What Is It?
The 2021 Netflix American science fiction live action parody streaming TV show adaptation of the Japanese anime (animated) TV show Cowboy Bebop called Cowboy Bebop (Season 1).
Here is how Metacritic describes this TV show:
The live-action series based on Shinichirō Watanabe’s anime series follows bounty hunters Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) as they search the galaxy for wanted criminals.
I am not a fan of live action anime remakes, adaptations, et cetera; and I usually feel that they should stay in anime form.
So, I definitely was worried when I heard that they were finally working on that long rumored live action adaptation of the anime TV show Cowboy Bebop, which is one of my favorite anime TV shows of all-time.
I am about to be pretty harsh in my review of this show, but I actually did not hate it; I did hate some things about it, but to my surprise I did not hate it & my brother GC did not hate it.
View this show as a live action parody of the anime Cowboy Bebop, that will help to decrease the pain & anger & hate & disappointment et cetera, and it will help you enjoy the show more.
They should not have named it Cowboy Bebop, besides being confusing because the anime has the same name, it is not really Cowboy Bebop to me.
Bebop or Space Cowboys or
Cowboy PeePee or Cowboy PoBoy or something like that would have been a better name in my opinion.
This show does benefit from having a somewhat unique & interesting look, tone, feel, mood, music, et cetera thanks to some influence from the anime; and so that is something good about it.
The actor playing Jet Black, Mustafa Shakir, did an amazing job, he was Jet Black, and he was the best of the main crew.
The dog playing Ein was the second best of the crew.
The actor playing Spike Spiegel did alright & was the third best of the crew.
The actress playing Faye Valentine was my least favorite of the crew & did not fit the character as much as the others.
They did the character Radical Edward & the actress who played her wrong by having her appear for only a few seconds.
Her first line & first few seconds were super cringe & terrible, like something from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, but fortunately the seconds after that were not as bad after that.
That scene was under terrible conditions & camera angles with a poorly colored wig et cetera, so I can not rate her character or performance because it was the show creator’s fault & not enough of her was shown.
They should tone her character down instead of trying to be cartoony like the original character in my opinion.
The character Vicious in this show, is not the Vicious I remember from the anime, I do not know who this man is, but he is not Vicious, just call him V or something like that, when I saw his character these were some of my reactions:
To make matter worse, they kept showing this man, like they were proud, and he had an upper-class British accent which is nothing like how Vicious talked & does not fit his character; and this man talked too much, was not mysterious, was not cool, was getting punked by the leaders of The Syndicate, et cetera.
V looked strange & his hair & eyebrow colors did not match, his personality did not match Vicious most of the time, he was a spoiled rich brat with daddy issues, he used guns instead of swords 90% of the time, and there were other problems with his character.
Julia was another character who was messed up & was not Julia, I called her Lady Goo Goo, she looked & acted more like Lady Gaga than Julia, her eyebrows & hair colors did not match most of the time, and she did not act like Julia & did not match her character & was given too much screen time et cetera.
Gren was not Gren, call this person G, this person did not look like Gren, did not have the hair color of Gren, did not have the hair length of Gren, did not have the hairstyle of Gren, did not have the backstory of Gren, did not act like Gren, did not have the same job as Gren, did not play the saxophone like Gren, was not said to be a military veteran like Gren, was not said to be experimented on like Gren, was shown in more episodes than Gren, did not dress like Gren, and pretty much nothing about this character was Gren; so I am not sure who this G character is, but it was not Gren so:
I think that the club owner Ana & The Syndicate Capos (Captains) & a few of the other made-up characters were not necessary & did not add much if anything to the show.
Faye’s fake mom Whitney Haggis Matsumoto, played by the actress Christine Dunford, was a surprisingly good addition that brought out the most Faye-like behavior in Faye, and she acted more like Faye than the Faye in this show.
They wasted all of that time with made-up characters instead of using some of that time for a main member of the crew like Radical Edward, who is a real character from the anime.
The Syndicate henchmen & leaders & rival gangs & some of the other villains & bounties were not portrayed so well in my opinion; and some of the dialogue in this show was bad, cringy, et cetera.
This show had some unnecessary cursing & some brief nudity at times, which was completely not needed & not like the anime, and just limits the audience for this show for no reason.
Fortunately, some of the bad things were so bad, that they were good / funny.
Episode 10 was probably the worst episode, which is a shame, because it is the last episode; things fell apart in the last episode as the story fell apart & they ruined some iconic moments from the anime & ruined the introduction to a member of the main crew.
This show could have told the entire story of Cowboy Bebop or most of it in probably 12 episodes, based on how long each episode was, but oddly they did not finish this show in this season.
The original anime only had one season of 26 20-something minute long episodes & one movie, and so this show should have only been one season & maybe one live action movie.
Even with all the negativity of this review and even with all the clear flaws of this show, I still enjoyed this show more than I had expected.
I was able to detach it from the real Cowboy Bebop enough to accept it as something else enough to survive watching it & to find some things to like, if you can not do that, you will probably hate this show, and I would not blame you.
If you try to consider this to be Cowboy Bebop, it is like a slap in the face, if you see it as a parody & something loosely inspired by Cowboy Bebop, then you can find some things to enjoy in its wacky uniqueness.
This show is more wacky & comedic & unbalanced than the real Cowboy Bebop, and it is a comedy science fiction show that borders on or is parody in my opinion.
If you have not seen the real anime Cowboy Bebop TV show & anime, please do watch them before watching this show, you can rent them for free from your local library or watch the show on Netflix or watch the show for free on the Crunchyroll website and / or Adult Swim website.
The real anime Cowboy Bebop TV show & anime movie is a classic & is one of the greatest anime of all-time & is better & cooler & more balanced than this show in almost every way; but you can still watch this show once for something different.
- John Jr