Original voices for Spike, Faye, and more reprise roles for live-action adaptation.

In the runup to the premiere of the live-action Cowboy Bebop series, Netflix has been drip-feeding previews of what to expect. In August, we got our first look at the cast in costume, and in September the opening sequence was revealed. Now, though, comes the biggest sneak peek yet, with the release of a mini-episode teaser called “Lost Session.”

This marks the first time we’ve seen John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda speaking dialogue for the live-action Spike, Jet, and Faye. But in a special treat for anime-version loyalists, Netflix Japan has also released a Japanese-dubbed version of “Lost Session” that brings back the original anime’s Japanese voice cast.

Returning to their roles as Spike and Faye are Koichi Yamadera and Megumi Hayashibara, who will voice the characters throughout the Netflix series’ Japanese dub, not just for the teaser. With Jet’s original voice actor Unsho Ishizuka having passed away in 2018, Taiten Kusunoki steps into the part, and seems to play the character a little more aggressively than the low-key grumpiness Ishizuka opted for. Even Norio Wakamoto makes an aural appearance when Vicious shows up in Spike’s mid-meal panic attack.

Though Japanese Bebop fans weren’t too impressed with the first in-costume still photos, the reception was a little warmer for last month’s opening sequence, and “Lost Session” has been getting some positive online reactions in Japan too, such as:

“Honestly, it’s looking pretty good.”
“I’m liking this.”
“It looks awesome! A different vibe than the anime, but it’s still Bebop!”
“If I’m being totally honest, I wanted a younger actor for Spike, but John Cho is looking good here.”

The returning anime voice cast, in particular, got universal praise.

“I looooooved the part where Megumi Hayashibara says ‘Nani yetten no!?’ [‘What the heck are you doing?’].”
“Looking forward to this a lot more after hearing the voice actors.”
“I feel like Yamadera is playing Spike older, to match his on-screen appearance. He’s a real pro.”
“The power they have is amazing.”

But with a series as singular as Bebop, obviously not everyone is going to be pleased by what they see as a vain attempt to improve upon perfection, and on the other end of the spectrum are reactions such as:

“This looks like it’d be really rough to sit through.”
“Spike looks old and worn out.”
“Why exactly are they making a live-action version?”
“Think I’ll keep my eyes closed and just listen to the episodes.”

Interestingly enough, while “Lost Session” is clearly meant to give a taste of the tone and style of Netflix’s live-action Bebop, the slick camera tricks suggest that the footage we’re seeing isn’t being pulled from the full episodes themselves (with the possible exception of the conversation inside the bounty hunters’ ship at the very end). As such, it’s still too early to be passing any kind of definitive judgement on the adaptation, and with its premiere now just one month away, the next time we see the live-action cowboys might be when we’re finally watching the actual show.

Sources: YouTube/Netflix Japan, Twitter/@NetflixJP
Images: YouTube/Netflix Japan
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