So, Esther and I sat down to watch the big mid-November geek releases from Amazon Prime and Netflix. We’re geeks of many flavors, not just urban fantasy action-adventure.
We started with Amazon’s Wheel of Time adaptation.
Now, let me start by saying two things. First off, I love me some Robert Jordan. I was always going to be a pretty harsh critic of a Wheel of Time adaptation. The second is, any attempt to compress a series as absolutely gigantic as Wheel of Time was going to involve some changes to the storyline. I sort of had to accept that, and brace for it. You can’t put everything that series does on screen–it’s not going to happen.
That said, what I got still fell well below my expectations.
There’s plenty of other places out there that are hating on WoT right now, though–my voice is one in a chorus of millions. The show is garbage. After a single episode, we switched…to adaptation #2.
Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop knocks it out of the park.
Does it tell the same story? Nope. Changes a lot. Doesn’t matter. The anime was always very episodic, so the fact that you’re seeing different adventures means really nothing to me. These adventures easily could have happened as well as the ones in the anime, so my mind has no problem slotting them in. Some things are changed–where Ein comes from, how the boys meet Faye, etc.
But what they get right is the feel of Cowboy Bebop. It’s hard to describe it–CB has always had a sort of Tarantino-esque vibe, but with deeper emotional overtones. It’s a comedy, a tragedy, and an action-adventure rolled into one, and it manages to pull those off largely because of over-the-top storytelling and a really, really, really good soundtrack. And that feeling–that very unique, Cowboy Bebop feeling, the feeling that’s made it such a classic of the anime genre–both Esther and I felt it the moment Spike stepped off the elevator and back into our lives after all these years.
My point here is this: Two high-budget adaptations have just been released. Spend your time on Netflix’s, and not on Prime’s.