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The Japanese Internet Reacts To Netflix's Cowboy Bebop Cancellation

The show will only be one season, and people online in Japan have opinions as to why

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A screenshot shows John Cho as Spike smoking in the opening sequence.
The opening looked really good.
Screenshot: Netflix

As previously reported, Netflix is cancelling the live-action Cowboy Bebop series after one season. You might know what you think of the show, but here’s what viewers in Japan thought of it—and the ensuing cancellation.

Below is a cross-section of comments from some of Japan’s most popular sites, including 2ch, My Game News Flash, and Yaraon Blog. The remarks should give you an idea of what people in Japan, at least those online, thought was good and bad about the show, as well as their opinions on live-action anime adaptations in general.

Let’s have a look:


“Live-action adaptations aren’t necessary.”

“It’s because there was an old dude cosplaying. There was nothing appealing.”

“I wonder why because it was enjoyable...”

“Netflix original anime and dramas are not interesting. However, I do like Amazon Prime.”

“Well, in the first place, you’d say watch the anime instead of watching the live-action adaptation.”

“Japan’s anime isn’t designed for live-action adaptation.”

“I had no idea they made this. Looks interesting.”

“It seemed even foreigners mocked this.”

“Why did they think of doing live action?”

“Eh, it was actually pretty good. I guess international fans weren’t into it.”

“It would be better to make a new anime.”

“There was a respect [for the original anime]... You can’t take an anime as is and adapt it into live action because there are all these uncomfortable feelings when an anime is adapted into live action.”

“They should’ve stopped doing a live-action adaptation when the one with Keanu got away.” (Keanu Reeves was once attached to play Spike in a now-abandoned Cowboy Bebop live-action movie for Fox.)

“It looked like a game of cosplay.”

“There was zero sense of speed in the action scenes.”

“Netflix is where productions go to die.”

“It felt crude, like [the adaptation of] Ghost in the Shell.”

“To be honest, I’ve always thought about half of Bebop’s popularity was because of the ‘Tank!’ opening.”

“This is a shame because all the little details were amazing.”

“It was enjoyable (I didn’t actually watch it).”

“Foreigners sure are quick at cutting their losses, huh.”

“It’s because the original anime wasn’t really that popular.”

“Actually, I want to see it......Yeah, no thanks.”

“I wanted to see the scrapped Bebop with Keanu Reeves.”

“There are things that can only be done in anime. There are also things that can only be done in live action.”

“Did anyone want to watch this?”

“The only good thing was the opening.”

“I watched it because the original anime is so popular, but got bored and turned it off.”

“The main star seemed too much like a regular person.”

“To be honest, Korean dramas are more interesting.”

“That was decided quickly!”

“The recreation of the anime opening was so shoddy it was laughable (T_T)“

“And it was so hyped up and yet, this.”

“Keanu would’ve been good.”

“Make something original with this budget.”

“Is there any reason to do a live-action adaptation of an anime that has a good vibe?”

“It seems uncomfortable when the language is changed from Japanese. The actor who played Spike wasn’t bad, but he just wasn’t very Spike-like.”

“It looks like a big production put on by high school.”

“Do Be-Bop High School instead of this.”

“Woah! I was playing on watching this during the New Year holidays. Is it better not to watch this?”

“I liked it. But from the beginning, I went in with low expectations.”

“This is how the [live-action] One Piece is going to turn out.”

“I didn’t see it, but Spike is in his 20s, and it seemed like the actor was much older.”

“I saw it, and it seemed like this was created by people who didn’t understand Cowboy Bebop and just, for the time being, slapped the name on it. “

“Eh, it really wasn’t that bad. I quite enjoyed it.”

“Remake it with Keanu.”

“Respect the original work. The director doesn’t need to interpret or change things.”

“I liked it okay, but perhaps I enjoyed it because of the dubbing.”

“Maybe if they made in Japan it would be better...right?”


Netflix’s next major anime adaptation, One Piece, is currently in production.