MBTI: Spike Spiegel- ISTP
What could sum up the entire character of the Cowboy Bebop protagonist isn’t even in the series itself, but what was said about the creation of Spike Spiegel’s name. Said producers of the show in the complex and highly complicated route they took in coming up with it- “It sounded cool.”
Spike’s lifestyle is one that affords him a simultaneous rush and laziness, which couldn’t be better suited to fit the ISTP lifestyle. Don’t confine them to a chair and computer, but don’t expect them to be searching for a rush 24/7 either.
Actually, just expect them to do whatever they feel like doing at the moment, which could also describe Spike pretty well.
From Asteroid Blues to to the Real Folk Blues, Spike’s character is one of depth and consistency. Normally laid back, Spike has his moments where he loses his cool if not only for that moment. Like an ISTP, his emotions range from lackadaisical, humorous, pissed off…then back to lackadaisical.
As you probably know, Ti, as opposed to Te, is non-confrontational. It’s why so many so-called nerds would rather use their brain than their fists. It’s what has a strong Ti user enjoy taking things apart to see how they work. Spike’s love of all things mechanical, from his gun to his ship, is shown throughout the show and its the major reason and INTP and ISTP would ever be confused if at all.
It’s part of the reason an ISTP comes across as being so laid back rather than say, an ESTJ, whose dominant function is Te which is obsessed with putting things to use. But ISTPs would rather analyze and calculate than demonstrate and it’s also part of the reason Spike and other ISTPs can seem lazy. Knowing “why” is more important than doing.
Think of it this way- Te is a hammer, Ti is the scalpel.
But while Spike’s Ti makes more than just any ol’ futuristic bounty hunter, giving him an edge on what seems like most of his opponents, their auxiliary function Se can have them act and react with uncanny speed and Spike would be the best example of this. In Session one, Asteroid Blues, the first few minutes of the show paint the picture of a slow moving space bum…while his first fight with bounty head Asimov show that even with Asimov being all hopped up on Red Eye, Spike’s still able to deal with the problem efficiently and escape the fight without a scratch.
This isn’t to say that to be ISTP is to be the best fighter you know, but they’ve just got a natural aptitude for the physical. Be it sports or martial arts (Which sometimes is and sometimes isn’t a sport), ISTPs who care to dedicate themselves to the arena are usually pretty easy to catch on. The combination of intellect and physical prowess make them a top contender for said skills.
And Keirsey wasn’t joking about the way all types look at the time. He says that Artisans (SPs) live in the now (As we know, thanks to Se) and see the past with cynicism. It’s not that every Artisan you meet is going to immediately start grumbling when you bring up the fifth grade, but most of their stories will involved something bad happening, even if it’s told humorously.
Spike himself actually embodies this due to the fact that his right eye is cybernetic from an unspecified incident that goes mostly unspecified. He even tells Faye that ever since, he’s been seeing the present in one eye and the past in the other. But from flashbacks and the past catching up to him, we know that anything good from his past is overclouded by guns, gangs, rain, and betrayal.
How do ISTPs (and other SPs) see the future? Optimistically of course. The way they live is an in-the-moment way of life that has them expecting to get all the brakes, even if that just means dying a quick death. “It hasn’t happened yet, so the odds are in my favor!” or as Spike actually said, “Whatever happens, happens.”
Director Shinichiro Wantanabe says that Spike’s way of dealing with others and his emotions are indirectly because he’s the same way. In Jupiter Jazz Part I, Jet yells at Spike not to go meet Vicious, as it’s practically a death wish- to which Spike hardly responds to.
It’s pretty easy to spot the inferior Fe here, as its users will often pretend the feelings they have aren’t there in the first place. When suddenly…when it’s least expected…POW! Emotions! You won’t understand why or how, but they won’t make any sense and it’s pretty much how the ISTP prefers it. Those that know them best, may tend to see them as big babies due to these occasional, uncontrollable outbursts.
…You know how it is.
Compare the ISTP Spike to the ESTP Faye (Or the ESTP Andy, Spike’s rival in . While both have a love of gambling, smoking, and the fast paced side of bounty hunting, not to mention being your own boss; Spike’s problems seem to follow him wherever he goes and its something he can put off but can’t escape. Faye, on the other hand, is driven toward trouble and doesn’t seem to know how to avoid it.
All in all with the Bebop crew, you’ll notice that even though the frontman is Spike, there really isn’t a leader here. With Jet acting as the doting surrogate dad, Spike and Faye acting as siblings, while Ed takes the role of some weirdo distant relative…and then there’s Ein.