How to Watch Cowboy Bebop in 2021 Before Netflix Ruins It

Fergus O'Sullivan
By Fergus O'Sullivan (Editor-at-Large, Writer)
— Last Updated: 2019-08-23T10:11:55+00:00

Cowboy Bebop is a seminal anime series that manages to straddle so many genres, it’s a thrill just to watch it for that reason. It has converted many sceptics into thinking that Japanese animation might have some merit, after all. To make sure that you also join the ranks of the faithful, we’ve put together this guide on how to watch Cowboy Bebop online. 

The original anime aired in 1998, and at first it follows the adventures of Spike and Jet, two bounty hunters who travel through the galaxy on board the Cowboy Bebop, a small spaceship held together by ingenuity as much as structural know-how. After a few episodes, they’re joined by Faye and others, with Faye especially acting as a foil to many of the gang’s plans.

The show ranges widely in theme. Both Spike and Jet are disillusioned but principled men, with Spike’s past often coming to haunt him. Faye, on the other hand, is an almost immoral con artist, creating tension in the crew from time to time. That said, besides exploring these heavy subjects, Cowboy Bebop has plenty of laughs, as well, making for a heady mixture of tones, indeed.

Cowboy Bebop only aired 26 episodes and has become a bit of a cult classic. It’s also beloved by many simply for being unique. Finding it online can be tricky, though, so we’ve put together the following ways in which you can watch Cowboy Bebop online.

Watch Cowboy Bebop Online

When it comes to legal streaming, there are a few options to watch Cowboy Bebop. Both Hulu and Amazon Prime Video offer it. Hulu is the better choice, as you can just stream to your heart’s content if you’re subscribed. Meanwhile, Amazon makes you pay separately for the show, which is the original Japanese version, so either you had better speak the language or learn to live with subtitles.

Cowboy Bebop Amazon

We figure that, for most people, Hulu is the better bet. However, it comes with its own problem, namely that Hulu is geoblocked to anybody not using a U.S. IP address. This is a shame for anybody outside of the States, as Hulu has all 26 episodes of Cowboy Bebop, in both subbed and dubbed versions.

Cowboy Bebop Hulu

If you’re not in America, but still want to access Hulu — besides Cowboy Bebop, it has some other great shows, like The Handmaid’s Tale and Castle Rock — you could circumvent the block by using a virtual private network, or VPN. We have put together a list of the very best VPN for Hulu, all of which work like a charm.

Your last legal option is Funimation, which carries all of Cowboy Bebop in both English and Japanese. It also has pretty much all the anime you could ever watch, earning it a mention in our guide on how to watch Dragon Ball. If you’re a fan of the genre, this site is a must-have.

Cowboy Bebop Funimation

However, a geoblock rears its ugly head with Funimation, too. It’s not as strictly enforced as the Netflix VPN ban or that of Hulu, though, so we were able to get through pretty easily using ExpressVPN. Check out our ExpressVPN review to see the details of this great VPN service.

Cowboy Bebop Live-Action Adaptation

Popular as Cowboy Bebop still is, even after 20 years have passed, it was inevitable that somebody would eventually get around to licensing the rights and remaking it. Netflix was the first to pick up that particular gauntlet and announced that it would make a live-action version of the landmark anime. 

At time of writing, there has been no announcement of when it would start shooting, let alone be aired. Netflix does have it in its library, but there’s no information other than a short description of what the show will be about.

Cowboy Bebop Netflix

We’ll update this article when the time comes. Though, after seeing what happened to Bleach, we wouldn’t hold out hope that Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop will be any good.

Watch Cowboy Bebop For Free

However, if all the above talk of subscriptions and VPNs sounds like too much hassle for you, there are plenty of free streaming options available, as well. We found Cowboy Bebop on two illegal streaming sites, though we’re sure the more intrepid pirates among you could find a few more.

First up is PutLocker, which is a pretty steady source for high-quality streams, as you can see for yourself in our guides on how to watch The Shield and how to watch Archer. It not only has all 26 episodes dubbed in English, but it also offers the Cowboy Bebop movie, the only one of our options to do so.

Cowboy Bebop PutLocker

Your second option is Animefreak, an illegal streaming site dedicated to — you may have guessed it — anime rips. The interface is as boring as anything, but it does offer all episodes of Cowboy Bebop in both English dub as well as Japanese with subs. 

Cowboy Bebop AnimeFreak

Both sites, though, are rife with pop-up ads and other nasty malware-ridden tricks. For that reason, we strongly recommend that you use one of the best pop-up blockers and one of the best antivirus solutions before venturing onto either site.

Cowboy Bebop Torrents

If you fancy your illegal watching of Cowboy Bebop to be a bit more old-school, then there’s always torrenting. A quick look on The Pirate Bay shows that there are lots of options available, so you won’t have to worry about finding nothing, like with Timeless. There are several torrents with all 26 episodes, as well as the movie and even the soundtrack.

Cowboy Bebop Torrents

However, as with all things illegal on the internet, it’s pretty important that you protect yourself while using P2P file sharing. Otherwise, you may end up getting an unpleasant letter or even a visit from your local copyright watchdog. We recommend using any of our best VPN for torrenting, for one, although you can also use more reputable alternative torrent sites.

Final Thoughts

Cowboy Bebop is a landmark series that, much like Evangelion, shaped anime and influenced countless other creative works, as well. We recommend it to anybody that likes a deep story with strong character development. We hope the above tips will push you across whatever was holding you back from watching it.

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What do you think of Cowboy Bebop? Is it a seminal piece of art or just a few maniacs running around a spaceship? Let us know in the comments below. If you think we skipped any avenues to watch Cowboy Bebop, we’d also be more than happy to hear from you. Thanks for reading.