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“Don’t meet your heroes.” It is good advice when talking about your favorite celebrity. The same can be said for your favorite TV shows. Cowboy Bebop is being met with harsh reviews from fans and critics. The excitement surrounding the live-action version of Cowboy Bebop had all the right ingredients. A good cast selection, a solid foundation to pull from, and a theme drenched in jazz. The techno-noir was headed in the right direction until it was viewed by fans of the original series.
Cowboy Bebop is supposed to be Casablanca, not Deadpool
Cowboy Bebop is supposed to be an anime study on film noir. At least, some fans have put it that way. Film noir is a crime film with an ominous atmosphere and a sleazy backdrop. The tone isn’t shadowy and foreboding at all in the remake. Cowboy Bebop as an animated spin on this American classic style hit all the right notes. Appropriate for the audience, but it never sacrificed a bit of substance for flavor. The new Netflix version is none of this. The star of the show and main motivation, Spike Spiegel, was once Humphrey Bogart, in spirit, and is now more Ryan Reynolds. The setting isn’t Space Morocco and has been reduced to a bubbly and bright scene with no purpose. Also, Faye Valentine, what was once a solid retelling of a strong but clumsy female lead is now a caricature of herself.
There is a cute dog, however
Ein the, all-around good boy, Welsh Corgi is played by two real-life pups. The showrunners’ choice to avoid CGI dogs is certainly a point in their favor. His attractiveness to the audience seems to be obvious as many fan pages and promotional material are starting to lean into his lovability. Whether this was always intended or a reaction to the generally negative reception is unknown. One thing is for sure, no one is disappointed with more fluffy dogs. Here is a whole fake plot tweeted by Cowboy Bebop’s Netflix team.
Who is to blame for Cowboy Bebop’s live action mistakes?
Many fans worried about the casting as well as the look and feel of the show before release. The elements that fans should be fearing the most seemed to be the easiest things to get right. The show already had its writing done for it after all. Some cuts and changes were understandable. Vicious didn’t need a strange bird atop his shoulder for the character’s villainous attitude to be obvious. Faye didn’t need to be mostly naked half the time to be on screen. With everything considered, Cowboy Bebop is a fun and lovable show, but it just isn’t the masterwork that its source material was. Be sure to sit down and enjoy it for what it is.