Although appearing to be no more than 23 years old, Faye is actually around 77 years old. This is because she was put into a cryogenic freeze after a space shuttle accident, wherein she spent fifty-four years in suspended animation.
During her adventures on the Bebop, Faye crosses paths with Spike and Jet twice and makes herself at home aboard their ship the second time around, much to the consternation and disapproval of the two men, both of whom have their own reservations about women in general.
Faye is a young woman of Singaporean descent with chin-length dark purple hair and green eyes. Her frame is tall and slender, and her skin is pale.
Her standard outfit consists of yellow shorts, a matching buttoned shirt, white ankle boots, flesh-colored stockings, and a loose red jacket.
The Beta tape found in Speak Like A Child, suggests that Faye has changed a lot from the innocent girl she used to be. As someone who constantly lives in an environment where she must seize every opportunity to find money, dressing revealingly makes people pay more attention to her and also distracts them long enough for her to take advantage of them. She is seen doing this in many instances throughout Cowboy Bebop, with the first being her first appearance in Honky Tonk Women.
- "You know the first rule of combat? Shoot them before they shoot you."
- ―Faye Valentine
Faye is an arrogant and lazy character. She's often seen lying around while the others work on a bounty and spends a majority of her time taking care of her appearance. She presents a long series of bad habits such as pathological gambling, alcoholism, excessive consumption of cigarettes and cigars, unwarranted violence, and forcing work on others. Because of her abrasive personality, she often clashes with her companions.
She's good at flirting with and seducing men to further her goals, but hates feeling desired and is rarely seen romantically interested in someone.
Faye avoids trusting anyone and is used to never staying too long in the same place because of her creditors. Although Faye tries to remain strong, in reality, she hides a deep emotional vulnerability and often is seen to nourish a great deal of sympathy and empathy for her traveling companions in spite of herself.
Although for the entire duration of the series the distinctive characteristics of Faye are her sarcasm and presumption, her character noticeably develops. In fact, she begins to trust her companions, understands the value of friendship, and even learns to love Jet Black and Edward in her own way. On different occasions, she runs away from the Bebop frightened by her affection for her companions (having become used to the idea of "leaving before being abandoned"). However, she always duly returns, the Bebop being the only place she can consider her "home." This attitude, as noted by Jet, seems to stem from a need for attention and is an attempt to prove her companions' affection for her.
Her relationship with Spike Spiegel is the most complex of the series. Most of the time they do nothing but bicker, but, in moments of danger, Faye has always shown concern for Spike, and Spike has shown some empathy for Faye's situation. Faye has also always taken care of Spike when he was injured, but she still kept a bitter attitude. The affection between them is quite obvious, and many have speculated the possibility that Faye could be in love with Spike. Shinichiro Watanabe has said on the subject, "Sometimes I'm asked the question, 'What does Spike think of Faye?' I think that he likes her quite a bit. But he's not a straightforward person and makes sure not to show it."
Faye was born on August 14, 1994 on Earth, in Singapore, as the daughter of rather wealthy parents. As a child, Faye was shy but very positive and outgoing with her friends. She was a cheerleader in high school. One day, along with some friends, she recorded a message on an old Betamax videotape to be delivered ten years in the future as a time capsule.
In 2014, at the age of 20, Faye traveled into space with her parents on a private spacecraft. An accident occurred on the ship, killing both of Faye's parents and severely injuring her. Faye's injuries were so serious they could not be healed with conventional medicine, so she was cryogenically frozen until a cure could be found for her condition.
During her cryogenic sleep, the Gate incident destroyed the Moon, producing rock showers that caused massive destruction to the Earth's surface. As a result, data about Faye's identity was lost; the only thing left was her first name.
In 2068, fifty-four years later, Faye was cured and revived in a clinic called Cold Sleep. Doctor Bacchus and his assistant, Manley, performed the operation and informed her that she now has a debt of 300,028,000 woolongs due to the long recovery. Faye suffered amnesia and was therefore frightened about her situation. Unbeknownst to her, Bacchus also schemed to take advantage of her. He gave her the name "Valentine" and enough details to create an identity for her. His nephew, Whitney Haggis, pretended to be a lawyer named Whitney Haggis Matsumoto to help Faye. Faye eventually fell in love with him. One night, a ship approached them, with Haggis claiming it was Faye's creditors looking for her. He pretended to try to elude them while she ran for the clinic. An explosion in the distance indicated to Faye that he had died. As Bacchus informed her that he left all his assets to her, she agreed to take them, however, they were more debts.
Unable to pay any of her debts, Faye chose a life on the run, conducting small scams and stealing goods. Because of these activities, she incurred a bounty of 6,000,000 woolongs placed on her head. Being betrayed by the very first people she ever met after waking up had a profound effect on her new personality. It formed a new personality, one that is untrustworthy, scheming, and irresponsible. She developed trust issues and usually didn't form strong bonds with anyone unless under the influence of alcohol.
Encounter with the Bebop
In 2071, Faye was captured by Gordon and forced to work for him. Believing her to be "Poker Alice," he had her do a job for him in which a microchip was to be discretely handed off by an agent. In return, he would clear Faye's debts. During the operation, she mistook Spike Spiegel for the agent and, in the process, was captured by him and Jet Black. The two bounty hunters were determined to cash in on the bounty on her head and sell the valuable chip to her boss. However, Gordon double-crossed them and Faye managed to escape, ruining the operation and stealing the money Gordon was supposed to trade. She also was able to destroy his ship by reversing his missiles directed at her.
Following the escape, Faye's spaceship, the Red Tail, ran out of fuel near Jupiter. She came across another craft who happens to be a former ISSP officer, Gett. Dying, he implored Faye to take a suitcase to the ISSP. Inside was a vial of Monkey Business, a virus that the Space Warriors are threatening Ganymede with. She was eventually picked up by the Bebop whose crew was in the area. Initially held prisoner, after helping Jet and Spike defeat the Space Warriors, she invites herself on the Bebop for future bounty hunting. Both men initially do not agree on having a woman on board, especially an opportunist like Faye, but are unable to force her off.
When the crew of the Bebop was after Mao Yenrai, Faye decided to go after him herself. Tracking his location to an opera, she pretended to be his date. Unfortunately, he had been killed by Vicious, and his men had staged Mao's presence at the opera to trap anyone after him. She was forced to sit in the booth next to Mao's corpse and met Vicious face-to-face. He then took her to a cathedral where he had her contact the Bebop, drawing Spike to the location. She watched Spike arrive and kill her captor and a few others. She saw her chance and escaped, still bound at the hands.
Frightened by the affection she began to feel for her companions, Faye decided to run away from the Bebop to follow her philosophy of "leave before being abandoned." With some of the money, she fled to Callisto, the Moon of fugitives, and met a man named Gren who proceeded to "rescue" her from a gang. She was able to talk to him about herself, which oddly didn't scare her. However, she soon found out about his relationship with Vicious. Gren told her everything about meeting Julia and his plan to confront Vicious. She took offense at his action of befriending her before going off and risking his life and tried to stop him. He managed to handcuff her instead and left to fulfill his plan. Jet found her later in Gren's apartment and returned her to the Bebop.
One day on the Bebop, she found that Ein reminded her of her encounter with Matsumoto. She told him the story of her awakening from cryogenic sleep. Spike, hidden in the bathroom, had listened to the whole story and urged Faye to forget the past and live the present. Embarrassed that he overheard her, she dismissed him. However, Jet soon returned to the Bebop with Whitney as a prisoner. Shocked, Faye discovered Whitney's deceit and plan with the doctor and the nurse to inherit his debts. Enraged, Faye abducted him to interrogate him about what was real about his story, however, neither he nor Bacchus had the real information. She then personally put him in prison and received his bounty.
One day, Faye received a package on the Bebop and, fearing it was from a collector or worse, fled without opening it. Jet was forced to pay the delivery fee and eventually found out it was a Betamax tape. The ship also eventually gets another passage of a cassette player. Faye returned to the ship and, rather than pay Jet the delivery fee, she walked away but still sneaked a look from around the corner. It was a tape she herself recorded in her youth. None of the images on the video are familiar to her, hence she spent several nights viewing the contents of the tape. Eventually, a half asleep Ed, reveals that she might know where the area the video was recorded. She rigs the ship to go to Earth, straps Ed to her ship, and takes off. They finally find it and, once there, Faye is approached by an elderly woman who turns out to be an ex-classmate, Sally Yung. She starts to explain some details about Faye but she runs away instead, back to the Bebop. Later, during a shower, her memory resurfaces and she decides she has to leave for good, to where she belongs. However, when she finally finds the area of her home, she only finds a pile of rubble where her home used to be. Resigned, Faye tracks the perimeter of what once was her bed on the ground and lies down in the light of the sunset.
Faye was particularly influenced by her younger self on the videotape. She became more empathetic, caring, and vulnerable. She encouraged Ed to find where she belonged.
Frustrated and upset by the absence of her roots, Faye went back to her ship when she notices a car driving by in pursuit of another. The driver is Julia, and Faye immediately shoots out the tires of her attacker, saving her. She gets in the car and they escape for a while. Faye offers to team up, but Julia says she's looking for someone. They return to the spaceport and Julia reveals she knows Faye knows Spike by asking her to tell him she'll be waiting "there." Surprised, she goes back to the Bebop and, albeit hesitantly, delivers the message to Spike. After he leaves, Faye wondered aloud to Jet why Spike wants to risk his life with Julia, and both are anxious not to see him again.
When contrary to expectations, Spike returns, only to head for the home of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate, and to his possible death; Faye puts her gun to his head in an attempt to stop him and reminds him about the time he told her to forget the past and live the present. Spike then tells her that his cybernetic right eye can only see the present while his real left eye can only see the past, making the past indelible in his mind. She then tells him that she recovered her memory and that she understands that he and Jet are her only family, urging him not to die, to which he replies that he's just going to see if he's alive or not. As Spike walks away, Faye, grief-stricken, fires her gun repeatedly toward the ceiling, then surrenders to a desperate cry.
- "Survival of the fittest is the law of nature. We deceive or we are deceived, thus we flourish or perish. Nothing good ever happened to me when I trusted others. That, is the lesson."
- "Don't you know? I already am a fairy."
- "They say humans are social animals, they can't live alone. But you can live pretty well by yourself. I tell ya, instead of feeling alone in a group, it's better to have real solitude all by yourself."
- "You know what they say, cowboy. Easy come, easy go."
- "You know the first rule of combat? Shoot them before they shoot you".
- "When choosing between two evils. I always like to try the one I never tried before."
- The past is the past and the future is the future. A man is a man and a woman is a woman. The present is the present. I am who I am and you are who you are. That's all there is to it. Does it really matter? Or do we just think it does?
- Beautiful skin can only be maintained by tireless efforts which are ultimately totally futile, understand?
- Why do you have to go? Where are you going? What are going to do, just throw your life away like it was nothing?
- Ordinary. The kind of beautiful, dangerous ordinary that you just can't leave alone.
- Like an angel from the underworld. Or a devil from Paradise.
- You told me once to forget the past, 'cause it doesn't matter, but you're the one still tied to the past, Spike.
- "Men are such idiots".
- "I’m alone. I don’t want comrades… and it’s not worth having any. I end up worrying about things I don’t have to… because you know I’m such a good woman"...
- “And you can’t tell what a woman will DO by looking, so you’ll have to be very careful.”
During her cryogenic sleep, the Gate incident destroyed the Moon, producing rock showers that caused massive destruction to the Earth's surface. As a result, data about Faye's identity was lost – the only thing left was her first name.
The surname "Valentine" was merely a name given to her by the doctor who woke her; the circumstances of her accident, her previous life, and even her real last name all remained a mystery, and are only gradually revealed as the series progresses.
Faye is her real name, as a high school classmate (by now an old disabled woman) recognizes her and calls her by that name.
- Faye Valentine. images gallery on Anime divas.