Japan has Mixed Feelings on Netflix Cowboy Bebop

On Monday August 23rd, Netflix revealed a first look of their live-action Cowboy Bebop series set to air on November 19th of this year. Reactions on the reveal have been a mixture of excitement, cautious optimism, and high skepticism. The track record for anime-to-live-action adaptions in the U.S. have not always succeeded (Alita being one recent exception).

But what do people in Japan think? Considering the story was originally created in Japan, it’s only fair to be curious of their opinions on a live-action series based on one of the most iconic anime series. Even if an anime fan not a huge fan of the genre, they most certainly have heard of this 1990s Space Western.

Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ein

Some notable criticisms from Japan on twitter are:

“This just looks somehow off to me.”
“Spike doesn’t have his messy hair of world-weary expression, so I’m really worried about this.”
“Spike isn’t handsome enough.”
“Faye doesn’t look sexy at all.”
“Looks like some sort of gag cosplay session.”
“I’ve actually seen cosplay that looks better than this.”
“They look more like the cast of Black Lagoon.”
“Looks more like City Hunter to me.”

John Cho as Spike Spiegal
Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black
Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine

Others have commented on how all the overall color patterns have been toned down quite a bit. Though the series is set in the future with a rough and tough story, it was still balanced out with vibrant light and a colorful palette. This subdued color and light difference could change as more from the Netflix series is shown.

Even as many are unsure on how well Netflix will deliver on capturing what made Cowboy Bebop stand out as an anime, there are those who are either excited or cautiously optimistic and hopeful, as we can see in these samplings:

“So looking forward to this! I know there are a lot of different opinions, but it’s good for Bebop to be back in the spotlight in the current era.”
“Hmm…not entirely sold, but I’ll probably watch it to see how it is.”
“It’s good to see they’re trying to stay close to the original work and not making all sorts of weird changes. Not sure if I’m confident they can pull it off, though.”
“They’ve got [original anime composer] Yoko Kanno doing the music, and [original anime director] Shinichiro Watanabe involved [in a consulting role], so it can’t be all that bad, can it…”

Here is the opening for the anime series Cowboy Bebop:

Netflix describes the series:
Based on the worldwide phenomenon from Sunrise Inc, Cowboy Bebop is the jazz-inspired, genre-bending story of Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine and Radical Ed: a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters on the run from their pasts as they hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals. They’ll even save the world…for the right price.

What are your thoughts about Netflix’s interpretations so far? Do you plan on watching it when it comes out?

Source: SoraNew24

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Sarah Leone

An independent artist who loves to mix things up between traditional and digital art. She has a love for all things anime, animation, and manga. Oh, and cats. Can't forget the cats.

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