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REVIEW: Cowboy Bebop Live-Action


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everydaygamer



Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 661
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:16 pm Reply with quote
Anime fans will tell you it's garbage, but as long as you're able to enjoy it for what it is instead of what it's not it's alot of fun.

Personally I kind of liked it more than the anime but that's just cause I always found Bebop kind of dull despite fan's insistence that it's some kind of perfect masterpiece.

Point is just give it a shot you'll either hate it or have a great time.

On a side note I appreciate that I'm not the only one who enjoyed LA Vicious, he's just so much fun compared to his anime counterpart.


Last edited by everydaygamer on Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Marzan



Joined: 29 Mar 2009
Posts: 479
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:24 pm Reply with quote
I cannot remember the last time I read a review of any work and found myself in such utter and complete agreement. I don’t disagree with a single comma on it.

It’ll be interesting to see if this gets a sequel or not.
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Beatdigga



Joined: 26 Oct 2003
Posts: 3510
Location: New York
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:35 pm Reply with quote
I get not wanting to redo things 1:1 over a 20+ year old show (first aired on Adult Swim in September of 2001, and I remember using an old VHS to record the entire block, but it was primarily for Bebop). I get wanting to introduce the show to a new audience with a live-action adaptation for people who might be disinclined to view animation for whatever biases they may have. And it's not like live-action adaptations are all going to be terrible. It's a meme that they are, but we've seen some good ones fairly recently, from the Rurouni Kenshin which are genuinely great samurai movies even if you've never read the manga or watched the anime, to Alice in Borderland, which thanks to sharing demographic info with the Squid Game, has become quite popular. Hell, even the second Guyver movie from way back when (not the first) was a pretty fun B-movie tokusatsu film.

But it's clear from the get-go that the people behind this show didn't get Bebop. And if they did, they thought they could improve it rather than merely expand on it. That's where this falls flat above all. Say what you will about the legions of comic book adaptations that grace our screens big and small (and one of the reasons I suspect we're seeing more anime and manga adaptations in the pipeline is because the comic book well is starting to run dry if it hasn't already), but all the successful ones have some idea of what makes these characters work on the page, and focus on adapting that.

I don't want to blame the actors so much as the direction. The poor actor playing Ed, to use an example, they try really hard, but the direction they were given is Internet Critic quality. No one could make that work.

Hopefully, this doesn't come across as too rambly. I genuinely love Bebop as a show, the sort of "anime fan's anime" that even to this day, Adult Swim keeps bringing back Watanabe to do stuff for them in an effort to recapture some of that magic in things like Space Dandy and Blade Runner Black Out. But the people behind this show thought they could improve Bebop, and...yeah.
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Soul_Punisher



Joined: 28 Apr 2021
Posts: 16
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:50 pm Reply with quote
Almost Everything Cringy about live adaptation can be found here in Cowboy Bebop Netflix not forgotting DBE, Death note of course.
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The Not so Chosen One



Joined: 18 Nov 2016
Posts: 206
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 3:52 pm Reply with quote
I gotta admit, I did chuckle at some of the main trio's iteractions and I got to finish the whole season, but overall, I'd be repeating what most people are saying in every other part of the Internet, and what's been said before in other threads in this website about the show because everyone saw it coming anyway:

It's a Netflix show, and an live action adapation at that; there's was no greatness nor high quality to be expected (I can only think of ONE adaptation this year that managed to make an adapt as good or better than the source material). Some of the expanded content compared to the anime is just clichés piled one on top of another to create drama: giving Jet a daughter and an ex-wife to eventually create drama surrounding Spike and Vicious' feud is a cliché, their whole existence is. Julia's character arc managed to be even more sexist than in the anime, and her pulling a Heel turn against Spike because "yOu nEvEr cAmE fOr mE", is not only rushed, but predictable given the fact that the show has an actress known for playing femme fatales in some of her TV appearances, yet ironically, inside the story, it didn't make any sense. She didn't have any ambitions or foreshadowing about her wanting to be something more than a cabaret singer or a mob wife. They just made her a bad guy just because. I still think about the "Faye as written by Joss Whedon" thing mentioned in one of ANN's videos, and it holds true on the show, and I didn't see the necessity of making her a lesbian. LA Vicious is as basic and boring as any lazy cartoon villain from the mid-90s and some of the 2000s can be; I hated the actor they chose, and the wig didn't help. His relationship with his father and what it has to do with Vicious' motivation is uninspired. On the other hand, I found Radical Ed's cameo at the end pretty endearing, and makes me think that I could come back for a 2nd season, if only to see them and Jet, which was the best actor and the greatest fit of the character in a very mediocre show, clichéd family backstory notwithstanding. John Cho was good, and the second best interpretation of the CB's characters, even if he's pushing 50 and looks nothing like the 27-YO character of the anime. His choreography could be better, but I can't fault that given his pretty well-known accident on set.

I didn't like the quirky, slapstick, saturday-morning energy this show got compared to the more somber, subdued tone of the anime, that did have those moments, and for a space opera, there was not much space; it seems that the show was working on a budget, and that COVID did a number in some of the episodes, specially the latter ones. There were some moments that felt true to the show (mostly the Bebop), but overall, it felt like a fan film, and I love fan films in instances where their creators are... fans and are making things on a budget, but you can't love a fan film when it's made by a multi-billon dollar corporation that knows it can do better than what we got with Cowboy Bebop.

I saw yesterday that it was No. 3 in Netflix's Top Ten, so I guess that what I said here don't matter to the usual Netflix audience that looks to watch somehing to kill time. Overall, the show is not good, but what was I expecting from Netflix???
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AmpersandsUnited



Joined: 22 Mar 2012
Posts: 480
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:11 pm Reply with quote
As a general rule of thumb, any remake or adaption that claims to "fix' the "problems" of the original is fated to be a bad adaption.

Online platforms make no distinction between a hate watch and a regular watch. I don't doubt a lot of people tuned in to see how it turned out. That doesn't mean people liked it, though.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14208
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:19 pm Reply with quote
AmpersandsUnited wrote:

Online platforms make no distinction between a hate watch and a regular watch. I don't doubt a lot of people tuned in to see how it turned out. That doesn't mean people liked it, though.


It's been trending up in the Top 10 the last few days though. If it remains there for some time, I don't think it matters to Netflix.
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karyuudo0127



Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 124
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:24 pm Reply with quote
I think if you look at this live action version is a thing of its own then it's completely fine. The anime will always be superior, since it's the source material. I went through all 10 episodes and I quite enjoyed it being a huge fan of the original series. The only thing I felt upset about was the way Jet and Spike had a falling out at the end due to the situation that they went through with Jets daughter being kidnapped. I'm hoping that season 2 will end up expanding on these characters more, and there will be less to compare to the original source material and the series can go off and do its own thing.
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charliepanayi



Joined: 17 Jul 2021
Posts: 14
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:26 pm Reply with quote
Netflix's top 10 metrics are utterly meaningless anyway, their latest boast is Red Notice is apparently their most watched original film ever and I doubt its existence will even be remembered by mid-December. Of course Bebop might get a second season (and then get cancelled a la Altered Carbon), but I wouldn't read too much into Netflix's official top 10 either way.
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The Not so Chosen One



Joined: 18 Nov 2016
Posts: 206
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:34 pm Reply with quote
Well, the important numbers Squid Game did were during the first month and a half the show was trending and everyone and their mother watched it. Maybe the show is not the #1 show right now, but it's still being the platform's most watched show in its history, anyway.
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everydaygamer



Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 661
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:35 pm Reply with quote
AmpersandsUnited wrote:
As a general rule of thumb, any remake or adaption that claims to "fix' the "problems" of the original is fated to be a bad adaption.

Online platforms make no distinction between a hate watch and a regular watch. I don't doubt a lot of people tuned in to see how it turned out. That doesn't mean people liked it, though.


I mean plenty of people online have stated their enjoyment of the series. Just cause the anime fans won't stop bitching about it doesn't mean noone is enjoying it.
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R. Kasahara



Joined: 19 Feb 2013
Posts: 463
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:50 pm Reply with quote
First off, oof. Secondly, not surprising that the creators of this adaptation have gone for an approach that is mostly surface, with not enough of the depth and nuance that was in the original.

The Alita live-action movie proved that Hollywood is capable of good anime/manga adaptations, but there has to be both an understanding of the source material and a willingness to put one's own distinctive mark on it. There aren't many James Camerons out there, unfortunately.


Last edited by R. Kasahara on Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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#Bird_Black



Joined: 24 Nov 2020
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 4:52 pm Reply with quote
I've been waiting for this review since last friday! It is every bit as vicious as I wanted it to be (no pun intended). I have been appalled by the number of reviews coming out that say that this version does the original justice. It absolutely doesn't.

I beg anyone who thinks this adaption is good to go back and watch the 1st episode of the anime and then compare it to live-action version. As far as I'm concerned, it gets *nothing* right. It introduces a new cold open for no good reason (apparently this scene is borrowed from the anime movie?). It introduces Faye too early, even though she isn't needed and even though she just disappears in ep 2 anyway. The sets look cheap as hell (opening scene barely even looks like casino, let alone a future casino.) Almost all shots of spacecraft have been cut. All the unnecessary added banter between Jet and Spike that makes them both just seem like immature 15 year olds. Jet mentions his daughter like 15 times, as though they couldn't come up with any other way to characterize him. The show makes sure to have people complain about The Man every 5 minutes to make sure we understand that this is a crapsack future. Anything that was subtext in the original is now text, in the sloppiest possible way.

Even with all that, they could have managed to tell a compelling story except that they managed to fudge up the basic story beats as well. They've added in some idea that Katarina is "daddy's little rich girl" who needs to be saved. Even while being chased by Spike at the end, hurtling towards the police blockade, she still thinks that they are going to get to mars, and only seems to realize that it's not going to happen when she realizes that Asimov is dying. Spike begs Katarina to stop, saying he can help her. They omit the part where she shoots Asimov. They even mess up the reveal that she's not really pregnant because Spike already saw that she wasn't pregnant in an earlier scene. They use the more upbeat version of Road to West, which has a weird dance beat over it. The original ends with us returning to the Bebop while harmonica music plays, giving us the idea that things never change. The live-action version goes straight to a scene with Vicious. The whole episode loses any emotional impact.

Some of these changes were clearly made to support the hour-long run time of the episodes, which is clearly one of the worst mistakes that the live-action made. But so many of the other changes are just baffling. It just screams that whoever directed this didn't understand a thing about what made the original great.
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MarshalBanana



Joined: 31 Aug 2014
Posts: 4420
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:05 pm Reply with quote
R. Kasahara wrote:
First off, oofThe Alita live-action movie proved that Hollywood is capable of good anime/manga adaptations, but there has to be both an understanding of the source material and a willingness to put one's own distinctive mark on it.
Also that was a high budget Movie, where this is a low budget Netflix show.
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lhernan02



Joined: 12 Jun 2005
Posts: 186
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2021 5:07 pm Reply with quote
Sounds like a crash and burn and I was glad I quit after the 2nd Ep so I don't have that much to complain about. In the first two episodes, I noticed the main issue and it was by design, the show's failure was predicated by its format. Anime Bebop was tightly written to fit its half hour format, there was no waste and no excess, Live Action Bebop, instead of grouping episodes to make up the time, just chose to pad the show into boredom. The worst being Julia and Vicious who were not characters, they were Spike's past/present/future, trying to flesh them out and spend time on them was painful and the main reason I dropped the show. I am glad I did not stick around to see that beyond boredom they also woke-ified it into stupidity.
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