Why the Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Deserved Another Season

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

Cowboy Bebop

After the Cowboy Bebop live-action show crashed and burned on Netflix, it didn’t take the internet long to come to a consensus: most people seemed to think this was a bad show or, at minimum, a bad adaptation of one of (if not the) greatest anime shows ever created. The show was canceled, and what might have been a sprawling streaming franchise became a one-season wonder. But we’re here to drop a truth on you even hotter than the anime’s opening theme: the Cowboy Bebop live-action Netflix show was actually great and totally deserved another season.

Cowboy Bebop fell flat on its face upon its release on Netflix, but the series remins the streamer’s best live-action anime adaptation.

Why do we want another season of Cowboy Bebop on Netflix so badly? This show was perfectly cast: it was difficult to imagine anyone giving us a convincing live-action performance as Spike Spiegel, but John Cho effortlessly brought this iconic character to life. Mustafa Shakir similarly did an amazing job giving Jet Black all the brooding edge he needed, and Daniella Pineda’s Faye Valentine was the perfect blend of crass, crafty, and cute (just call her the show’s manic pixie scream girl).

Also, even the biggest haters of the live-action Cowboy Bebop must grudgingly acknowledge that the show had amazing production value. Part of the charm of the original anime is that it took place in many exotic locales (ones that our heroes came through, like China shop bulls, of course), and this live-action Netflix show did a good job of portraying this future time period that is just as cynical as it is beautiful. In short, these sets are as beautiful as the actors populating them, and that’s an amazing feat in itself.

John Cho in Cowboy Bebop

Speaking of feats, another reason that we want more Cowboy Bebop on Netflix is that the show has amazing stunts and engaging fights. Those were a hallmark of the original anime, of course, and fans couldn’t help but wonder if this kind of over-the-top action would translate well to live action.

Cowboy Bebop on Netflix is the closest thing we have had to a modern revival of the Fox show Firefly.

It did so in a powerful way, though, and we are shamelessly thirsty for more action scenes that rely on killer choreography and creative set design rather than using shaky-cam footage to make a scene exciting.

And we simply can’t go any further without talking about the music of Cowboy Bebop. The original anime is particularly memorable thanks to Yoko Kanno’s relentlessly rocking tunes, and Netflix mercifully brought Kanno back to create the soundtrack for the live-action show.

That means we got both new music and amazing remixes of familiar songs, and on a purely selfish level, we’d love another season of this anime adaptation for the music alone.

The best part of Cowboy Bebop, either the anime or in live-action, is the amazing soundtrack.

Ultimately, Cowboy Bebop on Netflix is the closest thing we have had to a modern revival of the Fox show Firefly: the show is a fusion of Eastern and Western ideas, giving us believable characters trying to survive on the fringes of a lived-in universe. Furthermore, the show impressively threaded the needle of adapting familiar characters and story beats while also throwing in more than a few surprises.

We’d love another season, but since Netflix won’t let that happen, we’ll play “see you, space cowboy” the only way we can: binge-watching the first season and dreaming of the future seasons we might have had.