cowboy bebob
Photo Credit: Albert L. Ortega for Vulture Festival 2021 via Getty Images

The Live-Action 'Cowboy Bebop' Reboot Gets Axed By Netflix After One Season

Less than a month after premiering the live-action version of the space western series Cowboy Bebop, Netflix has cancelled the show after largely receiving negative reception.

Less than a month after premiering, Netflix has canceled the live-action version of the space western seriesCowboy Bebop. The cancellation of the science fiction anime-turned-live-action Netflix series almost comes to no surprise to viewers who tuned in. Anticipated by fans of the classic homonymous anime which premiered in 1998, the new adaption of Cowboy Bebop didn't quite land an impact with much of its audience.

Ordered for ten episodes prior to its November 19th debut, The Hollywood Reporter noted that the show "garnered only a 46 percent positive critics rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes". Reception from fans also plummeted as Cowboy Bebop was only given a 55 percent positive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. And while viewership started high, with almost 58 million viewing hours worldwide in its first two weeks, according to Netflix, the show fell steeply, down to 15 million viewing hours for the week of November 29th to December 5th. Lacking in viewership and engaging fanfare, Netflix decided to cut the cord on the show, despite having been criticized for excluding the original creators of Cowboy Bebop, including creator Shinichirō Watanabe.

Starring Mustafa Shakir, John Cho and Daniella Pineda, the trio played bounty hunters (or "cowboys") looking to outrun their past while aboard spacecraft Bebop. A culmination of slapstick, noir and western, Cowboy Bebop was Netflix's latest iteration of reinventing Japanese anime, following 2017 films Death Note and Fullmetal Alchemist.

Viewers in Japan openly voiced their criticism of Cowboy Bebop following announcement of its cancellation, reported by Kotaku. Taking to social media to voice their grievances with the adaptation, some opined that the cancellation was "expected" while others opted for Keanu Reeves to play Spike Spiegel. In a different take, CNET praised the series for being a "thrilling romp that gets the vibrant, soulful gestalt of the original series."

The misfortune of CowboyBebop hasn't prevented Netflix from diving back into the live-action adaptation pool. According to IGN, there are several more Japanese anime-based content in the works, including a live-action One Piece and YuYu Hakusho series along with a Gundam film.