According to exclusive intel at The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix is cancelling its adaptation of the wildly popular anime Cowboy Bebop after only 3 weeks, citing disappointing viewer numbers and ratings.
Cowboy Bebop is based on the late-90s manga that was turned into an anime series in 2001. The series was wildly popular at the time, making it one of the most successful anime franchises in the world.
And the plot is simple: An accident on Earth made the planet uninhabitable, so fifty years later we join a group of bounty hunters, known as Cowboys, across the universe as they pick up criminals. Some have compared the show to something like Firefly, while others have described it as “space opera meets noir, meets comedy, meets cyberpunk”.
This live-action series was originally picked up and announced in 2017 from original anime producer Sunrise Inc, and then in 2018, Netflix announced its involvement. The streaming show stars John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, and Alex Hassell as Vicious.
One of my problems with the Netflix Cowboy Bebop adaptation is the same with the Ghost in the Shell movie- this fixation on trying to recreate certain scenes, to try and get the style and the aesthetic down without capturing any of the spirit of the original. pic.twitter.com/9WbwRckWA5
— Vincent Cruz (@VincentCruz) November 20, 2021
So what was so bad about the show to deem it cancel-worthy? First of all, this is kinda Netflix’s thing. Insiders have said that the streaming service has a strict renewal threshold of 60 percent positive rating from critics and Cowboy Bebop slipped just under 59 percent last week. All of this despite earning almost 74 million viewing hours since its debut on November 19.
Understandably, Netflix is in the business of making money, and it’s reported that the company weighed the show’s rating numbers with its high cost to make the decision to cancel that second season. Still, in a perfect world, all of our favorite shows would continue forever.
Despite this cancellation, all 10 episodes of the first season will continue to stick around, as well as all episodes of the original anime series that were acquired by Netflix on October 21, 2021.