"LOVE AND PEACE!"
Vash the Stampede (ヴァッシュ・ザ・スタンピード) Vasshu za Sutanpīdo) is the main protagonist of the anime and manga series of Trigun. Vash is also known as The Humanoid Typhoon due to the destruction and chaos that often surrounds him. Wielding a huge nickel revolver, he travels from town to town to learn more and protect what his adoptive mother, Rem, treasured most: love and peace. He is initially discovered by Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, two Bernardelli Insurance Society representatives investigating claims made due to damages caused by the mysterious Humanoid Typhoon.
In the anime, the pair find Vash while he is being chased by bandits who want to collect the bounty on "The $$60,000,000,000 (sixty billion double dollar) Man". He escapes while Milly and Meryl eventually learn that Vash is actually the person they are assigned to track.
In the manga, they discover Vash facing off against The Nebraska Father and Son duo after he was avoiding a conflict with the somewhat innocent townsfolk who aimed to use the sixty billion double dollar bounty on his head to correct the financial problems vexing their town.
Vash is not human, but a human-like Plant, inter-dimensional beings that are tapped as a source of power and energy. As a Plant, his body does not physically age past his mid-twenties, though he is 131 by the time the series begins. As "independent" plants, he and his twin brother Knives are capable of consciously using their immense energy to perform incredible destructive feats.
Vash and his twin brother Knives Millions were discovered aboard a SEEDs ship by Rem Saverem, seemingly born from one of the Plants powering the ship. Rem raises them over the course of one year, where they quickly grow from infants to young children.
While experimenting with the ship's databases, Knives disrupts the navigation system, triggering an alarm and waking the dormant passengers aboard. Rem quickly corrects the system and sends the passengers back to sleep, but one awakened crew member, Dr. William Conrad, discovers Vash and Knives. He agrees to keep their existence a secret after talking with Rem.
Knives and Vash later accidentally stumble across a restricted area aboard the ship, and there discover that they were not the first independent Plants to be born. Another plant, Tesla, had been studied by the crew aboard the ship, and subjected to continuous scans and vivisections that eventually led to her slow and painful death.
Knives falls into a shock-induced coma. Horrified, Vash locks himself away and declares his hatred of humanity. Afraid and feeling alone as one of only two independent plants amidst millions of humans, Vash attempts suicide. Rem intervenes, and Vash accidentally wounds her in the process. At first calmed by the sudden catharsis of hurting a human, Vash then becomes horrified by what he has done and saves her. Rem shares her own troubled past and convinces Vash to have faith in the limitless potential for the future, and Vash gains a newfound respect for life.
The Great FallEdit
Knives (having internalized the horror and his emotions) is now unable to believe that humans and Plants can ever coexist, He uses what he learned from his accidental tampering with the ship to crash the Fleet on the nearby planet Gunsmoke. Knives tries to wipe out all the humans while saving only those ships necessary for him, Vash and the other Plants that survive to live on the planet. Rem sends Vash and Knives aboard an escape pod, but stays behind to try to correct the navigation and save as many people as she can, sacrificing herself as a result. Aboard the escape pod, Knives reveals his involvement in the fall. With nowhere else to go Vash follows Knives as they wander Gunsmoke, watching what few humans survived to build cities around the crashed ships.
As Vash later notes, the Great Fall that was intended to save Plants from humans ironically only made humans more exploitative of Plants than ever, forcing them to slowly drain Plants as energy sources to survive amidst the harsh conditions.
Vash and Knives eventually separated after Vash was captured in a small town and Knives killed all the people to save him. Horrified, Vash shot Knives in the shoulder, causing Knives to retaliate by slicing off Vash's left arm. Following their separation, Vash wandered Gunsmoke until he was found by a group of humans that lived aboard a still mostly functional ship. Vash adopted the city as his new home, and there received his cybernetic arm.
The infamous July Incident occurred before the start of the manga, when Vash traveled to the city of July in search of Count Revnant Vaszues. Vash correctly believed him to be the pseudonym of Dr. William Conrad, who had used his knowledge of plants to build a wealthy life in July. However, he is confronted by Knives, who has already forced Conrad into his service. Knives captures Vash and has Conrad study Vash's arm to better understand their abilities. Knives decides to attempt to activate Vash's dormant powers forcibly, but the plan backfires and the blast obliterates July, directly killing 200,000 people and severely wounding Knives. Conrad and Legato find Knives amidst the rubble, and save his life, with Legato swearing revenge on Vash for what happened to Knives.
The incident secures Vash's reputation as The Humanoid Typhoon.
The series opens with Vash being chased by bounty hunters, only to be saved by the arrival of Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson of the Bernardelli Insurance Society who announce that Vash has been classified as a "Natural Disaster" and as such his bounty has been canceled. Though initially happy to learn of the bounty's cancellation, he is dismayed when he learns the two intend on following him.
As he travels (with the insurance girls in pursuit) he happens to pass by a priest stranded in the desert. The priest introduces himself as Nicholas D. Wolfwood, and the two-part on friendly terms.
The primary story begins with the arrival of Legato Bluesummers, who identifies himself as a follower of Knives. Legato gives Vash a coin case, warning Vash that twelve assassins will come for him, each bearing a coin, and if Vash is successful in collecting all twelve "something interesting will happen."
The twelve are revealed to be the Gung-Ho-Guns, Knives' elite killers, and the priest Wolfwood has recently been contracted as one of them under the name Nicholas the Chapel. Vash is successful in defeating the first three, Monev the Gale, E. G. Mine, and Dominique the Cyclops, though he loses his cybernetic arm in the battle with Gale.
Knives reawakens and recovers from his injuries sustained in the July Incident, and Vash goes to confront him, leaving the insurance girls behind. Knives triggers Vash's power in order to showcase his power over mankind and destroy the city, but Vash was able to resist and redirect the blast skyward, creating an enormous crater on the moon.
2 years later, the priest Nicholas D. Wolfwood arrives in a city in search of Vash the Stampede. Once he discovers Vash, he finally convinces him to come out of his pseudo-retirement, telling of Knives' exploits and progress in wiping out humanity. Learning of Vash's locations, the broken but alive Legato declares that the killing game has begun anew, and sends Rai-Dei the Blade.
In his confrontation with Blade, Vash learns that Legato and the Gung-Ho-Guns have discovered the location of his home. After Wolfwood executes Blade, the two have a near falling out over the morality of killing, but they agree to continue traveling together, going to Vash's home. There, Vash battles Leonoff the Puppetmaster and Wolfwood fights Grey the Ninelives. After their victory, Vash learns from the inhabitants that the ship has successfully made contact with Earth, and ships will be arriving to save them from Gunsmoke.
Knives uses his powers to cut down the satellites used to communicate with Earth, and Vash resumes his travels when he learns of the severed connection and correctly guesses the reason. They reunite with the insurance girls but the two girls get caught up in a battle when Midvalley the Hornfreak, Hoppered the Gauntlet, and Zazie the Beast arrive. As a survivor of the July Incident, Hoppered seeks revenge on Vash, while Wolfwood's true goals are questioned by Midvalley as the two battle. In the battle, Vash's abilities and repressed memories are awakened again, and only Elendira the Crimsonnail's intervention defuses the situation. The Insurance Girls thus learn the truth about Vash's powers as a Plant.
After burying Hoppered and Midvalley, Vash and Wolfwood continue their travels to Knives' base, where Vash and Knives battle once again. Vash is defeated and restrained by Legato, while Knives sets out aboard his Ark with a new plan for wiping out humanity: traveling from city to city to absorb the Plants to increase his power and cut off humanity from their one lifeline. Wolfwood betrays the Guns and rescues Vash, revealing his true identity as Nicholas the Punisher of the Eye of Michael and the Gung-Ho-Guns. He also reveals that he betrayed the real Chapel to try to infiltrate the Guns and kill Knives. Wolfwood leaves shortly thereafter when he learns the last of the Guns and the real Chapel are heading toward the orphanage where he grew up.
Vash rejoins Wolfwood and fights alongside him to protect the orphanage, but Wolfwood still passes due to his injuries. Livio the Double Fang (Wolfwood's childhood friend) joins Vash, and the two head to December, the last human city. Vash uses his power to create destructive bullets that efficiently damage the now-monstrous Knives. The ships from Earth arrive, and battle Knives and the Ark while Legato arrives for one final confrontation with Vash. Legato reveals that the now completed coin case blocks his powers, meaning that the entirety of Vash's journey against the Guns has led to this climactic finish.
After a grueling battle that forces Vash to use his last of his power, Vash finally defeats Legato. The deranged Bluesummers then threatens the injured Livio by controlling the corpse of Elendira, pushing the exhausted Vash into breaking his vow not to kill in order to protect Wolfwood's legacy. However, unable to stop with so much at stake, Vash continues on and helps break Knives' control over the Ark and the absorbed plants. The now powerless Knives confronts Vash one last time, but Vash saves Knives from the vengeful ships from Earth and flies off. Knives and Vash make peace before Knives uses up the last of his power and passes away. After months of healing and now hunted by both bounty hunters and Earth Force, Vash returns to his life of adventure with a smile.
The Great Fall Edit
Vash's past differs greatly in the anime. He and Knives do not discover Tesla and Vash doesn't try to commit suicide and doesn't accidentally stab Rem.
Vash and Knives were found by the crew as human-like infants a year before the Project SEEDS fleet arrived at Gunsmoke. The crew initially wanted to kill them; however, Rem threw herself between the twins and the weapons, begging for their life. In just one year, they aged nearly ten years in appearance and had much higher intellectual capabilities than normal. Steve (a very abrasive, jock-like, crew member) disliked the idea of the living Plants on the control ship and didn't conceal it (ironically, he's the exact look-alike of Vash's friend Brad. Possibly being Brad's ancestor or relative). He insisted on the twins being monsters and often hit or kicked them when the other crew members weren't around.
One day in the recreation room, Rem cut Vash's hair and styles into his current spiky hairstyle. She says how Vash reminds her of her old boyfriend, Alex. She tells Vash "Thanks to him, I was able to face my mistakes without judgment. I learned to make them right again.". When Vash asks where he is, Rem tells him he's now in heaven. Vash then goes on to say that he will protect Rem and tells her he loves her. Knives, lost in his own thoughts of what his purpose for being there was, and possibly jealous of the close bond between Rem and Vash, eventually left to cut his own hair. When finished he runs his hand through it but gets angry and shouts "It's all wrong!", possibly because he couldn't copy Vash's hair himself. When Vash finds him shortly afterward and asks what happened, Knives smiles it off, saying "If we stay the same, there's no individuality."
This is the first time that a change in Knives' demeanor can be perceived. Later, the crew discusses the twins' hairstyles, with Vash getting called a "momma's boy." Steve gets angry and calls the two of them monsters again then drapes himself over Mary when she tells him he's had too much to drink. Knives rebukes him, saying "You are a disgrace. Is that any way for a grown man like you to behave in the presence of innocent children?" Steve laughs manically out of the room. When the others comment on his crazy behavior, Knives whispers, "It's because he's afraid". Later on, Knives is seen entering Rolan's room, and then Mary's room (both rooms occupied by their owners) . It is later implied Knives convinced Mary and Rolan (who has feelings for Mary) that they should both make up a story in order to get Steve out of the way.
Again at the recreation room, the twins and Rem find a butterfly stuck in a spiderweb. Vash attempts to save it when Knives grabs the spider, killing it. Knives justifies the action by saying it was the easiest way to stop the spider and save the butterfly. Vash, however, becomes distressed because he wanted to save both. Knives counters that you can't save both because the spider would die of starvation unless it ate the butterfly. Rem breaks in, saying that you can't make that choice lightly because they're both living creatures. Knives continues to argue that his way of thinking is right. Vash knocks him to the ground and yells at him stating he wanted to save both, completely stunning Knives. After a moment they both sit up. Knives leaves, saying that the two of them don't make any sense; Vash shouts back that it is him that doesn't make any sense.
Sometime later, the crew is gathered in a watching room, were in another room Steve is in a straight-jacket awaiting sentencing. Joey states that according to interplanetary law, Steve will be relieved of duty and frozen until they land where he will stand trial. Steve continually shouts that he didn't do anything, while Rolan jadedly says that he saw him enter Mary's room. Rem argues that it's not too late to hear Steve's side of the story to which Mary quietly says that he raped her. Joey says that to function as a group they need laws to keep them safe. Despite Steve and Rem's protests, Steve is frozen. Knives is then seen grinning madly.
Afterward, Vash asks Rem "why can't people can't get along?" Rem replies "it's because humans all have different ways of thinking, but even if a mistake is made, as long as a person realizes their mistake, it's possible to make it right again. And if you keep your vision clear, you will see the future. This is what one must realize." These words leave a marked impression on Vash.
Meanwhile, Rolan proposes to Mary, even handing her a ring. She says he must be teasing and he reveals that he adjusted the freezer temperature that Steve is in, effectively killing him. Mary is horrified at this, but Rolan smiles, saying "I guess that now makes us partners." Rem and the twins hear gunshots shortly after and notify Joey, then race to the room to find Rolan standing over Mary, who shot her multiple times. Rolan tells Rem that he had no choice, that Mary had betrayed him after all he had done for her. He then points the gun at Knives, saying that it must be his fault that Mary had to die. Rem stands in front of the line of fire and tries to talk Rolan down, saying that no one has the right to take the life of another. Joey tries to get in contact with them, eventually getting a video feed from the room to work. Rem continues to slowly walk toward Rolan while he steps back, clearly disheveled and scared. Rem is about to take the gun from Rolan when Joey opens a hatch behind Rolan, sending him and Mary's body into space while safety bars close keeping Rem from being sucked out too.
Rem is incredibly upset. Joey tries to explain that he thought Rolan was going to shoot her, and that he was doing what he thought was best. Rem is convinced that Rolan wasn't going to shoot her, and laments their fallen comrades with Vash by her side while Knives heads off to the bridge where Joey is. Knives tells Joey that he agrees with his decision; that it was the right choice, but Joey has doubts, saying that maybe Rem was right. Angered by his change of heart, Knives says that he's just like all the other humans and shoots Joey, confirming to himself that his is the right choice. He leaves the gun in Joey's hand and alters the ship's course program.
Rem and Vash hear a message from the computer system that the fleet had changed its course and was about to crash. The three decide to go to the escape pods, but at the last moment, Rem hangs back, saying she has to try help Joey and save the others. She closes the door despite Vash's protests, telling him to take care of Knives. The pod launches and Vash watches as the control ship Rem is on explode in reentry.
As Vash collapses, crying, Knives laughs, surprised by Rem's self-sacrifice. He reveals his plan of changing the courses of the ships containing SEEDS project humans, while keeping the plant ships safe so he and Vash could create a paradise for them alone on the new planet. Only attempting to keep Rem alive because Vash was so attached to her. Just at that moment all of the fleets receives a new directive, automatically starting the reverse thrusters so the ships can enter the atmosphere safely. Rem was able to save Project SEEDS and Knives is surprised. The pod then falls onto the surface of a planet.
When Vash regains consciousness, he sees dozens of ships raining down like meteors. Knives try to help him, but Vash pushes him away; accusing him. Knives demeanor changes as he grins madly, agreeing with what he did, calling it "spectacular". The two brothers then spent the following years wandering through the deserts, observing crash sites and the few survivors. During a discussion about humans leeching off of the Plants to survive, Knives' proclaims that he's out to kill the spiders to save the butterflies as that is what makes logical sense. While Knives is sleeping Vash holds a rock above Knives' head, ready to kill him to save the humans but finds himself unable to do so, not wanting to go against everything Rem told him and throws the rock down, crying.
During their search through the crash sites, they find a group of humans arguing over water. Knives (disgusted by their selfish behavior) activates the ship-board Plant's Angel Arm, but Vash pushes him over and prevents him from firing. Years later, Knives finds the ship he was looking for. He spends 1 year rummaging through the wreckage whilst Vash waits for him to return, saying how he hates being alone. When Knives returns he finally presents two revolvers and wears battle armor. He throws one of the revolvers to Vash, and tells him they are their new "siblings" and would be used to wipe out the "human scourge," before going up to a hill and test-firing, creating a huge blast similar to a nuclear explosion.
Vash (knowing that the two guns were made to aid Knives in his plan of "cleansing" the planet of its human populace) becomes conflicted both emotionally and morally against his brother's goal; remembering the morals Rem taught him. In his conflict, Vash shoots Knives in the leg. After witnessing the pain and shock his brother has just experienced Vash, in panic and dismay, takes both guns and flees into the desert as Knives painfully calls out for him to come back.
Vash then spends two years alone wandering Gunsmoke until he finally collapses from exhaustion and is rescued by a group of humans from the only remaining fully functioning SEEDS ship above the planet. While there, he makes friends with the humans and is gifted with his signature red (duster styled) trench coat. After a few months, he leaves and ventures out into the world. Vash returns to the ship 80 years later in search of any relatives of Rem in its data banks. There he finds the last one alive: PASSENGER NO.300-89-9023AS, known as "Revenant Buskus". Buskus had studied Plants and established a new plant-theory in July City.
The July Incident Edit
Upon arriving in July City he is greeted by Knives, who had slain Buskus; the very man Vash had come to speak with. Knives announces that he's destroyed the last connection Vash had to Rem so that he can stop with his foolish sentiment towards humans. Vash points his gun at Knives and in the exchange that follows Knives shoots off Vash's left arm. Against Vash's will, Knives activates Vash's previously dormant Angel Arm, hoping to annihilate the surrounding town.
However, Vash aims the blast at Knives; the resulting blast reducing July to rubble. Though there were no casualties as a direct result of the skirmish (as Vash's Angel Arm seems to only destroy inorganic material). However, there were indirect fatalities after the homeless citizens of July began to fight among themselves; turning the remnants of the town to "Hell", in the words of one survivor.
The $$60,000,000,000 Man Edit
The incident in July brands Vash an outlaw throughout Gunsmoke and he comes to be known as "The Stampede" and "The Humanoid Typhoon" as destruction seemingly follows him wherever he goes. A bounty of 60,000,000,000$$ is then placed on Vash, dead or alive, the largest bounty ever placed. With Knives unaccounted for, Vash spends the next twenty-three years hiding from civilization in order to stay alive. It is at this time two insurance agents, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, are assigned to find and watch Vash in order to prevent further damage wherever he goes. After their first meeting, the two women accompany Vash throughout his travels, much to Vash's dismay.
The next pivotal point in the story comes in April City. Upon learning Vash the Stampede is in the city, the residents seek to capture him for the bounty as the city has been depraved and sunken in poverty due to the shutdown of one of the city's main reactors. In a desperate, but foolish, attempt to capture him the city's mayor enlists the help of the Nebraska Family, a sinister father and his giant half-machine son who have recently escaped from prison.
Vash is captured without the Nebraskas' help in a small saloon, but soon the Nebraska's reveal they have plans of their own for the bounty. The bar is destroyed by Goseph's retractable fist, but all inside manage to survive. Vash carries the survivors to safety and stands off with the Nebraskas, but the family stoops to lower methods by taking aim at the survivors in order to strike Vash off his guard. However, Vash thwarts this action and defeats the Nebraska family with only six bullets.
The city's wealth is restored with the bounty for the Nebraskas and repair immediately begins on the damaged reactor. The project is led by a young, beautiful woman named Elizabeth who soon reveals she has an agenda of her own, that being to kill Vash. She lures Vash to the reactor which she has sabotaged to seemingly prevent Vash from escaping. When Elizabeth locks Vash in the reactor she reveals her intentions to kill him are not for the bounty, but for vengeance. Twenty-three years before, a three-year-old Elizabeth was a resident of July City when it was destroyed by Vash. Though none of the residents were killed in the destruction they began to destroy themselves in their pain and suffering. Elizabeth's parents would-be victims to this destruction and she would be all alone. In her flashback, she finds comfort in the arms of one man, a very familiar man.
As Elizabeth leaves Vash to die, he miraculously shuts the reactor down himself before encountering Elizabeth outside as she pulls a pistol on him intent on getting her revenge. Vash then tells her he remembers nothing of July's destruction, only the ruins of the city when he awoke. Shocked, Elizabeth still begs in her sorrow for revenge, but suddenly recognizes a tearing Vash as the man who comforted her all those years ago. She collapses in the realization of the truth and spares him.
Nicholas D. Wolfwood Edit
As Vash and the girl's journey on they meet a traveling priest carrying a large steel cross named Wolfwood. Although he appears to be just an ordinary priest, in an ensuing struggle with machines powered by lost technology, Wolfwood shows to be more by using his own skills in gunfighting. The two-part ways afterward but would meet many times down the road. 2 years after the Fifth Moon Incident Wolfwood tracks down Vash, who is living in a quiet town called Kasted City overrun by bandits and informs him of a mysterious incident in Carcases town in which the inhabitants disappeared without a trace and the only clue to the cause is the name Knives is painted on a stone in the middle of town. This causes Vash to take up his gun once more and leave his peaceful life to go take care of his brother, soon after the Milly and Meryl begin traveling with Vash again and the group starts traveling together. Wolfwood accompanies Vash on a visit to his home SEED ship and once they arrive they are met almost immediately with conflict by the reemergence of the Gung-Ho-Guns and are attacked by puppets controlled by Leonof the Puppet-Master, Hoppered the Gauntlet, and Gray the Nine Lives, after a long struggle the two defeat them with Hoppered dying in a Plant core explosion and Gray and Leonof being killed by Wolfwood with latter being out of revenge for the murder of Brad. Soon after, Wolfwood consoles Vash after Brad's unfortunate death and the group eventually reach a town that is barred off and protected heavily after another incident involving mysterious disappearances with the town not allowing them to enter, The four then come in contact with a group of orphans living outside of town and stay there for a little while until they need to assist the city when it is attacked and it is revealed to be one of the orphans that was behind the entire incident, who was in truth Zazie the Beast a member of the Gung-Ho-Guns who holds Vash at gunpoint threatening to shoot him and the orphans while Vash, the orphans, and the insurance girls trying to convince him otherwise and it appears as though it is working, but despite best efforts for a peaceful solution Woolfwood decides to shoot Zazie to save Vash and the others causing a falling out over both his and Vash's ideals overkilling. After arriving in Carcases the Woolfwood splits off from the others and encounters his teacher Chapel the Evergreen and it is revealed that Woolfwood was hired by Knives to bring Vash to him and is warned of an incoming battle, later Woolfwood questions his decision to kill Zazie contemplating his life's history with violence and starting to come to grips with it believing in alternatives to killing while breaking down and crying being comforted by Milly, the next day Wolfwood apologizes to Vash over the fallout as does Vash but the moment is broken up by a gunshot from the sniper Caine the Longshot with the two hiding out in a nearby saloon and making plans to take on Chapel and Caine with Wolfwood deciding to take on his former mentor and Vash going after the sniper, but not before Nicholas asking Vash what his real name is with him replying that it is "irrelevant" with the two of them reconciling and giving the other a smile before going off to battle. After a brief scuffle Nicholas defeats Chapel and decides to embrace his comrade's morals and not kill him walking away, but after his back is turned Chapel, under the control of Legato, raises his Punisher with Wolfwood doing the same and gunshots are fired but only from Chapels gun fatally wounding Nicholas who once again consoles Vash for not being able to prevent Caine's suicide and informs him of Knives' location to which Vash questions but he is already gone leaving a blood trail to a nearby church and after a brief few words of regret over his life actions Wolfwood passes away and is later found by Vash who retrieves his Punisher gun and buries him, later informing the girls of his passing. The next day, Vash goes off on his own to mourn privately crying at the loss of his best friend, he would later honor him by using his Cross Punisher in his final battle against Knives with the gun ultimately securing Vash's victory.
Legato Bluesummers and the Gung-Ho-Guns Edit
The story comes to its main focus when Vash encounters Legato Bluesummers who shocks Vash to the knowledge of his brother's survival by revealing that he is in service to Knives. Knives has made it the sole purpose of Legato's life to cause "eternal pain and suffering" for Vash through a cutthroat and mostly super-humanoid gang known as the Gung-Ho-Guns. In order to carry out Legato's purpose, the Guns seek to harm Vash and eliminate all that's around him of whom he cares for. This even results in the deaths of the entire gang, not by Vash himself, but either due to elimination for their failures by Legato or suicide in order to scar Vash's conscience.
Vash's struggles with Legato come to a turning point with the death of Wolfwood. In the next city, he comes to Vash and he encounters Midvalley the Hornfreak, who fails to defeat Vash and uses his powerful horn to kill himself. Though Vash is further scarred by these events and continues his pursuit of Legato, he still refuses to kill him when Legato reveals his intent to allow Vash to do so in order to bring his "ultimate" suffering by his first conscious kill. It is only when Legato threatens the lives of Meryl and Milly in the anime, and Livio in the manga, that Vash has no other alternative and shoots Legato in the head, killing him.
Reunion and Final Battle Edit
The girls bring Vash to a small town to heal his injuries as Vash spends the next few weeks in torment over what he perceived to be his first murder. Vash refuses to confront Knives knowing he would have to kill again should the moment come. When the locals of the town learn of Vash's presence they take him to the outskirts of town and drag him behind a speeding vehicle. Meryl comes to Vash's aid and stands between him and a frustrated gunman. Vash sees Rem in Meryl's actions and his morale is revived. Saying his goodbyes for what may be the last time, Vash ventures into the desert with Wolfwood's Cross Punisher to confront Knives for the final battle, finding him in a small flourishing oasis in the middle of the desert.
After the two exchange docile greetings they face-off. The fight soon comes to a stalemate, as both men come face to face with one another's guns. Knives (knowing Vash won't fire) shoots Vash, subduing him, then prepares his Angel Arm and fires it. Vash counters with his own Angel Arm and negates it. Knives, however, gains the upper-hand once more and takes Vash's gun giving him two Angel Arms. As Knives is about to fire, the voice of Wolfwood comes to Vash telling him to "use it."
Vash then drives his hand into the ground and retrieves Wolfwood's Cross Punisher, firing it at Knives. Knives loses control of the Angel Arms as Vash shoots Knives in his shoulders and calves, thus subduing him and ending the fight. Vash emerges victorious and after discarding his famed red coat and gun, finally comes to terms with Rem's death, declaring that while he will always believe in her, he will now turn to his own words for guidance. He leaves with an unconscious Knives over his shoulder as he returns to the town where Meryl and Milly await.
Vash displays throughout both the manga and the anime two very distinct personalities. Initially, Vash usually exaggerates foolish characteristics to make people feel un-threatened and to hide his identity, as well as using these outrageous actions and chronic kindness as a way to mask his own pain (as noticed by Millie). He exhibits an almost obsessive love of doughnuts, engages in lecherous behavior, plays games with the local children and aids and befriends the adults, as well as making the occasional bizarre joke or quip (for example, upon meeting Wolfwood, he introduced himself as "Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gumbigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andres Charton-Haymoss Ivanovicci Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III"). He frequently voices the catchphrase, "This world is made of love and peace," which is usually complemented by his flashing of the "V" or Peace sign, much to the confusion of friends and acquaintances and the chagrin of his enemies.
Vash's other side is an utterly tormented and lonely being and is rarely shown when he is in the company of others. Due to his long life and legendary (and infamous) reputation, Vash has lost both a great many friends and his only family. In several instances (as implied by Luida) people he trusted have either betrayed him or been killed for simply knowing him. For the 20 years (between the loss of July and the revocation of his bounty) he was a hunted man and frequently had to hide his identity and fend off waves of persistent bounty hunters. Thus, he is often prone to brooding and depression whilst alone or engaging in deep introspective thought.
A point of conflict in the series is the inner differences between Vash and Millions Knives, his twin brother, and their regard for humanity. Despite his long-suffering and ill-treatment by human beings, Vash chooses to remain hopeful and loving toward humanity; whereas Knives has fallen into a deep-seated hatred of the entire race despite never personally suffering at their hands. Their personalities also have other key differences: Vash cannot stand the despair of being alone, whereas Knives revels in his loneliness and has no desire for any company other than Vash.
Because Vash refuses to kill any of his opponents, he often suffers at the hands of a number of very unscrupulous enemies. As a result, his body is a patchwork of large scars, chunks of missing flesh supported by metal mesh, and stitch marks. Despite his hesitance to show his body (especially to ladies, whom he believes would be repulsed), Vash never uses his power to remove them or repair his body, choosing to keep the scars as a reminder of the price he pays for his unlimited mercy.
Aside from his Angel Arm, Vash has shown a superhuman level of agility, strength, reflexes, eyesight and complete muscle control. In episodes of the anime, Vash has often shown the ability to dodge bullets at close range and dodge skilled melee attacks (at one point doing so while at the same time pretending to dance with a woman). During a gun duel competition, Vash was able to prevent the deaths of many of the competitors by throwing rocks at key moments to knock bullets off their lethal courses. Vash is possibly stronger than most human beings as seen when he was able to use Wolfwood's Punisher (although he did comment on its weight). As seen in the anime Vash has carried Meryl and Milly after he ruined a car ride. Finally, his intelligence is stated to be superior to that of most (if not all) humans. In the anime, it is shown that he is capable of telepathic communication with his brother, though whether or not he possesses Knives' telekinetic capabilities remains uncertain.
Vash habitually carries a custom made .45 caliber silver or nickel-plated revolver double-action with a top break reloading mechanism that fires .45 Long Colt ammunition. Despite its appearance, it is shown having 7 shots in the fight against Goseph and Father Nebraska. The engraving on the side of the gun describes it is a ".45 Long Colt AGL Arms Factory" with wings around the "AGL" as in angel. Vash's revolver has the barrel aligned with the 6 o'clock chamber, not the 12 o'clock chamber as is the typical configuration of standard revolvers. Very few weapons follow this form factor, the Mateba Autorevolver, and the Chiappa Rhino being the two most common. In the series, this handgun was created as part of a pair by Knives, of which Vash was given the silver model, and Knives kept the black model. Vash eventually carries both weapons for a time, before losing the black gun to Knives in another fight. Both guns were designed to be used left-handed, though Vash shoots right-handed.
In the manga, Vash uses his unique gun more out of mere novelty and habit. Visually the handgun in the manga is also different from that in the anime, though it still features the unique placement of the barrel in the 6 o'clock position. In Trigun Maximum, the revolver used in the anime appears for Vash for use as a two-panel replacement for his standard gun while it is being repaired.
In the series, within Vash's trademark revolver lies the catalyst needed to activate his "Angel Arm". The Angel Arm is Vash's ultimate weapon. Upon activation, his right arm transforms into a weapon powerful enough to destroy entire cities with a single blast. Vash fears the Angel Arm's potential for destruction and knows little about how to use it.
In the manga, the Angel Arm is a natural feature of a plant's body and can be manipulated into various shapes to create a number of effects beyond destruction. His power using the Angel Arm is limited: like a battery, it contains only a certain amount of energy, and when that energy is gone he will die. Vash's Angel Arm typically takes the shape of a large cannon weapon, which uses a tremendous amount of power. As a meter of spent energy a plant's hair color gradually darkens as their internal power is spent until reaching a final color of black when fully depleted. To illustrate the power of the Angel Arm, Vash's hair began to darken after the second time he fires it, using enough energy to blast a hole in the moon. Throughout the manga, Vash learns to gain better control of his power to form smaller cannons and defensive feathers, he even shows mastery to an extent of infusing its singularity-inducing capabilities into bullets for proper use without firing it, although his hair continues to grow darker until it becomes almost completely black. By the climax of the series, he has only a small lock of blond hair left.
Defensive Wings Edit
During his final battle with Legato in the manga, Vash uses his Plant abilities to create a fully automatic defensive blade. Anyone that enters with the range of these blades will almost instantly cut them without Vash's direction. These blades were able to cut through the massive Guernica with ease were able to cut Legato dozens of times before he could react.
Cybernetic Machine-gun Arm Edit
Vash lost his left arm when Knives blew it off using a different revolver, after Vash stole Knives' black Angel Arm pistol years earlier. In the manga, Knives cut it off when they were younger with a blade he formed from his own body. He now has a cybernetic replacement, which also conceals an integrated firearm. In both the series and manga, it is initially a powerful semiautomatic pistol that is later upgraded to a fully automatic submachine gun. In the manga, Vash's cybernetic arm is severed during his attempt to escape Monev the Gale, causing him to spent a number of chapters with only one arm until it is replaced with the submachine gun-equipped arm. The anime episodes based off of these chapters however leave his arm intact.
Other Weapons and Equipment EditIn the series, Vash can be seen using a knife hidden in the toe of his boot in multiple episodes. During his battle with Brilliant Dynamites Neon, he uses an automatic weapon that appears similar to an AK-47 carbine. In the climactic final battle with Knives, he also uses Wolfwood's Cross Punisher.
In the manga, Vash's signature coat changes on multiple occasions, usually after being damaged, destroyed, or lost. At least one model is described as being bullet-proof. During a battle with Knives aboard The Ark, tubes on his then-present coat were used to reload his revolver and to feed ammunition into his sub-machine gun. The tubes were used without Vash laying hands on them, but it is not made clear if this is done by mechanical means, or by Vash using his plant abilities. The coat design never changes in the anime, remaining consistent with each repair or replacement.
- Adult Vash the Stampede anime voices: Masaya Onosaka (Japanese), Johnny Yong Bosch (English)
- Young Vash the Stampede anime voices: Hajimenori Miyata (Japanese), Bryce Papenbrook (English)
- In the manga, Wolfwood calls Vash tongari, which translates to "spikey head". In the anime, Wolfwood frequently calls Vash "needle noggin"
- A billboard advertising a Trigun movie with Vash's face is pictured in the manga Sun-Ken Rock. Boichi, the author of Sun-Ken Rock, also explains how he made Vash's coat.
- Vash made a cameo appearance in Wild Arms 2nd Ignition
- In certain frames, the buttons on Vash's coat are reminiscent of udders, an idea consistent with the meaning of the word "vache," which is "cow" in French.
- The catalysts inside the guns owned by Vash and Knives are black and white. This may refer to the Yin and Yang (or possibly good and evil).
- Vash's unique yellow lens zigzag-armed sunglasses are frequently destroyed in the anime, only to reappear with no explaination in a following episode.
- Vash's sunglasses are briefly worn by Wolfwood in place of his own during the movie.
- Strangely, during the anime, there are scenes where Vash is depicted wearing normal clothing as opposed to his trademark red coat, during which the scars and damage that would be visible on his right hand are completely absent.
- Despite appearing with them in every episode of the anime, Vash has only referred to Meryl by name once, and he has never referred to Milly by name.
- In the manga, Vash's hair begins to discolor black as a sign of exhausting his powers as a plant. This does not occur in the anime however.
- Vash is 131 years old in the anime, however, because his race is that of a plant and not a human it is possible that his life span may be different.
- Donuts are Vash's favorite food.
- Vash (and Knives) plant powers are finite. Because Vash uses his gun and rarely uses his powers Knives eventually exhausts his powers.
- Because there is no official date, fans celebrate Vash's birthday as July 21st as it marks the day of July's destruction.
- Vash was the only cast member of the series to retain his voice actor from the Pioneer/Geneon dub, Johnny Yong Bosch, for the Funimation-dubbed release of Trigun: Badlands Rumble.