‘Cowboy Bebop’: 5 Questions Netflix’s Live-Action Series Needs to Address If It’s Renewed for Season 2
The original Cowboy Bebop debuted in the late 1990s, but Netflix is bringing new attention to the anime with its recent live-action adaptation. The first 10 episodes dropped on Nov. 19, but it’s clear the creators are hoping for a second outing. Although the anime never went beyond its initial 26-episode run, there’s room for the Netflix series to expand upon the source material — especially since it didn’t adapt the full story yet. And if the streamer does renew Cowboy Bebop for season 2, it has a few questions to address during its next batch of episodes.
[Warning: This article contains spoilers for Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop.]
Will the live-action Bebop crew make nice?
The finale of Cowboy Bebop Season 1 left the Bebop crew at odds, but it’s inevitable they’ll get back together if the live-action series is greenlit for season 2. Spike (John Cho), Jet (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye (Daniella Pineda) part ways in the anime’s finale as well, but that break-up has a bit more finality to it.
If the crew does reunite in season 2, they’ll have to address some of the tensions that cropped up in the first outing. Jet finally knows the truth about Spike, begging the question of whether he’ll hold his past against him. The live-action series would also have the opportunity to dig into Faye’s trust issues after the gang’s time away from one another.
How exactly the Bebop crew will get back together will also need to be answered, but it’s probably safe to assume there’s a bounty they’d be willing to play nice for. Perhaps the appearance of Radical Ed will sway them as well.
Did Julia dethrone Vicious as the show’s villain?
One way Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop diverges from the anime is by giving Julia (Elena Satine) and Vicious (Alex Hassell) more screen time. The two have an entire storyline to themselves, one that delves deeper into their relationship and their place in the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate.
The finale sees Julia betraying Vicious and becoming the leader of the Syndicate, a shocking development for anyone expecting Netflix to stick closely to the original. Their circumstances open all kinds of possibilities for Cowboy Bebop Season 2. Not only would the new episodes need to reveal what Julia has planned for Vicious, but they also must show what she’ll do with the Syndicate.
Cowboy Bebop‘s last episode suggests Julia still has unresolved issues with Spike, so it’s possible she’ll become the villain of a second outing. Could she wind up the Big Bad of the whole show? Or will the live-action series return to form before closing the doors on its adaptation of Cowboy Bebop? (I mean, Vicious can’t stay locked away forever, right?)
Where was Radical Ed before ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Season 2?
Cowboy Bebop‘s resident hacker, Radical Ed (Eden Perkins), is noticeably missing from the live-action series’ first season. She makes an appearance at the very end of the finale, suggesting she’ll play a bigger role in season 2. But where was she before that?
Jet mentions the hacker earlier in the season, suggesting the Bebop crew knows her — and that she might already play a part in their operations. If that’s the case, the show needs to address where she’s been. If not, they’ll still have to come up with a new narrative for why she sticks with the gang after finding Spike.
There’s a lot to address when it comes to Ed in the live-action series. Hopefully, they’ll find a way to do the character justice.
Will Netflix keep the iconic opening for season 2?
Many series, especially animated ones, change up their openings from season to season. Of course, the original Cowboy Bebop never got the chance. But will Netflix keep “Tank!” for season 2, or will it attempt to replace the iconic theme with something new?
It’s hard to imagine Cowboy Bebop without “Tank!” at the beginning. With that in mind, hopefully, Netflix will just add new imagery to the opening. If not, dedicated anime fans are likely to find fault with it.
Could the live-action ‘Cowboy Bebop’ end differently?
If Cowboy Bebop Season 2 actually happens, it will raise another major question: will this be the first of multiple new seasons, or will the live-action show end after a second go-round? The answer will determine more than whether or not viewers can expect more content from the franchise. It will also address if Netflix intends to keep the original Cowboy Bebop‘s ending or create a completely new entity with its adaptation.
Although the newer series pays homage to its anime roots, the creators could decide to take the story in a different direction. They’ve already tweaked a few things. And pursuing a new path would enable them to continue playing in this world. Again, doing so would risk criticism from anime purists. However, it could appease newcomers reluctant to let go so soon.
Only time will tell how Netflix decides to handle the future of the series. In the meantime, season 1 of the live-action Cowboy Bebop is currently streaming on Netflix.