|Vash the Stampede|
Valentinez Kaiser III
|Romanization||Vasshu za Sutanpīdo|
|Age||Over 150 years|
|Relations||Millions Knives (brother)|
|Behind the scenes|
|Created by||内藤 泰弘 - Naitō Yasuhiro|
|Designed by||内藤 泰弘 - Naitō Yasuhiro|
|“|| Total slaughter, total slaughter. I won't leave a single man alive.
La de da de dai, genocide. La de da de duh, an ocean of blood.
Let's begin the killing time.
— Vash the Stampede, Trigun
Wielding a huge silver revolver, he travels from town to town. 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 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 billon double dollar bounty on his head to correct the financial problems vexing their town. In the anime, the pair find Vash while he is being chased by bandits who want to collect the bounty on the "sixty billion double dollar man". He escapes while Milly and Meryl eventually learn that Vash is the person they are assigned to track.
In the beginning of the manga, his bounty was revoked by the Federation of States, since he was classified as a natural disaster, as opposed to a man.
Vash and his twin brother Knives were discovered by Rem Saverem aboard a SEEDs ship, a space ship colony containing the last few surviving humans that had fled Earth after its destruction. They were 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 purposely 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 was subjected to continuous scans and vivisections that eventually led to her slow and painful death.
Horrified, Knives 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 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 of the future, and Vash gains a newfound respect for life. Knives on the other hand, now unable to believe that humans and plants can ever coexist, uses what he learned from his accidental tampering before to crash the fleet on the planet known as No-man's Land/Gunsmoke (a name not coined until the end), intending to wipe out all the humans and save only those ships necessary for him, Vash, and whatever plants that are left to survive 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, and so dies in the crash. Aboard the escape pod, Knives reveals his involvement in the fall, and starts Vash's hatred to him. He later finds himself with nowhere else to go, and so follows Knives as they wander the planet, watching what few survivors there were build cities around the crashed ships.
Vash and Knives are separated after Vash's capture in a small town, that led Knives to kill all the people to save him. Horrified, Vash shoots Knives in the shoulder, causing him to retaliate by cutting 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 adopts the city as his new home, there receiving his signature cybernetic arm. The infamous July Incident occurs before the start of the manga, when Vash traveled to the "Third City", July, in search of Count Revnant Vaszques, whom Vash correctly believed to be the pseudonym of Dr. William Conrad, who had used his knowledge of plants to build a wealthy life in the city. Upon arrival he is confronted by Knives, who had already forced Conrad into his service. Knives captures Vash and has Conrad study Vash's arm to better understand their abilities. Knives attempts to activate Vash's dormant powers forcibly, but the plan backfires and the blast obliterates July, directly killing 200,000 people[Note 4] 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. The incident secures Vash's reputation as The Humanoid Typhoon, and the bounty of sixty billion double dollars on his head.
Vash usually exaggerates foolish characteristics to make people feel unthreatened and hide his identity, as well as a way to mask his own pain. The only manifestation of hate he has is for Knives, who he blames for Rem's death and has sworn to kill. 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, introducing himself with an incredibly long name).[Note 5] He frequently voices the catchphrase, "This world is made of love and peace," which is usually complemented by the flashing of his "V" sign, much to the confusion of 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, people he trusted have either betrayed him or have been killed simply for knowing him. For the 20 years between the loss of July and the revocation of his bounty, he was a hunted down constantly 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 are 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 towards 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, as 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 his opponents, 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, Vash never uses his power to remove them or repair his body, instead keeping the scars as a reminder of the price he pays for his mercy.
In the series, within Vash's trademark revolver lies the catalyst needed to activate his "Angel Arm", Vash's ultimate weapon and a characteristic of all plants. Upon activation, his right arm transforms into a weapon powerful enough to destroy entire cities with a single blast. Vash fears its potential for destruction, and knows little about how to use it. 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, and a plant's hair color gradually darkens as their internal power is spent. To illustrate the power of the Angel Arm, Vash's hair begins 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, though his hair continues to grow darker until almost completely black. By the final volume, he has only a small lock of blond hair left.
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 Stryfe and Milly Thompson 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.
- ↑ In the Quick Draw Tournament, his height was listed as 7'20". As there are only 12 inches in a foot, some suggest that it should 7'2.0" (219.456 cm), while others feel that it was probably supposed to mean 72" (which would be 6 feet or 182.88 cm). And then, of course, it could just be made-up units that don't have anything to do with either feet or inches. Even Yasuhiro Nightow, creator of Trigun, doesn't know exactly. In a quote referring to the manga, he said that Vash was "about 180 centimeters, more or less, I guess." 180 centimeters are approximately 5 feet and 9 inches. Trigun Wiki lists the height as 5'7" (170cm), which is in fact two different heights: 5'7" = 173.736 cm, and 170 cm = 5'5.7743".
- ↑ Some say 84.5 kg (186.2906 lbs), others 84.32 kg (185.9 lbs) and 81.6466 kg (180 lbs). Trigun Wiki lists it as 145 pounds, which = 65.7709 kg.
- ↑ The planet is originally called No-man's Land, but since the anime, it's been commonly referred to as Gunsmoke.
- ↑ In the animation, no direct deaths were attributed to the blast, but July was still destroyed.
- ↑ The full name presented was "Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovich Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III", and was used upon meeting Wolfwood.