5 of the best anime to watch before ‘Cowboy Bebop’ arrives
(Credit: Netflix)

Must Watch Series

5 of the best anime to watch before 'Cowboy Bebop' arrives

Despite airing just 26 episodes, the 1998 anime Cowboy Bebop had garnered a massive fan following, inspiring two manga series as well as an anime film. In 2017, a live-action reboot was announced, with Netflix garnering the rights in 2018. Recently, Netflix introduced the teaser to the show that boasts of the colourful panels, snazzy music and the overall sexy appeal that has been derived heavily from the 1970s series. 

Starring John Cho, Danielle Pineda and Mustafa Shakir, the anime series will be set in outer space, where a ragtag team of bounty hunters try to escape from their past demons while hunting down and battling some of the most dangerous adversaries across the solar system. 

Cowboy Bebop has a massive cult-like following and the anime will be airing on Thursday on Netflix, ahead of the release of its live-action series on November 19, 2021. There are many other anime shows like Cowboy Bebop that are heavily inspired by pop tracks, rich in colour and style, with intriguing protagonists and equally appealing backstories. 

We, at Best of Netflix, decided to curate a list for fans of Cowboy Bebop to check out the following anime on Netflix before the actual series arrives: 

5 of the best anime to watch before Cowboy Bebop arrives

5. Carole & Tuesday (Shinichiro Watanabe, 2019)

If you are a fan of the Cowboy Bebop anime, you would know how integral the snazzy title sequence is. With both the anime referring to pop song titles in episodes as well as being visually stylistic, Carole & Tuesday, like Cowboy Bebop, derives inspiration from the ‘80s style while being placed in a futuristic setting. 

Carole, a keyboardist in a Martian city, dreams of a burgeoning musical career and meets Tuesday who is oppressed by the affluent family that compels her to run away. Together, they try to establish their musical genius and creativity in a world where the realm of entertainment has been overrun by AI.  

4. Black Lagoon (Sunao Katabuchi, 2006)

What sets Black Lagoon apart is the carefully woven character narratives and the subsequent development amidst underlying ominous storytelling. With an intriguingly dark premise, the story revolves around a businessman named Rojurou who gets abducted by pirates and later decides to join them to do away with his general disillusionment and taste the overt adventure adorning the eventful lives of the pirates. 

Set in modern-day Japan, the series provides a brilliant commentary on capitalism and its operational machines that incinerate employees by the dozen. Rokurou’s sudden and unfathomable career change raises questions regarding one’s true purpose and the meaning of freedom while providing an interesting look at the stylish action-packed adventures of the criminal underbelly of Japan. 

3. Psycho-Pass (Tow Ubukata, 2012)

A perfect blend of action noir and cyberpunk, this show boasts of well-fleshed out characters, especially the protagonist who thrives in a distinct futuristic setting of 22nd century Japan. With an invasive police force that can detect crimes before they are committed, the criminals are placed under psychological treatment. 

Behavioural prediction amidst a dystopian setting and the inability and failure to carry out certain operations properly lead to a dark, gruesome and violent premise. A critique of our understanding of free will, judgement and redemption, this sophisticated anime is an essential watch for Cowboy Bebop fans. 

2. Trigun (Yasuhiro Nightow, 1998)

Playing on the theme of classic Westerns with a stylish and suave and sometimes idiotic hero with blonde spikes and neon glasses, Trigun sees insurance agents chasing the hero Vash who has a whopping $60 million bounty on his head due to his odd fixation on grazing cities to the ground for fun. 

He is pursued closely by insurance agents Milly and Meryl who need to stop him from causing further damages. With brilliant comic sequences, the anime explores the personality and the past of Vash with utter magnificence while capitalizing on the Western genre, bringing in a well-balanced approach towards drama, action, sci-fi and comedy. 

1. Neon Genesis Evangelion (Hideaki Anno, 1995)

With an abstract ending to the show, this ‘90s anime paved the way for the introduction of experimental styles. Shinji Ikari deals with daddy issues while piloting the Evas with other children his age under the guidance of NERV who want to fight the Angels who want to destroy humankind. 

With a significant impact on Japanese pop culture, this ‘90s anime is a visual masterpiece that has garnered a cult-like following. With nuanced and relatable characters and an auteurist ingenuity on the part of Anno, the anime has reached staggering heights in terms of style and substance.