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The live action version of Cowboy Bebop coming to Netflix is a surprising, jarring notion to start with, but this is a step beyond that. This short subject, called “Lost Session” — it’s not what you could really call a trailer — is more like a fan film produced by the production company itself. It’s clear that the Cowboy Bebop producton team are really really into this. It’s fulll of all the right kinds of energy and it’s wildly creative.

Here’s the synopsis for the series:

Cowboy Bebeop 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 (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda) 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 “Lost Session” is more like what you’d get if you took the live action title sequence and turned it into a whole story. Forget breaking the fourth wall. This clip takes the manga meme off the printed page and brings it to life. The artwork not only breaks frame, it treats it like a dance partner, and in one instance, like a weapon. John Cho is fantastic as Spike, and it all looks like so much fun!

Showrunner André Nemec (High Fidelity, Zoo) described the series as an “expansion to the canon” of the original Bebop, and the opening credits are full of references to the original show’s credits (along with music by returning composer Yoko Kanno).

Cowboy Bebop lands on Netflix on November 19th.

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