Though individuals of every color, creed, and gender have taken issue with the disappointing, ‘less sexualized’ live-action translation of Faye Valentine’s costume in Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, Salon has (unsurprisingly) convinced themselves that the backlash to the alteration of the iconic character’s signature look is based solely on “horny male outrage.”

COWBOY BEBOP (L to R) JOHN CHO as SPIKE SPIEGEL, MUSTAFA SHAKIR as JET BLACK, DANIELLA PINEDA as FAYE VALENTINE and EIN in Cowboy Bebop Cr. GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX © 2021

Related: Netflix Drops Questionable First Official Look At Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Series, Radical Edward Still Missing

Headlining her piece for the politically progressive news outlet, Of course “Cowboy Bebop” is already inciting horny male outrage, and it hasn’t even premiered yet, Salon.com writer Kylie Cheung opened her article by arrogantly mocking the “Men of the World Wide Web” for having “mobilized once again — no, not over the rapidly worsening climate catastrophe, stagnant wages, the broken health care system, or endemic rape culture, but rather, over a real issue: the outfit of a female bounty hunter in the live-action adaptation of beloved anime series ‘Cowboy Bebop.'”

Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop Series Will Not Be “One-to-One” Adaptation, Faye Valentine’s Costume to Be Censored: “ We Need to Have a Real Human Being Wearing That”

Source: Cowboy Bebop Episode 3 “Honky Tonk Women” (1998), Sunrise

Related: Cowboy Bebop Leaked Set Photo Gives First Glimpse At Netflix Live-Action Adaptation

Painting the backlash to Netflix’s awful costuming decision as representative of an “ongoing history of pitchfork-wielding men gathering in their town square of choice, be that Twitter or Reddit, and declaring war on any onscreen depiction of a female character that doesn’t sexually gratify them,” Cheung proceeded to offer a diatribe of tired ‘anti-male’ rhetoric and claimed that “most fans are feeling the hype, but many male, internet basement dwellers are quite predictably rallying on social media to protest the unthinkable injustice of an onscreen woman existing while not being dressed or designed to titillate.”

“[Daniella] Pineda as Faye is adorned in stylish but practical attire for an intergalactic bounty hunter who regularly spars with violent outlaws, and leaps from planet to planet on the regular,” praised Cheung. “Just like her male peers, she’s reasonably dressed for her role, and men of the interwebs are losing their minds over this.”

COWBOY BEBOP (L to R) DANIELLA PINEDA as FAYE VALENTINE in COWBOY BEBOP Cr. GEOFFREY SHORT/NETFLIX © 2021

Related: Netflix’s Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Will Genderswap Gren from Male to Non-Binary!

Cheung next cherry picked one especially vulgar and bias-affirming tweet to prove her point regarding Cowboy Bebop before blaming the poor reception of Birds of Prey and Captain Marvel on the same sort of “female outfit-related outrage fest.”

Cheung would address a complaint by pop-culture YouTuber Matthew Kadish of Salty Nerd Video in which he argued that DC “removed any sex appeal these characters had to appeal to a female ‘girl power’ audience instead of the core male comic book audience.”

Kadish added, “They literally don’t know who they’re making this movie for.”

 

Archive Link Source: Matthew Kadish Twitter

Cheung then attempted to clapback, “Here’s a thought: mayhaps “Birds of Prey” was made for the decently sizable demographic of non-internet perverts?”

Funnily enough, if Cheung were to look at Kadish’s literal next sentence, she’d see that he even noted the female perspective, writing, “Like, even women want to see attractive women on screen. Cosplayers want hot characters to emulate.”

COWBOY BEBOP (L to R) JOHN CHO as SPIKE SPIEGEL in COWBOY BEBOP Cr. KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021

Related: 20 “Real Human Beings” Cosplaying As Cowboy Bebop’s Faye Valentine

Turning to Captain Marvel, Cheung asserted that male fans’ main issue was with the film was the fact that Carol Danvers “dons a super suit that reflects most male heroes’ suits, fully covering her body,” and that she wasn’t “the most feminine, happy or smiley character,” rather than the film’s poor writing and star Brie Larson’s vocal and regular condemnation of white males for simply being white and male. 

“From the feminist themes and fashion of movies like ‘Birds of Prey’ and ‘Captain Marvel,’ to the practical garb of a female bounty hunter like Faye Valentine in Netflix’s ‘Cowboy Bebop,’ we’re starting to see change,” Cheung continued. “This is about more than female characters’ outfits — it’s about humanizing women, and treating them as more than sexual amusement for male audiences.”

Captain Marvel

Source: Captain Marvel (2019), Marvel Entertainment

Related: John Cho Discusses Playing Spike Spiegel and the Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Series: “We Gotta Keep It Strange”

Heralding Marvel’s recent Black Widow film as “ an unapologetic tale of feminist liberation that substitutes seduction with sisterhood,” Cheung ended her piece by arguing that “the point of these shifts in portrayals of onscreen women isn’t to stigmatize or object to sexual women, but rather, object to male writing of women that suggests female characters’ sole purpose is to serve as masturbatory fodder for entitled pervs.”

“Backlash against these marks of cultural progress, or in this most recent case, a female character wearing pants and having the chest of a real-life human woman on “Cowboy Bebop,” remains inevitable,” concluded Cheung. “But thankfully, just as inevitable are the feminist, onscreen changes that attract this backlash.”

Source, Cowboy Bebop (1998), Sunrise

While Cheung claims to praise this new “feminist” change to Faye Valentine and Cowboy Bebop, YouTuber Vara Dark of Dark Titan Enterprises offered a radically different opinion.

Reacting to the Netflix’s first look at the live-action project she asserted, “This looks like it is going to be a complete disaster and obviously we can’t fully judge it yet, we won’t be able to judge it until it finally releases. But judging by the photos these looks characters look bad.”

Speaking specifically to Faye Valentine, Dark stated, “She looks awful at least in my opinion…I actually really like her original outfit. I really like the vibrant colors, the contrast. I think that her previous outfit looks very good.”

Commenting on the Netflix design, Dark said, “She looks awful. These changes look so incredibly bad. These are like CW designs, at least in my opinion. She looks nothing like the previous version of her character. We don’t have the vibrant yellows, the vibrant reds. The haircut.”

“There are cosplayers that can create more accurate costumes than the designers that Netflix has because this looks like garbage. First of all, her top is completely different and of course they wanted to desexualize her and her outfit because they’re saying that no real people could read her previous outfit. She showed a lot of skin previously. She looked very confident and her sexy was actually a really big part of her character,” Dark continued.

Dark added, “The vibrancy is gone. I’m not a fan of this at all.

Source: Cowboy Bebop Episode 5 “Ballad of Fallen Angels”

What do you make of Cheung’s appraisal of the backlash against Faye Valentine’s live-action appearance? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi
    Associate Editor

    Spencer is the Associate Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.

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