Yeah, it's a no win catch 22 scenario, the elements that would need to change to make it work in a live action format are the very ones that make it distinct and iconic as an animation. The best case scenario is basically that they film the scripts, it's well done, but stylistically it's unrecognizable from the cartoon. That's still not going to satisfy fans, and what's the point of that anyway? Otherwise, trying to make it look like the cartoon, or some compromise in-between, is rife for disaster. See every example ever (e.g. Dragon Ball, The Last Airbender) outside of Marvel, which is unfortunately why everything is now considered obtainable even though only they can seemingly pull it off convincingly, which is why I give them a lot of credit despite how formula it can feel.
Netflix's decisions are all data driven. I can see the live-action option as a purely business decision, not necessarily one where they think they're granting a wish that people have been dying for.
They know the relative size of the audience for the anime, but that's a number with no growth potential. Older show + medium with a stigma for general audiences = bad bet. They can't reach their wider viewership numbers as long as it's "stuck" in a cartoon medium. Wheel in the live action option, suddenly they can capture a large fraction of those anime soldiers + a piece of that tasty general viewership.
I've both pursued and dipped my toe in dozens of Netflix shows that seem to have been conceived purely so the company can check a few boxes off on its genre spreadsheet for the overall Netflix programming package. I think one of the worst that I've seen is probably Altered Carbon. The execution in these shows rarely matters, as evidenced by how they're structured (beefy on the bookends, emaciated inside). What matters to the programming overlords seems to be: Do most people get a sense of value with the genre bets they're making? Is a piece of your favorite genre, interest and/or what makes you so special as a person reflected in a brand form in the programming? And how likely are you to keep subscribing so long as that horizon continues to stretch on to the hereafter?
I totally buy this data driven observation, and I'm not even completely opposed to it, save for sucker bets like this Bebop adaptation, because it's not like it was all pure artistic endeavor previously. The big problem being the worst of human nature and error still tainting the execution, first on the executive level as always, and because while everything has a polished "prestige tv" veneer now, and this gives tremendous opportunity to heretofore underrepresented actors, creators and audiences, there's only so many people with the combination of talent, training and experience out there right now to actually produce a really good show. So, until some of these new creatives and crew people get the reps, there's going to continue to be a dilution of quality (they're going to have to start recruiting career waiters to be actors =) and a lot of otherwise mediocre shit passing through, but at least there's potentially a light at the end of the tunnel (that may or may not be a train).