Netflix has released photos for it’s upcoming adaptation of Cowboy Bebop. Netflix is trash, and their adaptations more-so, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at what they pooped out and give it a grade.
When it comes to good adaptations, aesthetics are everything. For those who care about integrity and quality we expect the adapted work to look spot on when it comes to the characters. Spot on or as close as humanly possible. In this day and age that is not a tall order technology-wise.
Our first character is arguably one of the most popular of the bunch. Spike. The ex-uber bad boy (gangster) turned sort of bad boy (bounty hunter). According to the character’s designer’s Spike’s design was based off of Japanese actor Yusaku Matsuda.
That’s nice. Really, I see the resemblance. He looks like a cool dude. Unfortunately, instead of giving Spike a flat nose, which would have matched Matsuda, they gave him a pointy nose. Whoops.
Well, tough ish, you make a decision like that and it’s going to have real word consequences. That means in order to match his appearance we need to mix in some Caucasian blood.
Like Brandon Lee.
Ah, there we go, that’s more like it. With some mixing we achieve both the look and ethnicity. I doubt it would have been very hard to find a good looking, athletic, half-Japanese, half-Caucasian actor to play this role. But of course to that, you would have to actually be trying.
Not only does John Cho lack the intensity of Matsuda (dude looked serious). He doesn’t look anything like Spike (and those head phones look ridiculous). Cho looks like an emo chump trying to look cool. Double fail.
Spike casting grade: F.
Next is Jet Black, former officer of the ISSP and Captain of the Bebop crew.
I don’t care how much soy you drink, this is not a black guy. Hey Netflix, Jet Black is a name, not a character description.
It took me five seconds to find a good look-alike:
Yeah, yeah, Hiroyuki Sanada’s only 5’7″. But Elijah Wood may be short, he ain’t as short as a hobbit. But hey, if you want more height we have Joe Manganiello coming in at a solid 6’5″. And would you look at that, it wouldn’t take much to make him look spot on.
Mustafa? Sorry bruh, not even close. You should have turned down the role.
If the original show had intended for Jet to be black, they’d have drawn him like this:
Jet Black design grade: F.
Last character, the lovely Faye Valentine. Faye is a member of the crew and also has a bounty on her head. She looks 23 but is actually 77 (long story). According to the wiki Faye is of “Singaporean” descent. That’s lovely, truly. However, when adapting we’re looking at what she actually looks like. Faye is fair-skinned and has a pointy nose.
Faye also has a great rack.
Daniella Pineda? Hmmm…close but not quite.
They could have made me co-sign her but the outfit looks off. No headband. They have some stupid belt covering her stomach. Those high-boots also look awful. But physically, Pineda could be passable. So there’s that.
Faye design grade: B-.
This is just the easy part. We have yet to see how bad the story and dialog is going to be, but make no mistake, it’s going to be pretty bad. Those interested in seeing more pics can see them at Variety.