Cowboy Bebop: Netflix’s Biggest Anime Changes Explained

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop introduces key changes to primary characters and their respective arcs. Here are the biggest changes from the anime, explained.

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop introduces key changes to its storyline and characters, which carve a wholly different path when compared to the original anime. Showrunner André Nemec crafted a live-action adaptation true to the spirit of the anime while introducing insightful expansions in terms of primary character trajectories, especially in the case of series protagonist Spike Spiegel (John Cho).

The world-building and aesthetic elements of Cowboy Bebop have been crafted to capture the retro, yet simultaneously futuristic vibe of its source material, its various planetary ecosystems coming to life in interesting ways. Tharsis looks like a seedy metropolis with cyberpunk-esque elements, filled with high-rises and neon hoardings. On the other hand, there is the dusty and arid planet of New Tijuana, sporting a diverse, multi-ethnic culture and a vibrant community.

In terms of changes, the audience is offered a glimpse into Vicious’ mansion, which is inspired by Graeco-Roman elements and sports a lavish, sleek, modern look. While Rester House has not been featured in the live-action yet, the nexus of live jazz performances seem to be Ana’s, where Gren works as chief overseer and Ana’s right hand. With several characters and settings from the Cowboy Bebop anime receiving alterations in Netflix’s new adaption, here’s a look at the biggest changes.

Vicious and Spike’s confrontation at the church recreates some of the events that occur in “Ballad of Fallen Angels”, but key events play out in a wildly different way when compared to the anime. Due to Kimmie’s presence in the live-action, Vicious kidnaps her instead in order to force Jet to make an exchange—his daughter for Spike. After Jet and Spike’s plan to rescue Kimmie fails, they find themselves bound at the church, with Vicious making it clear that he would make Spike watch his friends die before killing him. However, Faye arrives at an opportune moment, killing most of the Syndicate members, while Vicious, Lin, and Shin escape upstairs. Spike decides to stay behind, and a fight ensues between him and Vicious, wherein certain shots are a near-perfect recreation of the iconic sequences from the anime.

The arrival of Julia at the church is the biggest change made by Cowboy Bebop, as her actions thereafter completely set the characters on different paths. Blaming Spike for letting her suffer at the hands of Vicious, Julia shoots Spike, prompting him to fall from the church window as his past with Julia flashes before his eyes. As he lands in the water, Spike survives, although severely wounded. With Faye going her way to find her family, and Jet being heartbroken over Spike’s betrayal, Spike is now on his own, as he walks in a deserted alleyway before collapsing on the ground. He is found by none other than the hyper intelligent corgi, Ein and Radical Ed, who are bound to team up together in a potential Season 2 in order to nab more bounties.

Jet’s backstory is mostly similar to that of his anime counterpart, him being an ex-ISSP cop who got framed by his partner while on the hunt for Udai Taxim. After his reputation was tarnished and he separated from his wife, Jet became a bounty hunter, later partnering with Spike after the latter purportedly saves his life during a mission. The return of Udai Taxim stirs memories of that night of betrayal, wherein he lost his arm, and a direct confrontation with him reveals that it was his old partner, Fad, who had framed him.

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Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop introduces key changes to primary characters and their respective arcs. Here are the biggest changes from the anime, explained. Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop introduces key changes to its storyline and characters, which carve a wholly different path when compared to the original anime. Showrunner André Nemec crafted a live-action adaptation true to the…

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