Monday, September 27, 2021



When it comes to western-produced adaptations of Japanese manga and anime, fans of the medium from the same western countries are constantly wary, having been burned one too many times. “Dragonball Evolution” and “Ghost in the Shell” are the usual examples given of big-screen takes. Netflix too has been under fire from anime fans particularly for their streaming-movie version of “Death Note.” The 2019 announcement that they will make a “Cowboy Bebop” series was treated with expected caution, grudging agreement with the casting, and hesitation with the recent promo reveal of the main stars in character. Perhaps another tidbit could change their mind. How about showing them the opening titles?

This was the strategy pursued by streaming giant Netflix to placate their potential audience for “Cowboy Bebop” according to Empire Online. On their “Tudum” event which showcased many of their upcoming exclusive content, Netflix went and presented the intro to their “Cowboy Bebop” adaptation from the original and legendary 1998 anime series. The reveal also confirmed rumors that the production did manage to get hold of the anime’s composer Yoko Kanno to also provide the streaming series’ score. As proof, Kanno’s “Bebop” intro “Tank!” was played in the opening credits.

Even more, the intro is a near-shot-by-shot recreation of the 1998 anime version. The dynamic transition of scenes with colorful squares and the characters fading between full detail and silhouettes while in motion was evocative of the original. Of course, a full remake would be considered too lazy so some parts instead featured scenes from the series itself, with the supporting cast getting prominence. Characters Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustapha Shakir), Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) and big bad Vicious (Alex Hassel) are depicted, if not exact with the anime then competently at least.

“Cowboy Bebop” follows the misadventures of a ragtag band of bounty hunters on the spacecraft Bebop, plying the Solar System of the late 21st Century for high-paying criminal bounties, while either hiding from or pursuing their individual dark pasts. The series also stars Elena Satine, Tamara Tunie, Adrienne Barbeau, Josh Randall, George Stults, Rachel House and James Hiroyuki Liao. Despite the character’s absence from the intro and lack of casting, Netflix assures that child hacker “Radical Ed” is also part of the show, which will begin streaming this November 19. Titan Comics is also publishing a tie-in comic-book miniseries with four issues starting this December.

Image courtesy of Comic


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