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Cowboy Bebop anime/live action comparison
Via Instagram/@bebopnetflix

Watch side-by-side comparisons of Cowboy Bebop and its live action reboot

Netflix is inviting fans to compare scenes with the original anime, as showrunner André Nemec teases ‘big plans for season two’

Netflix has shared plenty of material from the new live action Cowboy Bebop reboot ahead of its premiere later this month, from the reworked opening credits, to a neo-noir trailer, to the entire 1998 anime series. Now, the streaming service has encouraged fans to draw comparisons between the original and the new adaptation once again, sharing similar scenes via social media. 

Among the side-by-side clips are a shot of the titular interplanetary fishing ship, the Bebop, landing on the sea, and an iconic fight scene between Spike Spiegel (John Cho) and major antagonist Vicious (Alex Hassell).

The new clips suggest that the live action series will stick fairly closely to visuals from the Shinichirō Watanabe anime, or at least pay homage. However, many fans have pointed out a lack of vibrancy in the IRL shots, which particularly stands out when they’re placed side-by-side with their animated counterparts.

Earlier this year, Cho said that one of his primary concerns about the show is the inevitability of people making comparisons with the anime. Ultimately, he signed on for the role under the condition that the show wasn’t an exact copy.

“I didn’t want to do that artistically, and I also thought that that was a recipe for encouraging unflattering comparisons,” Cho says. “How could you do it better? You can’t. You have to do something a little different.”

Presumably, we’ll get a better sense of what’s been done differently when the show premieres on Netflix next week, November 19.

Despite the fact that the reboot hasn’t aired yet, showrunner André Nemec has teased that he’s already got ideas for season two. “If (Netflix CEO) Ted Sarandos comes by, you tell him I got big plans for season two,” he told the Hollywood Reporter at the show’s premiere this week. “We definitely know where we want to go, and I’m excited that we get to tell those stories.”

“Fingers crossed that we get more Cowboy Bebop.”