How Cowboy Bebop’s Live-Action Cast Compares to the Anime

A live-action version of the beloved anime Cowboy Bebop of some kind or another has been in development on and off for years. Netflix pulled the project out of Development Hell, and the first ten-episode season of an American live-action Cowboy Bebop TV series will finally be available to stream this November. Based on the first images released, it's looking a lot more anime-accurate than most live-action adaptations, though with a few changes both subtle and noteworthy.

Here is a comparison of the live-action cast with the anime characters they're portraying. This article will be updated as more casting announcements and images get revealed.

John Cho as Spike Spiegel

Cowboy Bebop Spike comparison

In terms of costume design, the live-action portrayal of protagonist Spike Spiegel is the closest to the original anime, almost an exact replication. John Cho even grew his hair out for the part. The big difference from the anime, it would seem, is the character's age. Spike Spiegel in the anime is meant to be in his late 20s, whereas actor John Cho is 49. Writing the ex-gangster turned bounty hunter with more years of experience could lend the Netflix series a distinctive perspective from the original story.

Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black

Cowboy Bebop Jet Comparison

Jet Black's live-action look isn't as exact an anime recreation as Spike Spiegel's, but it is still identifiably Jet. The color of his outfit has been changed from blue with silver shoulder pads to gray with brown shoulder pads, but the details of his cybernetic arm and the scar and implant around his right eye have been replicated precisely.

Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine

Faye Valentine is the character who's gone through the most dramatic costume changes. Daniella Pineda still looks the part, sporting Faye's signature yellow crop top and purple hair, but she's actually wearing her red jacket instead of just wrapping it around herself as an accessory. She also has long black pants rather than yellow shorts. Faye's yellow headband is also missing in the promotional shots, though it's possible that might show up in other scenes.


One thing even those skeptical about the live-action Cowboy Bebop can agree on is that the Welsh corgi playing the Bebop crew's "data dog" Ein is perfect. Though early rumors claimed the show would be casting a husky as Ein instead, Netflix quashed those rumors at the start of production, posting a "Corgi-Vision" video of the first day of production back in October 2019.

The live-action Cowboy Bebop premieres on Netflix Nov. 19. See you, Space Cowboy.

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