The Original ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Cast Is Returning for the Netflix Series’ Japanese Dub

Classic anime series Cowboy Bebop is making a comeback this year, with a live-action adaptation hitting Netflix in November. And there’s some exciting news for fans of the original story: the anime’s voice cast will return for the Japanese dub of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop. Read on to learn what we know about their involvement so far.

Netflix’s ‘Cowboy Bebop’ stars John Cho, Daniella Pineda, and Mustafa Shakir

Cast members John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda in Netflix's live-action 'Cowboy Bebop.' The three are walking next to one another, with Ein the corgi/alien next to them. Fans are wondering if the 'Cowboy Bebop' adaptation will feature Ed as well.
John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda in ‘Cowboy Bebop’ | Geoffrey Short/Netflix

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Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop has a recognizable live-action cast, with John Cho taking the lead as the charming and slippery Spike Spiegel. Although fans haven’t seen footage of Cho in the role, he looks the part in the show’s promotional images. His acting history certainly proves he has the range to take on the nonchalant, humorous character.

Daniella Pineda and Mustafa Shakir join Cho in the main cast of Cowboy Bebop, playing Faye Valentine and Jet Black, respectively. Again, fans have only seen them in images of the live-action series — and the recently released opening credits.

Showrunner André Nemec told Entertainment Weekly that the live-action series will take the characters beyond what fans saw in the original anime:

“I think that the poetic nature of the anime absolutely allowed for us to mine the archetypal nature of the characters and dig out deeper histories that we wanted to explore — and answer some of the questions that the anime leaves you with.”

With so much emphasis on the characters, the cast of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop is an important aspect of the show. Perhaps that’s why the streamer is bringing back the anime’s voice actors for the Japanese dub.

The original anime cast will return for the Japanese dub

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On Oct. 12, the Netflix Japan Anime Twitter account revealed that the original voice cast of Cowboy Bebop will return for the live-action series. They’ll provide the Japanese dub for the new episodes, reprising their roles 23 years after the anime first aired.

“The members of the original anime and the gorgeous cast,” the account tweeted. “Delivering a new world for the first time in 23 years!”

That’s an exciting development for longtime fans of the anime because it promises a live-action series that knows its roots. Voice actors returning for the Netflix show include:

  • Koichi Yamadera as Spike Spiegel
  • Megumi Hayashibara as Faye Valentine
  • Taiten Kusunoki as Jet Black
  • Norio Wakamoto as Vicious
  • Gara Takashima as Julia

Additionally, Netflix announced that the Cowboy Bebop anime will come to the streamer ahead of its adaptation. Because of that, viewers can enjoy performances from the original cast a little early. The anime arrives on the platform on Oct. 21. That leaves about a month between the anime’s arrival and that of the live-action series.

When does ‘Cowboy Bebop’ come out on Netflix?

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With the excitement surrounding Netflix’s live-action Cowboy Bebop ramping up, fans may be wondering when they’ll get to see the cast in action. Fortunately, they don’t have long to wait. The series debuts on Nov. 19, 2021, dropping its 10-episode season all in one day.

It’s unclear if Cowboy Bebop will receive a second season, but with the adaptation diving into new territory, it certainly seems like a possibility. Either way, viewers have plenty to look forward to. It’s looking more and more like the adaptation will properly pay homage to the original. Because live-action anime adaptations can be controversial, that should put diehard fans at ease.