Cowboy Bebop's Netflix live adaptation

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Luca

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So, did anyone who watched the anime watch it yet?

I was interested, but then I started reading reviews and now I dread it...
 

Raleel

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I’ve watched half of the anime recently and am up to episode 5 of the live action. I would say that in some ways the live action is better. It takes an episode or two to get moving, but by episode 6 it’s apparently got completely original story work.

faye is far better as a character live action than in the original. I would say the music is at least as good, if not better.
 

Nobby-W

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I watched the original some years ago - it holds a certain minor nostalgia as it was some of the first anime I watched in its entirety; apart from a few snippets in the '80s and '90s I hadn't seen much up to that point. Watching it again off and on, it's not grabbing me as much as when there was a novelty value. Having said that, Watanabe pretty much avoids the cliched anime shibboleths like harems or tournament arcs - Faye is never positioned as a waifu, for example. His other stuff works pretty much like that as well. While I'd rate his stuff about B+ or A- on average, I've not seen him produce any real crap.

Netflix has a fair amount of Watanabe's stuff up now: Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo, Terror in Resonance, Carole and Tuesday and Space Dandy.
 

Tom B

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I love the original. The Netflix version is...odd. A strange feeling of being low-budget without anything obvious I can point to as the reason I feel that way. The feeling faded as I watched more episodes.

So far I'm enjoying the Netflix version, but I still need to watch the last episode. I started off fairly dubious, but it slowly grew on me.
At first, I did not like how Faye was characterized, but she grew on me. I think I prefer the Netflix version to the original now.
I don't like how Vicious is characterized and am not a fan of that whole subplot and the way it's being presented.
I'm still trying to decide if I liked episode 9 or not...I like it in principle, but again, not the way Vicious is portrayed.
 

Vile

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I have never seen a worthwhile live action adaption of an anime. Conversely, there are few live action shows that could not be improved upon in an anime version.
 

Dammit Viktor

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You know, I didn't think I wanted a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, but the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop is the exact sort of the television show that I have been screaming that I want more of. Do I wish, maybe, that it wasn't an adaptation of Cowboy Bebop? Yes.. I do. Do I wish there was another one just like it on Netflix, and three more on Disney+, HBO Max, and CBS All Access? Also yes.
 

CRKrueger

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After what Netflix did to their Death Note and Evangelion adaptions? Fuck no. In the immortal words of one of the US nation's greatest sons...

View attachment 38495
I love how he tongue-twisted both the saying and the Who lyric. I'll have to tell you, I miss those days, the worse that it got was exponentially less mean-spirited than today.

About the series...
Cho hasn't convinced me yet as Spike.
Jet Black was always going to be a difficult character to portray, he's doing alright.
Haven't seen enough of Faye to have an opinion.

The director's not good enough, it takes real vision to turn a stylistic comic/manga/cartoon/anime into live action form. The actors don't seem confident in their roles yet.
 
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UnplayedRanger

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So this show is really… not good. And I don’t just mean as an adaptation of the anime. I’ve only watched the anime show once many years ago. Taken on its own accord, this reboot is just hands down on of the worst shows I’ve ever seen in my life. Sure the set design is nice. But the writing and most of the acting is atrocious imo.
 

Raleel

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I love the original. The Netflix version is...odd. A strange feeling of being low-budget without anything obvious I can point to as the reason I feel that way. The feeling faded as I watched more episodes.

So far I'm enjoying the Netflix version, but I still need to watch the last episode. I started off fairly dubious, but it slowly grew on me.
At first, I did not like how Faye was characterized, but she grew on me. I think I prefer the Netflix version to the original now.
I don't like how Vicious is characterized and am not a fan of that whole subplot and the way it's being presented.
I'm still trying to decide if I liked episode 9 or not...I like it in principle, but again, not the way Vicious is portrayed.
My friend and I agree with you. Not a fan of Vicious with this actor. However, I find the rest of the casting to be spectacular.
You know, I didn't think I wanted a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, but the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop is the exact sort of the television show that I have been screaming that I want more of. Do I wish, maybe, that it wasn't an adaptation of Cowboy Bebop? Yes.. I do. Do I wish there was another one just like it on Netflix, and three more on Disney+, HBO Max, and CBS All Access? Also yes.
It’s what you get, and I do think they did a fine job with it. I agree there needs to be far more of this style and this genre. And the music is really just impressive.
So this show is really… not good. And I don’t just mean as an adaptation of the anime. I’ve only watched the anime show once many years ago. Taken on its own accord, this reboot is just hands down on of the worst shows I’ve ever seen in my life. Sure the set design is nice. But the writing and most of the acting is atrocious imo.
Gotta say, outside of Vicious, hard disagree. I’d say it’s one of the best shows I’ve watched in Quite a while.
 

UnplayedRanger

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Gotta say, outside of Vicious, hard disagree. I’d say it’s one of the best shows I’ve watched in Quite a while.
It must just not be for me then. Because I really don’t get the appeal. I’m especially tired of everyone being quippy for the sake of being quippy, like they have to brush up on their stand up set.

I haven’t finished the season, so maybe it turns around in the back half.
 

CT_Phipps

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Cowboy Bepop was one of my all-time favorite anime when I was in college. It was 1998 and I was a huge otaku with a love for anything shown on television or available to buy on VHS. It was unlike anything else I'd ever seen (Firefly wasn't out until 2002 and The Expanse wouldn't be out until 2015). It was a beautiful well-realized science fiction world taking place in the solar system in the near-future that managed to combine the used future of Star Wars, jazz, Westerns, martial arts, and Hong Kong action movies.

The premise was two bounty hunters ("cowboys") named Spike Spiegel and Jet Black are trying to make their fortunes by bringing in high paying rewards for criminals. Unfortunately, to the point of comedy, they often end up killing their quarries instead. The two of them live together on a starship called the Bebop and gradually accumulate an oddball family with con woman Faye Valentine, data dog Ein, and master hacker Ed. Along the way, Spike's past as a former assassin for the Red Dragon Syndicate comes to haunt him.



The live action version was something that I was interested in from the moment it was announced but wasn't sure how it would go. While a fan of John Cho (Spike), Mustafa Shakir (Jet), and Daniella Pineda (Faye), I had to remember Netflix's adaptation of Death Note. That was flat out terrible and I didn't want to experience the same level of corruption. Still, I liked the trailer for the show and didn't bother paying attention to any other build-up before deciding to binge the series when it came out. What's my opinion?

Eh, it has its ups and downs. John Cho is excellent as Spike Spiegel but doesn't quite have the physicality for the role. Mind you, you can animate the world's greatest martial artist while getting someone able to pull it off in live action is a lot harder. Mustafa Shakir plays an older crustier Jet with a daughter rather than simply an ex-girlfriend. It was a change that was silly in places (one plot with a coveted doll falls flat) but I overall felt he was a great interpretation.



Faye Valentine is easily the best version, though, and I think Daniella Pineda perfectly embodied the character after an initial false start with her as a tough girl cowboy herself. Faye isn't a cowboy, she's a con woman. There's a big difference. Some fans may also be put off by the decision to make her bisexual in this adaptation but I didn't have a problem with it. As for Ein? Well, whenever Ein is not on screen, I was asking, "Where's Ein?" He should have been in every shot and that's all I am going to say on the subject.

There's some odd choices that I didn't quite agree with. The Red Dragon Syndicate is just made into the Syndicate and populated with primarily non-Asian actors. The problem was they keep most of the Triad motifs that make them come off as white guys who like to cosplay as Yellow Peril villains. Still, it had John Noble show up as one of the Elders and it's hard to argue with him in anything. I also think changing the conman who conned Faye by pretending to be her husband into a woman pretending to be her mother was an overall good one.



The only part of the show that repeatedly falls flat and is just plain bad is the interpretation of Vicious (Alex Hassel) and Julia (Elena Satine). Vicious in the anime is like Sephiroth, a kind of pathetic individual who covers it up by being the most badass terrifying man who ever lived. Vicious in the live action show is more like Viserys, a guy who acts tough but is painfully obvious as a weak-minded fool. I don't dislike the interpretation of Julia in the show, she was always someone we knew Spike loved but never why, but something about her interpretation just felt inconsistent.

The show is ridiculously colorful and entertaining with much of the anime's weird setting intact. Unfortunately, it may have gone for too faithful in its attempts to bring it to screen so that it, at times, feels like a live action cartoon. Dialing down the weirdness and grit that you can get away in an anime might have made the show land better. Ironically, they also dialed up the sleaze factor so our heroes are always in brothels or strip clubs. But Netflix gonna Netflix. Also, Ein whenever Ein isn't on screen, the other characters should be asking, "Where's Ein?" Oh and he should be angrier, grimmer, and have a time machine.

7/10
 

Voros

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Aren't almost all anime to live action shitty? Trying to think of an exception...some good manga to live action adaptations (e.g. Ichii the Killer).
 

Hugh

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I have watched the series, the movie and now watching the live action version. They are all different and all quite enjoyable.

I recommend giving the live action a few episodes at the very least. See for yourself.
 

Nobby-W

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A couple of episodes in and it doesn't suck. I'm not mortally offended; it's got a different tone to the anime but it stands up as its own thing just fine. Currently running about a B.
 

Acmegamer

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Waiting until the wife gets home from Seattle tomorrow before we start watching it. She'd have me by the short hairs if I started it while she was gone.
 

TristramEvans

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But that is really a manga adaptation isn't it? I have the first volume and the film is quite faithful to it.

Hard to say, the anime was faithful to the manga, and the movie only covers the part of the story that was adapted to the anime. But one would be hard pressed to find an anime that isn't either a manga adaption or was adapted to manga, so I kinda consider the anime/manga as all one thing for everything except Berserk
 
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