List of Cowboy Bebop characters
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The following is a list of major and minor characters, with biographical information, from the anime and manga series Cowboy Bebop, directed by Shinichirō Watanabe and written by Keiko Nobumoto. The series' 26 episodes are often character-driven; current events are often the consequence of life-changing occurrences shown in flashbacks.
Cowboys is the series' name for the bounty hunters who pursue wanted criminals across the galaxy. The bounty hunters, led by the martial artist and Mars native Spike Spiegel, travel in a converted fishing trawler, the spaceship Bebop, owned and maintained by the former policeman from Ganymede Jet Black.
The intelligent Corgi Ein and hustler Faye Valentine join the crew early in the series; the eccentric Edward is encountered and comes aboard in a episode 9.
- 1 Bebop crew
- 2 Other major characters
- 3 Minor characters
- 3.1 Victoria "V.T." Terpsichore
- 3.2 Grencia Mars Elijah Guo Eckener
- 3.3 Punch and Judy
- 3.4 Antonio, Carlos, and Jobim
- 3.5 Lin
- 3.6 Shin
- 3.7 Rocco Bonnaro
- 3.8 Laughing Bull
- 3.9 "Bob"
- 3.10 Annie
- 3.11 Chessmaster Hex
- 3.12 Andy von de Oniyate
- 3.13 Vincent Volaju
- 3.14 Elektra Ovirowa
- 3.15 Rashid
- 3.16 Lee Sampson
- 3.17 Mad Pierrot Tongpu
- 3.18 Red Dragon Crime Syndicate
- 4 Further reading
- 5 References
Spike Spiegel (スパイク・スピーゲル Supaiku Supīgeru?) (born June 26, 2044) is a tall, lean, and slightly muscular 27-year-old bounty hunter born on Mars. Spike has a history of violent activity, seen through flashbacks and dialogue with the Red Dragon Syndicate. He is often depicted with a cavalier attitude, but occasionally shows signs of compassion when dealing with strangers.
The inspiration for Spike's martial arts is found in Bruce Lee, who uses the style of Jeet Kune Do as depicted in Session 8, "Waltz for Venus". He has fluffy, blackish green hair (inspired by Yusaku Matsuda's) and reddish brown eyes, one of which is artificial and lighter than the other. He is usually dressed in a blue leisure suit, with a yellow shirt and Lupin III-inspired boots.
A flashback in Session 6 revealed that his apparently 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"). A recurring device throughout the entire show is a closeup on Spike's fully natural left eye before dissolving to a flashback of his life as part of the syndicate. As said by Spike himself in the last episode, his right eye "only sees the present" and his left eye "only sees the past". The purpose of this cybernetic eye is never explicitly stated, though it apparently gives him exceptional hand–eye coordination – particularly with firearms (Spike's gun of choice is a Jericho 941, as seen throughout the series). He is also a talented pilot in his personal fighter, the Swordfish II, a modified racer.
In the final episode, Spike kills Vicious, but his fate after the battle is left ambiguous. In a May 2013 interview, director Shinichirō Watanabe stated that it was up to the viewer to determine Spike's fate and that he thought that those who believed that he was simply asleep were "probably right".
Born December 3, 2035, and known on his home satellite as the "Black Dog" for his tenacity, Jet Black (ジェット・ブラック Jetto Burakku?) is a 36-year-old former cop from Ganymede (a Jovian satellite) and acts as Spike's foil during the series. Physically, Jet is very tall with a muscular build. He wears a beard with no mustache, and is completely bald save for the back of his head. Spike acts lazy and uninterested, whereas Jet is hard working and a jack-of-all-trades. Jet was once an investigator in the Intra Solar System Police (ISSP) for many years until he lost his arm in an investigation that went awry when his corrupt partner (and friend at the time) betrayed him. His arm was replaced with a cybernetic limb—an operation later revealed to be by choice as biological replacements were possible. He wanted the fake arm as a reminder of the consequences of his actions. His loss of limb coupled with the general corruption of the police force prompted Jet to quit the ISSP in disgust and become a freelance bounty hunter. Jet also considers himself something of a renaissance man: he cultivates bonsai trees, cooks, enjoys jazz/blues music (he named his ship the Bebop, referring to a type of jazz), especially Charlie Parker, and even has interest in Goethe. As a character, Jet is the quintessential oyaji or "dad" even though he often wishes people would view him as a more brotherly figure (so as not to seem old). Of the crew he shows the most obvious affection when dealing with Edward, most obviously shown when he tells her a story in Session 18; he is also shown attempting to (perhaps falsely) reassure himself after she and Faye leave the crew of the Bebop, hinting that his usually-stoic nature may be born of necessity rather than any real lack of emotion.
Jet is skilled with handguns, typically carrying a pre-2004 Walther P99, and also uses the netgun. He is proficient in hand-to-hand combat as well. Compared to Spike, Jet tends to use more raw muscle than technique. He is also a skilled mechanic and pilot. Aside from the converted interplanetary fishing trawler vessel Bebop, Jet flies a smaller ship called Hammerhead. The Hammerhead appears to be a modified salvage-craft, to which Jet has added larger engines and fuel tanks. It features a mechanical arm equipped with a harpoon as its main weapon, which is somewhat analogous to Jet's own mechanical arm. Both the Hammerhead and the Bebop are able to land on water, and have a fishing theme, most likely because Ganymede's surface is mostly covered with water. It is later revealed that the Bebop was originally a fishing ship that Jet "customized" with larger engines. He is very protective of the Bebop, often being reluctant to bring it into situations where it could be damaged, and taking great offense when someone insults it or calls it a pile of junk.
During the series, it is revealed that Jet once lived with a woman named Alisa, who left him claiming that he overprotected her. They meet when the Bebop stops on Ganymede, Jet's homeland. Jet goes to find her. He talks to her and then leaves saying goodbye, but later he finds out that Alisa's new boyfriend, Rhint, is wanted for murder. Jet detains them and hands over Rhint to police.
Faye Valentine (フェイ・ヴァレンタイン Fei Varentain?, born August 14, 1994) is one of the members of the bounty hunting crew in the anime series Cowboy Bebop. She is often seen with a cigarette and in a revealing outfit complete with bright yellow hot pants and a matching, revealing top (and, on occasion, a bikini). She sports violet hair, green eyes, and a voluptuous body. Although appearing to be no more than 23 years old, Faye is actually around 77 years old, having been put into cryogenic freeze after a space shuttle accident, wherein she spent fifty-four years in suspended animation. During the course of the series (set in 2071), Faye manages to cross paths with Spike and Jet twice before she finally 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.
Seemingly little more than a thorn in her partners' sides, Faye is actually a well-rounded member of the team. She can handle herself exceptionally well in spite of her slight appearance, displaying at least once in the series (in "Cowboy Funk") that she has a powerful punch. Adept at flying, Faye has stood her ground just as well as Spike has in an aerial dogfight in her ship Red Tail, and at times even against Spike in an aerial dogfight (though Spike eventually proved the better pilot). She also excels with guns, and is first seen in the series completely disabling a shop with a Heckler & Koch MP5K, though she is immediately apprehended afterward. In the movie, she is seen with the same gun, in addition to her normal companion: a Glock 30. Faye has an almost unstoppable attitude, and even her sometimes innocent smile can be seen as dangerous. She has many bad habits, such as drinking, habitual gambling, smoking cigarettes and occasionally cigars, becoming unnecessarily violent, and turning on partners when the profits seem too skimpy. Sarcastic and presumptuous, she rarely appears weak or in need of support. She brags and takes care of herself, never trusting others, cheating and lying her way from one day to the next. She also shows herself capable of unpredictable behavior, as when she kissed Ed on the mouth to snap Ed from one of her rambling moments.
She is a woman who is skilled at getting what she wants; her indomitable exterior hides a more delicate interior. Upon awakening from her 54-year cryogenic sleep, not only was she saddled with a massive amount of debt that she had no means to pay, but she was also diagnosed with total amnesia, a stranger in a mysterious world that she was not a part of and did not understand, surrounded by people who claimed to be helping her but were only there to take advantage of her naiveté. 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 name all remain a mystery, and are only gradually revealed as the series progresses. It has been hinted that she came from Singapore on Earth, and was the daughter of a very wealthy family, as the city's famous Merlion statue features prominently in scenes of her childhood, and that memories and a film from her childhood showed her living in a large mansion. Faye is supposedly her real name, as a high school classmate (by now an old disabled woman) recognises her and calls her by that name. In her debut episode, she claims to be descended from Romani people, but it later becomes apparent that was likely a lie. Utterly betrayed by someone she thought she could trust after waking, Faye found herself burdened with even more money to pay, and the situation resulted in the hardening of her personality to an extreme degree. She even says in Session 11: "we deceive or we are deceived", and that "nothing good ever happened to me when I trusted others".
Throughout the series, though she retains her sarcastic demeanor and unpleasant nature up until the very end, it is easy to see her grow as a character. She learns to value her comrades, coming back to the Bebop when she realizes that it is the only home that she has left, naming it as the "only place I could return to". She grows to understand the disadvantages of being a loner, and that even though her "family" is somewhat dysfunctional it is still a place where she will always belong.
Throughout the series, though she grows to care for Jet and even Edward in her own way, it is her relationship with Spike that remains a cause for consideration by most. In one episode Spike teases her and asks if she will come to help him if he gets into trouble, and though she scoffs at his remark, she eventually does. Faye even points her gun at him in a threatening gesture in the last episode, as Spike is walking away to what she and Jet both realize is his possible death. After he leaves, Faye cries. When asked, Watanabe stated in an interview: "Sometimes I'm asked the question, 'What does Spike think of Faye?' I think that actually he likes her quite a bit. But he's not a very straightforward person so he makes sure he doesn't show it."
Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV (エドワード・ウォン・ハウ・ペペル・チブルスキー4世 Edowādo Won Hau Peperu Chiburusukī Yonsei?) is the self-invented personal name of an elite hacker prodigy from Earth. Her father calls her Françoise (フランソワーズ Furansowāzu?) in one scene, but since he "forgets the sex of his own child, it's doubtful this is Ed's real name". "Radical Edward" is a very strange, somewhat androgynous, teenage girl claiming to be around 13 years of age. Her mannerisms include walking around in her bare feet, performing strange postures, and her gangling walk. Ed could be considered a "free spirit"; she is fond of silly exclamations and childish rhymes, is easily distracted, has the habit of "drifting off" from reality sometimes in mid-sentence, and is the show's primary source of comic relief. Ed's generally carefree attitude and energy act as a counterpoint to the more solemn and dark aspects of the show. Ed remains a part of the Bebop crew until the 24th episode, when she, along with Ein, leaves the crew.
Over the course of the show, she rarely walks anywhere, preferring to run, crawl, flip, roll, walk on her hands, ride piggy-back, or, at the very least, saunter. Ed wears a very loose sleeveless shirt and tight, black bicycle shorts, and a pair of large green goggles around her neck or on her head that act as a virtual reality accessory for computers when connected. She is always barefoot and uses her feet for tasks which one would usually use hands, such as scratching her nose, clapping, and typing, and it seems she has followed this habit throughout her life. This also works the other way around, where she walks on her hands instead of her feet. In the episode "Mushroom Samba" she considers putting on socks and shoes but quickly removes them, as even wearing socks hampers her, and she falls over seconds after putting them on.
She almost always refers to herself in the third person. Not much is known about her origins, only that she spent some of her earlier childhood in an orphanage after being left there by her father, a cartographer named Appledelhi Siniz Hesap Lütfen (which means "excuse me, check please" in Turkish). In the manga, she was a friend of a timid young boy in the orphanage known simply as "Tomato" (the name given to her PC in the anime), who, like Ed, knew a great deal about computers and the net. Ed's primary use to the Bebop crew is as a hacker; she is widely known to be a whiz kid behind the computer. Ed's computer of choice is a carry-along desktop, and when traveling by foot she will balance it on her head. Her goggles can interact with it to give her a virtual reality environment in which she can browse an entire network at once.
Originally, Ed's character was inspired by the "inner behavior" of the shows' music composer, Yoko Kanno ("a little weird, catlike, but a genius at creating music"), and was first developed as a dark-skinned boy. It was changed to even the gender ratio on the Bebop, which was, with Ed as a boy, three males and one female. The original character design appears in session 5 as a young boy that steals an adult magazine from Annie's bookstore by smuggling it under his shirt.
Voiced by: Kōichi Yamadera
Ein (アイン Ain?) is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi brought aboard the Bebop by Spike after a failed attempt to capture a bounty. His name is most likely derived from "Einstein", after Albert Einstein, because of the extraordinary intelligence he possesses. Another possibility is that the name is the German translation of "one", in the meaning of him being considered a he or an it. It can also be interpreted that, in Japanese, the way dogs bark is "wan" (ワン?, pronounced the same as "one"), hence the name "Ein".
Ein is referred to as a "data dog" by the scientists that created him and he often shows heightened awareness of events going on around him. Over the course of the series, Ein answers the telephone, steers a car, uses the SSW, plays shogi, and generally performs tasks that an average canine should not be able to accomplish. The extent of Ein's intelligence is hinted at in Session 23: "Brain Scratch", when the "Brain Dream" gaming device is placed on Ein's head; Ein quickly navigates the system and hacks into its operating system.
While the televised series only briefly hints on the fact that Ein's brain was somehow enhanced, the manga shows Ed accessing data stored in Ein's brain via a virtual reality-type interface with which she has a conversation with a human proprietor. Following the credits in Session 18: "Speak Like a Child", Ein tells Spike "Next Episode: Wild Horses". He is able to "speak" to other species, as demonstrated in Session 17: "Mushroom Samba" (he spoke to a cow with a subtitled bark of "Thanks", to which the cow has a subtitled moo back of "Oh, it's no problem"). It is likely that Ed is the only crew member with any idea of Ein's capabilities, as the other crew members are quick to dismiss Ein and never seem to acknowledge him as more than a pet.
Ein initially takes a shine to Jet, but when Ed joins the crew he comes around to her as well. Frequently the two trade roles, with Ein expressing very human sentiments via facial expression and Ed regressing to a feral state. He followed Ed after she left the crew, probably because of his attachment to her.
Ein does occasionally answer "yes or no" questions, barking once for "yes" and twice for "no".
Other major characters
"Vicious" (ビシャス Bishasu?) is the main antagonist of Cowboy Bebop who is ruthless, bloodthirsty, cunning and ambitious. Considered by some to be Spike's darker half, Vicious is willing to do anything in order to secure a position of power. He is a member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate in Tharsis, and is often referred to or depicted as a venomous snake (as opposed to Spike who is referred to as a swimming bird and the Syndicate Elders who see themselves as a dragon). His weapon of choice is not a firearm, but a katana which he wields skillfully, even against gun-wielders. He was an infantry rifleman during the Titan War and is shown firing a semi-automatic pistol in a Session 5 flashback, as well as in the Session 26 flashback of him and Spike fighting back-to-back. Early on, Vicious is seen with a black bird on his shoulder. Though he is even shown feeding it in one scene, he eventually hides explosives in its stomach and detonates them as a distraction during an escape.
Vicious was Spike's partner in the Red Dragon crime syndicate until they fell into conflict over Julia (and possibly over Spike's decision to abandon the Syndicate, though the two may be related). After Spike's supposed death, Vicious left the Red Dragons briefly to fight in the Titan War of 2068. Although his precise motivations for enlisting are debated, his testimony helped frame Gren, his squadmate in the war, for spying, which raises the possibility that he himself might have been involved in military espionage on behalf of the Syndicate and chose to pin it on his admirer. However, in the Titan flashbacks he is also seen to be remembering Julia, as if the cold, distant moon and its warzone were simply the most appropriate climate for grief. Notably that scene portrays the only suggestion of sentimentality toward Julia herself that Vicious displays during the series.
The blood feud between Spike and Vicious is an ongoing storyline throughout Cowboy Bebop; he is the only series antagonist to appear in more than one session. Vicious believes that he is the only one who can kill, or "awaken" Spike, as Spike is the only one who can do the same for Vicious. Vicious' real age is revealed in the official guidebook The After: at 27, he is the same age as Spike, although he appears to be much older. The age 27 is a significant age in the series because of the connotations it has to some legendary musicians passing away at that age, who are called the 27 Club. He may seem older due to the heavy, ever-present bags under his eyes. Because of this and his affinity towards Bloody Eye deals, it is possible that he is a user of the mind- and vision-altering drug. Possible evidence of this is briefly seen during a flashback at Julia's apartment which shows a capsule of Bloody Eye on the window sill during Session 13: Jupiter Jazz, Part 2.
Julia (ジュリア Juria?) is a beautiful and mysterious woman from both Spike and Vicious' pasts. Initially Vicious' girlfriend and a Syndicate member herself, she and Spike started a dangerous affair that led to Spike offering to abandon the Syndicate and elope with her, despite the fact that the Syndicate punishes desertion with death. Arranging to meet at a graveyard later, Spike goes to confront the Syndicate with his resignation, resulting in a violent gun battle where he is presumed by the Syndicate to have died. Vicious discovers the affair, however, and confronts Julia, telling her that she would have to kill Spike at the graveyard, or else they would both be killed. To protect not only herself but also the man she loved, Julia goes into hiding, never meeting Spike as both of them had planned; Spike himself was never aware of Vicious' threats until the very end of the series.
Despite being among the main driving points for the entire series, Julia only appears in flashbacks until the final two episodes of the series. She acts as a stark contrast to the world around her—her blond hair, bright red umbrella and automobile stand out in the otherwise drab environments that she inhabits.
After meeting Faye Valentine by coincidence, Julia is reunited with Spike. However, their reunion coincides with Vicious' first attempt to stage a coup on the Red Dragon Syndicate. When he fails and is imprisoned, the Syndicate's Old Guard launches a campaign to find and kill anyone who was or had ever been loyal to Vicious' group, whether or not they are involved. This includes Spike, Julia and their friend Annie, who distributes munitions under cover of a convenience store. The store is ambushed by the Syndicate while Spike and Julia are there, and Julia is shot and killed as she and Spike try to escape across the rooftops. Her last words to Spike are "It's all a dream...".
Victoria "V.T." Terpsichore
Voiced by: Tomie Kataoka (Japanese); Melodee Spevack (English)
Victoria Terpsichore is a tough-talking, and widowed space trucker, whose deceased husband, Ural Terpsichore, is a man that fellow bounty hunters regard as a "legendary bounty hunter". Always with her cat, Zeros, she appears in the episode "Heavy Metal Queen". Spike meets her in a bar while on hunt for an explosive-smuggling criminal named Decker. After having a bar brawl with several stooges, Spike and V.T. seem to become fast friends until she learns Spike is a bounty hunter. Although she initially regards Spike as "lowlife bounty hunter scum", she puts their differences aside and reluctantly works with him when their paths cross again as V.T. begins searching for Decker, who has performed a ship hit and run on one of her fellow truck drivers.
Her full name is largely a secret, which has prompted many to bet money and guess what her initials stand for. However, none have succeeded in winning the stack of money she's gained from numerous incorrect guesses. She is also known as the "Heavy Metal Queen", for her deep love of heavy metal music, which she considers "very soothing". Able to adapt to various situations, her philosophy is "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". Considering her disdain against bounty hunters, it is believed that her husband, Ural Terpsichore, was killed while pursuing a bountyhead. Her first name is briefly mentioned, when Spike sees her pocket watch. However, he knows her last name, due to the popularity and memory of her late husband.
Grencia Mars Elijah Guo Eckener
Grencia Mars Elijah Guo Eckener (グレンシア・マルス・エリヤ・郭・エッケナー Gurenshia Marusu Eriya Guo Ekkenā?) was once a soldier for the war on Titan, and appears in the two-part episodes of "Jupiter Jazz". On Titan he fought beside Vicious, who he admired and found encouragement in, during the war. After the war, Gren came back hoping to be a jazz musician, but that plan was cut short when he was arrested on the pretense of being a spy. In prison, Gren heard that Vicious testified against him; this and the isolation drove him mad. The prison used prisoners for drug experiments, and he was forced to become a test subject. In some translations, he suffered from insomnia while in prison and started using drugs to try to deal with it. In either case, the drugs severely imbalanced his hormones, and caused him to develop a feminine figure, including breasts.
Finally, after his body had been transformed and his sanity shattered, he managed to escape from prison. After his escape from jail, Gren worked as a saxophone player at Rester House, a bar in a sector called "The Blue Crow", which is located on one of Jupiter's moons, Callisto. He met Julia there and found out from her how Vicious betrayed him. Two years later, Faye met Gren. In an act of kindness, Gren "rescued" Faye from a street fight and allowed her to come to his apartment. While Faye was there, Vicious called, alarming her and raising suspicions about the musician. Intruding on him while showering, Faye discovered Gren's secret. Gren explained how he became what he was, and told her that he was going to see if Vicious really framed him. When Faye said he'd be killed in the process, he replied that death did not frighten him, and that he would not live longer anyway.
Disguising himself as a woman, Gren met the Syndicate member, along with Lin, who went to protect Vicious. Exchanging Red Eye for Titan Opal, Gren suspected a trap. He shot it open, setting off the explosive, and then revealed who he was, finally confronting Vicious about what happened when he returned from Titan. In the ensuing battle, Lin died to protect Vicious. Meanwhile, Spike arrived and began to attack Vicious as he fled. Gren had planted the music box in the bag of Red Eye, rigged with an explosive, which damaged Vicious' ship. However, in the 3-way dogfight with Vicious and Spike, Gren's ship was severely damaged, forcing him to land. Spike, wanting to find out more about Julia, landed next to Gren's crashed ship to find Gren lying in the snow, badly wounded. Rushing to Gren's side, Spike asks Gren about Julia. Gren guesses who Spike is by his eyes; "Julia was always talking about you; your eyes are different colors. I remember her saying that". Gren refuses Spike's offer of assistance, knowing that he is dying, and instead requests that Spike help him back into his ship and tow it out into space, allowing him to die on a final voyage to Titan.
Punch and Judy
Punch (パンチ Panchi?) and Judy (ジュディ Judi?) are the characters of the TV show Big Shot. They are named after the traditional English puppet show. The show provides information on various bounty heads, but is often unreliable. The Bebop crew often has the show playing in the background, but seldom pays close attention (they usually get their information from close contacts). Punch and Judy play the "cowboy" persona in a characteristic, over the top fashion. Punch adopts a mid-western drawl mixed with a Mexican accent (both faked), and uses random old-West sayings. Judy plays the stereotypical dumb blonde, and always appears in an open bolero jacket with nothing underneath, frequently wiggling her hips with excitement. Big Shot gets canceled towards the end of the series, and Punch (lacking accent and costume) makes a brief cameo revealing his and Judy's fates: Punch, whose real name is Alfredo, moves to Mars to take care of his mother, and Judy is engaged to marry her agent. In the last episode of Big Shot, it appears that Judy was not informed of the show's cancellation and shoved Punch out of the way as she said into the camera that "[The station] will hear from [her] agent about this!" It would appear that her voice is also faked, as it becomes low and husky after this outburst.
Antonio, Carlos, and Jobim
Antonio – Voiced by: Hitoshi Hirao (Japanese); Kevin Seymour (English)
Carlos – Voiced by: Toshihiko Nakajima (Japanese); Steve Kramer (English)
Jobim – Voiced by: Hiroshi Naka (Japanese); Kevin Seymour (English)
Throughout the series and the movie, three rude, foul-mouthed, crotchety old men make frequent appearances, as speaking characters, or in the background during scenes. They make various claims about what they did before becoming old-timers, including bounty hunting, building the stargates, farming, piloting planes in a war, sinking the Bismarck, digging ditches, and crop-dusting, all of which claims are almost always followed with the rest claiming they were part of that project as well. They seem on speaking terms with many supporting characters, and though they run into the main characters often there is not much attention paid to them (or even mention that the main characters have seen them before). They also did the voice-overs for the preview of the episode "Mushroom Samba". According to the movie credits, they are called Antonio (アントニオ Antonio?), Carlos (カルロス Karurosu?), and Jobim (ジョビン Jobin?). This is in reference to famed Brazilian musician Antônio Carlos Jobim. In the feature film, they help Jet and Faye distribute the antidote for a deadly, hallucinogenic nanovirus by flying 20th-century era antique planes over Alba City. The three old men are actually bounty hunters themselves, as revealed in the Cowboy Bebop Silver Anniversary disc. Cowboy Bebop Anime Guide Volume 4 states that since the names of the three old men appear once, it is not certain whether the names Antonio, Carlos, and Jobim are their real names.[verification needed] In episode 22, Cowboy Funk, Antonio is briefly seen walking past a water fountain without Carlos and Jobim, although previously all three old men were always seen together. The movie, which takes place between episodes 22 and 23, depicts the three old men together, but in episode 23, Brain Scratch, Antonio is seen dead with several other bounty hunters, again without Carlos and Jobim. All three make a cameo appearance in episode 11 of Blood Blockade Battlefront, another series by the same animation studio as Cowboy Bebop, which ends with the phrase "Sympathy for the Devil" being uttered.
Lin (リン Rin?) was a young and very loyal member of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate who was asked by Wang Long to accompany Vicious on a drug deal to the moon Callisto. His role in the series is fairly minor. When Spike Spiegel confronted Vicious in a back alleyway at night, it was Lin who stepped in between Spike and Vicious and then shot Spike with a tranquilizer bullet. It is stated that Lin used to work under Spike, but since Spike left the Red Dragons, it is apparent that he now works under Vicious.
Lin accompanied Vicious to the Red Eye deal atop a roof, where they encountered Gren dressed as a woman. When the fighting between the two sour comrades started, Lin threw himself in front of a bullet meant for Vicious. Lin falls to the ground, dead, as Vicious says, "There is nothing in this world to believe in". Lin dies then, but is mentioned in the series finale, "The Real Folk Blues Part I", when his brother, Shin, shows up.
Shin (シン Shin?) is the younger brother of Lin. He appears twice in the series finale. His first appearance is to rescue Spike and Jet from Syndicate assassins, which leads to him revealing Vicious's coup against the Red Dragon leaders. He reappears during Spike's attack on the Red Dragon headquarters, aiding him in the running gunfight against the Syndicate minions.
Shin is killed shortly before Spike reaches Vicious. In that regard, he is a counterpart to Lin; while his brother willingly sacrificed his life for Vicious, Shin dies assisting Spike. With his last words he asks Spike to kill Vicious and tells him that he had been hoping for him to return.
Rocco Bonnaro (ロコ・ボナーロ Roko Bonāro?) is a member of Piccaro Calvino's gang. He is involved in organized crime in order to support his blind younger sister, Stella Bonnaro (ステラ・ボナーロ Sutera Bonāro?), and does everything he can to help her regain her sight. Rocco sees Spike effortlessly take out several hijackers on a spaceliner and begs Spike to teach him how to fight. He befriends Spike although he does not tell him about the bounty on his head. Everything goes awry when Rocco gives Spike a package to hold onto, which contains a plant called "Grey Ash" that he stole from Calvino. This plant, worth millions upon millions of woolongs, is capable of curing "Venus Sickness", the disease which has blinded Stella. Rocco has a rendezvous with Spike and they fight against Calvino's gang. Rocco manages to pull off one of Spike's Jeet Kune Do maneuvers and topples one of the gangsters, but, in the chaos, Rocco is gunned down. He asks Spike if they would have been friends if they had met sooner, and dies. Later, Spike pays his respects and visits Stella in the hospital where she is now receiving treatment, although she can feel that Rocco has died. Before he leaves, Stella asks Spike about the type of person her brother really was. Spike responded "You know better than anyone, without looking. He was a terrific guy – exactly the person you thought he was."
Voiced by: Takehiro Koyama (Japanese); Michael Gregory (English)
A kind old shaman, apparently of Native American descent, Laughing Bull (ラフィング・ブル Rafingu Buru?) lives on Mars, and figures prominently in a number of Cowboy Bebop sessions. Spike goes to Laughing Bull for advice in Session 1 while looking for bounty head Asimov; he appears briefly at the beginning of "Jupiter Jazz, Part I" and at the end of "Jupiter Jazz, Part II" – then in "The Real Folk Blues, Part II", Jet goes to him for information on Spike's whereabouts. Laughing Bull has been seen with a small child (in "Jupiter Jazz") and with a young man (in the movie); their identities have never been revealed. As a shaman, he dresses in classic Native American wear and lives in a teepee-like tent surrounded by relics of old, discarded technology.
Laughing Bull refers to Spike as "Swimming Bird", and calls Jet "Running Rock".
"Bob" (ボブ Bobu?) is an ISSP, mustache-wearing policeman based on Ganymede to whom Jet frequently goes to for inside information when looking for bounty heads. Throughout the series, and especially in the film, Bob provides (sometimes reluctantly) crucial information.
Voiced by: Miyuki Ichijō (Japanese); Carol Stanzione (English)
Annie (アニー Anī?) is the owner of a convenience store on Mars, and an old friend of Spike, Julia and Mao Yenrai. Her name is short for "Anastasia", although she allows only two certain people (presumably Mao and her late husband) to address her as such. First introduced in "Ballad of Fallen Angels", Annie is shown to be a keen informant and in general a very sharp lady, catching two juveniles trying to steal adult magazines from her news rack while seemingly not paying attention to them. Annie informs Spike of Mao's assassination by Vicious. She also carries a variety of small arms and supplies Spike with a Beretta pistol and a large carton of ammunition. She also chides Spike for seeking to avenge his mentor (by picking a fight with Vicious) and calls him a stubborn show-off. Annie is fatally wounded in the stomach prior to Spike and Julia's arrival in the two-part conclusion, "The Real Folk Blues". She dies soon after their arrival.
Voiced by: Takeshi Watabe (Japanese); Michael McCarty (English)
Hex was a talented programmer that was widely considered to be a genius due to his long-standing hold of the Champion Seat of the CosmoNet Chess tournament series. At the age of 30 he joined the Hyperspace Gate Project and, ultimately, played a key role in the development of the central control system used in all gates. However, Hex soon began to have doubts about the functionality of the control system, believing it to have defects. Upon discovering that these defects were intentionally added by the Gate Corporation to ensure further revenue, Hex developed a plan to be executed 50 years in the future that would allow criminals to hijack the Astral Gate toll booths.
In the episode "Bohemian Rhapsody", Spike, Jet and Faye successfully track down Hex following the failed toll booth hijackings. Hex, now old and senile, is living peacefully inside of a bohemian junk heap floating in outer space. Given that he had completely forgotten about his prearranged sting, the crew strikes a deal with the Gate Corporation to ensure his safety.
Andy von de Oniyate
A rich, egotistical bounty hunter who completely embraces the cowboy aspect of his job; he dresses like a cowboy, rides a horse named Onyx, uses six-shooters as his primary weapons and uses a cowboy whip to capture his bounties. Spike perceives him as an unworthy rival while the rest of the Bebop crew insists that Spike and Andy act exactly the same as each other, much to Spike's bewilderment and increasing consternation. Despite his bumbling behavior, he is actually quite resourceful and intelligent, as well as being on par with Spike in fighting ability. Andy eventually gives up the cowboy persona, choosing instead to take up a samurai persona and call himself Musashi.
The antagonist of Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door, Vincent Volaju (ヴィンセント・ボラージュ Vinsento Borāju?) is the only survivor of a series of experiments conducted during the Titan War to build immunity to the lethal nanomachines that were secretly developed by the military. His plan is to release the nanomachines throughout the world, leaving only a handful of survivors. He holds the rare distinction of being one of a select few characters in Cowboy Bebop who has been able to match Spike in close combat. Watanabe said that he believes that many people would say that they empathize with Vincent and that "I even understand him". The interviewer, describing Vincent as the "most evil character in the Bebop series", asked Watanabe if Vincent was his opportunity to "show something you couldn't get away with on TV". Watanabe responded by saying that such a thing was not the case, and that Vincent is "nothing more than my dark side". Watanabe added that he does not see this as a "particularly unique feature" of Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door, and that all people have moments when they "lose our temper and want to destroy everything".
Elektra Ovirowa (エレクトラ・オヴィロゥ Erekutora Ovirō?) is a veteran of the Titan War who first appears in Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door. Her love for Vincent caused them to have a short-term relationship, during which Vincent transferred the vaccine to Elektra. She is unaware of this until Vincent sets free the Nanomachines on the Monorail and she survives. She meets Spike by chance when he infiltrates a bio-weapon lab fronting as a pharmaceutical company where she works. After a few more chance meetings, and witnessing his being shot and thrown from a monorail by Vincent, she teams up with the crew of the Bebop to put an end to Vincent's intent to destroy the population of Mars. The samples of her blood are used to make the vaccine that is spread over Alba City. In the end, it is she who shoots Vincent and kills him. She cries for him when he admits he remembers her and their love for one another as he is dying.
Rashid (ラシード Rashīdo?) appears during Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door. An ethnic Arab with a considerable amount of knowledge of "beans", he is really Doctor Mendelo al-Hedia, the man who developed the nano-machinery that was to be used as a virus for the military and vaccinated Vincent in attempt to keep it under control. He then apparently escaped from the medical facility and took refuge in Mars' Moroccan street, assuming a new identity. He provides Spike with a sample of the nano-machine virus in an attempt to atone for his creating it. After revealing to Spike, in a later scene, the nature of the nanomachine virus and the vaccine given to Vincent, armed men show up and Rashid runs off, followed by the sounds of gunfire. His fate is unclear, though a scene played during the credits of the movie seems to show him alive and well in Moroccan street.
A teenage hacker and Vincent's accomplice, Lee Sampson (リー・サムソン Rī Samuson?) is very interested in video games from the 20th century (as shown by him playing an alternate version of Pac-Man in a car while talking to Vincent). He's later betrayed by Vincent and is killed with the nanoweapons Vincent was using in his plot to eliminate mankind. In an interview with Watanabe, the interviewer referred to Lee Sampson, a character in the film who "unable to distinguish" death in real life and death in a video game, responding to the death of a video game avatar and the death of a security guard in an equally-detached manner; when the interviewer asked Watanabe whether he wanted to "question society's desensitization to violence" with a character who "truly feels the pain of death", Watanabe responded by saying that he did not intend to "make it a 'statement', as such". Watanabe added that he does not create films to "particular message" and that films "naturally reflect the way we feel at the time".
Mad Pierrot Tongpu
Mad Pierrot Tongpu (real name unknown) was part of an experiment to create the perfect assassin by a secret organization referred to only as Section 13. The experiment was a failure: while Tongpu had been made into a virtually indestructible living weapon, the procedures caused him to begin regressing mentally, ruining his capacity as a weapon. While being transported to a secure facility for observation, Tongpu escaped with the intention of exacting revenge, but eventually came to enjoy the act of killing. After an unknown span of time, Spike happened to witness Tongpu killing someone, making him the target of Tongpu as well; Spike only managed to escape when a cat distracted Tongpu and gave him time to blow up a gas canister, though this didn't affect Tongpu at all. Spike was eventually sent a personal invitation to Spaceland, a theme park, by Tongpu and went to fight him, wondering if he would return at all. In the ensuing fight, Spike became badly injured and lost his gun. Staring down Tongpu while a robotic parade approached, Tongpu suddenly panicked when he noticed that Spike's eyes are two different colors—just like a cat which was kept by one of the scientists which experimented on him—and broke his concentration, allowing Spike to throw a knife at him. Unlike bullets, the knife was not stopped by Tongpu's defenses and wounded him. By this point, Tongpu's mind had regressed to the point of a small child, causing him to break down in tears, crying for his mother. Tongpu didn't suffer for long; shortly thereafter, he was crushed underfoot by a giant robot in the parade.
Tongpu is arguably the most dangerous character in the series. The procedures which made him into a supersoldier gave him several powers which made him nearly invincible: a sort of energy shielding protects him from gunfire and he is capable of flight. Tongpu originally looked more like any other human, but by the time Spike encountered him, his hair had grayed with age and he had acquired a very round body.
Red Dragon Crime Syndicate
Not too much is known about the crime syndicate. It is an East Asian triad organization led by a group of mysterious elderly men who are called The Van. The Van are usually seen wearing imperial Manchurian-Chinese clothing of the Qing dynasty. The syndicate specializes mostly in assassinations, but are also involved in the trafficking of narcotics, Red Eye in particular. The rules of the syndicate states that members who attempt to leave, or fail to complete tasks, are punished by death. Mao Yenrai served as a captain or Capo to the Elders and was a mentor to both Vicious and Spike. He is most likely the one who brought them into the Syndicate (since entering into a major criminal organization usually requires sponsorship from a higher-ranked member).
After having left the Syndicate, Spike considers himself in Mao's "debt", and is motivated to confront Vicious for the first time when Mao is killed. His murder occurs at the hands of two men in Vicious' employ—who use Vicious' katana to slit Mao's throat. It takes place immediately after Mao signs a peace treaty with a rival crime syndicate, the White Tiger, expressing a desire for relief from the hypervigilance of gang warfare. Vicious explains that he killed Mao because "he was a beast who had lost his fangs".
Spike declares to Vicious that it was Mao who "took you in and made you what you are". The Van later refers to Mao's death as "bad luck" and decline to pursue the issue when confronting Vicious. The Van is also shown to be indulgent toward Vicious initially, which eventually creates their demise.
Spike was once a high-ranking member of the syndicate alongside Vicious, but chose to leave. Those who remained are Vicious, Lin and Shin. Vicious expresses a desire to dispose of the Van, although his statements express distaste for their weakness as a primary motive, versus a goal of leadership. Once Vicious kills Mao Yenrai and the Van and becomes the head of the Syndicate, his only order of business is to wait for Spike to come and fight him, suggesting that attaining leadership is something of a hollow victory in the absence of his former partner.
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- Suskind, Alex. "Asteroid Blues: The Lasting Legacy of 'Cowboy Bebop'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
- Green, Scott & Watanabe, Shinichiro (May 26, 2013). "Video: Rare English Interview with "Cowboy Bebop" Director Shinichiro Watanabe". Red Carpet News TV. Retrieved January 24, 2017 – via Crunchyroll.com.
- McNamara, Jonathan & Watanabe, Shinichiro (February 6, 2006). "'Cowboy Bebop' Director Watanabe Talks Anime". The Daily Texan. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved January 24, 2017.
- Cowboy Bebop Anime Guide Volume 6. Los Angeles, CA: Tokyopop. September 2002. p. 20. ISBN 1591820235.
- Bricken, Robert (January 2003). "Behind the Bebop - Murder, Mars and All That Jazz". Anime Invasion. Wizard (#5).
- Cowboy Bebop Anime Guide Volume 4. Northridge, CA: Tokyopop. April 2002. p. 67. [verification needed]
- CowboyBebop Staff & Watanabe, Shinichiro (November 17, 2002). "The Director's Voice: Shinichiro Watanabe Interview". Heaven's Door: About the Movie. Archived from the original on November 17, 2002. Retrieved January 24, 2017 – via cowboybebop.org.