Cowboy Bebop’s ‘Blue’ Gets New Life with Yoko Kanno and Maya Collab, Song Now Available

John Nguyen

Cowboy Bebop is a classic ’90s anime that was adapted into a live-action series by Netflix. One of the best things about the animated series by Shinichirō Watanabe (Samurai Champloo) was the music by Yoko Kanno with favorites including “Tank!,” “The Real Folk Blues,” “Rain,” and “Call Me Call Me.”

One of the most iconic songs from the series is “Blue,” which was performed by singer Mai Yamane and the Seatbelts and was the ending song for the final episode of Cowboy Bebop. (That ending still gets to me after all these years.) 25 years later after the song’s premiere, Yoko Kanno is back with the new version, which was featured in a Honda TV commercial.

The Cowboy Bebop composer collaborated with 16-year-old musician Maya, which is also the latter’s first release. Now fans can listen to the full song, which was made available today. You can check out the official music visualizer below.

You can also listen to the song on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes Store, Deezer, and Soundcloud via the song link.

Honda’s “Move” ad was directed by Sho Yanagisawa (known for Pocari Sweat for Otsuka Seiyaku, “Father and Daughter” for Nishi-Nippon Railways) and depicts a dreamlike scenery of people moving through the world freely, inspired by the dreamlike ending of Cowboy Bebop.

Maya. Photo credit: Deanie Chen

Maya is currently in high school and has been a rising musician via her TikTok account. Her cover of “Just the Two of Us” has gained over 3.8 million views.

“Even after 25 years, the longing for freedom never leaves us,” Yoko Kanno said. “With Maya’s voice as a new set of wings, the song continues to soar even higher, even deeper, into the blue. The imagery Mr. Daichi Yasuda explores is an invitation to a journey for eternity.”

“I’m beyond honored and happy to announce the release of a song that features my voice,” Maya said about getting to work with Kanno. “In a world where it can sometimes be very challenging to feel ‘free,’ I sang my heart out in hopes of bringing freedom to as many people as possible. The recording session with Ms. Yoko Kanno was a learning experience for me and a very inspirational one. As a young artist who is just starting out, I cherish and treasure every moment spent with Ms. Kanno, who I admire so much.”

And if you want to relive that emotional moment again from Cowboy Bebop, here’s the clip of Spike with his finger gun gesture as “Blue” plays in the background.