Recently, Netflix released a live-action version of Cowboy Bebop. However, it has upset many fans of the anime. To compensate for their disappointment, we have created a list of anime like Cowboy Bebop to show you that there are many other more suitable anime shows available.
- 10 Best Anime Like Cowboy Bebop
- Bottom Line
10 Best Anime Like Cowboy Bebop
1. Samurai Champloo – Same director with Cowboy Bebop
Samurai Champloo is set in an alternative timeline to the Edo era and chronicles the adventures of three unusual characters named Fuu, Mugen, and Jin.
After Fuu rescues the other two characters from imminent execution, she persuades them to assist her in finding a mystery samurai with the sunflower smell.
Samurai Champloo and Cowboy Bebop share the same director, Shinichiro Watanabe. Therefore, their characters and subtle undertone that runs through both narratives are similarly comparable.
Samurai Champloo is also a character-focused series since each episode discloses more details about each character.
Moreover, both programs have music-driven action and style. While Cowboy Bebop incorporates jazz and blues, Samurai Champloo features hip-hop and lo-fi music.
Another commonality between the two anime is their protagonist’s continual need for food and money.
2. Black Lagoon
A characteristic that helps Cowboy Bebop stand out is that its characters’ backstories frequently concentrate on a profound personal tragedy. These characters are anti-heroes, ethically ambiguous ones with sufficient compassion to make them curiously charming.
Black Lagoon also has the same painstaking, studied character development process and an underlying sense of darkness. The plot of this series is equally engaging and dark.
It tells the story of Rokurou, a common businessman who is kidnapped by pirates. Following a failed negotiation with his kidnappers, he chooses to join them since he’s intrigued by the hard yet exciting life that the pirates lead.
3. Trigun – Western style anime like Cowboy Bebop
Trigun, an anime to watch if you like Cowboy Bebop, largely focuses on bounty hunters with a lot of humor.
Vash, who has a bounty of $60 million, is the main character of this anime. He’s the type of guy that likes destroying entire cities just for the sake of amusement, making it exceptionally impossible for him to go to any location without being fired at.
Trigun shares a lot of similarities with Cowboy Bebop in terms of the Western style. However, it expands on the Western concept by including a traditional cowboy look and bounty hunters and transforms them into 2 insurance agents hunting down Vash.
4. Outlaw Star – 90s anime like Cowboy Bebop
Like Cowboy Bebop, the 90s anime also involves bounty hunters, Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking. They do a variety of weird jobs on Sentinel III, which is their home planet. Nevertheless, that changes when Hilda, a mystery female, hires the bounty hunters as her bodyguards.
The two former bounty hunters quickly find themselves in lots of trouble such as being chased after by various groups. The only positive thing in their lives is Outlaw Star, which is the most sophisticated starship in the galaxy.
5. Bungo Stray Dogs
The orphanage of Atsushi Nakajima has been harassed by a mysterious tiger for weeks with him being the only one unaware of the incident. The young male is abruptly booted out of his only home, left hungry and starts wandering the streets after being suspected of being behind the unusual happenings.
Atsushi saves Osamu Dazai while the latter is drowning. It turns out that Dazai is a wacky suicide enthusiast and supernatural detective who has been looking into the same tiger which has been scaring the youngster.
They solve this mystery with the help of Dazai’s associate Doppo Kunikida, but it puts Atsushi in a difficult situation. He’s pushed into joining the supernatural investigators’ company, where Atsushi and his other intriguing coworkers examine unique cases that the police are unable to handle.
This is an anime resembling Cowboy Bebop since it also shares the film noir vibe. Although Bungo Stray Dogs has more comedic elements, its storyline still concentrates on each character and their personal lives, which is a hallmark of the film genre.
Moreover, similar to Cowboy Bebop, viewers of Bungo Stray Dogs don’t need to watch the series in any specific sequence because its episodes are created in a one-shot manner with few serialized aspects.
6. Shaman King
Shaman King manga was adapted into an anime in 2001, with a revival version in 2021. The main character, Yoh Asakura, is a shaman interacting with spirits in order to enlist their assistance. Shamans such as You and Anna use their spiritual powers to battle others.
The Shaman Fight is a huge fighting tournament to determine the Shaman King. To adhere to his destiny and obtain the Shaman King title, Yoh must tread a narrow line between the dead & the living.
The anime employs a blend of Japanese style and the modern sci-fi approach from Cowboy Bebop. It is also lighthearted and comedic like the latter.
In Psycho-Pass, police officers utilize special guns armed with the Sybil System, which refers to an advanced artificial intelligence that scans a criminal’s mind and calculates if fatal force or a basic stun setting is warranted.
The anime focuses on Akane Tsunemori as the rookie inspector joins a team hunting a felon defying the judgment of the Sybil System and evading the authorities by using his brains.
An enticing aspect of Cowboy Bebop is how well-written, engaging, and clearly laid the character is. Its audience learns a lot about Spike’s history and his portrayal as an anti-hero during the whole series.
The protagonist in Psycho-Pass is likewise exceptionally well-written. Furthermore, the anime’s setting is comparable to Cowboy Bebop since it features both futuristic and noir nature.
8. Lupin The Third
Lupin The Third is one of the most well-known anime series. The classic anime follows Arsene Lupin III and his quest to become like his granddad Arsene Lupin, who is a notorious criminal with a slew of adversaries on his track.
The series features a lot of amusing moments which are engaging all the way through!
Both Lupin the Third and Cowboy Bebop have loyal yet emotionally distant companions (Lupin & Jigen vs. Spike & Jet), robust, egotistical, independent, and attractive girls (Fujiko vs Faye), as well as expertise arriving in moments of need (Goemon vs Ed).
Moreover, Cowboy Bebop has a sentimental, free-spirited attitude of the 70s, which harkens back to the frenetic, jazzy, and free-spirited mood that pervades Lupin III anime.
Baccano is a must-see for everyone who appreciated Cowboy Bebop’s ultra-stylish battle scenes.
The gamed Flying Pussyfoot, an intercontinental train, begins its storied journey in Chicago leaving a blood trail throughout the nation. Simultaneously, in NYC, an aspiring scientist Szilard and his involuntary sidekick Ennis are on the lookout for the missing vials containing the immortality potion.
Additionally, a feud between mafia organizations is intensifying, while the alchemists aboard the Advena Avis, which is in 1711, are soon to discover the cost of immortality.
Baccano is based on the namesake light novels that have won awards. It chronicles a series of events that appear unrelated at first glance, both in terms of time and space. However, they actually contribute to a much larger narrative about alchemy, survival, and immortality.
Isaac and Miria, the kind would-be robbers, link these diverse events and individuals, all of whom have their own secret aspirations and agendas. They also create lasting relationships and repercussions for everybody involved.
Similar to Cowboy Bebop, Baccano is likewise set in Chicago in the 1930s and its entrancing, period-accurate style has been praised.
10. Space Dandy – Best sci-fi anime like Cowboy Bebop
Space Dandy is a sci-fi anime like Cowboy Bebop. It can be described as a milder variation of the latter with lots of fast-paced action and plenty of humor. The anime follows Dandy, a space hunter, with the story set in a distant future.
Dandy and his unusual company of bounty hunters, which includes an adorable robot and a feline extraterrestrial, are an unlucky bunch immediately reminding the viewers of the Bebop’s crew.
Dandy’s freelance work is to look for extraterrestrial (E.T) lifeforms that have yet to be found. In order to chronicle new E.T species, he travels to the farthest reaches of the cosmos in quest of unknown planets that may have life activities.
An outstanding feature of Space Dandy is that each of its episodes explores a distinct genre since Dandy’s gang travels to other planets.
The anime is not only amazing on a storyline level, but it also involves an exceptional creative team in order to ensure that strange alien races and extraterrestrial environments seem radically distinct.
Cowboy Bebop has been able to overcome the media and become a pop culture cornerstone beloved by mass audiences. Even though its live adaptation does not live up to fans’ expectations, our list of good anime series like Cowboy Bebop certainly includes titles that create a similar mood and keep viewers entertained till the Bebop’s crew is set for their next mission again.