Netflix apparently hit a nerve when it announced a live-action iteration of the popular Cowboy Bebop series. Ever since then, the streaming giant has been teasing fans with limited releases of promotional information, costume pictures, and even an opening sequence. Needless to say, reactions have been mixed. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?
Creators are always walking a tight rope when they attempt to convert popular anime series and films into live-action reboots. The reality is that people hate change. Making matters worse, die-hard anime fans know what they like and don't like. When they latch onto a particular series, they are hesitant about anything changing. Cowboy Bebop fans are no exception to the rule.
The original Cowboy Bebop consisted of just twenty-six episodes that ran over the course of a single year, beginning in April 1998. Despite its relatively short run, it proved quite popular with Japanese anime fans. It was equally popular when the English-dubbed version was exported to Europe and North America.
New and Original Actors
Cowboy Bebop's original voice actors will not be playing their live-action characters in the Netflix series. Instead, those roles go to John Cho (Spike), Mustafa Shakir (Jet), and Daniella Pineda (Faye). However, there will be a dubbed version for Japanese audiences. That is where the original anime voice actors come in.
Koichi Yamadera and Megumi Hayashibara reprise their roles as Spike and Faye. Unfortunately, the actor who played Jet (Unsho Ishizuka) passed away a few years ago. His role will be played by Taiten Kusunoki.
Japanese Cowboy Bebop fans appeared nonplussed when Netflix first announced the live-action series. However, they seem to be warming up to the idea. Following the release of the opening sequence in Japan, fans had at least a few nice things to say. Some of them even seem to be looking forward to watching it. What do you think?
Hard to Compete with the Original
The difficulty faced by Cowboy Bebop's Netflix team is inherent to any attempt to compete with something original. Cowboy Bebop fans are used to something very specific with the original anime series. Because it is impossible to fully re-create the experience in a live action version, some things will be different. How those different things are perceived among fans will largely determine whether the live-action series succeeds.
We are somewhat familiar with what Netflix is facing. As you may know, all the artwork featured on our anime T-shirts, sweatshirts and phone cases is original. It is created by one of the founding members of the Umai ownership team. We believe our original artwork would be hard to compete with in other venues. Take it away from the Umai brand and it is just not the same.
Something else that viewers might find off-putting is the difference between animation and live action. Animation in any form, including anime, engages the imagination in ways that live action cannot. Likewise, live action can sometimes give you too much to look at. The visuals can be a distraction that doesn't allow you to dig more deeply into your imagination.
Fans Will Ultimately Decide
One way or another, the live action Cowboy Bebop is coming. It might already be running by the time you read this post. Whether or not it succeeds is ultimately up to fans. If they like the finished product, they will watch every episode in the series. If not, they will tune out.
In the meantime, you can always continue to pursue your love of anime with clothing and accessories from UmaiClothing. We have something for everyone.