Reviews are in for the new Cowboy Bebop and they’re all over the place (even within House Polygon). But everyone — from the creative team behind the Netflix series to those who’ve previewed the episodes — seems to agree there wouldn’t be a version of the show without composer Yoko Kanno. From the explosive opening jazz track “Tank!” to the madcap caper tune “RUSH” and Raj Ramayya’s smooth vocals in “Ask DNA,” Kanno’s contributions played a pivotal role in Cowboy Bebop searing itself into the memories of Adult Swim-watchers of the early 2000s and later generations who discovered the seminal series. Bringing her back to score the live-action series was a no-brainer.
Rightfully, Netflix is celebrating the return of Yoko Kanno. In a new featurette, the composer sits down to discuss the origins of the music, and conducts the Seatbelts crew as they play a few rousing, trumpet-blasting cues. It is, as you might expect if you’re familiar with her work, awesome.
“What made things very easy this time around was that the same musicians named Seatbelts from 20 years ago were willing to help me I feel as if I’ve known them all my life,” Kanno says in the mini doc. “They could take a single melody line and elaborate it into something really cool.”
Still, she was prepared to bring new sounds to the live-action series, which, while indebted to the anime, is trying to be something new. According to Kanno, only one-tenth of the music is ported over from her original soundtrack.
“Yoko was very much in the place of, ‘I’m gonna redo that one. I love that one, but what you’ve created warrants a bit of reinvention,’” showrunner André Nemec says in the video.
At the top of the featurette, star John Cho says that recruiting Yoko Kanno was the real deal-sealer for him to sign on to the project. He had to be a part of it, to part of that music. Who could resist? Relatable.
Watch the full video above. Cowboy Bebop premieres on Nov. 19 on Netflix.