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Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop trailer is an explosion of tone

John Cho’s Spike is in full action-hero mode

Toussaint Egan is a curation editor, out to highlight the best movies, TV, anime, comics, and games. He has been writing professionally for over 8 years.

Following the release of the “The Lost Session” teaser last week, Netflix has released the first official trailer for its upcoming live-action Cowboy Bebop series starring John Cho, Danielle Pineda, and Mustafa Shakir. The trailer arrived on the heels of a live countdown event on YouTube.

The trailer opens with Spike Spiegel (Cho) standing in front of the rising hangar doors of Bebop overlooking a futuristic cityscape with his personal spacecraft the Swordfish II visible in the background. The scene cuts to a shot of the asteroid colony of New Tijuana, intercut with Spike relating to his old acquaintance Ana (Tamara Tunie) about his new line of work as a bounty hunter and his partner Jet (Shakir). Spike tells Ana that if she ever needs to find him, he goes by the name Spike Spiegel now — suggesting that, unlike in the original series, “Spike Spiegel” is merely an alias he adopted to conceal his identity after he faked his own death and left the Red Dragon syndicate.

Jet is shown piloting the Bebop towards an Astral Gate, humorously banging shut one of the shutter windows of the ship’s cockpit as the series theme song “Tank” begins to ramp up. From there, it’s a lot of familiar territory for fans of the original Bebop anime: We see Spike and Jet facing off against the Teddy Bomber, including monochrome flashbacks of Spike and his lover Julia (Elena Satine). Faye (Pineda) is introduced touting a rifle inside a darkened ship corridor before cutting away to a scene of the trio in a dinner, with Faye suggesting that they team up. We also see Spike facing off with Vicious (Alex Hassell) in a cathedral, a spacecraft soaring through space, and Cho’s smooth delivery of “depends on who you ask,” before soaring over a dock at night aboard the Swordfish II.

The trailer certainly looks different than the original anime series in terms of its look and setup, boasting a stylized approach to the source material reminiscent of the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer or Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

It remains unclear how much of the original 26 episode anime Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop will cover in its initial 10 episode season, or whether the character of Ed, the genius child hacker and fan-favorite character of the original series, will make an appearance this season, though their existence was seemingly hinted at in a teaser video posted on Twitter in the lead up to “The Lost Season” teaser’s release.

Cowboy Bebop will be released on Netflix on Nov. 19.

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