We’re just a few months away from the arrival of the live-action Cowboy Bebop adaptation on Netflix, but while we wait for November 19, the streaming service gave us a glimpse of the show’s faithful take on the anime’s opening title sequence. It also happened to be our first look at a veritable who’s who of characters from the show. Let’s break it all down, shall we?
John Cho as Spike Spiegel
You know him, you love him, he loves a woman that can kick his arse: Spike Spiegel is the star of Cowboy Bebop, the owner of a fine head of hair, and just an all-around cool dude. A former mobster turned freelance bounty hunter, Spike runs from his past life by hurtling across the stars, going from job to job, with a new partner in legally-sanctioned crime…
Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black
… Jet Black, a former cop in the Inter-Solar System Police and captain of the titular ship, the Bebop. Now a hunter himself, Jet has teamed up with Spike after becoming dismayed with the corruption in the force, meting out his own justice.
Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine
Encountered early on in the animated version by Spike and Jet while on a separate contract of their own, Faye is a con artist and bounty hunter in her own right, and like Spike and Jet, has a mysterious, tragic past she’s also on the run from.
Josh Randall as Mad Pierrot
A killer Spike crosses paths with in the anime, Mad Pierrot was the subject of lab experiments to create the ultimate assassin. However, the experimental treatments warped his psyche alongside giving him superhuman abilities, leaving Pierrot with the mind of a child who roams around murdering the people and officials behind the experiments he underwent.
Adrienne Barbeau as Maria Murdock
The leader of the Space Warriors, an Eco-Terrorist group advocating for less interference in the environment, on Earth or elsewhere in the cosmos, Maria “Twinkle” Murdock becomes a target for Jet and Spike when she threatens to expose the colonists of Ganymede to a gene-altering virus.
Rodney Cook as the Teddy Bomber
Also known as Ted Bower, the Teddy Bomber is another contract the Bebop crew chases in the anime. An anti-capitalist terrorist, the Teddy Bomber’s calling card is, well, Teddy Bears, stuffing the plush toys with explosives he uses to destroy corporate buildings and gatherings of the interstellar social elite.
Jay Uddin and Lydia Peckham as Asimov and Katerina
Encountered early on, Asimov and Katerina are a husband and wife team desperate to escape their life on the asteroid colony Tijuana, smuggling a deadly performance-enhancing drug called Bloody Eye to pay their debts.
Cali Nelle as Abdul Hakim
Hakim crosses paths with Spike while on a mission of his own: hunting down a certain four-legged friend we’ll get to know a bit later.
Alex Hassell as Vicious…
One of the main antagonists of the new show and a major part of Spike’s backstory in the anime, Vicious is a capo of the Red Dragon crime syndicate, the dangerous crime family he joined alongside Spike when they were younger — and stayed behind when Spike left. The title sequence also partially recreates an iconic scene from the anime, from the episode “Ballad of Fallen Angels,” where Spike and Vicious cross paths once again.
and Ann Truong and Hoa Xuande as Shin and Lin
Flanking Vicious in this glimpse are Shin and Lin. Two brothers in the anime, they’re Vicious’ direct agents in the Red Dragon syndicate.
Elena Satine as Julia
We also get a brief look at this mysterious blonde woman who plays a huge part in Spike’s backstory: Julia is who Spike wanted to leave the criminal organisation for, despite knowing that desertion was punishable by death. After Spike was presumed to be killed in an ambush, Julia left the Red Dragon as well, going on the run for several years.
Mason Alexander Park and Tamara Tunie as Gren and Ana
Played by non-binary actor Mason Alexander Park in the adaptation (with Gren also using they/them pronouns), in the original anime they were a former soldier alongside Vicious before they were imprisoned as a spy after the Titan War, a conflict on the Martian moon. They eventually became a musician and played saxophone at the Rester House, a bar on Calisto, but in the live-action series they’re described as the right-hand person to Ana, the owner of the “hottest underground bluesy jazz club on Mars.” Interesting trivia: Park also has a major role in Netflix’s The Sandman as Desire debuting in 2022.
Ana, described as a mother figure to Spike by Netflix, doesn’t have a direct parallel in the anime — outside of Annie, a convenience store owner on Mars with former ties to Spike and the Red Dragon as an informant.
Harry, an Extremely Good Boy, as Ein
Yes, it’s an actual corgi playing one of the cutest dogs in anime! Ein is what is known in Cowboy Bebop’s world as a “Data Dog,” a genetically modified pooch who was experimented on to give him a rapidly expanded intelligence. Stolen by Abdul Hakim to be sold on the black market, Ein is eventually recovered by Spike and now lives alongside the rest of the crew on the Bebop. Ein’s largest connection on the ship is to a character named Ed, a young kid who eventually teams up with the Bebop crew and becomes a major character in the anime. While Netflix has stayed silent about casting the character, showrunner André Nemec has confirmed Ed will be in the series… at some point.
Ira Munn and Lucy Currey as Punch and Judy
Briefly glimpsed on a TV screen in a pile of many during the last moments of the title sequence, this literal cowboy-themed duo is an ongoing background pairing in the anime — they’re the hosts of Big Shot, a Western-themed informational show that Jet and Spike regularly watch, providing updates on the hottest and most valuable bounties in the solar system.