Even though “Cowboy Bebop” showrunner Andr Nemecswore in September that “we will never take the original anime away from the purists,” certain fans—be let’s clear, mostly male fans—have criticised Faye Valentine’s new appearance.
Unfortunately for them, the show commits the terrible mistake of providing the character—who, it should be noted, is a bounty hunter in a space western—with more useful attire in addition to the itsy-bitsy teenie-weenie male gaze threads she wore in the original Japanese “Cowboy Bebop” animated series. Her shorts, which in every other frame threatened to expose her naked navel, are suddenly high-waisted and hide the menace. Faye’s formerly exposed shoulders are now covered with clothing that keeps her comfortable throughout her space travels. This seems to be beyond forgiveness.
In an interview with Deadline, Pineda discusses the strenuous fight scenes she had to prepare for and how they logically influenced the costume:
“It was my first time training for a part. I’ve always liked to workout, but this is not even in the same stratosphere. I started training in Los Angeles with the 87eleven, which is the John Wick stunt team, and that was just so intense. Then we joined Allan Poppleton, our head of stunts, who’s incredible. We did rolls. We did sword fighting. We did fist and footwork. It was really rewarding and really intense, and after having gone through that, I have this whole new respect for people who do action film. Thank god for my stunt double, Jayde Rutene.
“Having gone through the training, it makes sense why we made adjustments to the costume. I think it was everyone’s intention to keep the original costume, but with that original costume, you can’t hide gels and knee pads. You can’t have Faye be live-action and a fighter and doing all this incredible crazy stunt work and not have a little coverage. That’s the primary reason why adjustments were made to the costume.”
The Material May Change, But Unhinged Fanboys Remain the Same
Jupiter Jazz (Part 1), the twelfth session (episode) of the original animated “Cowboy Bebop” series, finds Faye briefly gone before giving Gren the following advice:
“They say humans are social animals; they can’t live alone. But you can live pretty well by yourself. I tell you … instead of feeling alone in a group, it’s better to have real solitude all by yourself.”
It’s simple to understand why Daniella Pineda’s character hardly ever wants to interact with others after reading some of the criticism she has faced for sporting *checks notes* a cropped jacket. Pineda, though, chose Faye’s feisty wit over seclusion. Faye’s initial wicked costume was regrettably “slurped up in [her] different crevices, never to be rescued again,” Pineda wrote in a witty reaction to the trolls in August. Speaking once more to Deadline, the actress maintains her stance as follows:
“It was definitely my first interaction with very, very vocal trolls. Social media gives access to pretty much anyone who wants to say anything. Although I feel like some people would be disheartened, I found a way to clap back. with that video that I gave, which was very cheeky and silly. Rather than stay quiet, which is usually what everybody wants you to do, I just felt so inclined to say something. I felt like that response was definitely in the spirit of Faye. Also I got Steve Blum’s blessing, the voice of Spike, who backed me up and I was like, ‘All right guys, I don’t care what you say, if that guy backs me up, no one can say anything.'”
The new Faye must continue.
Netflix has “Cowboy Bebop” available right now.