. Adventure. Comedy.
"A ragtag crew of bounty hunters chases down the galaxy's most dangerous criminals. They'll save the world--for the right price."
Netflix's live-action Cowboy Bebop premiere episode starts off strong with a style reminiscent of the classic anime it's based on but with enough of its own style to make it feel unique. However, when the plot for the first episode kicks into gear, it becomes very apparent that this Bebop is nowhere near as soulful as the original was.
I appreciate the attempt at taking stories from the original anime, changing them up enough to warrant a retelling but still keeping the essence of each intact but something is lost in translation and I can't help but compare them because of this. I don't want to compare the filmmaking to a fan film because I feel like the acting, set design, and even visual effects are much better than that but the way the stories are handled feels like the way someone that's an amateur would tell them. It's as if the writers didn't totally understand some of the symbolism and dialogue of the original but they still added it in there because they wanted to reference the anime and appease fans.
I don't want to jump the gun too much but I feel this way for the next 5 episodes as well so this isn't just a slam against this one particular story (which adapts Asteroid Blues from the anime). All in all, the acting is solid, there are entertaining set pieces, fun chemistry between both John Cho (Spike Spiegel) and Mustafa Shakir (Jet Black), and absolutely terrific music from returning champion Yoko Kanno.
If you haven't watched the original then I think this will be an enjoyable watch but if you have seen the original then you'll either absolutely hate this or appreciate that there's another take on Cowboy Bebop that may or may not be to your liking. It's certainly more mainstream when it comes to its humor. You ever thought Cowboy Bebop needed more jokes about Bidets? Then you've come to the right place!