There are perhaps few anime openings quite so burned into a fandom’s collective psyche as Cowboy Bebop’s “Tank!”. The stylish silhouetted animation has been the subject of homage and parody for decades, but it’s the rhythmic, hypnotic brass and bass of Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts’ banger of a theme that has convinced weebs they actually like jazz more than anything else in those years since.
At today’s Netflix Tudum event, the streamer offered us a tiny little snippet of showrunner André Nemec’s live-action Cowboy Bebop in, well, live-action. But with a bit of a twist: we didn’t get to really see John Cho’s Spike Spiegel and friends zooming across space ready for their next bounty; instead, we got our first look at the slick, stylish title sequence that Netflix will be ceaselessly asking you about wanting to skip in just a few months time. And that song pays perfect homage to the original.
The new opening animation is worth enough attention, sure, not to mention all the quick glimpses from the series. But what we’re really here for is more score from one of the all-time great anime composers of the last few decades, the legendary Yoko Kanno. Kanno’s work on the original Bebop is beloved for a reason, but her back catalog has some absolutely remarkable pieces of work in it, like the haunting, rhythmic electronica of Ghost in the Shell: Standalone Complex; the sweeping epics of Macross Plus; and the ethereal choral work and soaring strings of the absolutely incredible Turn A Gundam soundtrack. The fact we’re getting Kanno material for this iteration of Bebop is reason enough to celebrate, but the fact that it’s new material—as the show’s cast and crew have re-iterated, it’s about things that are in keeping with the spirit of the original anime, rather than just recreating what came before—is very special indeed.
Cowboy Bebop, which also stars Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, and at least Two Very Good Boys as Ein, will be about ready to blow this scene when it hits Netflix on November 19. 3, 2, 1...
Correction 9/25/2021, 2:45 p.m. ET: A previous version of this post misstated the Bebop theme has changed drastically. It has not.
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