In what has come as a surprise to many, Netflix has announced a live action series of anime fan favorite Cowboy Bebop. Although the series was originally announced back in June 2017, Netflix has made the announcement that the series is heading to it’s streaming service. Many fans seemed to bemoan the idea of a live action series of the cult classic, and with good reason. There is a long history of bad live action adaptions of famous anime such as Avatar: The Last Airbender, Dragon Ball, and Deathnote. It’s hard to say whether or not Cowboy Bebop would suffer the same fate. There is one thing that’ll separate it from the rest. For one, the live action version is going to be a series instead of a movie.
The three examples I just gave are very popular anime series’ that have been condensed into a single film. So much of the content is disregarded to allow a steady story without feeling dragged out. But what makes each series great is what gets removed. Like with Dragon Ball: Evolution, Goku’s story was merged with Gohan’s teen storyline. Demon King Piccolo was brought as the first villain instead of the countless villains he faces. This made for a choppy story that rushed a lot of elements without developing the characters. Instead of Goku becoming the man he grows up to be, we see an unsure teen going through teen angst. Somehow he wins the final battle and the girl.
As a series, Cowboy Bebop can really flourish and become a true adaptive series. We don’t know yet if the series will follow the events of the anime or a new story. Either way, as a series, the characters can be developed across several episodes like in the anime. Hopefully this becomes the standard to what future live action anime adaptions will follow, seeing as how well received Cowboy Bebop is.