- "You got to listen to your dreams, that’s how you find your dream girl."
- ―Jet Black[src]
Jet Black (ジェット・ブラック Jetto Burakku?) is an officer of the ISSP and later bounty hunter. He partnered with Fad until losing his arm in the mid-2060s. He then captained the Bebop and led a bounty-hunting crew including Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine, and Edward.
In the ISSP
Growing up with strong morals, Jet enlisted in the Inter-Solar System Police (ISSP) and soon became an investigator. Due to his stubbornness, while chasing criminals, he earned the nickname "Black Dog," the dog that bites its prey and never lets go. He met Bob and Donnelly.
Jet also came to know a Blue Snake member, Pao Pu-Zi. Pao visited Jet in his home in 2061 for help in leaving the syndicate, and leaked information to him. Jet tried his best, but since Pao knew so much about the syndicate's inner workings, he believed escape was impossible.
Despite the harshness of his work, Jet carried on a relationship with a woman named Alisa, whose proximity gave him the strength to keep going. One evening, however, he did not find Alisa, only a note from her that says "farewell" and a pocket watch. Jet, torn by grief, questioned at length the reason for the abandonment and promised that if the clock stopped before Alisa returned he would leave Ganymede forever.
Marked by the bad experience, Jet threw himself into work and started to investigate a powerful mafia organization who had corrupted much of the police force. One evening, together with his colleague and friend Fad, Jet chased Udai Taxim, a gunman affiliated with the European syndicate. Unbeknownst to Jet, Fad and Udai were working together and set a trap. The two policemen separated, and Jet, reaching the murderer, fell into a trap: dazzled by the light of a close by spotlight, Fad shot him with a bullet so powerful it destroyed his left arm. Fortunately, Jet survived, and Udai was arrested. Although a cell regeneration was possible due to the scientific advancement of the period, Jet opted for a mechanical replacement as a reminder of what happened to him.
It was unclear whether the scar on the right eye went back to the same incident or a later event, but by 2064 the clock passed to him by Alisa stopped, and Jet, then disgusted with the corruption of the police force, decided to leave both Ganymede and the ISSP. He purchased a former fishing ship, which he named the Bebop, and then began to roam space as a bounty hunter.
On the Bebop
Jet received a generally good reputation as a bounty hunter. After four years of the start of his new business, in 2068, he met Spike Spiegel who became his partner and close friend. The two quickly became the most feared bounty hunters in the Solar System.
Jet and Spike went to Spiders From Mars after a dream of Charlie Parker convinced him to try his luck at a casino. Jet won a good amount of money, however, Spike got into some trouble and the two jumped onto Faye Valentine's ship in order to escape. Jet then met Faye and decided to turn her in for the bounty. However, seeing as the poker chip Spike had was much more valuable, decided to make the deal with Gordon. He double-crossed them, but Faye was able to occupy him and destroyed his ship.
Later, Jet and Spike captured Maria Murdock only to need to let her go after speaking with Bob. He also re-captured Faye after finding she ran out of fuel. Initially, both men did not agree on having a woman on board, especially an opportunist like Faye, but over time they became attached and a functional team.
Following the capture of a bounty with a hefty price on his head, Jet was forced to go back to Ganymede to deliver him to the authorities. Jet took the opportunity to finally clear things up with Alisa, who then owned a bar called La Fin, about to close because of the economic depression that hit the planet. When Spike found out that Alisa's new boyfriend, Rhint Celonias, was wanted for killing the usurer who threatened her, Jet immediately rushed after them and, after stopping them, questioned his ex-girlfriend on the reason for her abandoning of him. Alisa replied she wanted more than what he chose for her and preferred to make her own decisions, even at the risk of making mistakes. Jet then decided not to do anything for Alisa and left Ganymede for the second time, right after throwing the watch he had kept all these years in the water.
Jet learned that Faye had sabotaged the Bebop, left, and taken their cash reserve. He followed her to Blue Crow on Callisto and tracked her to the Orlando Apartments through a bartender at Rester House who had seen her with Gren. He was not present at the apartment and she was tied up and had to be released. He chastised her for taking the money but surprised that it wasn't that much that she took. He also observed that she didn't sabotage Hammer Head, suggesting she wanted them to come after her. She dismissed it. During this ordeal, Jet learned about Julia, who had been at Rester House two years prior and was a friend of Gren.
The crew's next bounty was on Astral Gate hackers, or, rather, their mastermind. Jet caught a few including Jamie Linn, Peter Rine, and Terje Hakonsen. They were only pawns, though, as additional information from Spike and Faye suggested. Interestingly enough, they held E-chess game data pieces. It seemed that the Gate Corporation knew more than they let on so Jet visited the CEO in a slick attempt to rattle him and discretely leave a listening device to gain more information. He also saw Jonathan there, who had not been so clever. Nevertheless, he overheard Jet later finding the name – Chessmaster Hex. As Edward confirmed she was playing him via E-chess, Jet traced the signal to the Bohemian Junkheap and sent Spike and Faye inside to get him. Jonathan disabled the Bebop and headed in himself, which angered Jet. Jet learned from Spike and Faye that Hex was senile and not worth the time to bring in. Jet informed the CEO later and threatened to release the whole story unless they dropped the bounty and left Hex alone.
Udai Taxim escaped from his cell and, with the help of other prisoners, took control of the prison-ship that transported them. Jet was informed of this by his old friend Fad, who then tried to convince Jet to work with him again to recapture the murderer who years ago had cost Jet his arm. Jet was convinced and managed to break into the prison and the defeat the accomplices of Udai, however, when he faced Udai, he revealed to Jet that the man who shot him was not an accomplice, but Fad himself, who had turned corrupt. Fad immediately appeared and killed Udai for revealing that. Incredulous of the discovery, Jet faced his old friend and killed him in a firefight. Before dying, Fad admitted that he wanted to work on this case with Jet because he felt really nostalgic for the old days. Jet, before leaving, made sure the scene looks like Fad died a heroic death in the clash of the criminals. This was a tribute to the man that Jet still considered a friend.
Jet would see Pao one last time. He received a cryptic message from him that simply said, "Seek the Holy Beast of Ahnzahn. I am where the four gods meet." While tracking him down, he found a tombstone suggesting he had died. He also met his daughter there, Pao Meifa, just before being attacked by syndicate men. The two escaped to the Bebop where Meifa explained her father's apparent death, however, when she learned of the message, she was then convinced he was alive. Jet then helped Meifa decipher her father's message, which led them to him, stuck in a pocket in hyperspace. Jet learned the truth and they both said goodbye, as he couldn't be rescued.
Jet found that Faye and Ed left the Bebop without telling him where they were going. At the same time, he learned of a large bounty on Appledelhi Siniz Hesap Lütfen. This led Spike and him to Earth where they found him surveying the ground. However, he was able to disarm them and subdue Spike. Just then, the Bebop arrived, having been controlled by Ed to their location. Jet realized the bounty was a plan by Ed to trick Jet into locating him when he realized the bounty was 50 Woolongs instead of 50,000,000. The three went back to the ship when Appledelhi oddly rushed off in pursuit of another meteor. Then, Ed left Jet a pinwheel and left the ship for good.
Jet and Spike decided to get a drink at the Loser Bar, depressed, though not wanting to admit it. Unbeknownst to them, men of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate were converging on them in that moment, hunting Spike. The two realized at the last moment they were being watched and jumped behind the bar as a firefight broke out. Jet was wounded in the left leg by a bullet, however, Shin appeared and helped them escape. The two fled to a clinic of a doctor who had helped them before. As he got the bullets removed, Jet tried to get some info from Spike. Later, he woke up on the Bebop and found Spike was determined to find Julia. He advised him to let it be, but Spike was determined. Faye returned to the ship at that moment, prompting Jet to berate her for using them for repairs. However, he was surprised to find she was not her usual combative self and wanted to find Spike. He turned to a call from Bob where he learned the Syndicate's leaders were being challenged and they were caught in the fallout. Jet decided it was too late to avoid them. Soon, the Syndicate attacked the Bebop directly. Jet tried to evade while Spike fought them in the Swordfish. Spike succeeded, but the Bebop was damaged. Jet encouraged Spike to go and find Julia, although aware it might mean he wouldn't see him again.
Jet later went to Laughing Bull to see if he could find Spike, only to receive a dire prediction that his "star would fall." He didn't have to wait long, since Spike returned, but only for ammunition before heading for the Red Dragon Headquarters. At his request, Jet cooked him food for one last time. After the meal, Spike told the story of his life as a fairy tale. The two friends laughed one last time together, then, leaving a note of melancholy, Jet let Spike go to meet his fate.
Jet possesses a tall, broad and muscular appearance. He is balding and only the sides and back of his head have hair. His sideburns continue down his cheeks to form a beard, giving him a slight resemblance to Daisuke Jigen just like Spike's tall, lanky body gives him a slight resemblance to Lupin III and Vicious' wild, untamed hair and love for wielding the Katana resembles Goemon Ishikawa. His left arm is a synthetic, robotic limb that seems to heighten his strength. His original limb was lost when he was ambushed by a syndicate assassin and his crooked cop partner. The metallic piece under his right eye has no known purpose, but it is not likely a cosmetic choice.
He wears a flight suit most of the time but has been known to dress up for trips to a nightclub or casino. The scar on his face may imply that he has been in some fights as a cop and bounty hunter. The scar is directly over his eye, but the eye itself is apparently unharmed.
Jet, as the senior member of the Bebop, is presented as mature, wise, and austere. He often gives wise advice to his companions and always shows great patience for their over the top attitudes. In particular, he is very patient with Spike, although the excessive exuberance of Spike while chasing after bounties often prevent them from collecting the total reward due to refunds caused by damage. Although everyone on the Bebop considers him kind of a father figure, a situation proved by his occasional scolding for some of his companions' attitudes and him being the ship's cook, Jet proves to be considerably offended by this association as it makes him look older than he actually is.
Although he may look gruff and sometimes has rude attitudes, Jet is basically a good-hearted, caring, and thoughtful man who, while hiding his feelings, has a great affection for his own companions and thinks of them the same way of a family. Undoubtedly the most reliable member of the crew, Jet proves to be very apprehensive, proud, and capable of great fidelity. For some of his attitudes, he could be considered a control freak, but it is not intentional, and all the other characters recognize his choices as the most right.
Jet has a great passion for bonsai and cooking (although his dishes are harshly criticized by his companions), adores jazz and blues music (Bebop, the given name of his starship, is a type of jazz) particularly the songs of Charlie Parker, and also highly appreciates the works of Goethe. As captain of the Bebop, he is very fond of his ship and greatly worries about the damage it could receive in firefights.
Jet shares a particularly paternal relationship with Ed and for most of the series is the only member of the crew to take care of Ein. He dislikes Faye, whom he treats more like a burden than as a partner, but the relationship between them changes in the course of the series, coming to be a reluctant friendship. Differently from Spike, who behaves lazily and indifferently, Jet is always shown as busy and maintaining the Bebop and finding work. Despite the many differences in character and ideology, Jet and Spike share a genuine brotherly affection and it is safe to say that they consider each other their own best friend. Occasionally they are seen talking together like two old friends. Jet often fights with Spike over his excessive stubbornness, occasionally ending with Spike being banned from the Bebop, but never for long. Jet is in every way the only person whom, sometimes, Spike confides openly about his past.
Honky Tonk Woman
"So Charlie says, 'only hands can wash hands. If you want to receive, you have to give.' Something like that—wish I could remember the exact words—anyway, I think Charlie’s telling us to just do it. Ha. What do you make of it?"
"It’s just like Charlie said in my dream. If you want to receive you have to give. See Spike, you got to listen to your dreams, that’s how you find your dream girl."
Jet - "The house specialty is Sea Rat. Used to be a staple food, harvested in the Ganymede Sea. After the gate stabilized food wasn’t scarce any more and people stopped eating it so they ran some fancy ad campaign and claimed it was a delicacy."
Spike - "And is it tasty?"
Jet - "It’s totally disgusting. People eat it anyway for status, it’s in now."
Sympathy For The Devil
Jet - "Damn that blues harp sounds sweet; I knew it would."
Spike - "I thought you liked jazz."
Jet - "Don’t be dense. I started wailing the blues when the doctor whacked my bottom on the day I was born."
Jamming With Edward
"Radical Edward's profile: he's a seven foot ex basketball pro, Hindu, guru, drag queen, alien!"
"When I was a cop, this was my beat. I’m the Black Dog and when I bite I don’t let go. I have no regrets about her, but I’ll settle this score on my own turf."
- ↑ Cowboy Bebop Characters via Web Archive
- ↑ Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Black Dog Serenade
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Gateway Shuffle
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ganymede Elegy
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Boogie Woogie Feng Shui
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Jupiter Jazz (Part 1)
- ↑ Stray Dog Strut
- ↑ Honky Tonk Women
- ↑ Jamming With Edward
- ↑ Jupiter Jazz (Part 2)
- ↑ Bohemian Rhapsody
- ↑ Hard Luck Woman
- ↑ The Real Folk Blues (Part 1)
- ↑ The Real Folk Blues (Part 2)