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"Whatever happens, happens."
―Spike Spiegel[src]

Spike Spiegel (スパイク・スピーゲル Supaiku Supīgeru?) is a bounty hunter on the spaceship Bebop and travels through space with his crew. Before becoming a bounty hunter, Spike was a member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate. Spike displays many talents and abilities, including being skilled in hand-to-hand combat and martial-arts fighting.

Spike was partnered with Vicious in the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate criminal organization, and the two garnered a reputation as the Syndicate's strongest fighters. But all that changed after Spike started a romantic affair with Vicious' girlfriend Julia, causing the two to become bitter enemies. After finding happiness outside violence, Spike tried to leave the Syndicate, and was then forced to fake his own death and separate from Julia in order to leave. After Spike fakes his death to escape the Syndicate, Julia never arrives to rendezvous with him — instead she goes into hiding to avoid betraying him or being killed herself.

Spike eventually met and teamed up with former Inter-Solar System Police (ISSP) officer and bounty hunter Jet Black, the captain of the Bebop. Spike also became a pilot and flew a converted Asteroid racer called the Swordfish II. As legal bounty hunters, Spike and Jet traveled the inhabited worlds hunting bounty heads across the populated planets and moons of the solar system. They were later joined by Faye Valentine, Edward, and Ein. During his adventures on board the Bebop, Spike confronted various bounty heads and had interactions with other people, including a terrorist, a deranged serial killer, and a bounty hunter styled after an American Western cowboy.

During his career as a bounty hunter, Spike was also drawn back into his bitter feud with Vicious, who had since become the head of the Syndicate and sought to kill him. After having run-ins with Vicious on two occasions, Spike was informed that Julia was alive and in hiding, and they later reunite after Julia comes out of hiding. Unfortunately, Vicious sends hitmen after them. Julia perished in the midst of Vicious' vengeful bloodbath, prompting Spike to return the favor. After saying his goodbyes to Jet and Faye, Spike stormed the headquarters of the Syndicate and had a final confrontation with Vicious. Spike succeeded in killing him, but not without sustaining serious injuries. Shortly afterwards, Spike walked into and collapsed in the entrance hall with no indication of whether he lived or died, his ultimate fate being left ambiguous.


Spike spiegel

Spike is tall and lean in appearance; he has dark green hair and brown eyes, one of which is later revealed to be artificial and lighter than the other. In a flashback in Session 6 it's revealed that his right eye was surgically replaced by a fully-functioning cybernetic eye. Spike himself may not have conscious recollection of the procedure since he claims to have lost his natural eye in an "accident".

Spike is usually dressed in a blue leisure suit, with a yellow shirt and Lupin III-inspired boots.[3] He also occasionally wears a long brown trench coat. He's often seen with a cigarette between his lips, even if it's raining or there's clearly a 'No Smoking' sign where he is sitting, standing, or passing through. Spike's constant smoking is an homage to Lupin III, as Lupin's partner, Jigen, smokes cigarettes that are usually in very poor condition, similar to Spike.


Spike - A Complex soul

Interview with Toshihiro Kawamoto and Shinichirō Watanabe on Spike's character design

His appearance was primarily based on the famous Japanese actor Yusaku Matsuda[4][5] who portrayed Shunsaku Kudō, the main protagonist of Tantei Monogatari. Although Yamadera was a fan of Matsuda's, he avoided imitating his distinctive manner of speaking, noting that it "wouldn't have sounded right" for Spike.

In Volume 3 of the manga, Cowboy Bebop, story by Hajime Yatate and illustrated by Yutaka Nanten, a trucker describes Spike as "oriental," an outdated term for Asian.


"Look at my eyes, Faye. One of them is a fake because I lost it in an accident. Since then, I’ve been seeing the past in one eye and the present in the other. So, I thought I could only see patches of reality, never the whole picture."
―Spike Spiegel telling Faye Valentine about his fake eye[src]

Spike is a nonchalant, indifferent, and lazy character. He passes the vast majority of his time on the Bebop lounging, watching TV, or sleeping. On a few rare occasions, he is also seen practicing Jeet Kune Do, a martial arts practice he's very skilled in, being among other things passionate about Bruce Lee and his philosophies (for example, he follows Lee's "water" analogy for his style of fighting). He is a hardened smoker, shown with a cigarette in his mouth in practically every shot (the poor conditions in the cigarettes that are depicted recall those of Daisuke Jigen.) Although he rarely acknowledges it, Spike has very little patience. He repeatedly states he hates dogs, children, and women with attitudes, and is anything but happy when each one of the three joins the Bebop. On the other hand, as the series progressed, he warmed up to Edward, Ein, and Faye, all three of which fall in the category of the three things he particularly hates. He also claims to dislike cats. Spike is rarely seen excited about something and, even less frequently, says he likes something.

He usually behaves phlegmatically and walks slouching almost as if he is sleepwalking. He appears to be tormented by the ghosts of his past and has frequent nightmares of his life in the Syndicate. He considers he already died once and therefore doesn't often show fear at the possibility of being killed, often acting as if to challenge death, as stated in a famous clip on his Swordfish II ship saying ¨Whatever happens, happens.¨

One of the recurring themes surrounding Spike's character is how he views himself and his life. Following the implant of an artificial eye, he says his left eye, the real one, sees the past while the synthetic right eye sees the present. This makes the past indelible in his mind, not allowing him to get rid of or forget about it. Despite that, he usually encourages others to forget the past as "not important." Spike's star sign is Cancer, which fits with his inability to let go of the past.

When he is not working, Spike is very laid back, sarcastic, and lively, to the dismay of his crewmates. He is typically found either resting on the couch or reading magazines. 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 as being an awakening from a dream. Both of which are elements of bushido illustrated in the Hagakure.

Although people often talk about cowboys in an almost heroic sense, his image is far from the idea of one and, on the contrary, has characteristics typical of an antihero. He never acts to protect anyone, but only for interest, so he often has to be persuaded to commit himself to a hunt he considers only a little exciting, has a rather sharp and cynical sense of humor; when he pursues a bounty, he throws himself head-first into action, regardless of the damage caused to people and buildings. Spike also doesn't have the slightest moral scruples of having to kill someone. In the movie, he even tells an old woman that he and the Bebop crew don't serve and protect and that their work is strictly business, though Jet doubts that he actually means that.

In spite of all this, Spike still has a good heart and, whether he admits it or not, is more caring than he lets on and more than willing to help others without expecting anything in return. This is rather ironic considering his line of work. A good example of this is in Session 7, when Victoria Terpsichore offered him a wad of cash, and he only took a single note while saying the rest was for her husband. He has also shown compassion for Rocco's blind sister in Session 8, even buying flowers when he went to visit her in hospital and being saddened and sympathetic by the loss of her brother. He treats Ein as an emergency food supply and Ed as a burden, but in reality, despite never showing his companions appreciation. Spike nurtures an obvious affection for each of them and often seems willing to help them. This affection is shown through his constant choice to not interfere as they face their past, even if meaning he has to pass up a bounty. In particular, Spike shares a genuine brotherly affection with Jet, and it is safe to say that they consider each other their best friend. In fact, they are often seen talking together like two old friends. Although they often fight because of the excessive stubbornness of Spike, occasionally resulting in him being banned from Bebop, these arguments are always resolved in a short time. Jet is also the only person to whom Spike confides about his past.


Spike tells Faye Valentine to look into his eyes.

One of the most complex relationships Spike has in the series is the one he has with Faye. Most of the time they usually bicker like siblings, however, in moments of danger Faye has always shown concern for Spike. He has also shown some empathy for Faye's situation, but perhaps due to their stubborn natures, they can't outright admit to this. Faye has also always taken care of Spike when he was injured, although she still kept a bitter attitude. The affection between them is obvious, and many people have speculated that Faye could be in love with Spike and desires to find a connection with him. Watanabe has addressed the subject saying, "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 very straightforward person and makes sure not to show it." Watanabe also said, "But, I think Jet understood and loved Spike more than Faye did." This is due to Jet finally coming to understand the depth of Spike's love for Julia after Spike confesses to Jet that Julia is his other half. In Session 26, during their final scene together, Spike ignores Faye's pleas to remain on the Bebop. He walks away from her without looking back. He is never shown thinking of Faye or any other member of the Bebop crew again, but is instead shown repeatedly thinking about his lost love Julia.


―Spike Spiegel's final line[src]

Spike has many talents and abilities, including very sharp eyesight, abnormally acute perception, and extraordinary luck. It's implied he has little trouble recovering from even fatal injuries after a few days and usually has strong endurance against pain during fights.

Spike makes use of sleight-of-hand techniques to win card games, pickpocket, and even to slip things onto other people unnoticed. He's well-versed in weaponry (such as his personal Jericho 941, or Ruger P85, as well as other guns and explosives). The guns on the show were chosen by the director, Watanabe, and in discussion with set designer, Isamu Imakake, and mechanical designer, Kimitoshi Yamane. Setting producer, Satoshi Toba said, "They talked about how they didn’t want common guns, because that wouldn’t be very interesting, and so they decided on these guns."[6] He is skilled in martial arts fighting and hand-to-hand combat skills due to his past employment with the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate and occasional training on the Bebop. 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 the Swordfish II, which is armed with four machine guns, multiple missile launchers, and a single plasma cannon. Spike has repeatedly demonstrated an exceptionally sharp intellect, although he has a habit of 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 life throws at him. Spike can also regurgitate objects he swallows at will, like a casino chip or cigarette, and spit them back out.


Early life[]

Spike was born on June 26, 2044 on Mars.[1] Not much is known about the 27-year-old's family or childhood apart from his grandmother dying before he was born. Some speculate he was an orphan and his parents died when he was young.

Throughout the series, there are some clues given about his past. It can be presumed that he was raised in one of the slums of Mars before becoming a thug, a thief, and then finally a criminal affiliated with the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate where Mao Yenrai, head of the organization, takes him under his wing.

The criminal organization becomes a kind of family for Spike and, thanks to his skills, he manages to become, in a short time, one of the top men, even being considered by many in the Red Dragon to someday be the leader. He loses his right eye in an unknown accident, which occurred in a mission on behalf of the Red Dragon, after which he was implanted an artificial eye.


Spike asks Julia to sing for him.

After joining the Red Dragon, Spike meets a woman named Julia during a pool game. It is implied that he falls in love with her at first sight. He also encounters Vicious. The two have a shared history and are shown to have fought and worked together in the past, possibly at one point being good friends. However, both become candidates for a possible successor to Mao as the leader of the organization. While Vicious is ambitious, selfish, ruthless, and willing to do anything to get the leadership role, Spike instead finds no interest in the opportunity. The difference of opinion between the two gives rise to a great mutual hatred, as well as a strong rivalry. Yet this is not the only reason the two have to hate each other, as both desired the same woman. At about this time, Spike was involved in a shooting, plausibly not with the police but with assassins working for Vicious. He survives and is rescued and nursed back to health by Julia. The two become lovers.

Spike loses his rose

Spike after Julia never came to their meeting place.

It is unclear exactly what links Vicious and Julia, though it seems most likely that Julia was somehow subdued by Vicious and obliged to obey him. Some elements reveal she might have had a romantic relationship with him, further explaining Vicious's anger at Spike for engaging in an affair with her.

Spike is dissatisfied with his current condition and intends to fake his death and escape. He invites Julia to leave the Red Dragon and join him in starting a new life with him. On a rainy day, they're scheduled to meet in a cemetery. Vicious, having learned of their plans, offers Julia the option to preserve her life and regain her freedom in return for killing Spike, stating that if she does not kill him, they would both perish. Julia, unwilling to murder the man she loves, chooses to hide in order to protect both him and herself. She skips the graveyard, leaving Spike to wait in the rain. Spike finally chose to go, and their relationship came to an end in a horrible way. Spike still refers to Julia as "his woman" and "his other half" years later.

Sometime in 2068,[7] in circumstances that are not told, Spike meets Jet Black who becomes his partner and friend. They embarked on the ship known as the Bebop and quickly became the most feared bounty hunters of the Solar System. Despite the passing years, Spike continued to search for his beloved Julia.

On the Bebop[]

In Session 1, Spike and Jet set out to Tijuana in pursuit of Asimov Solensan, a former Syndicate member on the run with his wife, Katerina Solensan. Asimov and Katerina are selling Red Eye, which Asimov takes to gain an edge on the many bounty hunters and Syndicate members trying to do him in. Spike consults Laughing Bull, a Native American spiritual guide, on where he can find the couple. Laughing Bull gives him the information he seeks, but warns Spike that he will meet a woman, he will be hunted by this woman, and then death. Spike sighs, replying that he was already killed by a woman once before. In his pursuit of Asimov, Spike engages Katerina in conversation and discovers that the couple plans to escape to Mars in hopes of starting a new life. Seeing himself and his dreams of Julia in the couple, Spike is horrified to witness the grim end that ultimately befalls the pair.

Spike beats up some guys

Spike beating up some guys

In Stray Dog Strut, while hunting an animal thief, Jet and Spike meet Ein, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. Unbeknownst to either Spike or Jet, Ein is a data dog with human intelligence. Jet decides to take Ein in.

In Honky Tonk Women, an appearance by Charlie Parker in a dream convinced Jet to try his luck at a casino. Here, the two bounty hunters meet Faye Valentine.

In Gateway Shuffle, Faye becomes the self-invited third member of the crew of the Bebop. Initially, both men don't agree on having a woman on board, especially an opportunist like Faye. Over time, however, they become a close and functional team.


Spike falling from church window.

In Ballad of Fallen Angels, when a bounty is put on Mao Yenrai, Spike's former mentor and benefactor at the Red Dragon, Spike is once again visited by his past. He reaches out to Annie, a shop owner and Syndicate associate, for information. Annie having believed Spike dead for years is shocked and briefly angered to find him alive and well. In the meantime, Faye decides to try to catch Mao Yenrai alone, unaware that he has already been killed by Vicious. She falls into a trap and is used by Vicious as a pawn to attract Spike. Arriving at the appointment in exchange for the life of Faye, Spike faces off against the assassins of the Red Dragon before confronting Vicious himself. The two rivals greet each other with clear antagonism. Vicious is more propitious and manages to push Spike through a stain glass window, but Spike throws a grenade towards Vicious.

Spike falls to the ground. As he is falling, his life flashes before his left eye. Images of his criminal past are intercut by images of a beautiful blonde woman and a red rose left behind in a puddle of rain. The sequence reveals Spike's desperate if repressed longing for Julia, the woman he loved and lost. Spike survives the fall with the help of his fellow travelers who have brought him back to the Bebop and treated his wounds. Following unexplained circumstances, Vicious survives the explosion caused by Spike's grenade.


Spike hears the name Julia.

In Jamming With Edward, Jamming with Edward, the eccentric Ed joins the crew.

In Jupiter Jazz (Part 1), Jupiter Jazz (Part 1), Faye flees to Callisto because of her fears of abandonment and her complicated feelings towards her companions. She takes with her the contents of the Bebop's safe. In an effort to find her, Edward picks up a message perceived to regard a woman named Julia. Upon hearing the name of his beloved, the typically laidback Spike goes into a frenzy. He dashes off preparing to set out in search for her. Refusing Jet's pleas to help search for Faye instead, as the area is lawless and unsafe for a woman to be alone. Spike will hear none of it as his sole interest is now to find Julia. Angered by Spike's unwillingness to help, Jet tells him that if he leaves he will not be welcome back on the Bebop. Spike accepts this and leaves anyways. Telling Jet that he is going to go in search of his woman (Julia) and that Jet can go search for that other woman (Faye). Unbeknownst to Spike, the term "Julia" is the code name of a drug deal (Red Eye) between Vicious and a man named Gren on behalf of the Red Dragon.

You don't know what vicious is!

"You think I'm Vicious? You don't know what vicious is!"

Callisto is a frozen, desolate place populated exclusively by men but for rare exceptions. While searching for Julia, Spike learns that Gren might be able to help him as he has been seen with women on occasion. Spike sets out to find Gren, but is accosted by street thugs who have confused him for Vicious. They are intent on stealing the money from the drug dealers they know to be going down. Spike is disgusted that he has been mistaken for his hated rival and flies into a rage, beating the street thugs mercilessly. It is during this encounter that Spike discovers that "Julia" is merely a codename being used for the sale of Red Eye.

Now aware that Vicious is on Callisto, Spike goes to kill him. During their confrontation, Spike mockingly accuses Vicious of seeing Julia behind his back, words which Vicious likely said to him once. Spike then expresses his displeasure at the use of Julia's name for Vicious's scummy drug deals, saying that he pities her for that. Vicious assures Spike that he is the one truly in need of pity. Spike pulls a gun on Vicious, but is blocked by Lin, a former underling of Spike's during his Red Dragon days. Vicious delights in telling Spike that Julia had in fact been in Callisto, two years prior. Spike reacts with dismay, having long since missed her. Lin shoots Spike who refuses to back down.

In Jupiter Jazz (Part 2), Jupiter Jazz (Part 2), passed out in the snow, Spike dreams of his past. Flashes of his eye surgery and fragments of conversations he had with both Julia and Vicious are heard over unrelated images of other past events. When he wakes, Spike finds a crow standing upon his chest. It is revealed that Spike was shot with a tranquilizer gun.

Spike is contacted by Jet who offers him his place back on the Bebop if he can bring in a bounty. Spike is uninterested until he is informed that the bounty is on none other than Gren himself. A loud explosion clues Spike in on Vicious and Gren's whereabouts. Spike arrives to see Lin jump in front of Vicious, taking a bullet for the man. Vicious, Gren and Spike then engage in a dogfight where Gren is shot down and Vicious's aircraft is heavily damaged due to an explosion. Spike chooses to go after Gren in hopes of getting information regarding Julia.

Spike finally locates Gren who has been fatally injured. He runs to Gren and demands that he tell him where Julia is. Gren does not know where Julia is, but he is able to recognize Spike without an introduction, given how often Julia spoke about him. Although Spike was unable to discover the whereabouts of his lost love, he does discover that he had been very present in her mind. After another clash with his rival, one in which Vicious managed to escape yet again, Spike returns to the Bebop. Despite the dispute caused by the way he left to chase after Julia, he is welcomed back with open arms by Jet.

In Hard Luck Woman, after a series of adventures the crew is dismembered when Ed, after briefly meeting her father again, leaves with Ein. Adding to the separation, Faye recovers her memory and leaves the ship in search of where she belongs.

The Final Chapter[]


Spike thinks back to when he asked Julia to run away with him.

In Sessions The Real Folk Blues (Part 1) and The Real Folk Blues (Part 2), depressed though not wanting to admit it, Jet and Spike go to a bar to drown their sorrows in booze, unaware that men of the Red Dragon are targeting Spike. The assassins of the organization find Spike and Jet at the bar. They enter a firefight. Jet is wounded in the left leg by a bullet. Shin arrives with the Syndicate assassins yet protects Spike and Jet. He informs Spike of Vicious's failed coup and warns him that he and Julia are in danger. Spike is shocked when he hears Julia's name and his expression darkens at hearing that she is in danger. Shin tells Spike that both Vicious and Julia are in the city of Tharsis. With Shin covering their escape, Spike and Jet flee to immediately get treatment for Jet's leg. Jet is deeply troubled by Spike's past coming back to haunt him and repeatedly attempts to remind Spike that he is no longer part of the Syndicate and that he should not get drawn back in. Spike remains silent. While Jet is getting a bullet removed from his leg, Spike has a flashback of the time he asked Julia to elope with him. He tells her their life together will be "like watching a dream".

Spike and Jet return to the Bebop. Jet now has to use crutches when he walks. Having found out that the elders of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate have stopped Vicious's coup and have ordered their henchmen to eliminate any former members of the organization, Spike contacts Faye. He asks her to return to the Bebop to take care of Jet as Spike is planning to go to the city of Tharsis.


Spike telling Jet of his feelings for Julia. "She is my other half that I had longed for."

While on the Bebop, Jet shares a story with Spike. The tale is of a man whose leg is injured during a hunt in the savanna. With no way to treat the wound the leg rots and the man nears death. Just before the man dies he is rescued. While he is being flown over Mount Kilimanjaro the man feels the life draining from him and thinks that's where he was headed. Jet finishes this story by stating that "Men only think about the past right before their death. As if they were searching frantically for proof that they were alive". He then pleads with Spike to forget the past. In response, Spike explains to Jet that there was a woman, a woman he believed to be truly alive, a woman who was a piece of him he had lost, a woman who is his other half that he had long for. Jet is shocked by this confession as Spike rarely ever shares anything about his past with him.


Spike finds a rose at the cemetery.

Faye returns and tells Spike, albeit hesitantly, that she has a message to deliver to him from a woman. Faye reveals that the woman she met is named Julia and that she will be waiting for him "there". Unbeknownst to Faye, Julia is at the cemetery from years past. At that very moment the Bebop is attacked by a fleet of ships sent by the Red Dragon to kill Spike. Spike and Faye quickly set out to defend the Bebop. A dogfight ensues as "Road to the West" plays.


Julia tells Spike why she never came that day.

Once every attacking ship has been defeated, Jet urges Spike to go to Julia so that he may get back what he has lost. Spike leaves the Bebop and travels to the cemetery where he and Julia are reunited. Before either speaks, Spike notices a red rose on the ground and picks it up. A contrast to the rose he dropped on the day he lost her.

Rose in hand Spike stands before the woman he so desperately sought for well over three years. Julia pulls a gun on him. A standoff commences. She comments that it was raining that day as well. Spike's stern expression melts into a smile as he jokingly asks if she did not come that day because of the rain. She confesses that she was supposed to have killed him. If she had, she would have been free. Spike asks her why she didn't do it and instead chose to be hunted. Julia answers his question with a question of her own, "Why did you love me?" Putting her gun down, Julia comes to Spike and embraces him. She asks him to run away together as they had intended to do all those years ago.


Spike watches as Julia falls.

Spike and Julia go to Annie's shop only to find she has been shot in the gut. Before she dies, Annie tells Spike that Vicious has killed the elders and is now the new leader of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate. Upon hearing this news Spike decides that he must stay and face Vicious. Julia vows to remain with him until the end. They are soon joined by the assassins of the Red Dragon who chase them up onto the rooftops of the city. Despite Spike managing to kill all of the assassins, Julia is shot in the back. Spike watches in horror as Julia falls to the ground. White doves are seen flying past her as she falls. Spike screams her name and throws his gun to the side as he runs to her and takes her into his arms. Before expiring, Julia speaks her last words to Spike. They are inaudible to the audience. Then her eyes slowly close. After watching Julia die in his arms, Spike looks up to the sky.

See You Space Cowboy[]

Contrary to the expectations of his companions, Spike returns to the Bebop, but only to say goodbye to them permanently. Spike asks Jet to cook him food and then tells the story of his life as a fairy tale. They laugh together one last time, and then Jet lets him go to meet his fate. At the entrance of the hangar Spike comes across Faye who puts her gun to his head in an attempt to stop him. She reminds him of the time he told her to forget the past and live in the present. Spike then reveals that his right eye is fake because he lost it in an accident. He also reveals that his left eye sees the past, making his past inescapable to him. Faye tells him that she recovered her memory and realizes she had nowhere else to go but the Bebop. She urges him not to die, to which he replies he's not going there to die but to find out if he's truly alive. Words that ominously echo what Jet said to him earlier that day. As he walks away without a second glance back, Faye, grief-stricken and desperate, shoots her gun at the ceiling and then surrenders into defeated sobs.

Spike setting out to kill Vicious.

Spike setting out to kill Vicious.

The song "See You Space Cowboy" plays as Spike leaves the Bebop. The lyrics begin as Spike recalls memories of Julia. His recollections are interspersed with images of Vicious awaiting his attack and flashbacks of a time when Spike and Vicious were still friends. The song continues to play throughout the majority of Spike's attack on the Syndicate.

"Everything is already over

You say with closed ears

The words only flow

Towards a tomorrow without peace

There's nothing that won't change

Even if my life ends

This love will not disappear

It's something that will live forever

Even if dreams are hidden in darkness

I got a rainbow

Rainbow in your hands..."

Duel with Vicious[]

Spike kills Vicious

Spike kills Vicious.

Due to an effective surprise, Spike manages to break into the base of the Red Dragon through the front door and, after killing many of the members of the organization and receiving injuries to his left arm and left side of his head, Spike reaches the top floor and the room Vicious is in. Spike throws an explosive into the room. The roof is blown off, yet Vicious remains unharmed. He has been waiting for Spike and greets him. "So, you're finally awake. I told you before, Spike. I'm the only one who can kill you and set you free." Spike replies,"Those words apply to you as well, Vicious." Spike attempts to shoot Vicious but his aim is off as his left eye is now completely covered with blood. Spike then charges Vicious.

Spike "Yeah. Just a dream

Spike reflected in Julia's eye.

During the final battle, Spike is wounded by a dagger to the left collarbone and a katana to the left quadriceps. Vicious is grazed by a bullet. Amidst the struggle, the rivals disarm each other. Vicious gets Spike's gun, while Spike takes possession of Vicious's katana. Locked in a standoff, Spike makes a statement that is of great significance to both of them. "Julia is dead. Let's finish it now." After a long pause the two rivals return their weapons. Immediately, Spike shoots Vicious in the chest but gets sliced across the abdomen. Vicious falls to the ground and dies.

Spike spends only a few seconds looking at Vicious's body before looking up to the night sky. The camera focuses on Spike's right eye. Now calm. Spike sees Julia. This is the first time that Spike is shown seeing Julia with his right eye. The eye that sees his present. All series long Spike was only shown seeing Julia with his left eye. The eye that sees his past.

Spike wounded

Spike injured after duel with Vicious.

Spike has a vision of himself holding Julia in his arms before she passed away. Julia is cast in a white light. Her last words to Spike are revealed. "It's all a dream." Spike is shown reflected back in Julia's eye. He glumly concurs with her. "Yeah. Just a bad dream." Spike is then completely engulfed by a blinding white light. The scene fades to white.

Spike Spiegel bang


Transitioning into the final scene of the series, it is now day and the white light continues to shine over the Syndicate. Spike walks down the stairs, holding his side tightly, and is met with the astonishment of the surviving men. He then stops in his tracks, points his finger to the men mimicking a gun, says “bang” with a smile, and collapses to the ground unconscious.



Spike's profile.

Although it is commonly believed that Spike succumbed to his wounds, series director Shinichiro Watanabe has never actually confirmed the character's death. In a 2006 interview by The Daily Texan he 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."[2] In a 2013 interview by Red Carpet News TV, he also stated: "I think people who watch that [the ending] and think that Spike is asleep are probably right... just sleeping." However, this comment may have been said in jest as Watanabe was unable to keep a straight face and burst out laughing while repeating that Spike was "just sleeping".[8]

An indication of Spike's death might be a fading star at the very end of the camera's upward movement in the credits. Yet some believe this fading star actually belonged to Vicious. In Sessions 12 & 13, Jupiter Jazz Part 1 & 2, Laughing Bull states during a conversation with a child that a fallen star is in fact "The tear of a warrior. A lost soul who has finished his battle. A pitiful soul who could not find his way to the lofty realm. Where the Great Spirit awaits us all." Given that the star shown at the end does not fall but instead goes out, it is possible that the soul the star belonged to has indeed made its way to the Great Spirit that awaits us all. It seems unlikely that Vicious of all people would have found his way.


White doves flying over Spike's body.

The story of Cowboy Bebop finished with Spike lying still on the floor. White doves are shown flying over Spike's motionless body, reminiscent of the doves that flew by Julia when she was fatally shot. The song "Blue" plays as the credits roll. At the end of the credits is the aforementioned fading star, which goes out completely followed by a monochrome still of Spike's profile.

Memorable Quotes[]

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!"

[Spike visits Laughing Bull]
Laughing Bull: "Swimming bird will meet a woman. The bird will be hunted by this woman. And then death."
Spike Spiegel: "One more time."
Laughing Bull: "What's that?"
Spike Spiegel: "I was killed once before by a woman."

Gateway Shuffle

[Teaser for Ballad of Fallen Angels]

Spike Spiegel: "The music box is broken, or is it? It starts to play, and a haunting tune fills the air. I wake suddenly from my dream. There is no music box! And yet there it is. A tiny one nestled in my hand. And I awaken from my dream again. As if I were peeling an onion. It’s a dream no matter how far I go. I can never reach reality. Trapped in an endless nightmare."

Ballad for Fallen Angels

Spike Spiegel: "I'm just watching a bad dream I never wake up from."

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?!"

Jupiter Jazz (Part 1)

Spike Spiegel: "I’m gonna go look for my woman. You can go look for that other woman."

Jupiter Jazz (Part 2)

Julia: "Your left eye and right eye are different colors..."
Spike Spiegel: "My left eye sees the past..."
Julia: "Then what about your right eye...?"
[scene fades to black]

Spike Spiegel: "Hey, come on. Hey! Gren tell me where Julia is. I gotta find her."
Gren: "Julia is gone. How did you know her?"
Spike Spiegel: "What happened? I gotta know."
[Gren shakes his head.]

Gren: "I get it now, you're the one. You're Spike. Julia was always talking about you. Your eyes are different colors. I remember her saying that. Said you get a strange feeling if you keep looking straight into his eyes."
Spike Spiegel: "Where’d you meet her? Where was she?"
Gren: "Right on the corner bar stool. She'd slip in when I wasn't looking. She asked me to play the same song every time she came in. Strange lilting tune. And then she would smile. Oh, what a smile. So sad. So beautiful."

Mushroom Samba

Frog: "Hey, mister. [pause] This here is the stairway to heaven. You know that, don't cha?"
Spike Spiegel: "...Obnoxious little frog. [continues walking up]"

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."

Spike Spiegel: "Years ago, back when I was much younger, I was afraid of nothing. I had not the slightest fear of death. I was ready to die anytime. But then I met a special woman. She made me want to go on living. For the first time, I was afraid of death. A feeling I’d never had before."
Elektra Ovirowa: "Where is she now?"
Spike Spiegel: "She went away."

The Real Folk Blues (Part 1)

Spike Spiegel: "When this is over, I'm leaving the Syndicate."
Julia: "They’ll kill you. You know how they work."
Spike Spiegel: "Let them say I'm dead. I'll be waiting at the graveyard. By the graves, not in one."
Julia: "Spike, I can't come with you."
Spike Spiegel: "Yes, you can. We'll leave here. We'll get out of this."
Julia: "And go where? And do what?"
Spike Spiegel: "Live. Be free. It'll be like watching a dream..."

Jet Black: "Men only think about the past right before their death. As if they were searching frantically for proof that they were alive. Turn back. You told me when we first met… that you were a man who had already died once. Just forget the past, okay?"
Spike Spiegel: "There was a woman. For the first time in my life, I saw a woman that was truly alive. That’s what I believed. She was a piece of me I had lost. She is my other half that I had longed for."

The Real Folk Blues (Part 2)

Julia: "It was raining that day as well."
Spike Spiegel: "And so you didn't come because of the rain?"
Julia: "I was supposed to kill you. It was all set up. If I had, I would have been free."
Spike Spiegel: "So why didn't you? You chose to be hunted. Why?"
Julia: "Why did you love me?"

[Aboard the Bebop]

Spike Spiegel: "They say hunger is the best spice."
Spike Spiegel: "There once was a tiger striped cat. This cat died a million deaths, revived and lived a million lives, and he was owned by various people who he didn't really care for. The cat wasn't afraid to die. Then one day the cat became a stray cat, which meant he was free. He met a white female cat, and the two of them spent their days together happily. Well, years passed, and the white cat grew weak and died of old age. The tiger striped cat cried a million times, and then he died too. Except this time, he didn't come back to life."

[Faye points her gun at Spike's head]

Spike Spiegel: Look at my eyes, Faye. One of them is a fake because I lost it in an accident. Since then, I've been seeing the past in one eye and the present in the other. So, I thought I could only see patches of reality, never the whole picture.
Faye Valentine: Don’t tell me things like that; you’ve never told me anything about yourself, so don’t tell me now!
Spike Spiegel: I felt like I was watching a dream I could never wake up from. Before I knew it, the dream was all over.
Faye Valentine: My memory… finally came back…but… nothing good came of it. There was no place for me to return to; this was the only place I could go. And now, you're leaving, just like that! Why do you have to go? Where are you going? What are you going to do, just throw your life away like it was nothing?!
Spike Spiegel: "I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive."

[Spike and Vicious in a standoff where Spike has Vicious's katana and Vicious has Spike's gun.]

Spike Spiegel: "Julia passed away. Let's end it all."
Vicious: "If that's your wish."

[Spike looking up at the sky and seeing Julia with his right eye.]

Julia: "It's all a dream."
Spike Spiegel: "Yeah. Just a bad dream."

[An injured Spike walks down the Syndicate stairs the next day and comes across the remaining Syndicate goons.]

Spike Spiegel: "Bang." [smiles while holding his hand like a gun before falling to the ground]



During the first work by Shinichiro Watanabe on Cowboy Bebop, the first image that came to him was of Spike. Prior to that, Watanabe had the character of Spike in mind for a long time beforehand. From that point on, Watanabe tried to build a story around him, trying to make him cool. Spike's artificial eye was included as Watanabe wanted his characters to have flaws. He was originally going to give Spike an eye patch, but the producers vetoed it.

The producers of Cowboy Bebop have been quoted as saying they chose the name Spike Spiegel because "it sounded cool." At Otakon in July 1999, the director said he chose the name because he liked how it sounded.[9] 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 who played the role as Shunsaku Kudō in Tantei Monogatari.[10]

Cowboy Bebop Anime Guide Book[]

CB Guide Book Spike

Book 6, Pages 2-3

Spike Spiegel: The protagonist of our story. A 27 year old bounty hunter who loves to live free. Until three years ago he was a member of the Red Dragon Syndicate, and along with his friend, Vicious, showed great promise for becoming one of the leaders in the organization. But the friendship crumbled when Spike fell in love with Julia, Vicious’ lover. Spike faked his death and left the Syndicate, resolved never to see Julia or Vicious again, fading into the dark recesses of society by becoming a bounty hunter. His past this more like a dream to him than a collection of memories, a seemingly endless stream from which he'll never awaken. But the dream will soon end, and Spike’s past will become more real than he ever imagined. When angels are cast out of heaven, they become devils. Can an angel that has been cast from Heaven, possibly return to Heaven?


  • His past and background is similar to Eric Draven in The Crow (portrayed by Brandon Lee, son of Bruce, in the 1994 film) as both were thought to be dead. Both were in love with a beautiful woman with whom they were supposed to be together, and both set out to avenge their loved ones. They also both fought their rivals in an abandoned church and succeeded in killing them in a violent and poetic manner, and both are experienced in fighting with weapons and martial arts.
  • Spike's age of 27 is a reference to the 27 Club, comprised of many famous musicians who have died at the age.
  • Shinichirō Watanabe confirmed in an interview that Spike’s hair color is 'dark green'.
  • Shinichirō Watanabe thought of Spike as a yakuza and originally wanted to do an episode about his background along with a mob story.[11]
  • Score composer Yoko Kanno said that "Spike is portrayed as a typical old-style Japanese man, where the man says, 'Don't complain, don't say anything, just follow me. And watch me do things.' And it's a very old-fashioned aesthetic of how a man should be. In Japan, all of the girls are big fans of him."[11]
  • Spike's final line could be a callback to Wen. In session 6, Sympathy for the Devil, as Wen was dying he asked Spike if he understood the relief that came with one's own death. In response, Spike threw Wen's harmonica up in the air, pretended to shoot it while saying "bang", but then said "as if". This time when Spike says "bang" he does not follow it up with a denial, suggesting that Spike now understands that relief all too well.
  • Keiko Nobumoto would refer to Julia as "Spike's woman" in interviews.
  • At the end of the series, Spike goes from seeing Julia with his eye that sees his past to finally seeing her with his eye that sees his present.


Main article: Spike Spiegel/Gallery