The live-action Cowboy Bebop TV show is going strength to strength in a new teaser, which could point to the most visually innovative Netflix series for some time.
In the video below, you'll see the cast – John Cho, Daniella Pineda and Mustapha Shakir as Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine and Jet Black respectively – bickering, fighting, and toying with the boundaries of the show's camera shots in a brilliantly playful way.
While the Cowboy Bebop trailer we saw a few weeks prior – essentially just an updated, live-action version of the anime's original title sequence – was enough to get us excited, this is on a whole other level, showing us just how much inspiration the adaptation has taken from its Japanese source material.
Official trailer in 1 week. Until then, may we humbly present… THE LOST SESSION. #cowboybebop #thelostsession pic.twitter.com/EeWxfPjfSPOctober 19, 2021
Camera shots are toyed with by the actors themselves, as they grab the outlines of manga-like boxouts and fling them across the screen, hurtling into new scenes and locations. It's like watching a moving comic book, and lends a sense of thrilling fluidity and excitement that's hard to recreate outside of illustrative animation.
The action itself is much more inspired by anime sequences rather than live-action fight choreography, with the camera ducking and weaving at impossible angles as John Cho backflips a kick into a goon's face.
This standalone promo, titled 'The Lost Session', may not be representative of the show as a whole, but it certainly shows potential for the Netflix series, which so far looks both startling different and incredibly faithful to the aesthetic of the original show.
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Looking the part
Cowboy Bebop has long been one of the most stylish anime series out there to garner a Western audience – with its trademark mix of American and Eastern styles in a space-western setting, so notably inspiring Joss Whedon in his sci-fi series Firefly.
You can see the title sequence below, which laid out the blueprint for this faithful tribute.
3, 2, 1... let’s jam. Watch the opening credits for Cowboy Bebop, landing November 19th. #TUDUM pic.twitter.com/LzZ8fqpVmDSeptember 25, 2021
So far, Netflix's adaptation certainly looks the part, and the more we see of the show the more we want to see the finished product. The series is set to get 10 episodes, and will land on the streaming service on November 19.
Whether the show can fulfil on the promise of its stylish veneer, is something we'll only find out then. Until then, see you space cowboy.