Spike Spiegel (スパイク・スピーゲル) is a bounty hunter, one of the protagonists of the anime series Cowboy Bebop: Reaching for Heaven. He travels in the spaceship Bebop, along with a crew of Jet, Faye, Ed, and Ayn.
Formerly a member of the Red Dragon crime syndicate. Spike’s source of inspiration for martial arts is Bruce Lee. He is highly skilled in Jit Kung-Do martial arts. He is a marksman and a skilled pilot. Closed-minded, doesn’t talk or answer questions about his past. Spike is desperate, often exposes himself to irrational risks, not afraid to die. He does not trust people. At the same time, he is noble and unselfish, helping people if he believes they are worthy and deserving (for example, he pays for an expensive operation to cure blindness for the sister of the deceased Rocco). He has a cybernetic eye that was lost in a firefight with the Syndicate, replacing it with “One of my eyes sees only the past and the other the present”. Smokes a lot and often. According to Spike, there are only three things he hates – children, animals and bitches (and that’s what ended up on the ship with him). There are few people close to him, but he would do anything for them. He has loved and will love only Julia. Spike is an excellent pool player. In his first appearance, he has been voted the fourth best anime character of all time by IGN.
Spike is a young man of twenty-seven. Light-skinned, slender, even a bit skinny, tall guy. His hair is black with a greenish tint, his eyes are brown. One of his eyes is artificial and looks a little lighter. He usually wears a dark blue suit, a cream shirt, and black shoes.
Interesting fact about the creation of this character
The image of Spike is taken from the old Japanese actor Yusaku Matsuda, especially from his role in the movie Detective Story. And the name “Spike Spiegel” was given by the producer of Cowboy Bebop because “it sounds cool.”
History of the character’s creation
The sci-fi anime aired in 1998-1999 created a sensation in Japan. The future director of Animatrix, Shinichiro Watanabe, showed on the screens a post-apocalyptic world and the life of people who survived a large-scale space disaster.
The remaining inhabitants of Earth are dispersed among the planets of the solar system. But despite the fact that everything is divided into “before and after,” the past does not let go of the team of hunters. The biography of Spike, voiced by Koichi Yamadera, is surrounded by mystery, but gradually opens up to the audience through a series of flashbacks.
The prototype of the main character was a movie character played by actor Yusaku Matsuda in Detective Story. In particular, the producers of the anime borrowed his unusual hairstyle and other traits of appearance.
Together with Spiegel under the scrutiny of the audience were three other people. These are former cop Jet Black, a gambler with thousands of dollars and a mysterious destiny Fay Valentine and a talented girl hacker with androgynous appearance Ed.
Each of the companions decides to forget the past, but no one succeeds. Against this backdrop, the stubborn present forces people to survive under new conditions. And the eccentric crew, who are furrowing outer space in the “Cowboy Bebop” ship, manage to provide for themselves by catching criminals.
A fantastic story about heroes-hunters had a bombshell effect. And today the anime does not leave the list of the 50 best TV series according to the polls of the IMDb website.
The Cowboy Bebop universe is also represented by two manga, which were published in the same magazine – Asuka Fantasy DX – at different times. The author of the first was Cain Kuga. The publication was in the shonen genre and was intended for a male audience of 12-18 years old.
The second manga by Hajime Yatate was intended for girls. In essence, both stories were a free retelling of the anime with minor changes in story lines and character pictures. In the first edition, though, the girl Ed became a boy.
The popularity of the story led to filmmakers from another continent thinking about a live-action adaptation. Back in 2008, there were rumors that 20th Century Fox was planning to shoot a TV show with Keanu Reeves in the lead role.
In 2017, fans of the space saga again heard about the plans for the English-language project. And a year later it became known that the long-awaited series will be released on Netflix service.
The actor who starred in the title role is John Cho. His colleagues in the fight against criminals were Mustafa Shakir and Daniella Pineda. The exact release date of the film has not yet been announced.
Biography of Spike Spiegel
The protagonist of the anime is a young man, who at the beginning of the narrative was 27 years old. The man has fair skin, a slender, even lean physique and tall – 185 cm. Hair with a greenish tint and lush hairstyle would be the most memorable feature of his appearance, if this function was not taken over by an artificial eye.
Through flashbacks, the viewer learns that it is a cybernetic implant, which Spiegel claims was inserted after an accident. Spike reports that he can see into the past through it. This statement is metaphorical, though – no matter how much the former gang member chases the memories away, they don’t leave him for objective reasons.
The character of the character is fearless, impetuous, and desperate. One gets the impression that the man has nothing to lose – so irrationally he puts his life at risk. He does not like people, and, judging by his quote in the show, he has a particular dislike for women and children. But at the same comic traveler unselfish and noble. He is also more than willing to help those in need.
As for the physical fitness of the anime hero, he is in excellent shape. Spike easily “knock out” opponents, throwing them a few meters. Even in single combat against five sturdily built fighters, the hunter emerges victorious. And the phenomenal reaction and speed practically does not leave a chance to hit him, even with a bullet.
The former outlaw’s strengths are his mastery of the Jit Kung Do method and his unsurpassed handling of explosives and pistols. Combined with his lack of rational fear for life, the man poses a serious threat.
The hero tries not to remember the past, and the viewer gathers information about the bounty hunter’s years before the disaster.
We know from the biography that the mysterious character was born on Mars. There is no information about his relatives, so it is popularly claimed that the boy was orphaned at an early age. Without a proper upbringing, he was a thief, and as he grew older, he joined the Red Dragon criminal syndicate.
His new colleagues replaced the young robber’s family. Thanks to his phenomenal abilities, the guy quickly gained the support of the head of the group named Mao Yenrai. His recklessness and willingness to carry out dangerous assignments were praised. But the newly minted member of the team did not enjoy a special position and showed no zeal for power.
One day the hero met Julia, a girl whom he later called his one and only love. Between the young people began a relationship, although there were hints that the elected bounty hunter was in touch with another – Vicious.
Vicious was aggressive, ambitious, and violent. He and Spike had a rivalry of sorts and the treacherous outlaw was about to become the head of the Red Dragon. Soon the man began threatening Julia, forcing her to kill her boyfriend.
Spiegel faked his own death and asked the girl to flee with him from Vicious’s claims. At the appointed hour, the hero waited for her at the cemetery, but was left alone. The would-be bounty hunter interpreted this action as a betrayal. Julia simply decided to protect her loved one and disappear from his life forever.
Several years after these events, Spike meets Jett and chooses a dangerous profession of catching lawbreakers. A description of their life on the ship became part of the fantasy plot. The team eventually became the most famous in the solar system and was highly sought after. Spiegel, on the other hand, while selflessly fulfilling orders, never stopped looking for Julia.
The past catches up with the character in the finale of the anime. In a fight with Vicious, he is mortally wounded. The extinguished star after the credits is metaphorical. Obviously, the character is not left alive, contrary to the series’ fans’ hopes for a happy ending. However, after the bullet wounds, falls from heights and cuts that did not cause the space hunter’s last gasp, viewers are entitled to speculate about it.
- The character’s birth date is June 26, 2044. Accordingly, Spiegel’s zodiac sign is Cancer.
- The man’s gun is called “Jericho.”
- The desperate and fearless fighter smokes Xing Mao brand cigarettes.
- The word “Bebop” as part of the ship’s name is borrowed from a musical movement that predates jazz.
Spike Spiegel FAQ
What is Spike Spiegel’s backstory?
Spike was born on June 26, 2044 on Mars. 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.
What is special about Spike Spiegel?
Spike Spiegel is the main protagonist in Cowboy Bebop. Known for his badass martial arts skills, his luscious set of hair, and his love for food, Spike is a bounty hunter with a troubled past thanks to his history with the Red Dragon syndicate. He’s funny, charming, and a little impulsive.
Does Spike Spiegel have powers?
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.
Was Spike Spiegel a criminal?
Summary. Spike Spiegel is a former member of the criminal Red Dragon Syndicate, but left by faking his death. He is a legalized bounty hunter pursuing criminals across the populated plants and moons of the solar system.
Why do Spike and Vicious hate each other?
Mao Yenrai took Vicious and Spike under his wing inside the Syndicate where they rise up the ranks. Spike decided to leave the syndicate and attempted to take Julia with him. This betrayal seemingly triggered their blood feud and possibly resulted in Vicious’ enlistment in the War on Titan.