Earlier this year, it was announced that Yoko Kanno — the composer behind the intergalactic jazz soundtrack of Cowboy Bebop — is returning for Netflix’s upcoming live action take on the 1998 anime series. “I didn’t think the show should go forward without her involvement,” star John Cho claimed last month. “(She is) too integral to the show. Our iteration minus her would suffer too much.”
In fact, even with Kanno on board, her opening theme song, “Tank!”, has proved too iconic to replace. As unveiled during Netflix’s “Tudum” livestream event this weekend (September 25), the music makes its return in the opening sequence of the live action edition.
The credits sequence itself pays pretty clear homage to the original from Shinichirō Watanabe’s anime, as well, blending its stylish animation with brief snippets from the upcoming show.
Beyond the opening credits, however, the new Cowboy Bebop isn’t set to be a too faithful to the original. Discussing his hopes and fears about starring as intergalactic bounty hunter Spike Spiegel, Cho previously explained that he made sure the series wouldn’t be a scene-by-scene remake before signing up.
“I didn’t want to do that artistically,” he explains. “And I also thought that that was a recipe for encouraging unflattering comparisons. How could you do it better? You can’t. You have to do something a little different.”
“Cowboy Bebop is an action-packed space Western about three bounty hunters, AKA ‘cowboys’, all trying to outrun the past,” explains a synopsis from Netflix. “As different as they are deadly, Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, and Faye Valentine form a scrappy, snarky crew ready to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals — for the right price. But they can only kick and quip their way out of so many scuffles before their pasts finally catch up with them.”