See you, Space Cowboy…
Netflix has canceled the live-action anime adaption of the popular space western “Cowboy Bebop” after only one season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The show was released less than three weeks ago, which has many fans feeling like the streaming giant never really gave the show a chance to get off the ground.
However, critics on Rotten Tomatoes only gave the show a 46% fresh rating. Audiences rated it slightly better with a 56% approval rating, but overall, it seems the show did not perform as well as Netflix expected it to. On Netflix’s Top 10 site, the show boasts 74 million viewing hours worldwide when it debuted, but then viewing hours dropped 59% the following week.
What Was ‘Cowboy Bebop’ About?
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“Cowboy Bebop” was based on the 1998 Japanese anime of the same name. The series starred John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda as bounty hunters, also known as cowboys, who hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals. Each character has an element of their past that they are looking to either uncover or hide from.
The anime has been called one of the greatest animated series of all time and received critical acclaim in worldwide markets. Many call it a “gateway series,” bridging the gap between animation and anime.
The show has won several accolades at the Anime Grand Prix. In a 2004 poll in Newtype USA, the anime was runner-up in the “Top 25 Anime Titles of All Time” competition. In 2007, Anime Insider created a list of the “50 Best Anime Ever” and ranked “Cowboy Bebop” as the number one anime of all time.
Fans React To ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Cancelation
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In a Reddit thread concerning the cancelation, many fans criticized the Netflix adaption, which many say had strayed too far from the elements of the lauded anime.
“I think they had a decent foundation,” one user wrote. “The sets, the costumes, some of the actors were great. The show translated a lot of the stylistic elements from the anime.”
“The real problem was the writing,” they continued. “It was just bad. The plots, the pacing, the twists, and most of all the dialogue, it was hot garbage. The anime was a masterpiece that deserved more respect from the writers. And I don’t mean that the dialogue in the anime was great. The English dub had to translate and match the animations, so there were some glaring issues there. But that didn’t make it ok to write so poorly when English was the native language.”
Other users agreed with the comment, with one writing, “It’s pretty apparent Netflix hired people who didn’t f—ing get the source material and just wanted to do their own thing.”
“Netflix typically looks at the first 28 days before making a decision like this,” another pointed out. “This getting canceled after less than 3 weeks means the completion rate must have been atrocious.”
Although the Netflix adaption won’t get a second season, fans can still watch the entire anime series, which is also available to stream on Netflix.