Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Original composer Yoko Kanno is returning for Netflix's Cowboy Bebop

The composer behind iconic theme song "Tank!" is back

The Swordfish II from Cowboy Bebop, or at least a toy of it
The Swordfish II from Cowboy Bebop, or at least a toy of it
Photo: Roy Rochlin (Getty Images)

Netflix still isn’t ready to show off anything from its live-action adaptation of beloved anime classic Cowboy Bebop, but today it did finally confirm the addition of an important behind-the-scenes member of the crew. As part of its Geeked Week festivities, Netflix revealed on Twitter that composer Yoko Kanno—who was behind the iconic soundtrack of the original series—will be doing the soundtrack for the new series as well. The announcement tweet correctly points out that “there’s no Bebop without Yoko,” with stars John Cho, Daniella Pineda, and Mustafa Shakir grooving along to “Tank!,” the original show’s absolutely killer theme song, while some colored boxes move along the screen to mimic the original intro. It’s pretty slick, assuming you’re willing to tolerate the concept of a live-action Cowboy Bebop.

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Interestingly, the video says “featuring original music by Yoko Kanno,” which could just mean that it features old music she did for the old show. That wouldn’t be the worst thing, since “Tank!” and end credits theme “The Real Folk Blues” alone are perfect already, but Yoko Kanno doing new Cowboy Bebop music is certainly appealing—even if it is for a live-action adaptation on Netflix. Kanno, for anyone who doesn’t know her name already, also did the music for Turn-A Gundam, Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Wolf’s Rain, Escaflowne, and a few Macross projects, all of which have are at least partially known for having solid soundtracks. She’s basically the GOAT of anime music, though she also does music outside of anime, so she might just be the GOAT in general.

The tweet also confirmed that Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop will finally be coming “this fall” after Cho was injured on set and filming had to be delayed. In addition to the aforementioned trio, Cowboy Bebop will star Alex Hassell, Elena Satine, and Mason Alexander Park.

Update (6/9/21): Netflix has confirmed that the soundtrack for its Cowboy Bebop adaptation will include both new music created by Yoko Kanno and music she composed for the original anime. The best of both worlds!