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Cowboy Bebop: Why Mustafa Shakir's Jet Is The Best Part Of The Series

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Cowboy Bebop's live-action series from Netflix might have landed to mixed reviews, but it's hard to deny that the main trio of actors give the series their all and truly embody their respective characters aboard the Bebop. John Cho and Daniella Pineda as Spike Spiegel and Faye Valentine are able to capture the essence of their characters' anime origins, but it's in Mustafa Shakir's Jet Black that the series truly shines, by incorporating both what made the anime character work as well as adding interesting new elements to the father figure of these bounty hunters.

To start with, Mustafa Shakir's take on Jet Black feels as though it was cut straight from the source material, with his voice being so close to that of the original English voice actor's, Beau Billingslea, that if you close your eyes, it can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference. Shakir is also able to capture the awkward lovability of the former police officer who finds himself attempting to pick new bounties while keeping Spike and Faye on track as if he were wrangling stray cats. The episode that solely focuses on Jet in the new live-action series is one of the best, telling a fantastic noir story that further explores the metal-armed character's backstory.

On the flip side, the new material that was added to Jet's backstory, aka the fact that he has a daughter and an ex-wife that he regularly is in contact with, helps in elevating his role as a father figure in the series. Often, Black's responsibility as a father creates some hilarious subplots for the live-action series that weren't present in the source material. Whether Jet is attempting to get the last doll for his daughter's birthday or virtually attending her school play, these were some of the funniest moments of the television series and it's certainly something that could be expanded upon should the series return for a second season.

Cowboy Bebop's live-action series had the monumental task of attempting to live up to the original anime, and there are definitely some aspects that Netflix simply couldn't surpass, but with the case of Mustafa Shakir and his portrayal of Jet, it feels as if the role is the best of both worlds.

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Who was your favorite member of the Bebop in the new Netflix series? Feel free to let us know in the comments or hit me up directly on Twitter @EVComedy to talk all things comics, anime, and the world of Cowboy Bebop.


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