Is ‘Cowboy Bebop’ a Banned Anime in Japan?


Is ‘Cowboy Bebop’ Banned in Japan?

Many modern endeavors that prey on niche series with happy cult followings, such as Netflix’s adaptation of beloved space western anime Cowboy Bebopi, are getting mixed reviews.

To be honest, Netflix’s adaptation of Shinichiro Watanabe and Sunrise’s 1998 anime series was quite ambitious.

We applaud Christopher Yost’s obvious effort to stay true to the source material, even if it didn’t fully pay off (it currently has a 48 percent Rotten Tomatoes score).

The Bebop is a fishing trawler-turned-spaceship that follows the trials and tribulations of an oddball group of bounty hunters as they fight crime and deal with existential crises while flying through a dystopian galaxy on the Bebop.

Spike Spiegel, Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Radical Ed, and Ein, their canine companion, make up the anti-hero team.

Ein is a cute-as-hell corgi because we’re only concerned with the most important details.

Both the original anime and the TV-MA-rated Netflix series have a lot of bloody violence, drug use, language, and vibrant sexuality, similar to films like Blade Runner from 1982 and Kill Bill from 2003.

But, given the mature themes we’ve grown accustomed to, is Cowboy Bebop deserving of being banned in Japan?

Despite the fact that Cowboy Bebop has a total of 26 episodes, only 12 were released during its initial 1998 airing on Tokyo TV due to strict Japanese censorship at the time.

More than half of the series was canceled due to its heavy display of sexuality and violence, as expected.

Cowboy Bebop was reborn, this time airing during moonlit hours, thanks to the blessing of satellite channel WOWOW.

Kids would be spared the blasphemous evils of crimson cartoon blood and bouncing breasts in this way.

According to ScreenRant, the series aired during a period of rising school violence in Japan, not because the country was prudish at the time.

Understandably, the anime’s essentially promoting brutal stabbings and gun violence (no matter how rad the animation makes it look) was not a cute look.

Cowboy Bebop (@bebopnetflix) shared a post.

However, we now live in a different, more progressive era (though school violence remains a problem, of course), so the Netflix series starring Daniella Pineda (Mercy Black), John Cho (Harold and Kumar), and others…

A brief summary of Brinkwire.


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