Cowboy Bebop live action adaption thoughts

Well, major news hit again today. Cowboy Bebop as a tv series is being put into production at some point in our near future. Considering this happened after the Ghost in the Shell film adaptation that was just an average science fiction film, who knew this was going to happen? There have been talks about a live action movie adaptation for Cowboy Bebop (and Akira) for years, yet we never seen any fruit from it. To be honest, I doubt this will come into existence either.  If it does, the worst it can be is another mediocre science fiction series like Kill Joys and Dark Matter. To be honest with you guys, I am alright with the idea of a Cowboy Bebop live action tv series. While it has been put into movie form before, animated but it counts for something, a series gives the material more room to grow and become something different. So no, I don’t think that this is a bad idea at all.

The first major reason why it’s not a bad idea is because Cowboy Bebop is not inherently Japanese. Shinichiro Watanabe mostly directions tv shows with a western sort of style. Its episodic nature with a thing plot holding thing together is the standard western style prime time tv format.  Boom, done. The cast of Bebop isn’t full of Japanese people either. I mean, have you looked at a picture of them recently? The Bebop crew is a unique and multi-racial. That is what makes them great. The Bebop universe isn’t Japanese either? The only thing that is actually Japanese is the sword that the main villain carries. That’s it. From this aspect alone, a Cowboy Bebop series seems entirely feasible.

The second reason I can think of is because of how grounded Cowboy Bebop is. Besides some classic space science fiction things, everything else is realistic enough to be believable. The human fight scenes are well choreographed which give each of the characters a great amount of weight and the space flight and fight scenes are well shot in a way that we can easily follow them. IN fact, the animation of Cowboy Bebop in general is just amazing, but this isn’t a review of Cowboy Bebop. The characters can be extremely zany, but then they are always weighed down by their troubled backstories and are well developed. It’s not something shonen-y like DBZ (and that movie that doesn’t exist) were the suspension of disbelief needs to be pushed to the limits and beyond. Cowboy Bebop goes places that many western audiences have been before.

Lastly, we’ve had series like Cowboy Bebop exist before. I don’t know if any of you remember this, but there was once something called Firefy? You know, that series which was cancelled too early and revolved around a cast of people scrounging for an existence on the edge of that show’s universe who take odd jobs whenever they can. Doesn’t that sound familiar to you? I mean, that series was cancelled early due to Fox being Fox, but the amount of fans that want it to come back hasn’t dwindled since the day it was cancelled. If that doesn’t make you feel any better, let’s talk about Kill Joys. That is a series revolving around a group of dysfunctional bounty hunters taking odd jobs around their galaxy to survive as well. This is a show that is going to have a third season at the end of this month so it has had some success. I have faith that this Cowboy Bebop live action adaption will find an audience, even if the thought of a live action adaption of an anime series annoyed people around the internet the second it was announced. It is a reasonable opinion, but I want to see how this goes.

The only worries I have are logistical ones. How are they going to find to fill the shoes of the main four characters? Many of us hold on to the voices and character designs dearly into our hearts and never want to let go of them. Whoever they choose are going to be judged heavily in comparison to the original characters. There is also a matter of the two main people that were involved with Cowboy Bebop. Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno? How could anything be Bebop without these two? I wish that Shinichiro Watanabe would play a heavy role behind the scenes of this series and Yoko Kanno would do the soundtrack. If that happened, I would be sold. I don’t care about the storyline, because Bebop has a loose one. I just want these two people to be involved somehow. Either way, it has potential to be interesting and I will at least give it a try.

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Karandi says:

    I’d probably vote for more Firefly but I’d take a live action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the anime but I like the ideas in it and think that could be pretty entertaining. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I would vote for more Firefly as well, but it’s been long enough to assume that it’s not happening anytime soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Karandi says:

        The actors have gotten a little old at this point for it to be plausible. So, let’s go for the spin-off after the alliance has been weakened but not lost its grip on the verse and a new plucky crew are out to misbehave. Go the spin-off series.
        Okay, I really just want more Joss Whedon dialogue.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        Not a big fan of his dialogue, but I would like to see a spin off somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. ennadune says:

    Interesting article.. I love Cowboy Bebop, and i think it’s one of those shows that’s best left alone.. I’ll still watch whatever they make though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yes, but the unfortunate part is that’s it’s not going to be left alone because it’s something western audiences know extremely well. Because of that, studios think it’s going to be a giant cash cow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. DerekL says:

        It could be a giant cash cow… If it were done right. But it won’t be.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Scott says:

        Most likely not, no.

        Like

  3. Grimsabr says:

    Im always dubious about anime adaptions but i would sure as hell give this a try if it happened. It really shouldnt be done without the help of Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno though! It wouldnt feel right without them

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Yeah, indeed. Apparently the studio behind Cowboy Bebop is gloomy to be one of the executive producers, so at least that’s a step forward.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. railgunfan75 says:

    I’m intrigued but very apprehensive about this. The main issue I see in something like this is the temptation to change the franchise into what they think the west wants and miss the point as to what made it great in the first place. There is a bit of hope in the fact that the studio behind the anime is also behind this project and hopefully they will have the bigger say in how this will be done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I’m not sure if they would have to change much to make it work though. I mean, I bet that entire episodes could be turned into live action shot by shot and western audiences would be into it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. railgunfan75 says:

        That would be the ideal scenario. We all know nothing needs to change and it is my hope that it doesn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

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