Today, we got our first real look at the upcoming Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop — and a premiere date, November 19. As we (and others) have said many times before, live-action anime adaptations are a rough game. They can turn out great, or terrible, or (worst of all) completely forgettable. But we have a little hope for this project.
Obviously, you can’t judge a project until you actually see the project, so we won’t know until November if the Bebop will fly. But we’ll take these early signs as a reason to, at least for now, breathe easy.
The Anime’s Biggest Names are on Board
When a live-action adaptation rolls around, the original creators aren’t always included in the proceedings. Fortunately for Cowboy Bebop, series creator Shinichiro Watanabe is a consultant for the remake. Not only that, legendary composer Yoko Kanno is writing a new soundtrack.
Obviously, having the creator as a consultant isn’t a sure-fire win. Remember, Akira Toriyama was a consultant for 2009’s Dragonball Evolution. The staff just chose not to listen to him. Provided both Watanabe and Kanno get to do what they do best, there’s hope.
The Costumes Work
Character designs don’t always survive the jump from anime to live-action — partly because anime character designs tend to be pretty buckwild. The Cowboy Bebop designs are at the more realistic end of the spectrum, but costume designers still had to take things into account. For example, how Spike’s trademark asymmetrical jacket is actually tailored and the detail of Jet’s mechanical parts.
Most importantly (and possibly most controversially) is Faye Valentine’s redesign. As awesome as her anime look is, leaving it unchanged would mean Danielle Pineda has to break after every shot to pull something up or down. Her new gear is unmistakably Faye, and fits the aesthetic of the setting as well. You can’t float a show just on good costume shots, but it’s encouraging.
Okay, we’re biased. But Ein is a core member of the team, and he needed to be just right. Fortunately, an early YouTube video proved that he is. Some fans may recall a rumor that somehow got wheels, about a husky named Bella appearing in the role. The rumor traces back to an unsourced blog post — likely someone wanting to shake things up.
In other words, Ein has turned out fine in the most straightforward way possible, before we know much else. Be sure to look up any rumors or claims you see, if you’re following the upcoming series. Cowboy Bebop will eventually prove for itself whether it passes muster; in the meantime, don’t let the rumor mill add extra stress.
(Also we do just love Ein that much.)
Watch out for Cowboy Bebop on Netflix this November.