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Netlfix’s Cowboy Bebop Already Has Plans for Season 2

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Netlfix's <em>Cowboy Bebop</em> Already Has Plans for Season 2 thumbnail

The following story contains light spoilers for Cowboy Bebop Season 1 on Netflix, but no further.


Netflix has taken a shot at just about everything. Just in 2021 alone, we’ve gotten original horror (Midnight Mass), epic fantasy (Shadow and Bone), comic book adaptation (Sweet Tooth), and the streaming giant’s biggest show of all time (Squid Game). Next up? A live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, the beloved genre-bending anime series (now streaming on Netflix in its entirety) that first took audiences by storm in the late ’90s and has been resonant ever since. Netflix’s live-action version is headed by one of the most likable actors in the business, John Cho, and comes with a tough task: how do you please both old fans of the anime and new recruits?

In making a series that’s hyper-loyal to the anime, Cowboy Bebop has gotten a polarized response, with many saying that while it mirrors the original, it doesn’t come with the same charm. Personally, I can’t speak as a fan of the anime; I’ve only seen one episode of the original series, but I had enough fun with the first season of this live-action adaptation that it’s very possible I eventually go back and watch the whole thing.

Which is a good segue into something I want to add before the rest of this story: I’m coming from the perspective, here, of someone new to the world of Cowboy Bebop. The Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, and Faye Valentine I picture in my head aren’t the original anime depictions, but stars Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda.

And the show is fun! It’s hardly what we’ve come to know as “prestige TV,” but in many ways it feels like one of the first Post-Mandalorian shows we’ve gotten: an expansive sci-fi world, with an episodic, story-of-the-week plot structure, with big set pieces, outsized characters, and a story throughline that comes together at the tail end of the season. This was my first exposure to Cowboy Bebop, but in whatever capacity—whether it’s another season of the live-action series, finally watching the original anime, or both—I’m ready for more.

Here’s what we know about a potential Season 2 for Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop.

cowboy bepop l to r john cho as spike spiegel in cowboy bepop cr geoffrey shortnetflix © 2021

GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX

Will there be a Season 2 of Cowboy Bebop on Netflix?

While Netflix hasn’t officially said anything yet about a Cowboy Bebop Season 2 renewal, the ending—with Spike meeting a young potential traveling companion in Ed (a prominent character in the original series), and Faye, Jet Black, Vicious, and Julia all placed in new situations—does seem to set up a continuation of these storylines.

André Nemec, the showrunner of the live-action Cowboy Bebop adaptation, has said that he’s already thinking about the future of this world and these characters. “If Ted Sarandos comes by, you tell him I got big plans for season two,” Nemec said, referring to Netflix’s CEO in a Hollywood Reporter interview. “We definitely know where we want to go, and I’m excited that we get to tell those stories. Fingers crossed that we get more Cowboy Bebop.”

Who would be in the cast?

Season 2 of Cowboy Bebop would certainly bring back all of the show’s main players. That of course means our heroes, despite going their separate ways: John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, and Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine. And of course we will see more of *DOG ACTORS* Charlie & Harry as the adorable Ein.

It would also need to bring back our villains/quasi-villains: Alex Hassell as Vicious and Elena Satine as Julia.

We’ll also expect to see more of our crew from the club on Mars, Tamara Tunie as Ana and Mason Alexander Park as Gren. Finally, the closing moments of Cowboy Bebop introduce the character of Ed—full name in the anime Edward “Radical Ed” Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV. The actor playing Ed isn’t 100% confirmed just yet, but know it will be an increased role in a big way should there be a season 2.

What would Season 2 of Cowboy Bebop be about?

cowboy bebop l to r john cho as spike spiegel, mustafa shakir as jet black, daniella pineda as faye valentine and ein in cowboy bebop cr geoffrey shortnetflix © 2021

GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX

Again, take this with a grain of salt; I’ve not seen the anime, and the show seems to be very loyal to its source material. So it’s likely the story in that regard will pick up where Season 1 leaves off.

But Nemec has also spoken about how he wants to mix some brand new material in with direct nods to the original. He explained to Kakuchopurei:

It was important to do both. I hate to be sort of non-answering but it was important to do both. I think living in the spirit of the anime meant taking things that weren’t broken and not trying to fix them. That blue suit’s pretty awesome, we don’t need to change that. That yellow couch works, why would we change that? The ship is cool. So, I think a lot of it was that there were so many things that work but at the same time, not wanting to do a one-to-one translation because I wanted to be served, if I were a fan, a different meal.I would want to sort of experience the ongoing adventures and get more time with the Bebop crew but not know what was going to happen before it happens if I was a fan. For those who aren’t fans, to be able to deliver a few one-to-one moments from the anime, so that those who have never seen the anime could actually have the experiences that I had while watching the anime. Which again, was so profound at the time when I was watching them.

Which is all to say: we can expect a mix of some of these directly adapted moments, and new stuff too. We left with Spike, Jet, and Faye all going their separate ways; Spike now working to help Ed (so we think), Jet continuing his work and cherishing the time with his daughter, and Faye looking into her own past. Meanwhile, Julia has taken control of the syndicate, and has chained Vicious up after shooting Spike. Maybe she thinks Spike is dead again? We will see.

When will Cowboy Bebop Season 2 come out?

If the show gets renewed for another season, it’s reasonable to expect that the next season would air either in Winter 2022 or early Spring 2023. It’s a big show that takes a lot of time to write and produce—be patient, space cowboys.

Evan is an associate editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE.

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