Translating beloved anime properties to live-action has proved difficult in the past – see Ghost In The Shell and Death Note – and now, another attempt has had its day. It’s only a matter of weeks since Netflix released the first season of its Cowboy Bebop series, starring John Cho as space cowboy Spike Siegel leading a rag-tag crew of misfits on bounty-hunting adventures – and now we know it’ll also be the only season. The show won’t be renewed by the streaming service, and the cliffhanger teased in the final moments of the tenth episode won’t be followed up on.
If it’s perhaps surprising how quickly the show’s cancellation has come about, the lavish production values indicated this was not a cheap show for Netflix – despite the streaming service’s seemingly deep pockets. And while the live-action episodes admirably sought to capture the visual stylings, mannered performances, and jazzy soundtrack of the landmark original animation, reviews of the series proved mixed. It’s likely that translated into viewing figures, the real metric that would matter most to Netflix.
The series was developed by Christopher Yost, and also starred Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, Elena Satine, and Alex Hassell – with special mention to corgi actors Charlie and Harry. If there was clear love for the material in the live-action series, it just wasn’t meant to be – and for disappointed fans who wanted more, revisiting the original anime series should provide some comfort.