One of the biggest reasons live-action adaptations like Game of Thrones (at least, outside of the last two seasons), House of the Dragon, and HBO's The Last of Us, all worked so well is because the source material's creators either worked closely with the showrunners or were literally a part of the creative team. So, when the creator of the source material of the said adaptation isn't a fan of the results, you know it didn't do its due diligence, which is exactly what happened with Netflix's Cowboy Bebop.
Shinichiro Watanabe created one of the most popular Japanese animation shows in history. Cowboy Bebop captivates a lot of audiences to date, which explains why Netflix thought it was a good idea to make a live-action adaptation.
Unfortunately, Netflix made the grave mistake of not involving the creator enough.
Forbes recently sat Watanabe down to ask him about his lengthy career. The interview took an interesting turn when asked about his thoughts regarding the John Cho-led Netflix show. Watanabe didn't say a lot, but he made every word count.
Here's what Watanabe had to say about the Netflix adaptation:
For the new Netflix live-action adaptation, they sent me a video to review and check. It started with a scene in a casino, which made it very tough for me to continue. I stopped there and so only saw that opening scene. It was clearly not Cowboy Bebop and I realized at that point that if I wasn’t involved, it would not be Cowboy Bebop. I felt that maybe I should have done this. Although the value of the original anime is somehow far higher now.
Cowboy Bebop fans had high expectations for the live-action TV adaptation of the classic 90s anime but the show fell flat on its face upon release. It wasn't necessarily bad but it wasn't a proper adaptation of its popular source material either. It lacked the viewership numbers to stave off a perfectly understandable cancelation as Netflix refused to listen to fans asking for a second season.
Hopefully, Netflix's other live-action anime adaptations do better. The streamer is currently working on bringing the likes of Death Note, One Piece, and My Hero Academia to life.