24th Nov2021

‘Cowboy Bebop’ Review (Netflix)

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, Alex Hassell | Created by Christopher L. Yost

I’ll start off this review by stating that I’ve not seen the anime (yet). This for me is what will make this review interesting as I’m going into it without expectations. What I found was an interesting fusion of styles that left me wanting more, and made me want to watch the Cowboy Bebop anime even more.

Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) are a rag tag band of bounty hunters, known as cowboys travelling on the Cowboy Bebop searching out the galaxy’s worst criminals. Along the way they catch the interest of the Syndicate and Vicious (Alex Hassell) a man who believed Spiegel was dead.

When a show or movie tries to be stylish sometimes that style can overtake the content that it is meant to compliment. Thankfully with Cowboy Bebop the many styles that are fused into the show actually works well, and most importantly the story the show is telling is the most important element.

Feeling like a western set out in space, the retro style of the places the group visits make for an interesting experience. Add to that the out there characters, the Yakuza style bad guys and the Cowboy Bebop crew themselves, there are plenty of interesting characters to enjoy. Each have a story that is slowly drip fed to the audience throughout the ten episodes, and each have a complexity that keeps them interesting.

I will say though that while Spiegel would be expected to be the most interesting character in the show, often it is Vicious who steals ever scene he is in. The encounters the two have bring a lot of the excitement to the show, and keeps things interesting. Fay though in many ways is even more of a scene stealer and it is a shame that we don’t learn more about her character. This will come in future seasons hopefully.

While ten episodes does feel a good size for the show, I do admit that it feels like there could have been a few more just to flesh out some of the stories. While the end does provide a good twist that will make the audience want to see the second season, the way the story is slowed down in the ninth episode does clash with the speed the story telling has been going to that point. Thankfully though this is just a lull, and something of a breather before the action of the final episode takes over.

What I found with this live-action version of Cowboy Bebop is that I definitely have to watch the anime soon. While I do think that watching it without expectations did help me enjoy the show, I also feel that some comparisons have to be made, especially with the story that is told. What the show manages to do though is make me want to watch the second season, and to see where the show will go. For that though I’ll just have to be patient and wait for it to be released in the future.

**** 4/5

Cowboy Bebop is on Netflix now.

Review originally posted on Pissed Off Geek.

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