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.