Cowboy Bebop (Animated) vs Cowboy Bebop (Live Action)

Animated Version

Rating (3.5 out of 5)

Summary: These short 20 minute plus shows are pretty entertaining. The animation is good for 1998 and feels that way. The stories bring out the charm in the characters.

Live-Action

Rating (2 out of 5)

Summary: Plodding and lifeless describes this version of Cowboy Bebop. It was so dull I couldn’t finish it.

I started watching the live-action first. And it was a little boring, so I jumped over to the animated version, which I binged in a few short nights.

First and foremost, Spike Spiegel is played by John Cho and this is the first mistake. Spike is supposed to be cool and suave. But John Cho is anything but that. He tries, but it never quite works. His character comes away as a geek trying to be cool.

The live-action gets bogged down into making long story arcs for the characters. These character arcs only slow the showdown. While important to the animated show, the story about Julia isn’t as dominating as in the live-action. This arc in the live-action version takes away from the front. Jet’s story about having a daughter, again dominant in the live-action compared to the animation, where Jet just had an ex-girlfriend.

Overall, I preferred the one-off randomness of the animated series versus the forced story arc of the live-action. The randomness kept the show lively and vibrant.

Just watch the original Cowboy Bebop. Please, Netflix, spare us.