|Books character||TV character|
Takeshi Lev Kovacs (nicknamed Tak) is a native of Harlan's World and a former member of the Colonial Tactical Assault Corps. Kovacs is of Japanese and Hungarian (Slovak) descent. (Though "Kovač" /as spelled in Serbo-Croatian and transl. as 'a smith'/ is a widespread Slavic family-name brought there mostly from Slovaks, and also Serbs, Croats and other Slavs during Austro-Hungarian Empire. And Slavic-Japanese genetic-combination, as Takeshi correctly states: "In the case of my parents: The match made in hell"). Growing up with his sister, Reileen, they suffered an abusive childhood. Their father killed their mother and hid the body. One day his father threatened Rei, causing Kovacs to shoot and kill him. Although he doesn't share his younger sisters last name, her father is showed in flashbacks to be a white male so it's safe to assume that while Takeshi took his fathers name, Reileen would take her mothers, as their mother was of Asian decent from her family photo she shows to Tekeshi.
Taken into custody by the Colonial Tactical Assault Corps, Kovacs was given the option to enlist. He agreed as long as they promised to look after Reileen. Kovacs' original sleeve was kept in storage on Harlan's World while he was needlecast off-world to begin his training.
After several years, a mission to Harlan's World brought Kovacs back into his original sleeve. During a mission against the Yakuza, he encountered his sister who was working as an enforcer for them. Kovacs immediately turned on CTAC when they tried to kill Reileen, while she turned on her Yakuza masters. Both fugitives, they fled into the wilds of Harlan's World where they encountered Quellcrist Falconer and joined her Envoys.
Following the defeat of the Uprising, Kovacs returned to criminal life and became a mercenary, and was eventually imprisoned, his Cortical Stack stored without a body for decades at a time as punishment before being paroled or hired out to work high-risk situations. His consciousness was eventually imprinted back into a new sleeve in 2384.
CTAC Praetorians caught up with Kovacs and a local mercenary, Sarah, after a mission to retrieve several Cortical Stacks. During the firefight, Sarah's Sleeve was killed and Kovacs was arrested by Jaeger. Because of their past and Kovacs' disrespectful attitude, Jaeger shot Sarah through the Stack. Kovacs attempted to fight back but his Sleeve was killed and his Stack retrieved. He was incarcerated at Millsport Maximum Security Prison, with Jaeger's report claiming that Kovacs had shot Sarah in the Stack prior to being arrested. Kovacs' sentence had no end date.
Throughout the series Edit
Takeshi appears to be a person of strict loyalty to both family, people and organizations- in that, he is loyal to a person/organization who has earned his loyalty, but he has no qualms in breaking that loyalty if the person/organization in question breaks that loyalty. A prime example is the CTAC. Takeshi was loyal to this organization for many years in the understanding that they had looked after his sister by placing her with a loving family. When he realized they had sold her to the Yakuza, his loyalty was shattered, and his family loyalty towards his sister took precedence.
- In "Fallen Angel", Kovacs is shown to have another seven known sleeves (including the ones played by Will Lee Yun and Byron Mann when entering Psychasec.
- He is fluent in Japanese. | As seen in In a Lonely Place at Bancroft's party.
- He can read people's lips.
Memorable Quotes Edit
"Technology advances, but humans don't. We're smart monkeys, and what we want is always the same. Food, shelter, sex, and in all its forms, escape..."