Netflix Cancels Cowboy Bebop Only 21 Days After Release

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The Netflix live-action adaptation of the beloved 90s anime series, Cowboy Bebop, has had a rocky start from the beginning.

Announced in 2017, with an impressive cast attached in 2019, the show experienced a shooting delay when star John Cho sustained an injury and then another when COVID hit.

Today, after a mixed reception from audiences to the ten-episode first season released on November 19, Netflix announced that a second season will not happen.

Cowboy Bebop on Netflix

In case you missed it at its launch, Netflix describes the series as follows:

"COWBOY BEBOP is an action-packed space Western about three bounty hunters, aka 'cowboys,' all trying to outrun the past.

"As different as they are deadly, Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) form a scrappy, snarky crew ready to hunt down the solar system's most dangerous criminals — for the right price.

"But they can only kick and quip their way out of so many scuffles before their pasts finally catch up with them."

The Cowboys - Cowboy Bebop

TV Fanatic reviewed the series and lauded its overall look, pacing, intriguing characters, and general faithfulness to numerous aspects of the original anime.

However, we were not impressed with the finale, Cowboy Bebop Season 1 Episode 10, where it seemed some key characters forgot their core motivation, and the narrative took a sharp left from the source material in order to leave the possibility of a second season on the table.

As for the global reception to the series, there were two camps of audience reactions.

For the most part, fans of the original series were not happy with the changes to characters and plotlines. Meanwhile, newcomers with an open mind to the unique genre-blending Cowboy Bebop cuts its teeth on were largely positive.

Unfortunately for the series, it would appear that the loud purists made their ire visible while those willing to give it a chance were quietly ignored.

Three On Board - Cowboy Bebop Season 1 Episode 5

While Cowboy Bebop Season 1 delved into many of the plotlines of the original animated series, it ended with many, many loose ends.

Spike and Jet part ways. That cannot stand, so how do they reconcile?

The last we see of Faye, she's off to visit her childhood home in search of her memories. That's a whole season of adventures in and of itself.

And Ed and Ein, the ultimate hacker duo, are introduced in the VERY. LAST. SCENE. Talk about a tease.

Faye and Ein - Cowboy Bebop Season 1 Episode 4

Adapting a series with a following like Cow Bebop's was an ambitious swing at the fences. While Netflix's production had several strong elements, it could not quite hit the sweet spot that both satisfied the anime-faithful crowd and enticed the newbies.

How does this cancellation hit you?

Were you willing to give it another season to hit its stride?

Or were you one who didn't want and didn't welcome another version of what many would deem a perfect series?

Either way, it doesn't look like we'll be Seeing You Space Cowboys (or Cowgirls) any time soon.

Diana Keng is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is a lifelong fan of smart sci-fi and fantasy media, an upstanding citizen of the United Federation of Planets, and a supporter of AFC Richmond 'til she dies. Her guilty pleasures include female-led procedurals, old-school sitcoms, and Bluey. She teaches, knits, and dreams big. Follow her on Twitter.

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Cowboy Bebop Quotes

Tanaka: I am walking out of here or she dies.
Spike: Or she dies? Wait, that's your hostage? What is she? Like 80? I mean, she looks like she's led a very full, rich life. Haven't you, ma'am?

I worked in a casino once. Until they fired me. For stabbing a pit boss in the eye. And then he got fired because what's the use of a one-eyed pit boss?