Shinichiro Watanabe says Netflix adaptation is “clearly not Cowboy Bebop”

Cowboy Bebop

Shinichiro Watanabe the director of the original 90s anime Cowboy Bebop, has recently criticized the series’ short-lived Netflix adaptation.

In his interview with Forbes, Watanabe was asked about his long career when the discussion eventually veered towards the live-action Netflix adaptation.

Watanabe was not a part of the Netflix project, though he had been shown early scenes during production. In a 2019 interview he said that all he could do was “pray and hope” for the live-action version.

In this latest interview though, he was much more direct, going as far as openly criticizing the adaptation.

“For the new Netflix live-action adaptation, they sent me a video to review and check,” Watanabe said. “It started with a scene in a casino, which made it very tough for me to continue. I stopped there and so only saw that opening scene.”

He added, “It was clearly not Cowboy Bebop and I realized at that point that if I wasn’t involved, it would not be Cowboy Bebop. I felt that maybe I should have done this. Although the value of the original anime is somehow far higher now.”

While he’s diplomatic with his words, it’s not unreasonable to infer that he wasn’t impressed.

Fans seemed to agree with his sentiment and the show was cancelled after only one season.



A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

Where'd our comments go? Subscribe to become a member to get commenting access and true free speech!