Cowboy Bebop live-action: why we can't have nice things

Originally published at: Cowboy Bebop live-action: why we can't have nice things | Boing Boing


Cowboy Bebop doesn’t just make that list; it’s at the top of the list.

Looks like we’re going to have to agree to disagree. Maybe we can agree that live action remakes are always a bad idea at least.


For many folks Cowboy Bebop is in a three way tie with Death Note and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood… and Netflix managed to mess up those adaptations too. I feel bad for what One Piece fans have to look forward to with that Netflix adaptation.


I can’t even imagine what that’s going to look like. Bebop had a chance of working being that it was at the very least a somewhat grounded sci-fi show with noir and cowboy western elements. But One Piece? The show who’s main character is essentially teenage Mr Fantastic, and who’s tone swings widely between comedy and shounen action? I can’t see it.


This is gonna sound so crappy, but if an elementary school drama club did their rendition of Cowboy Bebop I would probably enjoy it without blowing a gasket about how they did this or that wrong. So, the curtain of this season of Cowboy Bebop falls and I smile and clap and give them a standing ovation and say “Wow, I am really impressed with the job they did!”

And I am. In the exact same way. I enjoyed the Netflix version in the same spirit. After all, the production is for the kids, not the parents.

I don’t expect the re-makers within the entertainment industry to be able to understand the genius of the original material they copy. They are translators from a different time. Their target audience are people, now, who would like this version better than the original. The people who get angry at this and adore the original are not on their radar, since that version has already been made.

I think it was cute, and when I want to watch the real Cowboy Bebop, I still can, whenever I want. No biggie.


I enjoyed it.


I agree that Cowboy Bebop isn’t at the top of the list, but I disagree that live action is always a bad idea. It has worked and can work. It’s just not something that should be tried with everything, especially certain titles.

I’ve seen Japanese remakes that have worked, such as Ashita no Joe and the 2006 Death Note duology. The first live action Rurouni Kenshin film as well, and I’m only not including the others because I haven’t gotten to them yet. On the American front, Alita and Speed Racer are great examples of what can be done. Are all these things in the minority? Sure. But great anime and great films are in a narrow minority of what is released anyway. Why should we expect our adaptations to buck the trends?

As for live action Bebop, I went in with low expectations because the only piece of the source material that I truly enjoyed was the film. Three episodes in and I’m fine with it. Nothing that makes me want to binge it as quickly as possible, but also nothing that will make it difficult to finish either.


They changed it!!

No they didn’t, they made a different one, the original still exists.

I liked both. Ain’t no rules says I can’t.


Here’s a hot take: Cowboy Beebop isn’t as amazing as we all want to remember it being. It’s fine, good even, by today’s tired and derivative anime standards.

Nostalgia is a hell of a drug. And if you are old enough to be mad that a live action remake is infringing on that nostalgia, you are old enough to to make an assessment to your relationship with the media you consume.


And Avatar The Last Airbender also has its live action show on the way


Avatar fans are completely used to feeling pain by now


For adaptations of this kind i sort of would like to see the story changed in perspective to tell untold stories of other people within that world but still thread back into some events from the source material from a fresh point of view. Probably wouldn’t have worked for Cowboy Bebop but it would be neat to see that happen with another IP.


Yeah, from the article title alone I expected this story to run in the complete opposite direction: that certain segments of fandom were so vocal about their distaste that the Netflix version was doomed even before it started filming.


Another perfectly reasonable adaptation ruined by zealous fans. Fucking fans. They ruin everything.

I love the original too. I’ve watched it countless times and I’ll watch it even more in the future. But I was looking forward to season 2. It really could have gotten better, and I honestly don’t think it was bad in the first place. Sure, there were some problems, even I can agree with that, but honestly, they were really pretty minor overall. So what if it wasn’t a perfect recreation? This show deserved better than to get roasted and cancelled. So very much more than that.

And my Dobbs in Dobbstown, they’d never get another Jet Black as perfect as Mustafa Shakir.

Thanks a lot, fans. What the fuck.


I enjoyed the live action Space Battleship Yamato. I’ve yet to watch the other Kenshin live action movies after the first one but everything I’ve heard about those are positive.

edit: Those were all made in Japan, as opposed to U.S. execs trying their hand at a Japanese intellectual property.


If any situation deserved victim blaming, it’s fans being deceived into thinking a live action adaptation will be just like their treasured book/comic/anime/etc… How many times does Lucy have to pull away the football before these Charlie Browns get a clue?

Not that creators that try to cash in on a built-in fanbase and name recognition by making fanfiction deserve any less blame. You don’t even have to be original, just copy something and change the name, like The Orville. Play with fire (fanatics) and you’re gonna’ get burned.

‘Cowboy Bebop’ gained viewership in its second week, only to drop like a rock in its 3rd week.

Maybe it wasn’t the fans fault?


I don’t get why Netflix pulled the plug on it. They were so behind it from the get go. Even when Cho got hurt and they delayed production.

As a fan of the original I loved this adaptation. Like a great jazz improvisation it managed to play the right tunes yet bring something new and different. Parts I didn’t care for mostly showed me that their original source was not as developed as I once felt (mainly Vicious expanded character making him not so one dimensional)


Also: of course the new thing is different than the old thing. If it wasn’t then there would be no point in making the new thing at all.


Different strokes for different folks, I guess;

I really enjoyed the live action version; especially the fact that the main characters were all cast as POC.

The anime is still good, and still exists; personally, I didn’t need the adaptation to be a carbon copy of the original.


I never saw the cartoon version. I’m enjoying the episodes I’ve seen so far. Quite a bit.

Additionally- sometimes you need to kill your darlings. Sure - some are true abominations - like The Watch. But surely this isn’t in that territory.