Cowboy Bebop’s Main Characters, Ranked By Likability | #computerhacking | #hacking


More than 20 years since the beloved anime series debuted, the live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop finally arrives on Netflix on Nov. 19, 2021. The story follows a motley crew of intergalactic bounty hunters aboard the Bebop spaceship, tracking down the most dangerous criminals in outer space. It’s a highly accessible show, and its widespread popularity has made it an entry point to anime fandom for many viewers.

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Spike’s Bebop crew consists of five major characters who are in direct opposition to the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate, led by Spike’s archenemy, Vicious. Whether hero, antihero, or villain, each of the characters in the beloved series has their fans. But which Cowboy Bebop characters are the most likable?


8 Vicious

As the aptly named arch-villain of this must-watch, single-season anime, Vicious is a major character who is designed to be as unlikable as possible in his opposition to the series protagonist, Spike. He’s cruel, sadistic, and hell-bent on overthrowing his own crime boss, Mao Yenari.

However, the ruthless, power-starved gangster used to be Spike’s partner before their relationship became severely frayed. This gives depth to Vicious as someone who once cared for his now sworn enemy. Vicious isn’t very likable, but his complicated history with Spike is at least somewhat understandable.

7 Julia

Julia primarily functions as Spike’s spiritual guide who keeps his morale high. As Vicious’ former lover who left the ruthless criminal to be with Spike, which in turn broke up the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate, Julia’s death haunts Spike.

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Julia refused to kill Spike and vowed to keep him safe from Vicious, which makes her compassionate and easy to root for. More than that, she personifies the division between Spike and Vicious, often appearing as a dreamlike phantom to keep Spike going in his darkest moments of despair. Yet by playing both sides of good and evil, Julia’s complexity makes her sometimes likable but sometimes detestable. Some have even theorized that Julia never loved Spike at all.

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6 Annie

As Spike’s surrogate mother of sorts, Annie is the extremely warm and affable owner of the unsanctioned jazz club on Mars where Gren performs. With wisdom and worldly advice to impart to Spike, Annie is one of the closest and most trusted friends of the Bebop crew.

Also a close friend of Mao Yenari, the Red Dragon Capo whom Vicious overthrew, Annie is put in direct peril when the newfound crime boss comes to power and tries to clean up all of the loose ties connecting to Mao. This makes Annie extremely sympathetic, especially given the manner in which Spike intervenes to rescue her. In many ways, Spike is a wayward soul who needs parental guidance, and Annie is there for him when most needed.

5 Ein

The pet pooch aboard the Bebop joins the crew after a bounty hunt gone wrong, leading to his contributions as a highly capable guard dog. In addition to being extremely adorable, the “data dog” proves to be an integral part of the crew when bringing down the Red Dragons.

Whether he’s answering telephones, steering vehicles, playing Shogi, communicating with other species, or using telepathy to hack into rival databases, Ein’s undying loyalty to Jet, then Ed, is among the most tender and touching character arcs in the show, making him one of the most iconic TV dogs of the past two decades.

4 Faye Valentine

As the third most important member of the Bebop, Faye Valentine is easily one of the most compelling characters. Awaking from a coma after 50 years without much of a memory to draw on her past, Faye’s backstory alone gives her a sympathetic arc.

Most of all, it’s Faye’s farrago of character flaws that renders her so relatable and easy to like. She smokes, gambles, drinks and generally indulges in self-destructive vices that nearly everyone can identify with on one level or another. It’s true that Faye can be a bit abrasive and unpleasant as well, yet in the most perilous moments, she and Spike implicitly have each other’s backs.

3 Ed

As the only child aboard the Bebop, Ed brings a highly charismatic, youthful exuberance to the show that provides much of the levity. The 13-year-old computer hacker showcases the entire gamut of human emotions and attitudes, ranging from being a silly, eccentric, and immature troublemaker to a serious and highly intelligent problem solver.

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Whether she’s dazed in a trance-like state in which she talks and sings to herself, or crawling on all fours and behaving like a wild animal, Ed is arguably the strangest character in the cast whose unpredictable nature fuels many of the show’s most enjoyable moments.

2 Jet Black

As the eccentric captain of the Bebop, Jet Black is one of the funniest and most enjoyable main characters on the show. Whether he’s obsessing over his beloved bonsai trees, enjoying music, cooking dishes that his crew despises, or using his bionic arm to deal considerable damage to enemies, Jet has all the hallmarks of a whimsical and lovable father figure.

Jet’s gruff and hulking physical appearance is just a front for his true nature as a wise-cracking, big-hearted teddy bear of a man, which makes him doubly enjoyable to watch. Jet’s constant assaults on Vicious also clearly delineate him as a force of goodness, but it’s his versatile capabilities as a Renaissance man that make him so lovable.

1 Spike Spiegel

As the series’ lead protagonist, Spike Spiegel is the most amusing and identifiable character in Cowboy Bebop. The classic reluctant hero roundly dismisses his bounty-hunting duties and often spends his time lounging around and watching TV without an ounce of urgency. Yet when the cynical slacker is put to the ultimate test, he often triumphs by using specialized Jeet Kun Do martial arts.

Despite being impatient, irascible, and averse to such adorable things as dogs, cats, and children, Spike more than atones for his grumpy demeanor with the ways in which he opens up to his newfangled family aboard the Bebop and adopts Faye, Jet, and Edward as beloved companions.

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