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How Netflix's Cowboy Bebop's Opening Title Compares To The Anime

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop’s opening title sequence debuted during its TUDUM event, which adds its own twist to the beloved original. The first episode of the Cowboy Bebop live-action series is set to release on November 19. Cowboy Bebop features John Cho as Space Cowboy Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine.

The original anime created waves as its own brand of sci-fi noir anime with its unique blend of space Western and action, tinged with a kind of nihilism that can only be termed as sprezzatura. This sort of effortless absurdism reflects Spike’s character fairly well, as he launches himself from one adventure to the other with a “whatever happens, happens” attitude. Although set in the year 2071, post the inhabitable conditions of Earth, Cowboy Bebop evokes a special sort of nostalgia in its viewers.

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The original’s opening title sequence is unforgettable and nothing short of iconic, as it is known for its creative animation style and jazzy elements. The Netflix live-action Cowboy Bebop opening follows a similar blueprint, as it retains the original, jazz-inspired score composed by Yoko Kanno for the 1990s anime. This might be due to the fact that series creator Shinichirō Watanabe is directly involved in the making of the series, serving as a consultant throughout the process. The new opening title leans into the old-school aesthetic of the original, replete with pop-out colors and silhouette-like imagery of the characters featured.

Interestingly, the live-action aspect of the teaser adds an element of freshness to the overall vibe of the anime, as it is fairly exciting to see certain characters being brought to life. In terms of cinematic influences, the title evokes the stylistic elements of the James Bond franchise, as well as Sin City, whilst being overpowered by the beloved sound score. Before the title sequence is shown, John Cho talks about Cowboy Bebop in general, dubbing its contents and aesthetic as “hard to describe”, as there is jazz, action, intergalactic travel, and a Corgi named Ein.

Moreover, long-time fans of the original anime will be thrilled to see some of the animated sequences in the teaser, which include a close-up of Julia shedding a tear and the unforgettable confrontation between Spike and Vicious in the abandoned church. The visuals flit in and out between live-action and silhouette animation, retaining the sequence of the original, such as when it opens with Spike, here played by Cho, smoking a cigarette. Interspersed in between the Cowboy Bebop title sequence are close-ups of spacecrafts and several action sequences, keeping the tempo and aura of the anime fresh, interesting, and upbeat.

NEXT: Why Cowboy Bebop's Spike Has Different Hair In Live-Action Show

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