Shinichiro Watanabe Shares His Thoughts On The Live-Action Cowboy Bebop and The Animatrix


When it finally debuted on Netflix, it was met with criticism and bad reviews. I’m referring to the live-action adaption of Cowboy Bebop. Now, Shinchiro Watanabe, the Director of the animated Cowboy Bebop Series isn’t holding back any punches on his thoughts about the Live-Action Series and his experiences working with Hollywood.

It was a candid career interview with Forbes, one of the first topics Shinichiro Watanabe spoke about was the amount of involvement he had in Netflix’s Live-Action Adaption of Cowboy Bebop. There was no involvement. Although he was officially credited as a consultant, he has not watched a single episode of the show from start to finish.

They sent me a video to check and review. It was a scene that took place at a Casino, which made it very tough for me to continue. I stopped there and watched the opening scene. It was not Cowboy Bebop.”

Cowboy Bebop Key Visual
Image Credit: Netflix

He continued to go on and say that it would not be Cowboy Bebop unless he became more involved, but he chose not to. After that decision, he wondered if maybe he should have been more involved. Watanabe would look on the positive side of this, and the original anime seemed to have more value nowadays.


Furthermore, he also addressed his work in the Animatrix anthology, where he described an extended interaction with a Hollywood Producer named Spencer Lamm. Watanabe described Lamm as a person who made too many stupid requests, mentioning that he had a particular problem with Lamm acting as a Gatekeeper to the Wachowskis. He would not allow Watanabe’s ideas through to the original creators for approval unless he liked them personally.

Watanabe would go on to describe the relationship between him and Lamm being poor, that when he went to Los Angeles for the recording sessions, saying that if he saw that producer, he would punch him in the face. Lamm ended up not showing up for the recordings, which Watanabe described as unheard of. Lamm worked on the Matrix-related short titled Flight of the Osiris as executive producer and as a producer on the Animatrix in 2003.

He also mentioned having to concede on some of his original ideas when working on the Animatrix, but the experience taught him how to work with difficult people. He would remark that when he now deals with interfering people, his strategy would be to send back small corrections or adjustments just before the deadline.


Finally, he spoke generally about his relationship with Hollywood. Watanabe said that American and Japanese Producers aren’t that different. He has had positive experiences with American Producers, nowadays, he gets many offers from America almost double. Compared to the number of offers in Japan. There is an issue of maintaining creative freedom on his projects that remains at the front of his mind.

If you have work with a Hollywood producer, you have to fight. Otherwise, you will be unable to represent what you want to do.

Source: Forbes

Thanks for reading! If you have any suggestions, news tips, or questions, email them to:


One thought on “Shinichiro Watanabe Shares His Thoughts On The Live-Action Cowboy Bebop and The Animatrix

Comments are closed.