Cowboy Bebop is nothing else as it premiered around twenty years ago. It was one of the most famous neo-Western sets in space, this means a noir thriller alongside the spectacle of martial arts action. There are John Woo-esque shootouts and some existential vision of the broken features where all the characters were forced out to live with their shattered pasts. On top of everything, it was all propelled by an iconic soundtrack that then easily danced between the genres. We are not having that much time in the Bebop-verse- there are only 26 episodes and a movie, each and every second felt like a miracle.
How can a live-action Netflix adaptation live up like that? Simply, it doesn’t. The original show was like a love letter to cinema and some pop culture that was created by a creative dream team. The Netflix remix is mainly in love with Cowboy Bebop. This is all that we want to remind of the anime, so much that it replicates many iconic sequences shot-for-shot but it doesn’t latch onto what made it so special. This is all that hums the melody but has no soul. It is all a hollow tune that’s common to nostalgia-focused reboots like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Hence, this is all that almost holds it back.
Despite all the Cowboy Bebop, there are some misunderstandings on its source material, and this ends up being a decently enjoyable sci-fi romp. If you are not having an idea of what you are missing, then it is very much easy to overlook the flaws as you soak into the talent of the cast, the strange yet familiar future that is filled with terraformed moons and planets, and all of the catchy Yoko Kanno tunes.