Spike Spiegel

183pages on
this wiki
Spike Spiegel
Date of Birth June 26, 2044
Estimated Age 27
Height 6' 1" (185 cm)
Hair Colour Dark Brown
Eye Colour Right eye- Light brown Left eye- Brown
Planet of Origin Mars
Known Aliases Swimming Bird
Spaceship Swordfish II
Weapon of Choice Jericho 941
Blood Type O-
―Spike Spiegel

Spike Spiegel (スパイク・スピーゲル Supaiku Supīgeru?) is the main protagonist of the Cowboy Bebop television series and Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door movie. He is a bounty hunter on a spaceship called the Bebop and travels space with his crew Jet, Faye, Ed & Ein.


The producers of Cowboy Bebop have been quoted as saying they chose the name Spike Spiegel because "it sounded cool." It is stated in the special features accompanying Cowboy Bebop The Movie: Knockin' on Heaven's Door that Spike's appearance is modeled after the late Japanese actor, Yusaku Matsuda especially as he appears in his famous role in Tantei Monogatari.


Spike is a bounty hunter who was born on Mars. He is 27 years-old. Tall and thin in appearance, he has fluffy brown hair and brown eyes, one of which is artificial and lighter than the other. A flashback in Session 6 revealed that his fully functioning right eye was surgically replaced by a cybernetic one (although Spike himself may not have conscious recollection of the procedure since he claims to have lost his natural eye in an "accident"). He is usually dressed in a blue leisure suit, with a yellow shirt and Lupin III inspired boots.[1] Spike often has a cigarette between his lips, sometimes despite rain or "No Smoking" signs. This is also done in homage of Lupin III, as Lupin's partner, Jigen, smokes cigarettes that are in poor condition. Another quite distinctive homage is to Bob Dylan, due to the rebellious demeanor and hair.


One of the recurring themes surrounding Spike's character is how he views himself and his life. He claims that one eye - his right one, the prosthetic - can only see the present, and the other - the left, his real eye - can only see the past. This is revisited by a close-up on Spike's left eye every time he has a flashback of his life before coming aboard the Bebop. He seems to regard his false death as real in some way, saying that after that day, he had "merely been living a dream". (During Session 25 when Spike has a flashback of the last time he saw Julia, the close-up shows both Spike's eyes, perhaps implying that his future and past are now the same.)[2]

Spike's attitude of living in a "dream-like" existence is displayed by his careless behavior and his nonchalant attitude towards dangerous or outright fatal situations. One quote that exemplifies this is in Session 1, when Katerina Solensan tells Spike that she is not sure if he is joking or not, to which he responds that he "gets that a lot".

When he is not shown working or practicing martial arts, Spike is very laid back and lackadaisical, often a source of consternation for his crew mates. Some members of the Bebop crew occasionally refer to him as a "lunkhead" due to his attitude, and generally Spike just takes life as it comes. He also is shown to enjoy sleeping, and that may tie into his mantra of 'living a dream.'

Spike's philosophy seems to be based on the ancient samurai ideals of immediacy, such as considering oneself as dead and the idea of death being an awakening from a dream, which are both elements of bushido illustrated in the Hagakure.


Spike is also heard saying that the three things he hates most are "kids, animals, and women with attitude." He ironically asks his friend Jet why all three are aboard the Bebop.

According to his birthdate, Spike's star sign is Cancer.


Spike has many talents and abilities, including very sharp eyesight, abnormally acute perception, and extraordinary luck. Spike makes use of sleight-of-hand techniques to win card games, pick pockets, and even to slip things onto other people unnoticed. He is well versed in weaponry (such as his personal Jericho 941, or Ruger P85 as well as other guns and explosives) and hand-to-hand combat skills due to his past employment with the Red Dragon crime syndicate. He follows Jeet Kune Do, the mindset developed by Bruce Lee, though he has a penchant for high kicks of French boxing. Spike is also a pilot, and flies a converted Asteroid racer called Swordfish II which is armed with four machine guns, multiple missile launchers, and a single plasma cannon. Spike also repeatedly demonstrates an exceptionally sharp intellect, although he has a habit for neglecting to plan ahead, as noted by Jet. Spike has repeatedly been able to outwit the entire Red Dragon syndicate, predict the moves of his opponents (whether in combat or in the casinos), and use lateral thinking to get out of virtually every situation which life throws at him. He can also swallow and regurgitate objects e.g. a chip (casino chip) at will.  


Some years prior to Session 1, Spike was a rising member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate where he partnered as an enforcer along with his then best friend, Vicious. Both were mentored by Mao Yenrai; it was likely due to him that the both of them joined the crime organization. Both were close to him throughout their employment, but with Spike's perceived death Mao and Vicious became estranged. Badly injured after a shoot-out in the slums on Mars, Spike stumbled to the home of Julia, who was at the time Vicious' girlfriend. The pair fell in love while she nursed him back to health. Spike decided to leave the syndicate and elope with Julia. Realizing that his best friend had essentially gone soft and fallen for his girlfriend, Vicious gave Julia a painful ultimatum: either murder Spike, or have her and Spike face death for their betrayal. Although the specifics of the incident are unclear, Spike apparently managed to fake his own death by engaging in a gunfight alone in a church against a rival syndicate; this allowed him to drop off of the Red Dragon's radar. He waited for Julia at the graveyard so they could escape and be free, but she never showed. In present day, he rarely calls her by name, often referring to her as only "a woman." This disassociation suggests a deep pain on Spike's part and is illustrated in the episode "Jupiter Jazz, Part One," where the mere mention of the name "Julia" compels Spike to abandon the Bebop outright, despite having no proof the Julia in question is his. 

Ten years prior to the start of the series, Doohan gave Spike the Swordfish II. It is also possible that between leaving the syndicate and joining Jet, Spike learned to be a bounty hunter from Ural Terpsichore. 

Approximately three years later, Spike met the former ISSP cop turned bounty hunter Jet Black, and the two men became partners. Spike moved onto Jet's ship, the eponymous Bebop and the two men worked together for about three years before being joined by the other crew members.

Spike deals with everyday problems while with the crew, but his own past catches up to him. He meets Vicious & several other characters he knows in Sessions 5, 12 & 13. This holds the most truth in the final 2 episodes of the anime.


Spike is generally thought to have died of wounds sustained in his final duel with Vicious. Laughing Bull tells Jet that "his star is about to fall". A star fades at the end of the episode, but since Laughing Bull does not mention Spike by name, many fans have speculated that the guardian star belongs to Vicious instead. In an interview, Watanabe stated "I've never officially said that he died. At this point, I can tell you that I'm not sure if he's alive or dead." However, he also believes that fans would be upset if there is a continuation. The later Cowboy Bebop movie Knockin' on Heaven's Door is said to be set between episodes 22 and 23 of the original TV series, but Shinichiro Watanabe will not rule out the idea that the movie is a dream.

"I've never officially said that he's dead. At this point, I can tell you that I'm not sure if he's alive or dead. I think probably rather than being yelled at for killing Spike, I think ... people are more upset that I might make a continuation." From "Cowboy Bebop' director Watanabe talks anime", by Jonathan McNamara; 2/14/06, The Daily Texan.

Memorable QuotesEdit

Asteroid Blues

Spike Spiegel: "Jet, you said bell peppers and beef."
Jet Black: [distracted] "His name's Asimov Solensen. Are you listening to me?"
Spike Spiegel: "There's no beef in here. So you wouldn't really call it bell peppers and beef now, would you?"
Jet Black: "Yes, I would."
Spike Spiegel: [yelling] "Well, it's not!"
Jet Black: [yelling] "It is when you're broke, alright!"

Jamming with Edward

Spike Spiegel: "Jet, do you know that there are three things that I particularly hate?"
Jet Black: [defeated] "Really?"
Spike Spiegel: "Kids. Animals. And women with attitude.
Jet Black: [defeated] "Oh..."
Spike Spiegel: "So tell me Jet... [yelling] why do we have all three of them neatly gathered in our ship?!"

Wild Horses

Spike Spiegel: "Whatever happens, happens."

Cowboy Bebop the Movie: Knockin' on Heaven's Door

Elektra Ovirowa: "The more you know, the shorter your life will be."
Spike Spiegel: "I love the kind of woman that can kick my ass."

The Real Folk Blues (Part 2)

Spike Spiegel: "I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive."
Spike Spiegel: "They say hunger is the best spice."
Spike Spiegel: "Bang... [smiles while holding his hand like a gun before falling to the ground]"

Image GalleryEdit

  1. EX:clusive Focus Panel: Kawamoto Toshihiro
  2. Anime Expo New York - Cowboy Bebop Panel

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki