‘Cowboy Bebop’: Release date, cast and everything else we know about the Netflix series

Cowboy Bebop
(Image credit: Netflix)

Cowboy Bebop was a hit anime series that debuted in 1998 and consisted of 26 episodes. Now, more than 20 years later, fans of the series are getting a live-action adaptation courtesy of Netflix and showrunner Andre Nemec.

The streamer announced it was working on an adaptation of Cowboy Bebop back in 2018, but now we are closing in to the show making its debut on the streaming service, making it one of the most anticipated shows of 2021.

Before it blasts off though, he is everything you need to know about Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop.

What is the plot of ‘Cowboy Bebop’?

The original Japanese anime series followed a ragtag group of bounty hunters and their adventures. Netflix’s official synopsis for Cowboy Bebop certainly seems like they are keeping things pretty close to the original storyline:

Cowboy Bebop is an action-packed space Western about three bounty hunters, aka “cowboys,” all trying to outrun the past. As different as they are deadly, Spike Spiegel, Jet Black and Faye Valentine form a scrappy, snarky crew ready to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals — for the right price. But they can only kick and quip their way out of so many scuffles before their pasts finally catch up with them.

The initial batch of episodes for Cowboy Bebop is going to be 10. With 26 episodes of the original anime series, there should be some additional source material for future seasons, if and when Netflix renews the show.

Who is in the ‘Cowboy Bebop’ cast?

With its ragtag trio of bounty hunters serving as the heart of the anime series, casting for the live-action version of these roles was very important. Leading the way is John Cho (Star Trek, Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Searching) as Spike Spiegel, while Mustafa Shakir (Luke Cage, The Deuce) and Daniella Pineda (The Detour, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) star as Jet Black and Faye Valentine, respectively.

Other members of the cast, and who they are playing, include:

  • Alex Hassell - Vicious
  • Elena Satine - Julia 
  • Blessing Mokgohla - Santiago 
  • Molly Moriarty - Kimmie Black 
  • Lucy Currey - Judy 
  • Arlo Green - Saltz 
  • Rachel House - Mao 
  • Mason Alexander Park - Gren 
  • Geoff Stults - Chalmers 
  • Ann Truong - Shin 
  • Tamara Tunie - Ana 
  • Hoa Xuande - Lin 

One other important cast member, Ein (opens in new tab), Cowboy Bebop’s super intelligent corgi, will be included in the live-action Netflix series. He is sure to become a fan favorite. 

When is the ‘Cowboy Bebop’ release date?

Netflix has announced that Cowboy Bebop will debut on the streaming service on Nov. 19. At that time, all 10 episodes will be available for fans to binge at their leisure.

Cowboy Bebop is part of Netflix’s substantial fall/winter lineup for 2021. It joins the ranks of other TV shows like Money Heist, Sex Education, Dear White People, Cobra Kai and The Witcher returning to the streamer. Netflix also has a bounty of original movies that it will premiere in the final months of 2021.

Is there a ‘Cowboy Bebop’ trailer?

Netflix had just been teasing Cowboy Bebop fans thus far, sharing a number of images featuring the main cast and previewing the look of the show (you can find them all in one place right here (opens in new tab)) as well as the opening credit sequence, which you can watch below.

But the streaming service finally debuted the first footage from the series in a teaser trailer called "The Lost Session." This seems more like just a sampling of what is in store in the show rather than any actual footage from the 10 episodes, but it's a lot of fun either way.

They also have now released the first official trailer for the anime adaptation, showing the first footage of actual episodes from its first season. Enjoy in full below.

How to watch ‘Cowboy Bebop’

When Cowboy Bebop is released on Nov. 19, you will need access to Netflix to be able to watch. If you’re not already one of the streamer’s 203 million-plus subscribers, you can sign-up for the service, with the base Netflix subscription priced at $13.99 per month. 

You can also catch up with the original anime Cowboy Bebop via streaming to get a taste of what to expect with the Netflix adaptation. And starting Oct. 21, the anime version of Cowboy Bebop will be available on Netflix.

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).