When you make an adaptation or remake, you’re going to draw comparisons with the source material. The same will hold true for the Cowboy Bebop 2021 live-action adaptation series, which is an adaptation of the late 90s hit anime sci-fi series.
Thankfully, the show isn’t a complete shot-by-shot remake. However, it does at least pay homage by adapting key scenes in live-action. We’ll show you how in this picture-heavy feature: we’ll start with the key scenes that are already revealed in promos and trailers, then work our way to spoiler territory. We’ll be sure to warn you with the usual red-and-white when it crops up.
Asimov & Katerina
The criminal couple in the first episode of the anime. There’s a bit more added in the live-action version.
Punch & Judy
The hosts of the bounty hunter show Big Shot in the Cowboy Bebop universe gets recreated, camp and all. Props for having the live-action truly react to what’s going on with the second episode bounty.
The madcap bomber in the Cowboy Funk episode. The live-action serious version appears in the second episode of the show.
One owns a convenience store, the other owns a renowned nightclub called Ana’s. Both have dealings with the syndicate in some way or other.
Crook who stole a data dog in Episode 2 of the anime, a thief sticking it to the rich in Episode 3 of the live-action adaptation.
The lynchpin character in the original anime’s main story arc. She plays a vital role in the adaptation as well; we’ll get to that later.
The Syndicate antagonist. The live-action version is missing his giant-ass crow pet. And arguably the anime version’s coolness.
The makers really made the actor (Alex Hassell) go ham with this guy, for better or worse.
Maria “Mama” Murdock
The eco-terrorist group leader in the anime episode “Gateway Shuffle”.
The psychotic killing machine in the anime, now a bit more svelte but no less scary in the live-action version.
Ballad Of Fallen Angels Spike vs Vicious Standoff
The very first thing teased after the Cowboy Bebop production shots came out months ago.
The following scenes are major spoilers for the live-action adaptation on Netflix; you’ve been warned.
Asimov’s Red Eye Effect
Asimov takes the Red Eye drug to boost his combat skills. It’s actually more terrifying in the live-adaptation.
The climax of the first episode involves a botched Red Eye chemical robbery; the criminal couple died as a result.
The Syndicate Leaders
The head honchos who govern Vicious. Or at least try to anyway.
Faye (in yellow)
For those asking for Faye to be as anime accurate as possible, here’s your answer. Anyway, it should be noted that Faye is still wearing hotpants when in combat; the lighting just makes her seem like her leggings are one with her pants.
In the anime, Whitney is a guy who conned Faye into taking his debts, pretending to represent a law firm.
In the live-action show, Whitney is a woman who steals identity kits for profit and scams; she teamed up with Faye before eventually betraying her, leading her to be a bounty hunter in Episode 1 of the show.
Both versions basically impact Faye’s life and personality post-cryosleep, albeit in different ways.
The crook who supposedly shot up Jet’s arm out of cold blood in the anime (Session 16: Black Dog Serenade) and live-action show.
Jet Black’s former partner in the police force in the anime (Session 16: Black Dog Serenade) and TV series. In the latter, both of them suspect one of the cops Chalmers for being crooked and setting Jet Black up.
Faye’s Flashback Moments
Just like in the anime, Faye rediscovers her past through a videocassette. The circumstances are different, but the shot-by-shot still hits hard. And they used the same piano track here.
The Ballad Of Fallen Angels Climax
The big twist for this moment (in the last episode “Supernova Symphony) is that Julia ends up taking over the Syndicate and screws over Spike and Vicious. This makes Spike’s literal fall from grace all the more painful.
Surprise, surprise: the adaptation saved the best for last. She/he (played by Eden Perkins) appears in the last few minutes of the final episode to give Spike a new job.