COWBOY BEBOP Drums Up a Jazzy Live-Action Opening Sequence

There are many things that have gone from animation to live-action. And that transition can be a tough one depending on the property. It didn’t go well for, say, Avatar: The Last Airbender, losing some of the magic and spirit set by the famous animated series. But it looks like Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop will try to honor its roots while giving us something delightful in live-action. There has been much (valid) talk about John Cho’s awesome hair. Now, the streaming service has given fans the opening sequence to dissect while they wait for the series premiere on November 19.

photo of John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Danielle Pineda walking down street with corgi in Cowboy Bebop

Geoffrey Short/Netflix

Anyone who is familiar with the anime knows that the music is fire. That includes the opening sequence, which shows the characters smoking and running, among other things, over a drum-heavy and jazzy beat. It’s impossible not to hum the catchy tune right after Spike lights up his cigarette. As a fan, I was curious about how Cowboy Bebop 2021 would recreate those famous credits. And it is a delightful blend of animation, live-action, color, and a few favorite characters like Mustafa Shakir’s Jet Black and Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine. And Ein! We love Ein!

For those who love a great side-by-side comparison, there’s one just for you! Still Watching, Netflix’s YouTube account, paired the two opening clips together so fans could see what’s different. There are moments when things line up exactly the same but we also get to see more of the upcoming action in the series. There was a wide range of reactions on Twitter from sheer delight to cautious optimism. A few fans are understandably unsure if the live-action version will be as cool as the original.

Honestly, we won’t know until it comes out. And even then, opinions are all subjective. Some people won’t like it if it’s too faithful to the original series while others might love it. Some will appreciate the actor’s dexterity and dedication to action while others will say it doesn’t measure up to the animated series. I’m not sure how fair that is considering animated characters can do things that actors cannot because, well, they are not real people. But I digress.

Either way, the opening credits for Cowboy Bebop certainly have our curiosity and attention.

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