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    Why Did ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Creator Find It Hard To Watch The Netflix Adaptation?

    Foreign language media, be it in movies, television series, or anime, doesn’t necessarily translate well. It’s a dangerous proposition, but it doesn’t stop people from trying. Making an English language adaptation is a bad idea as things get lost in translation, as happened with the popular anime series Cowboy Bebop. The creator, Shinichiro Watanabe, found it hard to stomach what Netflix did with his baby.

    In 2021, Netflix premiered its live-action adaptation of Shinichiro Watanabe’s cult classic ‘Cowboy Bebop’. It was panned by both critics and audiences alike, forever tarnishing the image of the anime ‘Cowboy Bebop’. Time has passed, but it hasn’t taken the sting out of his defeat for Watanabe. He finally speaks about how repulsive he found the Netflix show. 

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    What Did Shinichiro Watanabe Think About Netflix’s ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Adaptation?

    ‘Cowboy Bebop’ was lost in translation.

    It made him stick to his stomach watching what became of his legacy. Watanabe reveals he tried watching the show but couldn’t do it. In his interview with ‘Forbes, Watanabe said that Netflix had sent him “a video to review and check,” but he couldn’t make it past the opening scene. It was a difficult moment for him, watching the show lose the anime’s essence.

    Watanabe elaborated, “It started with a scene in a casino, which made it very tough for me to continue. I stopped there and so only saw that opening scene. It was clearly not Cowboy Bebop and I realized at that point that if I wasn’t involved, it would not be Cowboy Bebop. I felt that maybe I should have done this. Although the value of the original anime is somehow far higher now.” 

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    Why Did Netflix Cancel The ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Live-Action Series?

    Netflix’s live-action adaptation of ‘Cowboy Bebop’ failed

    Watanabe was brought on board for the Netflix adaptation as a consultant, but he was unsure if his input would be considered in the final product. The live-action adaptation by Netflix was praised for the show’s decision to experiment with the tonal narrative and updated character arcs.

    Regardless, people took it off the board. ‘Cowboy Bebop’ from Netflix got everything wrong and didn’t work. As hard as it tried, the show lacked the playfulness of animation. The critics called the live-action adaptation “kitschy” and criticized the show’s writing and aesthetic choice.

    Despite having a solid debut week, the show was canceled after the first season within a month. Fans can only hope that more animes avoid falling prey to the trappings of live-action adaptation.

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    Shaurya Thakur
    Shaurya Thakur
    Shaurya Thakur is a Content Writer at First Curiosity, who, in his personal time, is writing the greatest "overcoming post-academic slump existential crises" story. His current obsessions are John Cassavetes and Jack Kerouac; musically, he belongs to Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand.

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