Cowboy Bebop, one of the most enduringly popular and universally acclaimed anime series of all time, is noted for its jazz soundtrack. Now, to benefit coronavirus (COVID-19) relief efforts around the world, Funimation has brought together series composer Yoko Kanno’s band The Seatbelts — and Kanno herself — with singer A-sha Mai Yamane and more for a new arrangement of the show’s closing theme song “The Real Folk Blues.”
Original English dub voice actors Beau Billingslea and Steve Blum join the ensemble for a spoken word segment as their fan-favorite characters. The new arrangement is by prolific anime and video game composer Mason Lieberman.
Proceeds from the charity single will go directly to the CDC Foundation and Doctors Without Borders for their ongoing efforts to battle the global health crisis caused by COVID-19. The single is available to stream on Spotify and Bandcamp, with a crowd-funded vinyl single release available through Funimation.
Originally running from 1998 to 1999, Cowboy Bebop follows a group of spacefaring bounty hunters in 2071 after a cataclysmic incident devastated the Earth. A live-action television adaptation is currently in production by Netflix.
Funimation shared a Cowboy Bebop musical tribute track featuring the original voice cast, with proceeds benefitting COVID-19 relief efforts.