John Cho worries about comparisons between live-action ‘Cowboy Bebop’ and anime


Fans love their animated series and comics so much; most get excited when a live action series is filmed with their favorite characters coming to life. However, not everyone is convinced that the anime’s ultimate live-action comparison will stand the test of time. John Cho is concerned that the Cowboy Bebop The live-action remake will not stand up to criticism from fans.

‘Cowboy Bebop’ is online

Cowboy Bebop is an animated series set in the future after a hyper-training accident forces most of the population to seek other planets for a living. In 2071, the series follows a group of misfits who band together to begin the hunt for bounties in their Bebop spaceship. Cowboys are the name given to the individuals who hunt down the galaxy’s criminals and bring them back to life for justice. As the series progresses, the team gains members and difficulties emerge from their past.

John Cho plays Spike Spiegel, while his co-stars include Mustafa Shakir in Jet Black, Daniella Pineda in Faye Valentine, Alex Hassell in Vicious and Elena Satine in Julia. According to Anime News Network, Cho is very concerned about playing a character who is almost half his age. Cho’s concerns are more than age-related, they extend to comparisons between the anime and the live-action remake. That’s one of the reasons he wanted to make sure the live action wasn’t a scene-by-scene remake.

John Cho’s worries about comparing anime and live-action ‘Cowboy Bebop’

Jean Cho | Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic

Cho was injured while filming an episode in October 2019, tearing an ACL according to Variety. This led to a production shutdown of seven to nine months. After the recovery, production continued to be blocked by the New Zealand lockdown. Production was allowed to continue in September 2020 and ended in March 2021.

The time of healing took Cho into a long space of time that allowed her worries to unfold. Before he was injured on set, the show had shot six of ten episodes. Cho was quoted by Anime News Network regarding his concerns: “This interview is about me panicking. But the amount of thinking, worrying and straining and the number of days I spent thinking about Spike now equal my fear of reaction.

Even though Cho states that his fear of the reaction to his playing Spike is high, that hasn’t stopped him from accepting the role. After reading the series pilot, Cho did her research. Cho watched the animated series and got hooked. However, its first stipulation was that original anime composer Yoko Kanno was hired for the live action sounds.

Will any comparisons hamper the success of the show?

With all the remakes and conversions, there will be some setback. Cho’s concerns are valid, however, as they remain close to the Cowboy Bebop original story of the anime, there is room to make the series more realistic without destroying the fantasy that anime fans adore. Additionally, there is more to come to the series due to the attention of the live-action remake.

One bright spot is the new anime-based comic book series, Cowboy Bebop: The Comic Series. It will debut in December with several cover variations courtesy of Titan Comics. In May 2022, the comics will be followed by a pocket release collected. Cowboy Bebop will thrive with new material that old and new fans can soak up. Watch for the release of Cowboy Bebop streaming on Netflix from November 19. The books and comics will also be released from November.

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