A well-known fact among people who read manga and watch anime, even people who watch cartoon; live actions of them will definitely end up being bad.
Dragon Ball: Evolution, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kite or Death Note – you name it. Every single one of them was worse in its own way. Fans despised them so badly. At some point, people didn’t even want anybody to do an adaptation of the original work stating that the original work is better if it stays the original.
Speaking of which, Netflix, as usual tried to play another card that they have been dealt with – the live action adaptation of one of Shinichiro Watanabe‘s best work: Cowboy Bebop.
Cowboy Bebop, a 1998 Japanese neo-noir science fiction anime, serves as a gateway for anime because of the fame the anime gained throughout the years. Comparably, people often show their dislikes for the dubbed version of the anime, Cowboy Bebop gained the appreciation of the people for the wide range of cast in the dubbed version of the anime.
Later, after the popularity of the anime, Netflix decided to make a live action adaptation of the anime to add another item to their list of live action adaptations of famous anime and cartoons.
At first, when I heard about the project, I was suspicious as usual, since it was Netflix who are known for trying different things that people might end up liking or not. John Cho, who is known for various roles in Hollywood, was said to play as Spike Spiegel for the live action adaptation. A little skeptical but then it can be agreed due to me being a fan of John Cho’s past works.
I believe that the people did their research very well. From the similarity of the anime’s opening credits to using the same opening from the anime – Tank! by Seatbelts. A homage to the anime, Netflix sure did know how to reel in the anime audience.
Back again to the casting of the crew, I was sure disappointed to see that Mustafa Shakir playing Jet Black. Nothing cannot be done, because it was Netflix doing their best to make a fair representation of the cast, but Shakir played the cards that he was dealt with. His humor throughout the series, the speech delivery, similar references to the English dubbed version of Jet Black, you name it. Shakir played the role exceptionally well.
But I sure was disappointed with Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine. Faye Valentine was the ideal woman for every anime fan in the 1990s. The anime Faye had sexiness, classiness and witty sarcasm but the live action had a huge degradation in terms of everything and had an increase in monotone talks.
Another notable progress of Netflix trying to do justice to the anime, making Yoko Kanno as the composer for the series. Kanno gained fame for her anime Cowboy Bebop work. Netflix making her as the composer of the series is another advantage Netflix hugely added to the live action adaptation. Kanno was happy to join the project much to her advantage, the same band, Seatbelts who did the soundtrack for the anime was eager to join Kanno on her venture for the live action too. The jazz from the anime was once again relived in the live action, which gained a positive.
Netflix, once again, with their fight for equal representation, added a little bit of spice of their own to the series, which could have been avoided to stay original to the root of the anime, but then you cannot blame much about it. It is the end of 2022 (technically, I’m still processing 2018). It is not very internet friendly still to be fighting against representations.
Despite the live action being a 10-episode series, the project crew tried their best to show references to the anime as a homage. The references sure were in a random order, but it was nice to see them in the live action.
The live action sure did have its own flaws. The backstory of certain characters (Ein is something that we should never talk about, considering how botched the character was) could have been written a little better, or a better costume design for the characters but you cannot blame the soundtrack of the series.
People who watched the live action before watching the anime might have different opinions about this but as a person who was a fan of the anime, I would say that this is another addition to list of the tragedical live action adaptation.
Oh well. Whatever happens, happens.