Especially to Western audiences who grew up on Adult Swim, creator Shinichirō Watanabe’s Cowboy Bebop is one of the definitive anime masterpieces. It’s relatively short with a seemingly definitive ending, it has great music, and it has the rare English dub that even subtitle purists can’t really object to. All of that makes it the kind of widely beloved cult hit that Hollywood would love to get its hands on while simultaneously being a singular story that is pretty much perfect as it is, so any kind of adaptation (or even continuation) is pretty much pointless… or at least very misguided and potentially very difficult. And yet, Netflix has decided to bravely take its shot with a live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, or at least a live-action adaptation of some specific Cowboy Bebop stories that don’t involve one of the main four characters, and now we finally have our first glimpse of what Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop is going to look like—as well as the show’s premiere date, which is November 19.
We’ll give them this: It does look a fair amount like Cowboy Bebop. John Cho’s Spike is wearing the suit, Daniella Pineda’s Faye is wearing a reasonable approximation of her anime outfit, Mustafa Shakir’s Jet has the robot arm, and the set for the Bebop (the home base for the show’s team of dysfunctional bounty hunters) seems to be hitting the right blend of “cool sci-fi spaceship” and “complete shit hole.” Hell, some of these images—like Spike’s big headphones, his walk through the church, and his shirtless workout—are pulled straight from the show. That’s all cool and promising!
Notably absent are Alex Hassell, who is playing series villain Vicious, and Elena Satine, who is playing Spike’s long-lost love interest Julia. Vicious has one of the more silly designs in the anime, if only because his whole thing is extremely anime, so it would be nice to see what he looks like, but Netflix surely knows that the first appearance of Vicious is a thing worth playing close to the chest. (We want the sword and the cormorant and the black suit and the very melodramatic dialogue, or we will riot.)
Also absent, as usual: Edward, the fourth member of the Bebop crew, who has been completely unacknowledged by Netflix in the years of teases we’ve been getting about Cowboy Bebop. It seems like she probably won’t show up, at least not until a hypothetical season two, but we’ll know for sure when the series drops on Netflix on November 19.