‘Cowboy Bebop’ Netflix cancellation could destroy future anime adaptations
It’s not for lack of trying.
On Thursday, Netflix announced the cancellation of its expensive and ambitious series Cowboy Bebop, a live action adaptation of an influential Japanese animated film. As The Hollywood Reporter observed, the ax fell just three weeks after the show premiered.
Netflix’s relentless pre-launch promotion, only to be quickly canceled a few weeks later, begs a tiresome question: What’s all this for?
Netflix is perpetually and desperately looking for original productions to bolster its content catalog. Unlike existing library-based streaming players, like Paramount+ or WarnerMedia, Netflix is powerful enough to license, adapt, and acquire. And because it’s more financially sensible to tailor IP to an existing audience than to try something new (at least if you ignore hit games like Strange things and Squid fishing game), Netflix has found a way to Cowboy Bebop, an anime series that is loved in part because it encapsulates it as a 26-episode series rather than a ridiculous 900-chapter story.
But Netflix has opened a lot of wounds in the pop culture fandom. Anime fans are tired of Hollywood producers’ lame adaptations of Japanese anime, because over the decades, American creators have proven an unfortunate misunderstanding of the themes. The cultural themes that make these stories special. Accidentally trying to remake the 1988 American sci-fi classic Akira tried Set the story in New York City, even though Akira It’s basically about the crisis that existed in Japan in the 20th century, as evidenced by its depiction of widespread civil unrest. bōsōzoku gangs and nuclear images prevail.
While most animated Hollywood adaptations often show a visual devotion to these stories – as in the Scarlett Johansson-led film Ghost in the shell from 2017, including several shot-for-shot parodies of the 1995 animated film – these still fail adapt to a new vehicle. Cowboy Bebop are both the best and most recent examples. Despite the show’s apparent efforts to it is in anime, the actual filmmaking process cannot be as lively, energetic and rhythmic as it is in animation. It’s like watching a blurry photocopy.
Casting further divides the fandom. In the lead role of bounty hunter Spike Spiegel is John Cho, the successful Korean-American actor in Hollywood has come to represent something bigger than himself. There is also Mustafa Shakir, who has a Bushmaster in Luke Cage is a revelation, as pilot Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda, an exciting new talent that Faye Valentine calls for for bravery and sultriness.
Despite his mainstream recognition for his work in the powerful Harold & Kumar films and the Star Trek reboot trilogy, Cho was uncrackable of Hollywood bamboo ceiling. He didn’t become a full-fledged Hollywood star, even though he’s qualified as a top male actor. But Cho’s involvement in the Netflix series feels tipped off. Since most film adaptations use white actors in the lead roles, Cho’s Spike – Whose race is unknown in anime – feeling declared about something like a point. And for Cho, the series is shaping up to be Cho’s ultimate vehicle to the stars.
But can it really? There is a recent phenomenon in cultural commentary called “Representatives sweat.” Now that identity recognition has become a part of movies and TV shows that are still systemic, black audiences “sweat” over projects featuring ethnic minorities, especially is whether these projects are truly remarkable. Because the machinery of supply and demand drives Hollywood, there is always a fear that projects like Cowboy Bebop would “fail” and put an end to the potential of other diverse casts. If there seems to be no demand, Hollywood will cut off the supply.
With its diverse combinations drawn by John Cho, Bebop represent sweating expression. Due to its high rating as an adaptation of the classic on a major streamer, its performance on Netflix’s platform can and will determine if more projects like it are made. What’s sadder is that Netflix refuses to reveal anything about its view counts, so decisions to renew or cancel shows are purely speculative.
As of now, Cowboy BebopNetflix’s value is clear. Netflix is still interested in anime (it’s a live adaptation of One mouthful growing), and it seems anyone’s career is over overnight. Definitely not John Cho’s, as he has more work in the various stages of production. People might sweat a little less about that. But for all of this tireless talk, from the futility of American anime adaptations to the sweatdrops its cast has presented, it all comes down to it. What good if Netflix doesn’t commit to it?
In my review, I wrote it down Cowboy Bebop is a foolishness that doesn’t capture the same spirit as its more compelling source material. But I’m still rooted in it. I want the people behind it to have the space and resources to try again. Cowboy Bebop has an enviably charismatic team who just need better materials to work with. That the second season promises to enter new territory, the anime series doesn’t seem to hold much promise. The show could stand on its own rather than stay in the shadows of something better.
If there’s one limitation to the streaming age, it’s impatience. Celebrities want new shows to come out with a late era Game of Thrones buzz, didn’t realize it took years Game of Thrones to achieve a high profile. This is not to say Cowboy Bebop worthy of eight seasons, but it’s not uncommon for TV shows to repeat and retool from time to time. Netflix not receiving Cowboy Bebop on the first shot, but imagine if they had the time, space and money to try for a second. But with the baggage of anime adaptations and the high risk of diverse representation in the market, is it worth continuing to try in the first place?
Cowboy Bebop currently streaming on Netflix.
https://www.inverse.com/entertainment/cowboy-bebop-netflix-cancelation-doom-future-anime ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Netflix cancellation could destroy future anime adaptations