Don’t @ Me: Nine of my Anime Opinions: Faye Valentine Edition

It’s Monday, I took last week off, but it is still time for this! Welcome back to Don’t @ Me! The place where, like my amazement that apparently therapists were cut out of the NERV budget in Evangelion, I sit down and dish out my thoughts and feelings on everything anime, manga and the like. This week we are talking about the ‘news’ regarding the Cowboy Bebop remake. Let’s get into it after the cut!

No headband, really?
  1. Before we start this, I should say that I have actually not watched Cowboy Bebop. Not because I didn’t want to, it is just that it passed me by. I’ve heard all the good things, and like with Evangelion, I’m sure they are all correct. I just missed the boat. I know that is strange considering, as a child of the 4kids/Toonami era, that show is part of the “anime fan starter kit”, but it just did. Still I think I can comment on this from an outsiders perspective.

2. So in case you missed it, the live action remake of Cowboy Bebop has had images released showing off the characters and of course, as expected, people are displeased about how Faye Valentine, the show’s leading lady and poster-child of sexy anime characters looks. There have been words on both sides, not helped by some sarcastic remarks by the actor. It would be easy to fall on either side, but let’s try to cut this cat down the middle.

3. First off, I don’t envy this actress, or any of the cast at all. Anime live action has never worked, ever, and to adapt Bebop, already a sacred cow among the western anime fandom is bad enough. The girl who plays Faye had the worst of it though, especially considering the era we live in. However this would fall down, she would have been raked over the coals, just change the toppings and who was doing it. To even try and take up the challenge is admirable in my books.

4. I will also say that I think anime fans, especially those who are pointing to cosplayers of Faye are missing a key point. There is a big difference between posing for a pin-up shot, and wearing a costume for action scenes and practical effects. I think people bringing up cosplay shoots and going “see, it does work!’ are missing a key point there.

5. Yet, looking at the design they went with, I do agree that there is something missing. It is almost too reserved, too conservative, apparently since sex appeal is a key apart of Faye’s character and not just there to make money. Right now it looks like she’s Ramona Flowers cosplaying as a Firefly character, and apparently no one wants that.

6. I think there could have been more of a compromise, a way to make the costume work and still make it true to what people expected. I do believe that most reasonable anime fans didn’t expect a 1 to 1 adaptation of Faye’s outfit, but they WERE hoping that it would be honored as much as possible. This looks more like a begrudging acceptance.

7. And considering that live action anime series have zero, ZERO good will built up, something like this poisons an already toxic well. A truer to form outfit would have been an easy win to help brings fans to your side, many of whom have already written this show off simply because of the track record of live action series. No one is expecting the live action Bebop to be good, and it’s like a long wait for inevitable disappointment.

8. I mean fuck, there isn’t even the headband! The headband. I would have thought something like that would have been there. Again, easy wins guys, you gotta go for them.

9. Either way, I can see why people are upset, and I do get it. Bad actors are going to take the outrage and use it to their own gain. But the cast and crew doesn’t do themselves any favors either. It’s a shame we live in such a sex negative society these days, especially when anime is very up front with letting women do what they want, wearing what they want. Not perfect, nothing ever is, but it’s a shame that it doesn’t carry over to the live action Bebop. We’ll have to see.

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