There’s no real mystery as to why Cowboy Bebop was recently canceled, and it’s not exactly because Netflix has a seriously bad habit of getting rid of its properties for one reason or another, even if they’re successful. Nope, this time around it’s because Cowboy Bebop has been dropping on top 10 lists throughout the world ever since it debuted on the streaming giant. One only has to search through a few articles detailing what people did and didn’t like about the live-action adaptation to see that the response to the show wasn’t what Netflix wanted to see. For all intents and purposes the show came out swinging, making it clear that it was meant to be every bit as action-packed as the anime it was derived from, but there’s a huge problem when developing anime shows to live-action. The animation is usually so wild and out of control that it would require a lot of CGI and good acting to make things appear the same and as it’s been seen in countless shows and movies, people can’t help but nitpick CGI to death whenever they get the chance. Plus, let’s face it, the effect just isn’t the same.
Live-action doesn’t always conform to what anime can do since whether people want to hear it or not, drawing something out of proportion and making it look impressive is a lot easier than trying to do the same thing with a live-action adaptation. But the overall reason why the show didn’t appeal to the fans appears to have more to do with what was added, what was left out, and what was bungled according to those that have been paying attention to the story for so long. Fans are often quite protective of their favorite stories, which is amusing since without having put anything into said stories other than their emotional investment, they have no control over what happens. This typically doesn’t matter since if fans decide that something is worth their time, they’ll continue to follow it.
But as I tend to say quite often, fans are fickle, and if something is done that isn’t to their liking, they will turn, either quickly, or gradually as they find that they can no longer support something if it doesn’t follow their idea of what should happen. The issue with Cowboy Bebop, for Netflix, comes down to numbers and the fact that it hasn’t lived up to what the streaming site thought would happen upon bringing it to life in this manner. For fans, there’s no doubt that they’re enduring a bit of disappointment at the moment, but if the truth is told they’re likely just as right as they are wrong when it comes to their reaction to this show. They’re right since it’s important for the adaptation to be as true to the source material as possible, but they’re wrong for thinking that this was what would happen, since every show and movie that is derived from a story of this nature is going to be interpreted in one way or another since many directors and producers don’t want to create the exact same story that people have seen over and over. This was proved with the Infinity War in the MCU, since many of those bringing such stories to the screen, big or small, want to bring something that people haven’t seen yet while staying fairly true to the source.
It doesn’t always work obviously, especially since the transition can be a rough one when using certain source materials that might not translate that well to live-action. But if there’s a fault to be had, it’s in the expectations of the fans as well as the actions of those making the movie. Something was mixed up when this show was being made, that’s for certain, but the expectations of the fans weren’t exactly fair when thinking of what would happen when the show hit the site. Some might think that watching a show or a movie without expectations isn’t possible, that there will always be some bias that will skew a person’s thinking, and they’re right at least sometimes. But thinking that this version of Cowboy Bebop was going to be every bit as good as the anime was a faulty way of thinking that obviously didn’t pan out for a lot of people.
As I already mentioned, this show was canceled due to low numbers, nothing else. It doesn’t matter at this moment if Netflix does have a habit of canceling shows for reasons that people can’t fully understand, they’re running a business and entertaining people at the same time. Holding onto something that doesn’t start pulling its weight within a week or two is, at this time, a poor business decision that isn’t going to serve the business in question, which means that it’s bound to get cut from the lineup.