Here’s something that’s worth pointing out before it gets lost in the hype/trepidation ahead of the release of Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop: The original anime is very cool and has some very intense and operatic moments, but it also had a tendency to get very silly from time to time. There’s the episode where everybody starts hallucinating after eating weird mushrooms, certainly, but it’s also a show where one of the main characters is a super-intelligent dog that nobody ever realizes is super-intelligent.
We say this not to criticize the original show, which is largely unimpeachable, but to set expectations for Netflix’s first real Cowboy Bebop teaser. The Greg Jardin-directed clip was released today, and it’s… maybe you should just watch it. There’s a lot to take in.
Titled “The Lost Session,” the teaser is comprised entirely of unique footage that isn’t from the series, and it’s basically about Spike (John Cho), Jet (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye (Daniella Pineda) goofing around with each other while also goofing around with the basic form and aesthetics of the trailer itself. It’s clever and kind of neat, but it very much leans into the wackier side of Bebop—which, to be clear, is a perfectly legitimate side of Bebop, even if it’s not necessarily the one people are writing home about.
For those who do want to see the more dramatic side of Bebop, this teaser does have two little treats: One is the first spoken dialogue we’ve heard from Alex Hassell’s Vicious, which is encouragingly ominous, and the other is a little audio clip from “Green Bird,” a song from series composer Yoko Kanno that comes at a pivotal moment in an early “mythology” episode of the anime.
Just like the intro that came out a few weeks ago, this all indicates that Netflix and showrunner André Nemec are trying to pay homage to the original series while also doing their own thing, but also like the intro, this weirdness of this makes it nearly impossible to really predict how well the actual live-action series is going to manage that. It comes out on November 19, though, so we don’t have to wait too much longer.