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Netflix Cancels Cowboy Bebop Live-Action Series

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Netflix Cowboy Bebop

It was over not long after it started: Netflix has canceled its live-action Cowboy Bebop adaptation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the decision comes less than a month after the series premiered on November 19, 2021.

According to the outlet’s sources, the choice by Netflix to cancel Cowboy Bebop came after the company balanced production costs against viewership. Though the series accumulated nearly 74 million “viewing hours” from Netflix’s global audience, the week of December 5, 2021 saw a 59-percent drop in activity. When it comes to renewing scripted series, Netflix’s renewal rate lines up with industry averages, with about 60 percent of shows getting two or more seasons.

Cowboy Bebop on Netflix adapts the 1998 Sunrise-produced anime series of the same name. Actors Jon Cho, Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Eden Perkins played the “cowboy” bounty hunters Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, and Ed, respectively. Andre Nemec ran the show, with original director Shinichiro Watanabe consulting and Yoko Kanno returning to compose music for the series. The anime voice cast also returned to play their roles in the series’ Japanese-language dub.

Netflix is also working on other live-action anime and game adaptations, as well as new anime productions. One is the recently announced film Bubble, from Wit Studio. Live-action takes on Gundam, Mega ManOne Piece, and Yu Yu Hakusho are also in various stages of development.

The only season of the Cowboy Bebop Netflix series is immediately available to view on the service. The original anime is also available to stream on Netflix in multiple territories. Check out our impressions of the series.

Josh Tolentino
Josh Tolentino helped run Japanator as Managing Editor since 2012, before it and Siliconera teamed up. That said, it's been years since he watched enough anime to keep his otaku license valid. Maybe one day he'll see enough of a given season to pretend to know what's hot. Until then, it's Star Trek reruns, gacha games, and bylines at Destructoid and GameCritics.