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When Angels are thrown out from Heaven they become Devils, you agree don't you Spike?
~ Vicious to Spike in 'Balled of Fallen Angels'

Vicious is the main antagonist of the anime series Cowboy Bebop. He is the leader of the Red Dragon Crime Syndicate in Tharsis, and is often referred to or depicted as a venomous snake. He has a long, very complicated history with Spike Spiegel, with the two once being friends but, after an incident involving a woman named Julia, became bitter enemies.

He is voiced by Norio Wakamoto in the Japanese version, and Skip Stellrecht in the English dubbed version.


Biography

Nothing is known about Vicious' childhood.

It is revealed that he participated in the Titan Wars along with Gren. He was an infantry rifleman during the Titan War and is shown firing a semi-automatic pistol in a Session 5 flashback, as well as in the Session 26 flashback of him and Spike fighting back-to-back.

Vicious was Spike's partner in the Red Dragon crime syndicate until they fell into conflict over Julia (and possibly over Spike's decision to abandon the Syndicate, though the two may be related). After Spike's supposed death, Vicious left the Red Dragons briefly to fight in the Titan War of 2068. Although his precise motivations for enlisting are debated, his testimony helped frame Gren, his squadmate in the war, for spying, which raises the possibility that he himself might have been involved in military espionage on behalf of the Syndicate and chose to pin it on his admirer. However, in the Titan flashbacks he is also seen to be remembering Julia, as if the cold, distant planet and its war-zone were simply the most appropriate climate for grief. Notably that scene portrays the only suggestion of sentimentality toward Julia herself that Vicious displays during the series.

Appearance

Vicious is a tall and thin man, with untamed, shoulder length gray hair. He always wears black and carries a katana as his weapon of choice. Early on, Vicious is seen with a black bird on his shoulder. Though he is even shown feeding it in one scene, he eventually hides explosives in its stomach and detonates them as a distraction during an escape.

Vicious' real age is 27, he is the same age as Spike, although he appears to be much older. He seems older due to the heavy, ever-present bags under his eyes and his grey hair. His elderly appearance at his young age could possibly be attributed to heavy drug use, the events on Titan, or some event linked to it. At one point in the series and a few flashbacks show him smiling. Different from the usual scowl that is most commonly shown plastered on his face.

Personality

Vicious lives up to his name. He has a cold-hearted, ruthless, bloodthirsty, cunning, and ambitious personality. He will do away with just about anybody who gets in the way of what he desires and is notorious for betraying practically anyone who gets close to him. He is considered by some to be Spike's darker half. Vicious is willing to do anything in order to secure his position of power. Although, Vicious is generally like this, at one point and in a few of the flashbacks, he does show some amount of sympathy.

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