If you are a fan of space drama and sci-fi, you have probably heard of Cowboy Bebop. And let’s face it guys, you don’t really need to be a hardcore sci-fi fan to have known about this anime. Cowboy Bebop is one of the classics and I’m pretty darn sure every anime fan has watched it or heard of it at least, given it is so popular. It definitely appears in my top favorite anime of all time and I have loved it ever since I followed through the first episode.
Cowboy Bebop has one season and there is also a movie known as Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. Let me also give you some idea of the title. What does Cowboy bebop mean? Well, bebop is a sub-genre of jazz music and if you observe carefully, each episode is named after a popular jazz score and as someone who is into jazz, this was what sold me to this neo-noir anime. Cowboy Bebop incorporates various genres like cyberpunk, noir, space western, pulp fiction, etc. It was Shinichiro Watanabe’s greatest creation to this date.
In this article, I will be taking you through some anime that are similar to Cowboy bebop either in story, theme, or the overall vibe. I curated these anime personally and I’d love it if you guys checked it out too!
Best Anime Like Cowboy Bebop
Space Dandy is one of the best anime like Cowboy Bebop that follows the adventures (rather misadventures) of a self-proclaimed dandy guy named Dandy who works as an alien bounty hunter and is on a quest looking for obscure and rare aliens in the universe with his robot assistant QT and his cat friend named Meow.
Space Dandy almost seems like a parody of Cowboy Bebop. Dandy and company try their best to act with the best intentions in their heart, their natural clown selves don’t fail to show frequently throughout the story. However, there is also struggle waiting ahead for Dandy and he must face it with grit and courage. I remember watching this anime like Cowboy Bebop back in the Animax days. I loved it and you’re in for a good laugh with this anime.
Bungou Stray Dogs
Bungou Stray Dogs is one of my favorite anime like Cowboy Bebop. It centers around the themes of supernatural, action, adventure, and fantasy. Bungou Stray Dogs narrates the story of the Armed Detective Agency, an organization maintained by human beings with supernatural powers. These powerful people are in constant rivalry with the rival group Port Mafia, which is another organization in the control of humans with special abilities.
Set in this backdrop, we follow the adventures of the main protagonist, Atsushi, who has to figure his way out through an intricate labyrinth of self-discovery and make a place for himself in the world. Bungou Stray Dogs is one of my favorite anime like Cowboy Bebop that you can watch on Netflix.
Psycho-Pass is one of the best anime like Cowboy according to Reddit. It has been ranked as the topmost similar anime to Cowboy Bebop. It is a sci-fi anime set in a futuristic society. The story centers around a powerful biometric system that takes the information from Japanese citizens’ brains and assesses who is a potential criminal.
Set against this background, Psycho-Pass narrates an epic crime investigation tale through the point of view of the protagonist, Akane Tsunemori, who is a rookie Inspector within Unit One of the Ministry of Welfare Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Department. Psycho-Pass has one of the highest anime rankings of all time and it is truly a marvelous and intriguing show that I would recommend everyone check out.
Samurai Champloo is another anime like Cowboy Bebop, where people from different (and similar) walks of life come together due to shared or common interests. Samurai Champloo is one of the best samurai anime that I’ve had the privilege of coming across in life.
Samurai Champloo narrates the story of Mugen, a rogue samurai who saves Fuu, a tea waitress from a bunch of perverted men. He decides to give her protection in exchange for food. The story sets off from there and the duo soon comes across other characters and goes on a journey to help Fuu find a samurai who smells of sunflowers. Samurai Champloo is one of the greatest anime of all time that I quite thoroughly enjoyed. I would also urge you to check out this gem of a series that will give your Cowboy Bebop vibes throughout although it belongs to a completely different genre.
Trigun is probably the most popular anime like Cowboy Bebop that makes an appearance on this list. It is an action-adventure and space sci-fi anime that is simply one of the very bests in this genre. I would say the Trigun anime is in the same ranks as the Cowboy Bebop.
Trigun narrates the story of a space ranger known as Vash the Stampede, who has earned a bounty of a huge sum of money after accidentally bringing destruction upon the city of July, which he has fragmented memories of due to retrograde amnesia. This event turned Vash into a pacifist and he displayed this personality every time he was attacked, as stated by his two sidekicks, Meryl and Milly who follow him around to minimize the damages caused by him. This anime is quite similar to Cowboy Bebop’s plot as in the latter too, Spike Spiegel is a space ranger who is also a bounty hunter followed around by his sidekicks.
Violet Evergarden is a popular anime on Netflix. Just like Cowboy Bebop, it also narrates the story of a protagonist who is in search of her purpose in this world and the meaning of her life. It is definitely one of the most emotional period anime that I’ve watched and I highly recommend you check it out.
Violet Evergarden narrates the story of the titular protagonist who is an Auto Memory Doll – people employed by a scientist named Dr. Orland to assist his blind wife Mollie to write her novels and later hired by other people who need similar services. No longer a soldier due to the war being over, Violet is on a quest to search for her purpose in life and to understand the last words of her mentor and guide, Major Gilbert.
Black Lagoon is an extremely popular anime that has been adapted from the manga of the same name by Rei Hiroe. This anime is action-packed like Cowboy Bebop and narrates the tale of the adventures of Rokuro “Rock” Okajima, a Japanese businessman who is abducted by a company of outlaws who call themselves the “Black Lagoon” and eventually joins their team.
This anime has a similar opening scheme to Cowboy Bebop and employs actual music pieces by different artists as the opening score for each episode. It is quite an engrossing anime which I had a lot of fun watching and I would definitely recommend you check it out at least once.
Cowboy Bebop is definitely one of my favorite anime and since the first time I watched it, I kept on searching for similar stuff to watch. Luckily, all my research bore fruits and I got to know about so many anime like this all-time classic that I could watch. And I also wanted to share this with all other Cowboy Bebop fans like me.
Do you know of any other anime that are similar to this legendary classic? Drop the titles in the comments!