Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
Image: YouTube/Netflix

There will not be a Season 2 for Netflix’s live-action 'Cowboy Bebop'

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Few Netflix series have gotten the level of pre-release hype and attention that the streaming giant’s live-action adaptation of "Cowboy Bebop" have. After years of rumors that Hollywood was going to try its hand at its own version of the iconic 1998 anime, Netflix announced it was going to make it happen in the fall of 2018.

A string of injury and pandemic-related delays meant even more time for potential audiences to speculate and salivate over teasers and preview tidbits, and finally, last month on November 19, Netflix released the 10 episodes that make up the live-action "Bebop’s" first season.

There will not be a Season 2.

News of the series cancellation/non-continuation was broken by the Hollywood Reporter’s Javier Grillo-Marxuach, an executive producer on the Netflix "Bebop," confirmed the report by retweeting it along with “i truly loved working on this. it came from a real and pure place of respect and affection. i wish we could make what we planned for a second season.”


Like every commercial entertainment entity, Netflix is in the business of producing content that will bring in profits, and cutting loose projects that end up in the red. As a subscription-based steaming service, the exact financial effects of a single series are hard to define, but according to the Hollywood Reporter, “the series has racked up almost 74 million viewing hours worldwide since its debut – so it got plenty of sampling out of the gate – but it plummeted 59 percent for the week of Nov 29-Dec. 5.” Apparently those numbers weren’t good enough to make a second season worthwhile, in Netflix’s eyes.

▼ Pre-release trailer for Netflix’s "Cowboy Bebop"

While the Netflix "Bebop" is far from the only live-action anime adaptation to fall far short of the standard for success set by its source material, it’s definitely one of the most high-profile. There’s already been a lot written by displeased viewers discussing how and why they felt it failed to live up to the anime’s legendary legacy.

The original "Bebop" anime may not have been created in the current anime environment of keeping a series alive for as long as possible, but even by 1998 there were plenty of franchises that tried to extended their relevancy and revenue streams with sequels, spinoffs, alternate continuities, and filler arcs to postpone their grand finale. From start to finish, though, the anime "Bebop" clearly feels like a series where everyone is putting all their creative cards on the table, and not holding anything back. Yes, there was a "Bebop" anime movie, but that came after the TV series ended, and in terms of narrative fits in the middle of the TV series’ events as a stand-alone story that doesn’t alter the tone or messages of the series as a whole.

The ideas the anime "Bebop" team used for its single season are the best ones they had. In terms of character and thematic arcs, it’s a one-and-done in the best possible way, and maybe that mentality could have helped Netflix’s "Bebop" find more fans than it ultimately did.

Source: Hollywood Reporter via Anime News Network/Rafael Antonio Pineda

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- What’s wrong with Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop? The characters, our old-school fan says

-- Live-action Cowboy Bebop cast revealed by Netflix, but there’s someone missing from the crew

-- Cowboy Bebop anime themed cafe coming to Tokyo and Osaka next month

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Great news!

Down with american Netflix bastardization of anime.

3 ( +14 / -11 )

No input from the creator, little attention paid towards it’s decades of fans. And then letting the actors defend the work on twitter and social media…..This was a forgone conclusion

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The Real Folk Blues indeed...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ed killed the show...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Watching it was tortuous. Don't keep trying this stupidity.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Excellent news !!..

Everything Netflix pirates touches ruin it..

Down with american Netflix bastardization of anime.

10000% Agree !!..

3 ( +8 / -5 )

It is possible for a book or anime to be made into a good series/movie and still be close to the source, but you have to be very lucky. If your work is a big enough hit in its original form (ie. Harry Potter) you have a lot more leverage. Fans want a live action version of the original. Studio bosses want a series/movie based on select component parts of the original. They are paying for the patents but want to build their own gizmo.

In general, for commercial reasons, anything deemed too quirky is likely to be removed and the story changed so that it fits a standard model. There are now additional pressures due to censorship of anything offensive to multiple contemporary activist groups, so any source from pre-2000 may not stand much chance. Commercial publishers do exactly the same thing, 'editing' their authors' first drafts, until their authors are famous enough to threaten to walk if they cannot write what they want. Some authors accept alterations. Others choose a smaller press or self-publish. Creative freedom has a price tag.

You really need someone high up in the corporate food chain to be a fan. But if there are any special effects (and there are often lots in anime, as they incur no extra cost), the CGI cost will make the studio much less likely to allow anything that isn't capable of being wrapped around one of the movie industry's half dozen standard scripts. The initial 'venture capital' budgets by the streaming giants will tail off as they mature, which will be an added pressure.

-Down with american Netflix bastardization of anime.

I understand where you are coming from (the 1995 US Judge Dredd movie broke some of the basic rules of the source), but this doesn't just happen in the States. Ghibli's 'Kiki's Delivery Service' is Hayao Miyazaki's reinterpretation of the original story and the author of the book, Eiko Kadono, was, originally, not happy about that. It's a good movie (and the live action movie is enjoyable too), but it wasn't an easy process.

The rise of Netflix has seen a number of novelists cheerfully alter their style to make their novels easier to translate to the screen. They are baiting the hook.

I'm not sure how I'd react if Netflix wanted to do one of mine. Many authors have an intense emotional investment in their work, especially in their characters. For someone to start making changes to that can be very difficult for them. Money equates to power, and the relationship between authors and corporates is not an equal one. Some authors will just bank the cheque and move on, accepting the process.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Won’t even give it a try.

Down with american Netflix bastardization of anime.

This is not exclusive to just Netflix, this is all about the entire film industry that decided to put profit over quality content. NBC, Sony, HBO, Disney and FOX have been notoriously famous for this. From Firefly, Fantastic Four, Deadwood, Spider-Man and that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the dozens of shows these movie companies have destroyed. Jupiter’s Legacy was another one, liked it but for Netflix the profits weren’t enough, these people become greedier by the day.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It also ‘seems’ like most of your favorite anime @Kentarogaijin 10:09am, some with supposedly ‘utopian visions of the future’, still feature a lot of influence from U.S. “Westerns” and significantly, “guns” ?

*- *@10:14am: “It seems that gun culture is the only "culture" that exists..” -

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I really wanted to like this and was hoping for the best. But the casting was awful and the writing was worse. Mismatched actors wearing the wrong clothes reading poorly written lines. Some of the scenery was great though.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Honestly, it was not very good. I am not a purist who wants it to be exactly like the anime. However, the directors strayed a lot from the original material, and it did not make the show better.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

isoduckyToday  08:35 am JST

No input from the creator, little attention paid towards it’s decades of fans. And then letting the actors defend the work on twitter and social media…..This was a forgone conclusion

Some things just can't translate into live action. Remember those 'Flintstones' movies in the 90s? Yabba-dabba-DUMB.

NumanToday  12:06 pm JST

Honestly, it was not very good. I am not a purist who wants it to be exactly like the anime. However, the directors strayed a lot from the original material, and it did not make the show better.

Just like the recent bastardizations of the Marvel comics franchise. Gads, they're crap!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

While they are at it, they should cancel the Netflix adaptation of One Piece before it even airs.....

6 ( +7 / -1 )

While they are at it, they should cancel the Netflix adaptation of One Piece before it even airs.....

Naruto could be a hit if done right on the live screen!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Rick Hepner

Watching it was tortuous. Don't keep trying this stupidity.

You haven't seen nothing yet.

Just wait for live action One Piece...


-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Then there is Live-Action Gundam to be ruined by Netflix, although Chinese studio Legendary does have a better track record of adopting manga/anime content into live-action movies.


-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Yeah. Yhe industry should never make live action of any anime. Weebs have such a high standard when it comes to their beloved anime.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )



-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cliche. Every scene. Non-stop attempt at one liners made want to gag.

Hollywood is doing that with a lot of movies these days, which ruins anything no matter how great a story, book or comic they have on the screen is.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can't wait for Heike Monogatari and Spriggan next year.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As somebody generally ambivalent towards Japan's obsession with anime, I came to this aware of Cowboy Bebop but having never watched it. I really liked it and I can easily imagine that those who didn't simply had too much invested in the anime and couldn't accept anything that didn't stick very closely to it. To succeed, I guess this show and any future shows like it will need to carry a warning along the lines of "Avoid If You Are A Fan Of The Original Animated Series. If You Have An Open Mind, Please Proceed..."

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry to hear, I was enjoying this show. I've seen the Japanese themselves do worse anime to live action adaptations than this, but haters gonna hate I guess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Loved the teaser. It was so good. But the actual show, not so much. You win some, you lose some. And you're going to carry that weight.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

NumanDec. 12  12:57 pm JST

While they are at it, they should cancel the Netflix adaptation of One Piece before it even airs.....

Naruto could be a hit if done right on the live screen!

There's that big word, IF. But too many things it can't translate. I love the comic strip of Garfield the cat but two live-action films (with a CGI ''Garfield', whaaa?) were made of that cartoon character. They were so wretchedly rotten, so awful. Jim Davis has disavowed the films. The second one went straight-to-DVD in the racks of your local Sunoco gas station almost immediately after release.

BigYenDec. 12  08:15 pm JST

The original series was the one that got me into anime in the first place. Never been tempted by the live action remake. Give it up, people, do something original instead.

In the entertainment industry so many musicians (like Paul McCartney and in secret AC/DC) have made albums during the lockdown and they've been good. During this the dum-dums behind films and TV have had this time to come up with original ideas but they've wasted the opportunity and they keep on shoving this bastardized trash down our throats. They're lazy and it's a pitiful shame.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites