In a show populated almost entirely by the coolest people in the galaxy, it takes a lot to keep up with the likes of Spike Spiegel. Fortunately, his partner in crime is the long-suffering Jet Black. Jet is one of the core crewmembers of the Bebop, and one of the main characters in one of the best anime series of all time.
We’re almost at the release day for the live-action Cowboy Bebop, so of course we need to celebrate the big bad bounty hunter with a heart of gold, Jet Black, as our Hump Day Husbando.
Who is Jet Black?
Jet Black is the official captain of the Bebop and the leader of its crew of bounty hunters, though it often turns out he is forced to react to the impulsiveness of Spike and Faye. But don’t let his calm approach to things fool you: he is just as dangerous as anyone else if you find yourself in his sights. Jet lost his arm in the line of duty as a cop before he became a bounty hunter — but it’s okay ’cause he got a super-cool robot arm for his trouble.
Being the oldest crewmember of the Bebop, Jet Black is always cool, calm, and mature while the rest of the crew can be their weird and wacky selves. Even though he is the most serious of them, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his soft side. When he isn’t working to keep the ship running and the jobs coming in, he is looking after his bonsai trees or helping Ed to adjust to life among normal people. And don’t forget his most important job on the ship: looking after data dog, Ein.
Why we love him
We can’t even call Jet Black a bad boy with a heart of gold because he has never really acts like a bad boy. He emits strong Ship Dad energy, looking after Ed and providing guidance and wisdom to Spike as he struggles to evade his past. This patience, contentment, and maturity are what makes him such a fun character to watch. Bill Billingslea brought that quality in spades during the English dub and it is what I am most hoping that Mustafa Shakir brings to the role in the live-action version.
Even when Jet doesn’t particularly like someone, as is the case with Faye Valentine, he at least takes the time and energy to give them the benefit of his wisdom. He knows when to stand in the way of their decisions and when to let them go to meet their fate, which can be the hardest part of writing these characters. Occasionally he comes across as stubborn, but normally he is just trying to help those close to him.
Why you’ll love him
If you have a love for characters with a few more miles on them than those around them, Jet Black is going to tick a lot of boxes for you. He spends most of his time dressed for work, in a plain flight suit, but he certainly cleans up alright when the mission calls for it. In the anime, he has a voice as smooth as silk, which is another aspect that I am hoping will be part of the live-action show when it comes out.
In a show that oozes style and fun in every shot, Jet Black is never overshadowed. He belongs just as much as everyone else, which is a tough job when you look at who is in his crew.
If you’re looking to give Cowboy Bebop a rewatch before the live-action show premieres, you can catch the whole thing on All4 in the UK, or Netflix in other parts of the world.
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