An anime series with a space-Western theme, Cowboy Bebop follows the adventures of cowboy Spike Spiegel and his crew of bounty hunters. Alongside Faye Valentine, Jet Black, Ed (Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV), and Ein -the dog-embark on thrilling missions.
It’s not hard to see why Cowboy Bebop is one of the Best-known anime series out there. The mix between action, adventure and comedy makes it so that you can’t help but become completely immersed in the story. It has everything from an American music jazz soundtrack to a beautiful animation style that will make any fan nostalgic.
Cowboy Bebop is a timeless classic anime that still stands the test of time. The tone and aesthetics have allowed it to stand out in an industry packed with anime adaptations, so much so that there are more Cowboy Bebop inspired series being released now than ever before! If you’re looking for something new to watch, check out our list of anime below as they try to fill the void that Cowboy Bebop has left.
Content Navigation (TL:DR)
- 15. Lupin III (1971)
- 14. Trigun (1998)
- 13. Outlaw Star (1998)
- 12. Shaman King (2001 & 2021)
- 11. Samurai Champloo (2004)
- 10. Gun x Sword (2005)
- 9. Coyote Ragtime Show (2006)
- 8. Black Lagoon (2006)
- 7. Baccano! (2007)
- 6. Michiko to Hatchin (2008)
- 5. Durarara!! (2010)
- 4. Psycho-Pass (2012)
- 3. Space Dandy (2014)
- 2. Kekkai Sensen (2015)
- 1. Bungo Stray Dogs (2016)
15. Lupin III (1971)
This is a classic anime series. It’s about a thief, Arsène Lupin III and his adventures trying to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Arsène Lupin – an infamous career criminal with tons of enemies constantly on their tail. The series has some pretty funny moments that will keep you entertained throughout its duration!
14. Trigun (1998)
Trigun is a space/western themed anime that aired near the same time as Cowboy Bebop. The main difference between these two action-adventure anime is their protagonists. Vash the Stampede is a gunfighter who is despised by many as a maniac who destroys every city he lands on. Cities are evacuated even if there’s just rumour of him arriving, and his bounty stands at $60 billion – but that doesn’t stop two insurance agents from chasing after him to prevent any more destruction on this desert planet!
13. Outlaw Star (1998)
In the same year as Cowboy Bebop and Trigun, a series released called Outlaw Star. The premise for this anime is similar to both of these shows in that it involves space wars and cowboys/outlaws living on an outer planet within a lawless territory. Sentient beings of the universe, please hold onto your seats and prepare for a ride that will leave you begging for more.
Two cowboys name Gene Starwind and Jim Hawking live in Sentinel III, with their lives taking an unexpected turn when they are hired as bodyguards to some women who soon find themselves being chased by cops, aliens, assassins – you get where this is going! And Just like Spike and his crew, the ship in this series is named “Outlaw Star”!
12. Shaman King (2001 & 2021)
In Shaman King, the main character Yoh Asakura has to walk a fine line between the living and dead to embrace his destiny. This anime is great because it’s humorous like Cowboy Bebop and combines Japanese aesthetics with modern science fiction elements found in Cowboy Beebop. It also features an occult tone for those that love Soul Eater or Bleach-esque shows about supernatural beings – if you’re into this genre, then I recommend checking out this series!
11. Samurai Champloo (2004)
In the series Samurai Champloo, a waitress named Fuu sets out on an adventure with two samurai swordsmen to find this mysterious person who smells like sunflowers. The three wind up getting into intense sword fights and awkward moments as they search for the man. Will these unlikely companions be able to get along in time? Being directed by Shinichiro Watanabe, we don’t need to stipulate the similarities here; it deserves a watch.
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10. Gun x Sword (2005)
Revenge is a theme that has never ceased to captivate audiences, and western-style anime Gun x Sword lays the groundwork for its audience with an underlying revenge story. With Van as your protagonist who vows vengeance on someone named Claw man because he killed his wife on their wedding day, this masculine show follows him as he goes through various trials to get back what was taken from him. Warning: this is an action-heavy, masculine and entertaining anime.
9. Coyote Ragtime Show (2006)
Mister, Bishop and Katana are all outlaws in an alternate galaxy. After Mister escapes the prison with their help, he is determined to find his dear friend’s daughter Franka. But they soon learn that a group of android assassins has followed them ever since escaping from jail, so it will be more difficult than expected for him to get close enough or make contact.
8. Black Lagoon (2006)
This anime is an intense story that deals with the falling morality of human beings, violence, corruption and crime. The series is set in Thailand in Roanapur, which has been corrupted by violent criminals trying to take over the city from other organized crime syndicates. Rokuro Okajima had flown into town for business when mercenaries captured him under Black Lagoon’s command – they see him as something that can be used against their enemies for cash or hostages. Still, his boss abandoned him without negotiating, so now he’s left among them all alone. He decides to stay and become a part of the kidnapper’s organization.
7. Baccano! (2007)
This award-winning series uses a unique approach to storytelling; the plot dances around themes like immortality, alchemy, war, and mafia. It follows different stories across time in the United States, but it’s not until we see all these events come together into one storyline that everything makes sense! And with amazing directors at its helm, you’re sure to be entertained as well!
6. Michiko to Hatchin (2008)
Michiko Malandro is a badass career criminal who has been put behind bars, but she breaks out of prison. Michiko is on a quest to find the man from her past, and along the way, she meets Hannah. Michiko successfully frees Hannah’s soul from her family to set off together in search of their desired destination!
5. Durarara!! (2010)
Cowboy Bebop always told the story from an interesting perspective, with each episode giving you new information and perspectives. If that’s your style of storytelling, then Durarara!! is worth a watch! It starts off completely confusing, but once you start diving deeper, it will become clear how everything connects.
Durarara!! is an anime series that follows a group of high schoolers who go about their everyday lives while plots unfold around them. It has everything from gangs in everyday city life, supernatural happenings and even a headless rider.
4. Psycho-Pass (2012)
One of the appealing factors to Cowboy Bebop is that its main protagonist, Spike Spiegel, is so well-written and likable. Viewers learn much about his past throughout the show, and he’s shown to be somewhat of an antihero at times. Psycho-Pass also features a very strong character as its protagonist—Akane Tsunemori. Moreover, the setting for this anime has just enough familiarity with futuristic aspects paired with touches from classic noir crime dramas, which make these two shows irresistible watch choices among many viewers who enjoy complex plots in their entertainment viewing experience.
3. Space Dandy (2014)
Space Dandy follows Dandy, an alien hunter who visits alien planets to find new alien species. His companions are QT, his robot buddy, and Meow, the feline looking alien. With every discovery comes money which makes it rewarding for him, and though as he faces various challenges in each episode, that can always turn out funny or dangerous!
2. Kekkai Sensen (2015)
A portal opened up in New York City, trapping humans and other entities. The show is filled with secret organizations, monsters-anything can happen! In addition to the amazing soundtrack of jazz tunes reminiscent of Cowboy Bebop, Kekkai Sensen has a lot more hijinks than you might expect from an anime like this one. It also pays close attention to its fight sequences that are well produced and dynamic, just as seen from Spike and the crew on Cowboy Bebop’s action scenes.
1. Bungo Stray Dogs (2016)
Bungo Stray Dogs is a series with all the elements of film noir but with more humour and less emphasis on overarching storytelling. The plot focuses on individual character development while keeping comedy in mind, which makes for an easy watch-through without worrying about watching episodes out of order, much like Cowboy Bebop.
Cowboy Bebop is one of the most popular anime series out there. It’s also a tough act to follow when it comes to space noir comedies with great character arcs and amazing music that stays in your head for weeks on end. We might have missed some other similar shows or just don’t share enough similarities, so let us know what you think about our picks in the comments section below!