Let’s not mince words: we’re all a little worried about what the upcoming Netflix adaptation of Cowboy Bebop will bring. Live-action anime adaptations are already hit-or-miss to begin with, no matter where they come from. But for the time being, Netflix is getting one more check mark in the “Good” column with its casting of hyperintelligent pup Ein.
Back when the first casting announcements dropped, there was a rumor that Ein — a Pembroke Welsh Corgi — would be played by a two-year-old Husky named Stella. The news came from a blog containing only that story and linked to no sources. But the rumor (and the resulting upset) went so far as to require executive producer Christopher Yost to step in and reassure fans that Ein is, and always was, a Corgi.
In fact, the new Ein is even the same specific breed: a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, the same kind Queen Elizabeth II once owned. They’re notably the 11th most intelligent dog in the world… though Ein in particular is well above that.
A recently released behind-the-scenes video drives that promise home, showing a dog’s eye view of the new show’s table read. Ein even got his own water bowl at the table, just like his blue dish aboard the anime version of the Bebop.
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So far he seems to be fitting in well with his co-stars, including John Cho as Spike Spiegel, Mustafa Shakir as Jet Black, Daniella Pineda as Faye Valentine, and Alex Hassell as Vicious. Not seen in the video is Cho’s absolutely on point Spike hair.
So, what will the new star be expected to do during his tenure on set? In the original series, Ein was a “data dog,” modified in a laboratory to be hyperintelligent and thus becoming a hot commodity. He does pull his weight aboard the Bebop, though. In the anime, Ein has steered a car, hacked a computer with his mind, identified criminals well before the rest of the crew, and rescued fellow crew members from brain-sucking video games… just to name a few accomplishments.
Given the attention the pup is already getting on social media, there’s no doubt he’ll be as productive a member of the crew as he ever was. After all, he’s been a fan favorite since the original anime aired more than 20 years ago. Besides having tons of adorable merchandise to his name, he’s also inspired the names of many pet Corgis (and occasionally other breeds) since he first appeared.
For now, that’s the latest news we have on the new Cowboy Bebop. While the addition of this very good boy doesn’t confirm the quality of the upcoming series, it does show that the show makers care about getting at least certain elements of the show right. And — let’s be honest — we all know who really runs the Bebop.
Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop is currently in production, with a release date yet to be announced.