Cowboy Bebop is one of the best manga-based anime series ever, according to fans and critics. A western space at its heart, Cowboy Bebop follows the adventures of Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine, Jet Black, Ed (Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV) and Ein, the dog. It’s a motley team of bounty hunters, all fleeing from their colorful ancient demons.
The series is an action-packed jazz and blues game with beautiful animation, action, a nostalgic soundtrack and lots of action and adventure as the Bebop crew hunt down criminals most dangerous in the solar system. It hasn’t just been praised for its originality, but it’s also one of the best anime series to start with for those who want to step into the ever-expanding world of anime.
Updated July 3, 2021 by Kristy Ambrose: The popularity of Cowboy Bebop continues to endure decades after its initial release, inspiring even more anime that use the same humor, drama, music, and animation style. Streaming services have also caught the anime and manga adaptation bug, and the kind of niche Cowboy Bebop represents is no longer that niche. There is a better selection to choose from these days for those looking to add to their space-cowboy-themed film noir-themed library.
Trigoun is about bounty hunters in general, but it’s also a genre-changing western story with a lot of comedy in it. The series tells the story of Vash, a man with a $ 60 million bounty on his head. Vash is the type of person who likes to flatten entire cities for fun, which makes it especially difficult for him to visit any place without being chased, or worse, getting shot.
Trigoun is similar in many ways to Cowboy Bebop, but it’s different in that it takes the western theme a step further, featuring the classic cowboy look and bounty hunters in the form of two insurance agents who are chasing the main character.
12 Space dandy
One sure-fire way to describe this wacky anime show is to call it a very light version of Cowboy Bebop. Space dandy packed with adventure, fast-paced action and giggles.
Space dandy takes place in the distant future and tells the stories of Dandy, the space hunter. Dandy’s freelance job is to research undiscovered alien life forms. This means that Dandy visits the farthest corners of the universe in search of unknown planets capable of living in his efforts to document new alien species.
11 Bungo Stray Dogs
Bungo Stary Dogs is a series that has a lot of film noir feel that fans love in Cowboy Bebop. There is more comedy, but the plot focuses on individual characters and their personal stories, which is another key feature of the genre.
It’s also told in a unique style, like Cowboy Bebop, which means that viewers are not allowed to watch episodes of Bungo Stray Dogs in a particular order.
ten Samurai Champloo
Set during an alternate version of the Edo period, Samurai Champloo follows the journey of three strange individuals, Fuu, Mugen and Jin. After Fuu, a young girl saves the other two from certain death by execution, she convinces Jin and Mugen to help locate a mysterious “sunflower-smelling” samurai. Samurai Champloo is directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, who also directed Cowboy Bebop, and the characters and the subtle undercurrent that follows the characters through the two plots are similar.
A little like Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Champloo is also a character-driven story, with each episode revealing more about each. Another notable aspect that both shows share is the soundtrack-driven action and style that is carried through the music. Cowboy Bebop offers jazz and blues while Champloo is on point with its hip-hop and lo-fi sound. The characters of both series are driven by a constant need for money and food.
9 Outlaw star
Outlaw star is another anime starring bounty hunters, Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking. The two bounty hunters spend their days doing all kinds of odd jobs on their planet Sentinel III. That all changes, however, when a mysterious woman named Hilda recruits them as bodyguards.
As is often the case in this kind of comedic adventure anime, in no time at all the couple are in a world of trouble, especially wanted by cops, pirates, angry aliens, others. bounty hunters and a mysterious assassin. The only thing they have going for them in this troubled world is their ship, the Outlaw Star, the most advanced spacecraft in the galaxy.
8 Black lagoon
Which makes Cowboy Bebop unique and lauded is that the story behind each of its characters generally revolves around a grim personal tragedy. It has an emotional effect on the audience after discovering each of these characters.
The same careful and thoughtful character development and an underlying sense of obscurity are found in Black lagoon. The series offers an equally interesting and dark story. This is Rokurou, an average businessman who is captured by hackers. He decides to join the crew after a negotiation goes sour, as he’s curious about the tough but adventurous life of other pirates.
seven Shaman king
A whole franchise that started in 1998 with a serialized manga, the animated adaptation of Shaman king dates back to 2001 and a reboot of the same series debuted in 2021. The main character, Yoh Asakura, must walk a fine line between the living and the dead to embrace his destiny and become the Shaman King.
He has the same playful and comedic style as Cowboy Bebop and uses a blend of Japanese aesthetics with the modern sci-fi angle of Cowboy Beebop. He has a strong mystical flair for those who enjoy occult animes similar to Soul eater Where Bleach, also popular adaptations of manga to anime.
Those who enjoyed the jazz-laden and ultra-sleek fight scenes in Cowboy Bebop we must not look further than Baccano! Much like Bebop, this anime is packed with action scenes galore. The show is also set in 1930s Chicago, so rest assured your ears will be treated with a very good score.
It tells about the adventures of Szilard and his assistant Ennis who are in search of missing bottles containing the elixir of immortality. The main story arc isn’t everything, but with plenty of subplots, including Mafia turf wars.
One of the most attractive factors for Cowboy Bebop is that its main protagonist is so well written, likable and fleshed out. Viewers learn a lot about his past and throughout the series, Spike is revealed to be somewhat of an anti-hero. Psycho-Pass Also features an extremely well-written protagonist. Plus, the setting of the series is familiar, in that it is both futuristic and has a distinct dark vibe to it.
Psycho-PassThe plot of, in a nutshell, is about a new police force that determines the state of mind of citizens even before they commit a crime. Of course, a bit like Minority report, this kind of system is not without its flaws.
4 Coyote Ragtime Show
Many fans of Cowboy Bebop praise him for his often extravagant, yet visually appealing and entertaining action and adventure. If you like it for that side then Coyote Ragtime Show would be a great addition to your watchlist.
The anime show follows a coyote, which in this case is a criminal who jumps into space simply named Mister, who has spent almost a year in prison. Barely ten days before he is released, his partners Bishop and Katana take him out. The show features a lost treasure, federal investigators, a guild of criminals and android assassins.
3 Kekkai Sensen
Hellsalem’s Lot formerly known as New York City, before a portal opened there, trapping every human as well as supernatural entities. Kekkai Sensen features secret organizations, monsters, gods, and plenty of hijink-filled adventures.
RELATED: Cowboy Bebop & 9 Other ’90s Anime To Watch
Kekkai Sensen also another anime which has a fantastic soundtrack, similar to Cowboy Bebop with many jazz tunes. As Cowboy Bebop, this anime show pays special attention to its well-produced and dynamic fight sequences.
2 Death parade
For those who enjoy a series that leans more on the dark aesthetic of the film noir genre, there is Death parade. This is due in part to the setting, which is the afterlife, and the center of the plot, in which souls are used as the wagering currency in a game. The tower of the afterlife is apparently filled with cars, and when someone dies, they are given to the bartenders to end up riding into eternity or being banished into the void.
Death parade was adapted from a short film titled Death billiards instead of a manga, which makes it unique from the other entries on this list.
1 Pistol X Sword
This exceptional anime, which leans towards the Western genre, has much of the same theme-wise highlights as Cowboy Bebop done, but in a very different way. Van, an extremely distant anti-hero, is determined to get revenge.
While the revenge plot has been put to death in classic westerns and animated westerns, Pistol X Sword nails it, while still retaining the stylistic aspects of the anime and westerns that fans love in both genres. Oh, and there are giant robots too.
NEXT: 10 Sci-Fi Movies To Watch If You Love Cowboy Bebop
Money Heist: 10 worst things the main characters have done to themselves
About the Author