Netflix’s long-awaited TUDUM event has TU-COME and TU-GONE, and to be honest, I am a little disappointed. However, right around the 2-hour mark, my ears perked up like an excited dog when I heard the words: “coming up, John Cho to talk about Cowboy Bebop.” And if one segment of the event did not disappoint, it was that short and incredibly beautiful 5 (or so) minute segment.
Presenter and star of the show John Cho wasted no time jumping right into the feature video; the beautiful title sequence for the upcoming live-action Netflix adaptation. Take a look here!
Ever since the show’s announcement, the cast announcement, the delay, the images, now the opening sequence, and essentially every little crumb of news I can get, I have gotten progressively more and more excited for this show. I already naturally have this level of curiosity towards any live-action adaptation of an animated series, but with the cast and crew attached the bar for success was raised exponentially.
The most interesting thing we’ve got from this opening sequence is our first look at the visual style of the show. The images released about a month back can only do so much, and images typically come with flat lighting and all of the shackles of two-dimensional non-dynamic presentation. But with the few little clips we got in between the overflowing style and incredible colors, we finally got to see a bit of how the camera work and style of the show will actually be.
Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda SHINE in the opening. Obviously, them being the stars it’s no surprise, but it’s clear that they’ve already done such a great job excelling past the actors and becoming the characters. When you watch it you don’t see Cho, Shakir, and Pineda; you see Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, and Faye Valentine. It’s incredible how quickly they were able to make these characters come to life.
If there was anything I had doubts about, it’d be the CGI. Netflix CGI is really hit or miss, and more often than not it’s a big-time miss. But we finally got a little look at it with one shot of the Swordfish taking off and it looks so gorgeous. Not only does the ship look great, but the entire landscape and entire shot are made of CGI and it looks insanely good. It’s pretty funny that the one bit of worry that I had about the show was pretty much completely subsided with only a little bit of footage. The upside just keeps looking better and better.
More than ever before, André Nemec’s words of love and loyalty to the original material stand so incredibly true. The entire opening sequence is one huge homage (or copy and paste) of the originals, with a few shots of upcoming characters in the show. But I will be curious to see how or if that same style will be adapted into the actual episodes. There’s one shot in particular, with Jet Black piloting the Bebop, where he is just bathed in black and purple and it looks fantastic. But it also looks very heavily color-adjusted to fit the sequence and not at all like something that would actually appear in an episode. I’d love to see them take a very experimental and colorful approach, but I doubt it. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
Netflix also took the opportunity to release some images on Twitter, which saw a much more focused reveal of some key characters in the upcoming series. Most importantly, the beautiful little puppy named Ein.
Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and the crew of this show might have hand-picked the heaviest crown of them all. Adapting this show comes with mountains of baggage and expectations, and I’m praying that the incredible cast and crew meet those expectations. If they do, we could be in for a real treat.
Also, be sure to check out this fun video that gives a side-by-side comparison with the title sequence from both the new and original animated series.