We are exactly one month away before the premiere of Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop. To celebrate, a “lost session” has been released to give us a look at John Cho (Spike), Mustafa Shakir (Jet), and Daniella Pineda (Faye) in action.
According to Netflix, this session is, ” A standalone action-packed adventure with specially created footage that won’t be seen in the series.” Think of it as an appetizer of sorts before we get an actual trailer that delves into the main plot – though, admittedly, this session does have a hint to a particularly Vicious plot point.
Based on the beloved anime series, Cowboy Bebop is an action-packed space Western about three bounty hunters, aka “cowboys,” all trying to outrun the past. As different as they are deadly, Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) form a scrappy, snarky crew ready to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals — for the right price. But they can only kick and quip their way out of so many scuffles before their pasts finally catch up with them.
As a fan of the anime series, I think this session is a lot of fun – though I feel for Jet as he tries to wrangle in Spike and Faye as they pursue their bounty (seriously, good luck with that, my friend). The frames that divide the characters in the opening are suddenly used to their advantage, the three actually pushing and pulling them to fight their opponents and, to my amusement, attempt scene transitions so they can drag Spike away from a bowl of noodles.
Noodles come first.
So do traumatic visions of a sword-wielding man (fans of the anime know who it is) set to the song “Green Bird” by The Seatbelts.
But enough about Spike’s potential murder, let’s get back to the bounty!
What I really like about this session is the banter between Spike, Jet, and Faye, as that is a huge part of what makes Cowboy Bebop so memorable. Despite being a team, the three have their own idea of what it takes to get the bounty, arguing to the very end when Faye kindly lets them know that you can’t KILL the bounty, you have to actually turn him in. This leads to an argument about who shot what body part, the crew listlessly drifting off in their ship with no reward (I’m assuming, cuz someone shot him in the face – probably Spike).
I think it’s a pretty effective teaser for the vibe that this series is trying to capture. In two minutes we get a feel for the dynamic between our three leads, the way they go about doing things, and there being more to the story than tracking down bounties in an effort to “keep the lights on.” Of course, fans of the series already know the history between Spike and that man with a sword, know the significance of “Green Bird” playing in Spike’s vision, and know that this playful back and forth between the Bebop crew can only last for so long.
However, in case you’re new to Cowboy Bebop, I think this session shows just enough to make you curious about these space cowboys.
Cowboy Bebop will be available on Netflix on November 19th.
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