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A tiny step towards humanity: Netflix's "Cowboy Bebop" is as innovative as a series from the late nineties - Walla! culture


The original "Cowboy Bebop" is considered a masterpiece. The idea of ​​recapturing her spirit and mediating it to a much larger audience seems promising, but in practice Netflix's fresh adaptation is sweating from effort

A Tiny Step for Mankind: Netflix's Innovative "Cowboy Bebop" Like a Late Nineties Series

The original "Cowboy Bebop" is considered a groundbreaking masterpiece that echoes the voice of Western, film noir and science fiction.

The idea of ​​recapturing her spirit and mediating it to a much larger audience seems promising, however in practice Netflix's fresh adaptation is sweating from effort.

The complete opposite of the nonchalance that characterized the original

Ido Yeshayahu


Friday, 19 November 2021, 00:00 Updated: 00:17

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Trailer for the "Cowboy Bebop" series (Netflix)

It is always dangerous to rework classics, whether for another medium or for the same one. One can identify with the idea that a good story will remain that way even if it is translated to a new audience, but many times, and perhaps for the most part, innovation or the rest of the spirit that made the original a masterpiece, simply do not translate into adaptations of this kind.

"Cowboy Bebop", which originally aired in 1998 before being canceled after one season (and has been available on Netflix since last October), is considered one of the greatest and best classics in the history of anime.

Its plot takes place in a future where the Earth has become uninhabitable and humanity has spread across the galaxy.

This situation has created a kind of new wild west, where the police have a hard time taking control of the law and order and are therefore assisted by bounty hunters - or "cowboys", as they are called.

Such a duo, Spike Spiegel and Jet Black, are pursuing some of the most dangerous criminals in the galaxy.

Later, they are joined by a rival hunter named Faye Valentine.

And there is also Julia, an ex in the blonde femme fatale slot who is in a dangerous relationship with the hero's enemy, Viches, a boss in a crime syndicate from East Horror.

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Graceful and endearing.

John Cho and Daniela Pineda, "Cowboy Bebop" (Photo: Jeffrey Short / Netflix)

There is no denying that there are some points of grace for the new adaptation of "Cowboy Bebop," which airs today (Friday) on Netflix and all of its episodes have been sent in advance for review. She is very ambitious and makes the most of the generous budget of the streaming giant. The action scenes in it are well done most of the time, and sometimes also aided by cool camera movements, such as a one-shot scene and slow motion in one of the later episodes.

Beyond that, John Choo ("Harold and Kumar," "Star Trek") seems to be born to play Spike Spiegel. His casualness and dry humor give him a Teflon layer, infuse him with a lot of charm, probably part of the actor's own charm. Faye's character is also cute - the acting of Daniela Pineda ("The Originals") may be squeaky at times - as are many others in the series, by the way - but she makes up for it with an endearing and captivating presence.

Everything else is much less successful, if at all.

One of the virtues of the original series was its tone.

A kind of western voice, film noir and science fiction - a style that has influenced creators like Quentin Tarantino, Joss Whedon and Ryan Johnson.

Even the late Robin Williams identified himself as a fan.

On paper its flesh-and-blood processing sounds so promising: the possibility of re-capturing this spirit and mediating it to a much larger audience.

In practice, in stark contrast to the nonchalance that characterized the original, the result is sweat from effort.

The new "Cowboy Bebop" goes out of its way to recreate the anime look, the fresh shooting angles and the original sets - but in fact it imparts a constant feeling of a child trying to walk in his father's shoes.

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Ridiculous villain.

Alex Hasel, "Cowboy Bebop" (Photo: Jeffrey Short / Netflix)

Legendary critic Roger Everett once believed that every movie - or work, to expand on that - is as good as its villain. So it's no wonder the new series is so problematic. Vicious (Alex Hassel, "The Boys") looks and is embodied as if he had been pulled from a cartoon series of children in the 1990s. Angrily shatters with his palm the glass he holds, roaring in rage the name of the hero who is not in the area at all, things of this kind. Every moment he is on screen sharpens the grotesqueness that "Cowboy Bebop" is infected with, and even infuses his ridiculous spirit on scenes without him.

Because like the rest of the elements in the series, Vice is wearily ornate in a way that emphasizes how artificial everything in it is.

She has a problematic edit that lingers too much on takeaways, especially moments when the characters react without words.

The game of many sub-players is really not good.

Even some of the protagonists, like Mustafa Shakir ("Luke Cage," "The Duo") who plays Jett, exhibit difficulty with a script made up of worn and uninspired replicas.

At no stage is there a sense of real, physical or emotional risk.

Even the syndicate that everyone is afraid of seems pretty simple to deal with in the end.

All of this neutralizes the possibility of being really sucked into "Cowboy Bebop".

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Duplication of duplication of duplication.

Elena Stein as Julia, "Cowboy Bebop" (Photo: Kerry Brown / Netflix)

This is not just a bad choice and a sloppy finish, but an adaptation that seems unaware that things have happened in film and television since the original "Cowboy Bebop" came and left its mark. In the 23 years since it aired, the effects of the anime series have been present in our pop culture all the time, so the new adaptation is like a duplication of duplication of duplication, until almost every innovation that was once lost along the way. There are so many scenes in the current "Cowboy Bebop" that they are outrageous, at the level of eye-rolling.

The new "Cowboy Bebop" looks like a cliché machine that conjures up a thousand and one things from the last two decades - "Sin City", "Firefly", "Kill Bill", "Desperado" and Priest and Priest - and does it less well than anyone. Common to all those works, as well as of the anime series, is the clever and self-conscious form in which B-Mobiz conventions were taken, polished and reassembled. 2021 version of "Bee Cowboy "only leaves a strong scent of bee-moby.

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Source: walla

All tech articles on 2021-11-18

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