Anime fans and tabletop players got a hint of good news recently. It appears that an announcement has come out early about an official Cowboy Bebop tabletop RPG.
The news dropped in an article by Dicebreaker. It states that the company that originally worked on Cowboy Bebop, Sunrise, is planning on launching a Kickstarter campaign in 2022 to help produce an official tabletop RPG adaptation of Shinichiro Watanabe's beloved and iconic anime.
This Cowboy Bebop tabletop RPG project will be done in collaboration with two other studios. The first is Italian developer Mana Project Studio will be designing the game. The team's most acclaimed work to date is the tabletop RPG Not The End, which won the 2020 Roleplay Game of the Year award at Italy's own Lucca Comics and Games Festival thanks to its elegant and roleplay rich HexSys system. The English Edition of the game was successfully produced through its own Kickstarter campaign and still accepting pre-orders.
The second group is the French-based publisher, Don't Panic Games, This publisher does have experience working on adaptations of beloved anime properties such as Naruto and Attack on Titan. They've also worked with Sunrise in the past with Cowboy Bebop: Space Serenade, a deck-building game adaptation.
If these names and studios don't sound too familiar, the good news is everyone involved is a big fan of the property. When asked about working on a Cowboy Bebop tabletop RPG, Mana Project's founder and lead designer, Michele Paroli, stated, "Cowboy Bebop is part of those anime that made up our cultural background. As fans of the anime, we are thrilled to be able to work on this project, a unique opportunity to design on both the themes of CBB and its strong visual identity. Our goal is to share our passion for Cowboy Bebop with you with this game,"
Considering the distinctly unique energy and anime-centric high concepts that Cowboy Bebop helped codify, Mana Project has one difficult hill to climb. The series was well known for its heady mixing of genres and tropes from wild west action, film noir mood and intrigue, grungy dystopic cyberpunk sci-fi trappings all wrapped around some legitimately electrifying jazz tracks. It's a beloved anime with plenty of other forms of fiction drawing inspiration, imitation, and even a live-action adaptation in production courtesy of Netflix.