Dear John Cho, It’s a Dynamics Thing

John Cho

…or how your age can affect the established dynamic between Jet and Spike.

Cowboy Bebop Release Date

Normally, I would let this go and chalk it up to creative license, but I can’t. I am not a whole-hearted purist when it comes to adaptations, but there are times when I feel I need to be.
This is one of those times. Hang in there with me. I will explain.

“First of all, I couldn’t have done it when I was 27. I mean, maybe I would’ve been better suited athletically, but in terms of my discipline, I am strangely better suited at this age.”

-John Cho during a Vulture Interview

This. This right here. The quote above is what has me doing this blog post. Well, that and another I will show you now.

“I don’t think I would’ve done justice to the emotional depth we tried to give Spike. There’s always a trade-off. What young men are typically best at as actors is rage. And that might’ve been a more pronounced element in the character. What I’m better at, being older, is showing weakness and vulnerability and love. Those things are more accessible to me. Personally, I’d prefer the version I’m able to do now. That’s my taste.”

-John Cho during a Vulture Interview

Emotional depth….

I love it when actors use this as an excuse when valid criticism lands in their lap. Spike is a complex character, granted, but he is still young and in need of some guidance, especially when you bring Jet into the picture.

The dynamic between Jet and Spike is as much a friendship as it is a working relationship and a mentor/mentoree relationship. Jet is the wisen soul with years of experience and wisdom under his belt, and Spike, at 27, can still be impulsive and rush headlong into trouble without thinking.

The best example of this is toward the end of the series when Jet tells Spike a story of someone who was lost chasing their past.

Even though they are friends, there was always a mentorship that hovered in the fringes. Jet doesn’t want Spike to get seriously injured or die. He considers him a son. This is due to the age difference between the two, Jet being the older one.

Yes, I keep harping on age.

The age of the characters in any story of this type matters. It sets up a dynamic that plays out through the chapters, episodes, or in the case of Cowboy Bebop, sessions.

When the younger now looks like the older, the dynamic changes. The lines that had an impact in the anime due to the dynamic will, more than likely, lose their punch in the live-action.

You can PLAY a younger character. Many actors have done it successfully, but you have to LOOK young in order to pull it off, and John Cho does not.

Until Next Time,

Anissa “Maddy” Walker

Source of quotes


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s