Review: Cowboy Bebop – Season 1

There is a very common pause among manga and anime fanatics, when they pronounce or hear the words ‘live-action’. Usually, that shiver comes to your spine, you know?!

Not five seconds after hearing such “cursed” words, we read on social media or heard the following sentence – “For God’s sake, don’t spoil my childhood!”


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Well, it’s not even worth breaking down into the smallest details this debased sentence commonly uttered in the heat of tempers. Still, it clearly indicates an anticipated blockage on the part of the viewer, who expects to have their past tastes and pleasures preserved at all costs. If they don’t do it this way, it naturally rebels in a puerile way, attacking the material adapted by social networks.

What some show some difficulty in understanding: is that despite everything being narrative, anime and live-action adaptations are very different in the way they are structured, even though they are presented equally in episodic ways. Some animes, even the most renowned ones, usually express measures in a more expository way, especially when seen in the original Japanese version, as dubbing has more limited inflections, for example.

Meanwhile, working with actors opens up the field of possibilities in a natural way, as it is up to the developers together with the cast, to adapt how to best present that scene, given several other elements found there that are not part of the creative process of developing the narrative for anime.

All this to announce that the live-action Cowboy Bebop, an adaptation of the renowned and popular anime created by Sunrise Inc., which tells the story of a disorganized crew of bounty hunters that pursues the most criminals, is now available in the Netflix catalogue. dangers of the galaxy; a gang that is willing to save the world for the right price.

Since 1998 when it debuted on Japanese television, Cowboy Bebop turned the tables! It was acclaimed by audiences and specialized critics for bringing something very peculiar to anime narrative.

Although it incorporates a wide variety of genres throughout its exhibition, Cowboy Bebop is mainly based on science fiction, western and noir films. Its most prominent themes include adult existential boredom, loneliness, and the inability to escape the past.

The anime produced by Sunrise Inc. was a commercial and critical success in the Japanese and international markets (mainly in the United States); won several major anime and science fiction awards on its release, as well as receiving unanimous praise for its style, characters, story, voice acting, animation and soundtrack, which explores blues, jazz, opera and western music.

Making it clear that carrying so many distinct elements, it would naturally stand out among the pile.

The first season of Cowboy Bebop contains ten episodes, which flow more steadily after the end of the first half. Much of this is because only in the fourth episode titled ‘Soul de Callisto’ can we witness the trio of bounty hunters performing side by side.

This narrative synergy proved to be the greatest of the predicates of this series headed by André Nemec, which attracts the Netflix subscriber more when it contrasts characters with different personalities and behaviors.

When you put that concept into practice, we feel a narrative that progresses with a magnetic cadence, where we are drawn into the Bebop spacecraft, along with the crew led by the lazy and disinterested Spike Spiegel (John Cho); now, when he doesn’t establish these counterpoints, we feel that things are not going as they should, moving a little away from the proposed story.

Each of the actors was able to contribute in some way for us to connect to the plot. Both in the humorous way, where everyone gets a chance to show their skills, such as ‘timing’ and intonation of the voice; as in some more dramatic scenes, like when Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) watches a VHS tape that concerns her past.

The trio composed by John Cho, Mustafa Shakir and Daniella Pineda naturally transition between genres and scenarios of this Netflix production. In no time, they seem out of place from the story they are sharing with the public.

Perhaps the only low point among the main cast is Alex Hassell, who plays the antagonist Vicious, who despite his enormous vigor on the scene, never manages to escape the more obvious villainous caricatures, making him a less attractive persona for the subscriber. streaming platform.

For those familiar with the original material, it’s no surprise to learn that each chapter of the season is seen as a session, where they select a target to pursue.

For the first half of Cowboy Bebop we see a more unpretentious atmosphere, following the missions chosen by Spike Spiegel and Jet Black. However, in the second part of the season we get into the great conflict of the series, about the rivalry between the protagonist and Vicious, former teammates who disputed the love of the charming Julia (Elena Satine).

It is in the second half that we find more interesting complicating factors to follow, even visually everything turns out more attractive, as the brilliant scene where Spike invades the Neptune Cartel executing any living soul that got in his way.

We can’t say that the balance of the first season is just flowers and rainbows, since not everything flows as it could, as well as some things had the chance to be simplified to bring something more dynamic to the narrative of the original Netflix production series .

However, we have some highlights that are worth following this adaptation of the Cowboy Bebop anime. This of course if they come with an open mind and heart, because if they have any pre-disposition to need a copy perfectly equal to the anime, better review it, also part of the streaming platform’s catalogue.

By the final episode, we already know that things are going to get worse for the crew aboard the Bebop ship. Lucky they’ll get two extra little hands for a likely second season of Cowboy Bebop.

They will need it!

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