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Spike Spiegel is the main protagonist of the Japanese animated series Cowboy Bebop and the movie, as well as the manga adaptations. He is a bounty hunter or "cowboy" (as he's referred to on several occasions) on a spaceship called the Bebop and travels through the space with his crew consisting of his old friend, Jet, and recent members, Faye, Ed, and Ein.The producers of Cowboy Bebop have been quoted as saying they chose the name Spike Spiegel because "it sounded cool." 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, especially as he appears in his famous role in Tantei Monogatari.Spike is tall and lean in appearance, he has dark messy green-tinted hair and brown eyes, which one of them is later revealed to be artificial and lighter than the other. In a flashback in Session 6 it's revealed that his 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"). Spike is usually dressed in a blue leisure suit, with a yellow shirt and Lupin III-inspired boots.[1] He is often seen with a cigarette between his lips, even if it's raining or "there's clearly a No Smoking" sign where he is sat, standing or walking through. Spike's constant smoking is a homage to Lupin III, as Lupin's partner, Jigen, smokes cigarettes that are usually very poor condition, similar to Spike. There is also quite a distinctive reference through Spike's rebellious demeanour and hair to the famous musician Bob Dylan.Spike is a slothful, listless, indifferent, and lazy character. He indeed passes the vast majority of his time on the Bebop lounging, watching TV, or sleeping. In a few rare occasions, he is also seen reading or practicing Jeet Kune Do, a martial arts practice he is very skilled in, being among other things passionate of Bruce Lee films. 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.) Spike is rarely seen excited about something and, even less frequently, says he likes something. At one point, he tells Jet that there are three things he hates- kids, animals and women with attitudes. Ironically, Ed, Ein and Faye respectively fall into these categories, something Spike questions Jet about. 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 Red Dragon. He considers he already died once therefore doesn't show the slightest fear of the possibility of being killed, often acts as if to challenge death, so to prove he is still alive. However in a conversation with Faye, he admits to not want to die because of "the hate to." 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 present while the right synthetic one sees the past, making the past indelible in his mind, not allowing him to get rid of or forget 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 crew mates. 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, which are both elements of bushido illustrated in the Hagakure. His pet hates are children, pets, and women with attitudes. Ironically, all the members of the Bebop besides himself and Jet, (Ed, Ein and Faye, respectively) fall into these categories, as discussed in session 9. 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, often has to be persuaded to commit himself to a hunt he considers little exciting, has a rather sharp and cynical sense of humor, when he pursues a bounty, he throws himself headfirst into action regardless of damage caused to people and buildings, and 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 than willing to help out others without expecting anything in return, which 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 treats Ein as kind of emergency food and Ed as a burden, but in reality, despite never telling his companions a word of 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, he 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 short time. Jet is also the only person Spike confides about his past. Spike's most complex relationship in the series is the one he has with Faye. Most of the time they do nothing but bicker however, in moments of danger, Faye has always shown concern for Spike, and Spike has shown some empathy for Faye's situation. Faye has also always taken care of Spike when he was injured, although she still kept a bitter attitude. The affection between them is quite obvious, and many people have speculated that Faye could be in love with Spike. Watanabe has said on the subject, "Sometimes I'm asked the question, 'What does Spike think of Faye?' I think that he likes her quite a bit. But he's not a very straightforward person and makes sure not to show it."

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