Have you ever wondered what personality types make up the Bebop crew? Or how the personalities of the different characters in Cowboy Bebop affect their interactions and the storyline?
Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 Japanese sci-fi neo-noir anime that follows the bounty-hunting crew of the spaceship Bebop. I’m obsessed with it right now. I only recently watched the show for the first time, as part of an ongoing quest to find anime that I like as much as Fullmetal Al chemist: Brotherhood, and promptly started re-watching it just a couple of months later. The characters are my favorite part of the show, and their well-developed personalities are a key factor in what makes Cowboy Bebop such a great anime.
Disclaimer: I couldn’t give Spike an MBTI® questionnaire and if I did he’d probably try to eat it or fall asleep while answering the first question. These typings are based on my 10+ years of experience studying Myers-Briggs® Personality Types. I also take into account typings from Zombies Ruin Everything and discussions on Personality Café. Though there’s a surprising amount of consensus regarding these characters’ best-fit types, fictional personality typing always involves guesswork and these types are open to interpretation.
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Spike Spiegel – ISTP
“We are all in the perpetual quest for keeping oneself occupied, entertained, and important—which burns at the edge of addiction.” –Spike Spiegel.
Laid-back, fearless, and quick-thinking in a crisis, Spike Spiegel has a realistic outlook on life and a bit of a cynical side. Like many ISTPs, he doesn’t care much about rules and places a high value on his independence. As is characteristic of SP types, Spike has a keen awareness of his physicality and the surrounding environment. This helps him respond quickly to changing situations and fight in a way that seems almost lazy; as if he doesn’t need to pay much attention to his opponents in order to best them.
Read This Next: 10 Amazing ISTP Anime Characters
Jet Black – ISTJ
“Everything has a beginning and an end. Life is just a cycle of starts and stops. There are ends we don’t desire, but they’re inevitable, we have to face them. It’s what being human is all about.” –Jet Black
Nicknamed “duty fulfillers,” ISTJs can often be found filling service-oriented roles or leading with quiet determination. A former police officer, who left because of corruption in the system, Jet Black has a long memory for what he’s learned through his experiences. Though he tries to make objective, logical decisions, Jet also weighs the human and moral cost of choices. He’s practical, but not at the expense of honesty or keeping his crew safe. Like many ISTJs, Jet also has an understated sense of humor that’s easy to miss until you get to know him better.
Read This Next: 10 Amazing ISTJ Anime Characters
Faye Valentine – ESTP
“When choosing between two evils. I always like to try the one I never tried before.” –Faye Valentine
Like many ESTPs, Faye Valentine thrives on spontaneity and enjoys living in the moment. She wants an exciting life with new challenges, but not quite so many that they make unwanted demands on her time. Particularly near the beginning of the series, Faye is not a particularly healthy example of an ESTP. Unless she’s trying to get something from someone, she rarely bothers with politeness or charm and comes across as abrasive. She does grow as a character, though, and we see her putting her cleverness to work helping the crew she comes to see as family.
Read This Next: 10 Amazing ESTP Anime Characters
Radical Edward – ENTP
“Ed will introduce Ed. Full name Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivruski IV…Ed made up that name for Ed, isn’t it cooool?” ―Edward
Self-styled Radical Edward, or “Ed,” has a decidedly unique way of looking at the world. Along with her trusty sidekick Ein (who’d probably be an INTP if he wasn’t a dog), Ed seeks out challenges, new ideas, and possibilities with a gleeful interest in seeing what might happen next. Like many ENTPs, Ed is very observant, good at reading people, and has strong analytic skills that she puts to use hacking computer systems, playing chess, and convincing the Bebop crew to take her aboard.
Vicious – INTJ
“There is nothing to believe in. There is no need to believe.” –Vicious
Though his name implies a less thoughtful character than a typical INTJ villain, Vicious is a calculating and ambitious loner who thinks through his plans carefully in order to achieve mastery over the Syndicate. He operates independently of rules or traditions, even the ones governing his criminal world. He’s rational, goal-oriented, and thinks long-term; he’s often several steps ahead of his enemies and appears to have little trouble out thinking them.
Read This Next: 10 Amazing INTJ Anime Characters
Julia – ISFJ
“So what kind of woman is she? What’s Julia like?” – Jet Black
“Ordinary. The kind of beautiful, dangerous ordinary that you just can’t leave alone. … Like an angel from the underworld. Or a devil from Paradise.” – Faye Valentine
Julia is hard to type since we see her so little on-screen and much of that is filtered through Spike’s memories. From what we do know she seems to be the only main character in Cowboy Beebop who’s a Feeling type. Julia makes decisions based on her relationships with other people, particularly Vicious and Spike. An empathic FJ, Julia got caught up in a relationship with Spike while nursing him after a gunshot wound. She tends to act based on past experiences and seems practical in her decision-making process.
What Are Your Thoughts?
What did you think while reading this article? Do you have a different typing to suggest for any of these characters? Share your thoughts in the comments 😊
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About the Author:
Marissa Baker is the author of The INFJ Handbook (available in the Amazon Kindle Store). You can find her online at LikeAnAnchor.com where she blogs about personal growth and development from a Christian perspective.