Four Key Differences Between the Live-Action & Animated Versions of ‘Cowboy Bebop!’

Netflix’s new adaptation of the classic anime Cowboy Bebop is not just a beat-by-beat remake. Here are the main differences between the two!

Netflix recently released a live-action adaptation of the 90s anime classic Cowboy Bebop with their own spin on it. Here are a few noteworthy differences between the anime and the live-action remake. *Caution Spoilers Ahead*

The Crew

Credits: Tomorrow Studios, Midnight Radio, Sunrise Inc.

The main difference between the crew of main characters in the Netflix version and the anime original is their dynamic and the way they come together. Faye Valentine, played by Daniella Pineda, is introduced a lot earlier in the live-action version. Her dynamic with Spike and Jet is also slightly different. While in the anime it took quite a while for Faya, Spike, and Jet to be on more friendly terms, the trio immediately functions as a family even though Faye still takes jabs at Spike. Furthermore, the light-hearted parts of the trio’s personalities are amplified in the Netflix show and they feel a lot more comedic compared to their anime counterparts. 

Julia

Credits: Tomorrow Studios, Midnight Radio, Sunrise Inc.

Julia is Spike’s lover in both the live-action and anime. However, we get to see a lot more of Julia in the Netflix adaptation. In the anime, we mostly learn about Julia through Spike’s memories. She also gets a lot more screen time in the live-action, in fact, she shows up in the first episode whereas in the anime her character is more of a mystery. Spike and Julia give off “star-crossed lovers” energy as Julia’s death put a definitive end to their romance. We definitely get to learn a lot more about Julia’s character and motivations in the Netflix remake. 

Radical Edward 

Credits: Tomorrow Studios, Midnight Radio, Sunrise Inc.

Another major difference between the two is the character, Ed. In the anime, Ed becomes a part of the Bebop crew early on and is a very prominent character. However, in the live-action adaptation, she’s only named dropped and is not shown until the very end of the season. This is potentially setting Ed up for more screen time in future seasons as she becomes an integral part of the crew.

Jet’s Daughter 

Credits: Tomorrow Studios, Midnight Radio, Sunrise Inc.

In the anime, Jet was never married and he never had a kid (although he did help raise the daughter of an old friend). In the live-action show, Jet has a daughter named Kimmie. Jet wants to keep her safe and to give her the best of everything. Their relationship becomes a big part of the show as Jet struggles to build his relationship with Kimmie after being in prison for five years. As Kimmie’s life was put in danger at the end of the season, Jet starts to question his relationship with Spike as he is trying to do everything in his power to protect Kimmie.

About the Author

Janny Hu

Janny Hu is a sophomore at Loyola Marymount University majoring in film production with a focus on directing and a minor in screenwriting.