Sunday, January 16, 2022

Netflix ‘Cowboy Bebop’: Explained Live Action Final Plot

This story discusses the details of the season 1 finale of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop. If you haven’t watched the season yet, consider this feature for how a live-action adaptation differs from an anime.

Netflix’s live series Cowboy Bebop is akin to a re-adaptation of the opus that is the beloved original anime series.

Starring John Cho, Mustafa Shakir and Danielle Pineda as the cowboys of the spaceship Bebop, the new adaptation blends familiar characters, moments, visuals, sounds, and other anime references with its own unique narrative that, while spiritually faithful to the anime, diverges. at times from the story told in the original show.

This is especially noticeable in the season finale, which culminates in the transformation of Julia (Elena Satine) into a full-fledged villain. Unique to the video game series, this arc is one of the biggest changes made to the anime.

“The more we talked about [Julia] in the writers’ room it became all the more clear that we had this amazing opportunity to give birth to a villain, ”said Cowboy Bebop showrunner and executive producer André Nemec. “To see this woman – who was placed in this environment and because of her desire to escape from the environment, [is] instilled in his terror, in his violence – understand that [she can] take the reins now. “

Here are some key elements of the Cowboy Bebop ending that set it apart from the story in the original show.

How different is Julia in the anime?

In the anime, Julia is nothing more than a figure from Spike’s past who haunts his memories – until she makes a brief appearance in recent episodes. Aside from the fact that she is somehow connected to the Spike and Vicious rivalry, much of her story remains a mystery. While Julia and Spike’s reunion in the anime is much more friendly, since Julia decided to follow Spike so they could be together, she was killed shortly thereafter.

Nemec considers Julia from the anime “more of an idea.”

“It looks more like a dramatic device for anime storytelling,” Nemec said. But the goal of the live-action series was to give her more agency while staying true to the spirit of the original.

Julia is much more present, and her backstory is more developed in the new Cowboy Bebop, which in its penultimate episode delves into the trio’s history to help explain the root of the intense animosity between Spike (Cho) and Vicious (Alex Hassel). It is this story that drives Julia’s actions before and throughout the finale.

Julia (Elena Satine) at Cowboy Bebop.

(Jeffrey Short / Netflix)

What is the significance of the cathedral?

The live-action ending is inspired by the fifth episode of the anime Ballad of Fallen Angels. In this episode, Spike is lured into Vicious Cathedral, which, after killing someone important to Spike, also captured Faye. Their fight includes a memorable fight scene in which Vicious throws Spike through the glass of a large window.

For Nemec, it was important that the real-time version of Fay (Pineda) was more than just a means of getting into this fight.

“One of the things I knew very early on was that I wanted Faye not to show up at the cathedral as a victim,” Nemec said. “She was supposed to be the hero of the day, and she is.”

Why did Julia shoot Spike?

“I knew I wanted Julia to appear in the cathedral,” Nemec said. “I knew I wanted Julia to shoot Vicious.”

But if Julia’s reason for filming Vicious was clear from the start, the reason she filmed Spike came later, as Nemec and the writers were considering reuniting Julia and Spike. Nemec realized that it was important for Julia to ask Spike why he never came back for her: from her point of view, he just abandoned her to live with Vicious.

“She shoots him from the window, and at that moment I think it is very justified,” – said Nemec. “She doesn’t need him anymore. And I think that says a lot about Spike’s personality, the romantic ideas that float in his head, and the dreams he had from the beginning, that he still longs for something that he didn’t allow. develop. His thoughts are frozen in time, but hers is not. “

What about the guy who finds Spike at the very end?

This character is Radical Edward (Eden Perkins), a brilliant young hacker who was briefly mentioned earlier in the series. In the anime, Ed is the fourth member of Team Bebop and joins the team in Episode 9. Her full name, at least in the anime, is Edward Wong Hau Ashes Tivruschi IV.

Ed’s appearance in the anime disrupts the established Bebop team dynamic. But she also helps strengthen their bond, and her skills become invaluable to the team.

“It was important for me to be able to find the characters Spike, Jet and Fay, really strengthen the Bebop team and find out who these people are before dropping the atomic bomb on Ed,” Nemec said. … Because she “will only bring more chaos to the group.”

Nemec said there wasn’t enough time to properly introduce Radical Edward in the first season of Cowboy Bebop.

“I need to know a lot about Radical Ed, who she is, what she is, where she comes from. [and] why does she do what she does, ”Nemec said. “So that meant we saved Radical Ed for season two with our fingers crossed, where we can really tell Ed’s story.”

So why was radical Edward’s cameo even included? Because Nemec considered it important to reduce the severity of the ending – “leave everyone with a small smile on their face, and not a tragedy.”

“That last moment with Ed was a reminder that things will continue,” Nemec said. “There is another insane energy that is about to turn everything upside down.”

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