Three, two, one, let’s jam. Cowboy Bebop is making its way onto Netflix. This release is coming before the reimagined live-action series that was ordered by the same streaming service. The anime series is renowned as a classic among fans of the genre and is still revered for its unique music-inspired plot, thumping jazz score, colorful characters, and the weight of emotion that gives the series a rawly humanized feel.
Cowboy Bebop was first released in Japan in 1998 before becoming a global phenomenon. It pivots on its high-octane action scenes that are suavely paired with the practice of martial arts and space battles. Previous to finding its new home on Netflix, Cowboy Bebop ran for 26 episodes and was followed up by a movie in 2001, which reached the United States in 2003. See the announcement of Cowboy Bebop’s Netflix arrival below.
The series currently resides on Hulu, and the platform has not made it clear whether the anime will be shifting from service to service, or if Cowboy Bebop will be made accessible to those who subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, or both. For those who do not have accounts created with Netflix or Hulu, they can catch up on the original series on Funimation, or alternative means of being able to watch the show.
Plenty of promotional material has been released by Netflix as they’ve pushed more marketing campaigns around the live-action series. One example is a poster that reveals the final costume designs for each character. The live-action interpretation places the main trio of characters in the series’ official poster. Staying true to Cowboy Bebop‘s anime plot, Spike Spiegel (John Cho), a bounty hunter, makes his way through space while joined by Faye Valentine (Danielle Pineda) and Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) throughout his journey.
Pineda recently expressed her initial thoughts around her character’s costume and how Netflix decided to reimagine it for their series. The anime depicts Valentine wearing a canary yellow ensemble that is generously revealing, often seen with a red cardigan tied around her waist. While Netflix aims to emanate the source material, the character’s design is not cut and copied from anime to live-action. Instead of wearing yellow shorts, the Pineda is seen wearing black, leatherlike pants, and the red cardigan is being worn.
The actress spoke on the sexualization of Valentine through Instagram, noting that those who are expecting an exact replica of the famed Cowboy Bebop bounty hunter need to remain aware of the character’s measurements: six foot, double-D sized breasts, two-inch waist. “You know, they looked everywhere for that woman and they couldn’t find her, it was kinda weird. So they just went with my short ass, I know, am I right?” Pineda joked during her live stream after her Netflix casting was announced.
Netflix was forced to postpone Cowboy Bebop after John Cho was injured on set while the show was shooting, and the damage to his knee set back the means of production while he recovered. The seven-to-nine-month delay posed itself as a threat to the intended air date for the series but the “freak accident” did not disrupt the plot of the show. The slight delay gives those who have yet to acquaint themselves with the anime before the live-action to do so before. Cowboy Bebop (1998-1999) can be watched on Netflix on October 21st, followed by Cowboy Bebop (2021-) on November 19, 2021.