When you ask an anime fan what is the best anime of all time? The answer can undoubtedly vary, but many otaku, especially those around thirty or more, will answer that Cowboy Bebop. It is the anime that put on the map to Shinichiro Watanabe. Then he would consecrate himself even more with animes like Samurai Champloo and Space Dandy. That said, for many those two later works don’t compare to his sci-fi anime.
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One of the factors that makes this anime so great is that it had a team of stars made up not only of him, but also of screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto. We also owe her the script for Tokyo Godfathers – Heroes to the rescue (89%), for example. We also have the soundtrack of Yoko Kanno which goes perfectly with the fast-paced action and genre mix of this masterpiece.
Now Netflix is going to make its live-action adaptation of this anime. Expectations are sky high. The images they have released have shown that they will be more faithful than other adaptations of this style. Kanno and Watanabe they are involved in this adaptation. The first again as a composer and the second as a creative consultant. In general everything seems in order so that we have one of the best adaptations of an anime, but the best, that has ever been seen. Of course, you have to remember that most of them are terrible.
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The point is that the fact that an anime is considered a masterpiece by fans, does not mean that everyone knows this. Cowboy Bebop is a work that an otaku would probably recommend if you asked what anime to watch, but it doesn’t enjoy the level of popularity of things like One Punch Man, Attack on Titan O Death Note. That has become more than clear in the latest statements by John Cho.
He is going to play the leading man Spike Spiegel. For the same Vulture had a conversation with him about the series. In it he revealed something quite unexpected. I did not know anime. When he read the script for the first chapter he liked it a lot, so he decided to take a look at the anime and was surprised by what he saw. Then he decided to speak with Aneesh Chaganty, director of Looking for … (91%), and there he understood that he was looking at a really important work in that medium. Here his words:
I did not know. The first thing I read and fell in love with was our first episode script, which I thought was really brilliant and I thought ‘What the heck is this?’ And so I researched anime and I just thought that this was the most unique piece of entertainment that I had seen in a long time: the combination of genres, characters and the music. I spoke to Aneesh Chagatny, who directed Searching, to talk about it: ‘Do you know of a show called Cowboy Bebop? I received an offer to work on an adaptation of this anime. ‘ I remember that he told me: ‘You have to do it.’ I had not realized that it was something very important.
The good thing is that in the end he accepted the role.
On the other hand, in that same interview he spoke of the importance that this television series reflects the planet we live on using a diverse cast:
I was curious and should have asked. I never really did. I’m pretty sure they had made the decision that this character should be Asian. Having said that, I’m not sure if the Japanese creators of the series cared. Because when I watch anime there is really no answer to the question of what is this person’s race. And I think it partly has to do with gender; it is something of your own, and does not necessarily reflect the planet Earth that you and I inhabit. However, we live on planet Earth and we are making a product for the people in 2021. So if you were a viewer and you saw that a white man was cast as Spike Spiegel, maybe you would say, ah, there you go again. I’m not sure if that’s fair
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John Cho didn’t know anime was a masterpiece before he was hired