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SYFY WIRE Cowboy Bebop

Original 'Cowboy Bebop' anime voice actors returning to their roles to dub Netflix's live-action series

By Josh Weiss

Netflix's upcoming remake of Cowboy Bebop just got another stamp of approval from the talented folks who helped bring the beloved and iconic anime to life. Entertainment Weekly has confirmed that the original voice actors behind the animated version of the characters are all returning to dub over their respective roles for the live-action show (out next month).

The original anime voice stars will provide dubbing for the Japanese dub of the live action series, effectively bringing the voices fans already know and love into the live action interpretation of the beloved saga. Netflix knows its playing with fire adapting such a beloved sci-fi anime, but moves like this make it clear they're working to keep fans new and old excited for this new chapter. Now it just needs to be great (*fingers crossed*).

"Cowboy Bebop is an important work for me," Yamadera said in a statement to EW. "I have long anticipated a live-action version. I can feel the strong respect it has toward the anime. I hope that viewers will see the atmosphere of the Spike character that I previously portrayed in John Cho's performance, who is skillfully taking on the role in this version. There are also many settings and developments that can only be pulled off in a live-action series. I hope that both people who love Cowboy Bebop and those who are new to the title can enjoy this new series!"

The lineup includes:

  • Koichi Yamadera (Spike Spiegel; played in live-action by John Cho)
  • Taiten Kusunoki (Jet Black; played in live-action by Mustafa Shakir)
  • Megumi Hayashibara (Faye Valentine; played in live-action by Daniella Pineda)
  • Norio Wakamoto (Vicious; played in live-action by Alex Hassell)
  • Gara Takashima (Julia; played in live-action by Elena Satine)
  • Tsutomu Taruki (Punch; played in live-action by Ira Munn)
  • Miki Nagasawa (Judy; played in live-action by Lucy Currey) 
  • Takaya Hashi (Teddy Bomber; played in live-action by Rodney Cook)
  • Kenyu Horiuchi (Gren; played in live-action by Mason Alexander Park)
  • Masako Isobe (Mao; played in live-action by Rachel House)
  • Romi Park (Shin; played in live-action by Ann Truong)
  • Hikaru Midorikawa (Lin; played in live-action by Hoa Xuande)

In addition to the returning voice actors, Netflix's flesh-and-take translation also boasts the creative involvement of two key personnel associated with the first iteration of Cowboy Bebop: composer Yoko Kanno and director Shinichirō Watanabe. All 26 episodes of the anime will be available to stream via Netflix starting next Thursday, Oct. 21 (if you can't wait that long for whatever reason, it's currently on Hulu).

Watch the announcement below:

André Nemec — an alumnus of Knightfall and Zoo — serves as showrunner and executive producer on the live-action adaptation. Jeff Pinkner, Josh Appelbaum and Scott Rosenberg, Marty Adelstein, Becky Clements, Makoto Asanuma, Shin Sasaki, Masayuki Ozaki, Tim Coddington, Tetsu Fujimura, Michael Katleman, Matthew Weinberg, and Christopher Yost are executive producers as well.

The live-action Cowboy Bebop show lands on Netflix Friday, Nov. 19.