On September 25, Netflix released the opening credits to their highly-anticipated live action adaption of Hajime Yatate’s classic 1998 anime Cowboy Bebop. After watching the trailer three times back-to-back, to say that I’m excited is a bold understatement.
Despite only one season and one movie to its name, Cowboy Bebop is well-known as one of the most iconic animes with an equally iconic opening title sequence (you can thank the Japanese jazz rock band, Seatbelts, for that musical brain loop).
The live action remake
The live action series will star John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, and Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black. The new opening credits scene doesn’t deviate too far from what we saw from the original 1998 anime series. You have your classic Japanese typeface scrolling up and across the screen, shadow silhouettes of our favorite space gang met with bold pops of color, a few action scenes stamped in, and of course, the ever so smooth transitions that are reminiscent of the 007 style. If you’ve never seen it or need a reminder, don’t worry, here’s a side-by-side.
What can we expect
Andre Nemac, the series showrunner, states that this will not be a shot-for-shot remake of the original series. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nemac says, “I think to just redo the anime will leave an audience hungry for something that they already saw. The anime did an amazing job. We don’t need to serve the exact same meal. I think it would have been disappointing if we did.”
Many fans were worried about how the anime and its character’s physical appearances would translate in a live action adaption of the series. When asked about the main protagonist Spike Spiegel and his unmistakably recognizable hair, John Cho replied, “I just really disliked the idea of a wig. Have you ever worn one? I’m just so aware of wigs. I said, ‘I really want it to be my own hair.’ It was a kind of a struggle to grow it out. It went through some really awkward phases.”
Live action trend
Live action remakes of all sorts have been a huge trend these past few years. From books like Frank Herbert’s Dune to video games like Uncharted, it seems that Hollywood has really taken a liking to striking the nostalgia chord amongst many fandoms. While at first glance it seems like an easy money grab, with great power comes great responsibility — a quote from a frequently re-adapted Marvel comic book series.
While fans are not ones to be stingy with their money when it comes to supporting their favorite fandom, the responsibility to do best by the fans is what’s the hardest on studios. It’s dangerously thin ice to walk on and very much a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation for many.
Netflix is set to release Cowboy Bebop on November 19, 2021.
While you wait, check out the movies to watch this month.
Photo via Netflix