When Netflix adapted the popular 1990s anime series Cowboy Bebop into the eponymous live-action series, they were seemingly prepared to hear a few negative reviews along the way. After all, Cowboy Bebop is undoubtedly one of the most sought after and influential anime since time immemorial.
With 26 episodes and an iconic jazzy soundtrack that complemented the rich burst of style and colour, alongside intriguing protagonists with equally appealing histories, the anime was launched in the wake of the worldwide boom of Japanese animation and thus garnered a massive cult-like following.
This all adds up to the apprehension and trepidation surrounding the newest Netflix adaptation. The streamer’s reputation has already taken a hit because of their recent adaptations of Death Note and Fullmetal Alchemist.
After the live-action series on Netflix received a lukewarm reception, actress Daniella Pineda, who plays Faye Valentine, spoke up against the blatant comparison to the anime. “First of all, no one’s ruining anything,” Pineda said. “The anime already exists. It’s there. You can love it forever. Our show is a love letter to the anime, and it is a springboard of the anime.”
Talking about the anime, she said, “There’s no right or wrong way to do it. You can watch the anime first. You can watch the anime last. You can be a huge fan of the anime and enjoy our show. You can also know nothing of the anime, and still dive into what we’ve done.”
She defended the show by saying, “I think we’ve done some really interesting things where we’ve mixed genres, and tonally, it goes in a lot of different places. So I think there’s something in it for everyone, whether you’re a fan, you’re a newbie, whether you’re young, whether you’re old – I feel like there’s something in it for everybody.”
While a second season has already been announced by Andre Nemec, the creator, this show, starring John Cho and Mustafa Shakir in lead roles, alongside Pineda, continues to generate disgruntled responses.
Watch the original anime and the live-action series on Netflix now to choose your side!