Cowboy Bebop Director Praises Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Shinichiro Watanabe is one of the most notable names in anime as the creator has overseen classics such as Cowboy Bebop, Space Dandy, and Carole & Tuesday most recently, and the prolific director and showrunner opened up for a rare opportunity to speak with fans on Reddit. Recently taking part in an AMA to celebrate the launch of Channel 4 streaming service in the United Kingdom, fans asked Watanabe all sorts of pressing questions about the kinds of music he listens to, what influences his work, and what some of his most favorite moments from each projects are. But one surprising answer he gave was what his favorite recent anime is.
When asked what his favorite anime recently was, Watanabe surprisingly named the recent Academy Award winning Spider-Man animated hit, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was very good.”
This response did take fans of both anime and Spider-Man by surprise, but it’s also one of the great examples of just how wide of an umbrella the term “anime” has become recently. Anime has had a wider definition in recent years as the medium gets more popular, and it’s starting to encompass a wide array of animated works. This is especially true for more CG animated projects, which is increasingly become the norm.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in particular is a strong example of a film that crosses genres and medium as its a film full of anime influences. Directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman previously opened up about the kinds of anime they brought into the Spider-Verse in order to craft Peni Parker, specifically, as this character was the result of a fusion of multiple styles in order to craft their own unique character.
This comment will surely continue the debate even further as anime continues to evolve with new technologies and techniques, and it’s wider popularity will most surely result in many new and unexpected projects. Now we just need to get an official Spider-Man anime project someday.
Cowboy Bebop‘s original anime is considered such a classic that Netflix will soon be bringing it back with a new live-action TV series. Production has been put on hiatus for a while due to an on-set injury for its lead John Cho, but fans have high hopes for this new project as Watanabe has been credited as a consultant for the new project along with some of the producers from the original anime’s production company, Sunrise.