5 Other Anime That I Want To See Get The Live-Action Treatment After Cowboy Bebop

John Cho, Daniella Pineda and Mustafa Shakir in Cowboy Bebop
(Image credit: Netflix)

I heard a lot of mixed opinions on the live-action Cowboy Bebop on Netflix. But after watching it recently (and being a pretty big fan of the original anime myself), I can say that I enjoyed it. Did it have its flaws? Sure. But for a live-action anime, I thought it held up pretty well. Which got me to thinking: What other anime from my youth would I love to see on Netflix in live-action form? Is it too much to ask for a live-action adaptation of Dragon Ball Z? I mean, a boy can dream, can’t he?

And yes, I am well aware that the movie Dragonball Evolution exists, and no, I don’t want another version of that (Hell, even the writer apologized for that atrocity). But after seeing the love and care that went into the live-action Cowboy Bebop where actual shots were literally taken right from the anime, it got me thinking that maybe a live-action Dragon Ball Z might actually be pretty awesome.

I might change my mind once I see the live-action version of Avatar: The Last Airbender, but as of right now, my hopes are sky high. So, here are five anime that I want to see get the live-action treatment, a la Cowboy Bebop.


Goku and the crew

(Image credit: Funimation)

Dragonball Z

As mentioned in the intro, we have already seen what the world of Dragon Ball could look like in live-action with the abysmal Dragonball Evolution, but I think that the first series, Dragon Ball, should be skipped altogether, and Netflix should instead focus on Dragon Ball Z. Given where Cowboy Bebop ended on Netflix at the end of the season (which I won’t spoil here), I could see Dragon Ball Z having a similar arc, perhaps ending right at the arrival of Frieza. Perhaps it could even end with Goku turning Super Saiyan.

I don’t know, but I think it could be really cool if a hypothetical live-action show hit all the major story beats up to and maybe including the Frieza saga. As to who could actually play Goku, I’m not sure, since it’s kind of impossible to get perfect casting like we did with John Cho as Spike Spiegel. But I already have a pick for Piccolo, and they wouldn’t even have to look that far over at Netflix land. I would pick Mustafa Shakir, who plays Jet Black on the live-action Cowboy Bebop. Hey, what can I say? I like the man’s work.

The Joestar family

(Image credit: David Production)

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure 

There’s actually a lot of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure already on Netflix as the anime has several seasons on their streaming platform, dating all the way back to 2018. This is, of course, the new series, as the Joestar family goes all the way back to 1987 when JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure debuted in Shonen Jump. And like Dragon Ball Z, there was already a live-action movie. But unlike Dragonball Evolution, this one was pretty good. Directed by the legendary Takashi Miike, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable Chapter I captured the strangeness and energy of the long-running series to a T.

Which is why I would like to see a whole TV series on Netflix done by Miike. I’d personally like to see him start at the beginning of the series (Right at Phantom Blood), as I want to see Jonathan and Dio going at it for several episodes. In fact, since the movie, Diamond is Unbreakable, is Part 4 of the Joestar family arc, the first three seasons could be on Netflix, and then they could acquire the rights to the Diamond is Unbreakable movie for Part 4. Of course I’m getting ahead of myself here, but can’t you tell that I’m excited?

Jin and Mugen

(Image credit: Funimation)

Samurai Champloo

Everybody knows Cowboy Bebop. Hell, people who don’t even watch anime had heard of it before it was announced to be live-action on Netflix. But not as many people know about Cowboy Bebop’s director Shinichiro Watanabe’s follow-up project, Samurai Champloo, which ran from 2004 to 2005 for twenty-six glorious episodes. It featured a calm, determined ronin named Jin, and his friend (?) Mugen, who is the exact opposite as he was brash and rushed into danger. The two of them accompanied a tough girl named Fuu as they went on a quest to locate “the samurai who smells of sunflowers.”

What made Samurai Champloo super dope though was its hip-hop soundtrack. Jazz plays such an important role in Cowboy Bebop, and hip-hop is equally instrumental (pun not intended) to the overall vibe of Samurai Champloo

I want to see all that play out in live-action. In a recent interview with Nobody and Bullet Train producer, Kelly McCormick with Collider (around 14 minutes into the video), she let slip that there’s something “potentially in the television space” concerning Samurai Champloo that she can’t talk about right now. Whether that’s live-action or not (or even coming into fruition), we’ll just have to wait and see.

Kenshiro with his lady

(Image credit: Discotek Media)

Fist Of The North Star 

I talked about Fist of the North Star in my list of “Classic Anime”, and it doesn’t get much more classic than FotNS. Not unless you’re going to start talking about stuff like Astro Boy. Dating all the way back to 1983, Fist of the North Star is about a wanderer named Kenshiro. Kenshiro is your typical nomad who just wants to live alone in peace. Too bad he just happens to live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In many ways, it’s Bruce Lee meets The Road Warrior, and doesn’t that just sound perfect for live-action?

I’d really love to see something similar to Mad Max: Fury Road when it comes to a live-action series. A warrior who can punch with the speed of lightning, hitting pressure points and making people explode in gooey glory sounds like my kind of live-action show. There was a live-action straight-to-video movie back in 1995 that I’ve never seen, but it didn’t have a great reception. Come on, Netflix. You have the dough. Let’s get a live-action Fist of the North Star TV series going, ASAP!

Guts with sword in tow

(Image credit: Viz Media)


I’ve wanted to talk about Berserk for a long time now on this website. Debuting in manga-form back in 1989, Berserk is dark fantasy like none other. Do you think The Witcher is dark? Naw, man. The Witcher is a walk in the sunshine compared to Berserk. Featuring a mercenary named Guts with a massive sword, Berserk is special since it exists in reality, but there are also mystical creatures that seem to live on the fringes of reality. And they can be awe-inspiring in how epic they can be.

You can currently watch a three-part arc on Netflix right now called “The Golden Age,” which I highly recommend. There’s a report that HBO might be working on a live-action series, and that’s cool and all, but I’d really love to see Netflix tackle it with the same love and care they did with Cowboy Bebop or The Witcher. Like the two aforementioned shows, I think Berserk would be super popular.

And that about does it. But what anime would you like to see make the live-action jump? To learn more about 2021 Netflix TV series, make sure to stop by here often!

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.