On November 19, an adaptation of the cult anime “Cowboy bebop” was released on Netflix – a game with live actors. We figure out whether the new series was able to convey the spirit of the animated original and whether it is generally good.
In the post-apocalyptic future of 2071, human colonized space is experiencing a wave of rampant crime. The profession of bounty hunter has become very popular, anyone can call themselves cowboys and go manhunt for a reward. Just like good old cowboys in slots at betchan.com/games/slots. This is what the motley crew of Bebop spacecraft earn their living from. So it was in the anime and it also remained in the series – the setting and all the plot twists are preserved here.
In fact, the story of the original Cowboy bebop anime began with an impressive failure. In the late 1990s, after the success of Evangelion, which launched a new round of popularity in the mecha genre, Japan was covered with a craze for giant robots and spaceships. Bandai, a toy company, decided to use a custom-made series to promote its products. So there appeared different sets in space and with characters constantly getting into gunfights. They hired an aspiring director, Shinichiro Watanabe. He was given complete creative freedom. All that was required of him was to make an anime based on which a wide line of toys could be released. As Watanabe was a great fan of western culture he took advantage of Bandai’s vague demands to make his vision come true.
The gloomy and pessimistic world that Watanabe imagined was populated by complex characters with rich backstories. You can find anything there: a mix of drama, humor, philosophy, irony, and endless references to Hollywood cinema. But as soon as Watanabe showed the first scenes of his space western Bandai, the company realized that there would be no toys.
The Japanese audience took the novelty not as it was expected. Ratings were low even for a late-night slot. After such a failure the series drifted through small channels with mixed success until Cowboy was bought by Cartoon Network in 2001. The American public of “Cowboy” accepted and fell in love. They liked the gloomy, well-developed world and multiculturalism. Soon after its success in America, Cowboy was tried out in other markets, including Japan. Since then, the series has firmly taken its place in the cult lists.
The Bebop crew from the start consisted of retired cop Jet Black and Martian crime syndicate member Spike Spiegel. Later, they were joined by the highly intelligent corgi Ain, the oblivious swindler Faye Valentine, and the genius child hacker Edward. The main antagonist in the anime was Spike’s former friend and associate in the syndicate, Vicious.
Spike Spiegel in the anime almost always behaved like lazy and frivolous gouging. He is able to assemble in a matter of seconds and defeat an entire army. John Cho is playing Spike in the series. His acting reminds me of the retired man who seems to feel nothing. By the middle of the series, the hero comes to life a little and becomes a little more like an anime prototype.
Mustafa Jakir played Jet Black. The main story is in the past of the hero who was a policeman and a family story with his ex-wife. Because of this, he became like a standard ex-cop from any buddy movie. Though his relationship with Spike fit that stereotype.
Faye Valentine was played by Daniella Pineda. Faye has become a bounty hunter leaving her swindler’s past. She is still trying to reconstruct her past, completely forgotten after falling into cryogenic sleep. Pineda is the heart of the series! From time to time, her charm and spontaneity one wants to multiply and share it with CHo and Jakir.
The cold and calculated heir of the syndicate Vicious was played by Alex Hassell. In his performance, the main villain has turned into a nervous, cowardly screaming person who walks all the time and baring his teeth. The hero lost his frightening and menacing character.
s for the hacker Edward never met in the series. Most likely he was left for the second season.
Fight scenes are the pride of the original anime. They were drawn from cult action movies and martial arts movies. Of course, it is strange to compare animated and live-action, but in terms of dynamism and choreography, the new series is not inferior to the original anime. Skirmishes, martial arts, mass brawls, air, and space battles – all this is available.
The creators of the series followed the example of anime production designers and filled the series with details of the world. The planets look inhabited. The spaceship is shabby. The views of cities are delightful with the same cultural diversity as the original. The population of the world is also motley.
In conclusion, the new “Cowboy” seems to be trying to creatively approach the retelling of the original. It reveals characters in its own a, giving them different motivations and challenges. However, the output is an average adventure series that you can watch in two or three evenings. Tastes differ.