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Vash the Stampede
Vash the Stampede, the Humanoid Typhoon
"I meditate diligently every morning. The subjects are Life and Love. I quit after three seconds."
Voiced by: Masaya Onosaka (JP), Johnny Yong Bosch (EN), Nacho de Porrata (Spain, series), Ana Orra (Spain, series, child), David Jenner (Spain, Badlands Rumble), Gabriel Ortiz (Latin America, series, adult), Carlos Díaz (LatAm, series, child).A tall, blond-haired man who seems to have disaster follow him wherever he goes. He is feared by the people of Gunsmoke as a ruthless, destructive killer. Supposedly responsible for the annihilation of July City, Vash has quite the bounty placed on his head – 60 billion double-dollars, dead or alive! Constantly hounded by often entire towns of people wanting to claim the reward for his capture, Vash is always wandering, never staying in one place for too long (and leaving behind a lot of property damage). In reality, Vash is not a homicidal maniac, but a complete and utter goofball who actually refuses to kill anyone, despite the huge pistol he keeps with him at all times, a prosthetic arm that can switch into a machine gun, and a switchblade in his boot. He has an extreme fondness for donuts (and sometimes alcohol). He claims to be a "hunter of LOVE AND PEACE, searching for the mayfly known as Love". Still, it just may be that he only puts on a facade of being a harmless moron...
Tropes that Vash atoned for:
- Adaptational Angst Upgrade: While in both versions he's completely distraught over being forced to kill Legato to save someone's life it sticks with him much longer in the anime than in the manga: at least a few weeks as opposed to maybe an hour at most. Justified though, as with Knives directly threatening everyone in the manga, Meryl and the others couldn't let Vash get caught in a Heroic B.S.O.D. for too long and had to snap him out of it much more quickly.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In an attempt to save Lina. He's also not too proud to strip naked and bark like a dog. Man has no dignity whatsoever.
- All-Loving Hero: Vash often has to be prodded into shooting the bad guys instead of trying to reason the virtues of life with them. Even then, he refuses to kill humans, even if it means bandaging up the people he just took down. Wolfwood occasionally seems to see Vash in this light, and well beyond his Technical Pacifist stance above he will do anything to save people. From diving into blows that carved the scars all over him to stripping naked and barking like a dog to get a hostage free to training constantly so that his skills are up to pulling off his signature miracles. His whole identity is tied up in saving people. Finally, he's the primary defender of the human race on his planet, and main proponent of the creed that everybody can theoretically live in harmony.
- Angst Coma: Fell asleep for ten days after he was forced to kill Legato.
- Anime Hair: Vash's blonde (and later black) hair usually stands straight up and is aligned with his head's contours in such a manner that his head has a distinctive V-shaped silhouette, with the top looking like a brush.
- However, it doesn't stand up naturally.
- Arm Cannon: His left arm is a prosthetic which houses an unfoldable gun that he grips with the same hand when it's deployed. His trademark handgun can also merge with him when gripped to form an extremely destructive Wave Motion Gun.
- Artificial Human: Like his brother, he's basically a walking Plant.
- Artificial Limbs: Though it is censored for most of the anime, Vash regularly loses and spends time without his bionic left arm in the manga.
- The Atoner: For all of his unintentional acts of destruction. The July Incident in particular.
- Badass Adorable: As badass as he is, he's a massive dork.
- Badass Beard: His eventual Beard of Sorrow doubles as this.
- Badass Longcoat: Vash is almost never seen without his distinctive red long-coat with a square button-up collar flap and missing left sleeve.
- Badass Pacifist: In the first four episodes, he doesn't even use his gun to solve problems. And all the Gungho Guns that come for him are dead not because of Vash killing them; instead, they are either killed or chose to kill themselves.
- Barbarian Longhair: As Kanan/Eric/Eriks.
- Batman Grabs a Gun: He's ultimately forced to break his Thou Shalt Not Kill vow and kill Legato due to a Sadistic Choice.
- Beard of Sorrow: Grows a short one in the anime following his BSOD after killing Legato.
- Beauty Mark: Has one near the corner of his left eye.
- Berserker Tears: A couple times. After he snaps and almost kills Monev the Gale while in an Unstoppable Rage, and while Legato is forcing him to kill him which then causes a Heroic B.S.O.D..
- Beware the Nice Ones: Oh yes. This is a guy who can be cheerful and kindhearted in the middle of a gun fight. It takes a LOT to get him legitimately angry, but when it happens...
- BFG: He is the BFG. Visually, his arm will meld with his gun when he is about to unleash it, but technically his entire body is part of the setup.
- Big "NO!": "NOOOO, don't kill them!! BIGGER NOOOOOOO!!!" Vash screams a lot whenever rendered impotent in a life-or-death situation. Also weeps. Man has no dignity to speak of.
- Bishōnen: He's still got the looks that girls will fall for even after living over a hundred years.
- Blush Sticker: Pops up occasionally in the manga.
- Body Horror: Vash's body is interesting. Involves a generous helping of Transformation Trauma. After he finally starts to learn how to use this (traumatically), the first time his angel arm instinctively puts up some 'feathers' to catch a bullet he gets stoned half to death by the townspeople.
- Break the Cutie: Damn you, Legato.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the episode Little Arcadia, Vash breaks the fourth wall and says, "Hey, is that all the time I get?" It is also fairly obvious that he does it again a couple times in the series.
- Bring My Red Jacket: One of the most iconic ones in anime, up there with Alucard and Ed, also makes him noticable in bounties and to those after him.
- Broken Ace: Vash is without question the greatest gunslinger on the planet, he's apparently immortal (in terms of never aging), he has an actual Healing Factor and incredible resistance to pain, and he is dedicated to saving everyone, no matter who they are. Unfortunately, Vash lives in a world that leans considerably more towards the cynical side than his ideology requires, and so it is repeatedly deconstructed in various subtle and direct methods throughout the series. Case in point, Vash's dedication to preserving human life over all else has left him horribly mutilated and caused a huge bounty to be placed on his head as a result of the property damage that results whenever he gets into a fight (and in a Vicious Cycle, this just makes things worse; more people come to kill Vash for his bounty/terrible reputation, Vash escapes after causing yet more horrific property damage, reputation gets worse & bounty gets bigger attracting more gunmen). When finally forced to admit that he simply can not save everyone (namely, when he has to shoot Legato dead to save the lives of Milly and Meryl), he suffers a Heroic B.S.O.D. that almost kills him.
- ...But He Sounds Handsome: In the anime, after Vash foils a group of robbers' attempt to rob a bank, one of them says to him "You have no idea who you're dealing with, I'm Vash the Stampede!" Vash responds with, "Oh, really? I was under the impression that he was a lot more handsome." Could even double as a Stealth Insult since the guy doesn't even seem to realize Vash just called him ugly, replying with "Are you implying that I'm not Vash the Stampede?"
- But Now I Must Go: The initial premise being informed by just the type of Western that codified the trope.
- Captain Crash: He's a hilariously bad motorcycle driver, in the manga managing to flip a motorcycle with a side car on it within two seconds of starting it up. Although it's kind of a Compressed Vice in the anime, as he is shown to be, in his own words, "a lousy driver" in the movie, but did perfectly fine driving in the anime episode "Escape From Pain."
- Casanova Wannabe: In the anime. When he's not stuffing his face, he's doing some ridiculous stunt to get the attention of a local girl.
- Cast from Lifespan: His Angel arm is ridiculously powerful, but every shot costs him life energy and shortens his lifespan.
- Cat Smile: In the first episode of the anime.◊
- Catch Phrase:
- LOVE AND PEACE! Comes with a peace sign analogue in the form of crossed fingers.
- GET DOWN! counts as well, though it usually portends that very bad things are about to happen.
- Celibate Hero: Especially in the manga. He fakes being passed out in order to avoid the "favors" of prostitutes, spends an inordinate amount of his free time thinking about his dead mother figure, doesn't want any woman to see his scars and avoids any kind of romantic or sexual relationship, be it with Luida, Meryl or Jessica.
- Chick Magnet: Despite being a CasanovaWannabe a good amount of females develop feelings for him. Amelia, Marianne, Jessica, Elizabeth, Dominique, Meryl, Lina, and Veronica are just some of them. He's also seems pretty popular with the ladies while walking into town in "Lost July".
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: To sucker levels. Basically, if you ask him for help, you'll get it.
- Cool Shades: In the anime, Vash wears small, round, yellow sunglasses with W-bends in the temples whenever he means business. In the manga, he wears about 3-4 different pairs in total.
- Counting Bullets: Manages to count how many bullets each member of a gang fired at him all at once and know that they all of them were out of bullets except one guy, and even knew exactly which guy it was.
- Covered with Scars: The result of being a Technical Pacifist in a gunslinger world.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: It wouldn't be Vash otherwise! (but just at the beginning)
- Deadly Dodging: In the anime, Vash has often shown the ability to dodge bullets at close range.
- Dented Iron: You wouldn't have realized he was Covered with Scars until after the Shirtless Scene. Reinforces the idea that he is ready to lay down his life for his ideals.
- Determinator: He will do whatever he can to save someone in trouble. In-Universe, the red trenchcoat he wears is the same colour as the red geranium flowers his mother figure claimed represented courage and determination, and which she was very fond of.
- Destructive Saviour: He saves thousands of lives every day, but causes HUGE collateral damage in doing so.
- Disney Death: In Badlands Rumble, Vash is seen to be shot down by Gasback's crew and falls into a quicksand. Near the final showdown with Gasback, he shows up again and explains that he has a very hard piece of jerky in his chest pocket, which blocks the bullet. He is saved from the quicksand by Meryl and Milly.
- Dodge the Bullet: All the time. He's so fast he can deflect bullets by throwing rocks at them. On another occasion he emerged from a hail of bullets completely unharmed; when asked how he did it, he explained that he calculated where the shots would be as they were being fired. Subverted later when he gets shot full of holes while using this same method.
- Doom Magnet: The reason he's called 'a walking act of God' is because collateral damage follows him.
- Dork Knight: He's a completely unstoppable (and non-lethal) warrior and one of the silliest men committed to animation.
- The Dreaded: An rare heroic type. What causes him to become the bogeyman, you ask? The mere mention of Vash's name can cause a panic as people vacate the city they're in, or a riot as people fearfully try to Zerg Rush him for the reward.
- The Drifter: He has this as his whole thing, except he's also a wanted outlaw and an immortal superhuman. Since his setting is Western-inspired and he has mad gun skills, Chronic Hero Syndrome and multiple issues with settling down, he does a lot of this.
- Exactly What I Aimed At: Vash never hits a fatal spot, instead opting to hit areas like the shoulders and legs. Lampshaded in a fight in the manga: Vash is seen practicing his aim on a target board shaped like a person, but it seems he's unable to actually hit the vital spots. The villain of the chapter assumes that, because of this, he must be wounded. He was actually aiming for the non-vital spots, and even hit them more than once.
- Fan Disservice: His famous Shirtless Scene.
- Fastest Gun in the West: Although he is indeed very skilled at gunplay, most people who chase after him do so for the enormous bounty on his head, and most people who run away from him assume he is skilled without any actual evidence to back it up.
- The Fettered: Absolutely abhors killing, and always goes to enormous lengths to ensure nobody gets killed, even if it means putting himself in trouble.
- Friend to All Children: Playing with children is one of his many activities whenever he stays in one place more than a few hours, and if he stays more than a few days the local kids will all consider him their personal minion.
- Fun with Acronyms: In The Lost Plant, six years after Knives' defeat, and going back to his old runaway life, Vash goes by the name VTS to keep at least some lower level thugs off his back.
- Minor example: the anime's theme song "H.T" probably stands for "Humanoid Typhoon".
- Glasses Pull: And when he does that, his actions are more powerful than any One-Liner.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: Rarely happens, but if you piss him off enough to push him into this mode, you're so screwed... Currently is the trope picture.
- Gratuitous French: Vash occasionally utters a few words in French, crying for his "maman" and greeting his food with "Bonjour! Je t'aime!". The first time he cries for his "maman" in the anime, he then questions "Why am I crying in French?" He even does it once in a completely serious situation, saying to Leonof, "Your reign of Guignol (French word meaning 'puppet show') is over."
- The Gunslinger: Obviously. He embodies Trick Shot, The Woo, and The Quick Draw. Vash tries to avoid gunplay whenever he can, but when he gets into it, nothing can beat him.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: He can't help but give aid to those who need it, even though he usually puts himself at great risk when doing so.
- Heartbroken Badass: Watched his mother figure, Rem, die when he was a child. As a result, he tends to obsess over her and her teachings.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Multiple times, particularly after he murders Legato.
- Heroic R.R.O.D.: Although not the case in the anime, the manga reveals that every time Vash uses his powers it slowly kills him. Plants were engineered to be that way because they were so powerful. How long they have before they croak is dependent on how black their hair has become.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Most of the destruction blamed on him is actually caused by the extreme measures people take to capture or kill him for the reward; as a result, he has been nicknamed "The Humanoid Typhoon."
- Hidden Depths: He hides his suffering under a playful exterior, he's the closest thing Gunsmoke is getting to the second coming of Jesus in the lengths he goes to save people, and his arguments with Wolfwood over whether or not killing is ever justified is one of the cornerstones of the entire story.
- Hidden Weapons: He has a hidden blade in his right boot and a hidden gun in his prosthetic left arm.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Meryl's short to begin with, but when she's standing next to Vash, she's little more than half his size.
- Hurting Hero: Especially later in the series. And let's not even get started on the manga, where he's a Stepford Smiler of epic proportion and has a few Heroic BSODs and fits of Unstoppable Rage (not to mention the scenes of epic alcoholism). Meryl is shocked when she gets engulfed in his memories during one of his most spectacular Heroic BSODs and realizes he's just a ball of pain.
- Immortality Begins at 20: He and Knives aged rapidly from birth (by the time they were a year old they were physically around 8), until they reached the physical age of men in their early twenties. Nearly a century and a half later and they haven't aged a day since.
- Implacable Man: When he's in the right mood.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Nothing is cooler than a coat with the bottom part torn apart by tons and tons of bullets!
- Improbable Aiming Skills: Could be the Trope Namer for this. And they turn out to be not so improbable since he isn't human.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: To ridiculous levels. He's so pure it's utterly contagious.
- Interrupted Suicide: By Rem when he was a child in the manga.
- Iron Butt Monkey: Early episodes especially emphasize this.
- The Klutz: It's all a pose, of course, since his coordination and reflexes are actually superhuman.
- Large Ham: Vash, with his sympathy and determination, he's so in love with Rem's ideals that he's so over the top, it's glorious, "LOVE AND PEACE!" never have felt so awesome in any manga for that matter.
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: He's known far and wide as the legendary gunman mostly because of the red coat. This may or may not be intentional, as he's the only character with a primarily red wardrobe.
- Lennon Specs: He wears a pair of orange-lensed Lennon glasses with a cool little zig-zag in the temples.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Anime's answer to Darkwing Duck for this trope. He can go from badass to goofy, to being goofy while being badass, to just badass at will.
- Living Forever Is Awesome: Do you see him angst about his immortality? No. You see him angst about his brother's Evil Plan and how to save people without killing others. He's dedicated to Rem's ideals and goals.
- Locked into Strangeness. When he uses his plant power more and more, his hair slowly turns black.
- Lost Food Grievance: Tends to get... emotional when his doughnuts are harmed.
- Lost Technology: Has an abundance of it.
- Lovable Coward: Part of his Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Love Freak: Now everyone! Let's say very loud - LOVE AND PEACE!!!!!! And again! LOVE AND PEACE!!!!! and again!
- Lovable Sex Maniac: Mostly in the anime where he's this to the point of being a Casanova Wannabe. He falls for every woman he meets, though he has no luck with them.
- Mama Bear: He's more of grieving mother than actual father when it comes to humans/living beings he loves so much.
- Martial Pacifist: Unlike most examples which are unrealistically idealistic, Vash has brilliant strategies to save people, and is willing to hurt them if it means more lives can be saved; unfortunately, he lives in a world much more cynical than he'd like.
- Meaningful Name: His name is a corruption of the French word for cow and he's the star of a Cattle Punk sci-fi series.
- Another example of this trope is more in lieu with the title of the series then his name. It refers to the three guns on Vash: His standard pistol (which Knives made for him), the gun hidden in his prosthetic arm and lastly the arm cannon he can transform his arm into that's capable of leveling a entire city.
- Momma's Boy: Even though Rem Saverem died many years ago he still loves her as his mother figure, and a big part of his character was inspired by her ideals.
- Mr. Fanservice: Double Subverted; the Vash underneath his clothes is a horrifying mess of scars, but they don't really detract from his attractiveness, especially when covered.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Whenever his Angel Arm gets deployed, whenever a particularly violent gunfight levels the city he's in, but especially when he is forced to kill Legato in the Anime.
- My Greatest Failure: Although it wasn't Vash's intention or even really his fault, his decimation of the city of July is the heaviest burden on his conscience. It was terrible enough that in the manga, when Hoppered and Meryl were privy to Vash's memory, they were both traumatized.
- Necktie Headband: Happens whenever he gets drunk, though neither he nor any of his friend wear ties.
- Nice Guy: His hallmark.
- Nonchalant Dodge: Vash is a master of this, liberally applying Type 3 as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity to make his inhuman abilities look like dumb luck. In an early episode, he bursts in on the villain about to kill a Badass in Distress Action Girl. He confronts the attacker with a look of Tranquil Fury and dodges the first round shot at him with a perfect and highly impressive type 1 of the motionless-translation type; afterwards he gets back into character and does his trademark frantic-looking type 3s. It ends up as a hint at his true badassness.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Big time. Practically the definition of the trope. Vash didn't even fire his gun once until the end of the fifth episode, surviving the previous episodes by making it look like dumb luck. Another early episode had him rocking out on his headphones and going into a bar seemingly ignorant of the current hostage situation, but carefully and methodically diffused the situation all while appearing harmless.
- One-Man Army: He's taken on an entire town of bounty hunters by himself on more than one occasion. And he rarely gets so much as a scratch.
- Opaque Lenses: His glasses already made him scary by comparison.
- Overly Long Name: Once falsely gives the name "Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III."
- Pacifism Backfire: He will not kill his enemies nor hurt them in any major way, and the show takes great pains to show that it's a noble calling, but possibly misguided considering the Crapsack World circumstances; Vash's body is a mass of scars, the sixty billion double dollar bounty (until it's removed) means that anybody with a gun and a desperate need of money (which is practically the whole planet) is out to get him, he's constantly arguing with his companions (or at least Wolfwood) about the usefulness/futility of his Thou Shalt Not Kill code, and Knives and the Gung-Ho Guns are out to make Vash suffer by any means possible, which usually involves killing everything that moves and going the extra mile with anybody that Vash so much as gave the time of the day to, increasing in cruelty/kill count up to Apocalypse How levels as the series goes on.
- Person of Mass Destruction: He is (literally) single-handedly capable of destroying cities without meaning to, and is referred to as "the Humanoid Typhoon" throughout the series. He also has the dubious honor of being the first person to be declared a natural disaster; you know you're a Person of Mass Destruction when any damage you cause is labelled an "act of God" by the insurance company.
- Playing Drunk: It's hard to determine at any time just how much of his apparent drunkenness is honest and how much is an act. While at times he is shown to be so plastered he is unable to maintain his Obfuscating Stupidity (such as being so hungover during a shooting competition that he hit all the targets when he meant to miss some), at other times he's been able to snap sober in a blink.
- Protagonist Title: Trigun refers to the fact that Vash actually has three guns on his person. He has his standard revolver, a gun one of his arms turns into, and the Wave Motion Gun that is his Angel Arm.
- Punny Name: Sounds like vache, which is French for "cow", appropriately enough for someone called "the Stampede."
- Puppy-Dog Eyes: Remarkably good at it.◊
- Really 700 Years Old: He does not look past his mid-twenties, but he is around 181 years old.
- Reckless Pacifist: He'll save everyone's life if he can, don't expect him to not cause any destruction though.
- Red Baron: "Humanoid Typhoon".
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: He's associated with red in contrast to Wolfwood, Knives and Legato.
- "RED, THE COLOR OF DETERMINATION!"
- Samaritan Syndrome: He's on the extreme end of this trope; he blames himself any time anyone gets harmed in his presence, whether its his fault or not.
- Sanity Slippage: By the end of the anime he's borderline suicidal.
- Save the Villain: This is basically Vash's core belief; he wants to save both the spiders and the butterflies. This is a sharp contrast with Knives.
- His whole philosophy is "never kill anyone, ever, and make sure everyone lives". However, the series ultimately comes off as a deconstruction, as it's pointed out subtly and overtly that just because you won't kill the mass-murdering psychopath or the slave trader or whatever, it doesn't mean they will reform. No, not even if you risk your life to save theirs. Also, it makes you responsible for any crimes that they go on to commit, because you deliberately gave them the chance to keep on committing crime.
- Further deconstructed in Badlands Rumble, as Amelia guilt-trips Vash over the fact that the man he saved, Gasback, was an unrepentant robber with no qualms against killing others who'd had 20 more years of freedom thanks to Vash's actions. On the flipside, Gasback is revealed to be Amelia's father, and Amelia was conceived after Vash had saved Gasback's life.
- Scary Shiny Glasses: When he puts these on, it means he just got serious and is now going to open a can of whoop-ass.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: Sometimes as part of his Obfuscating Stupidity.
- Shoot the Bullet: With pebbles.
- Played for drama in anime Episode 24 after Vash disables Midvalley's saxophone. When Midvalley reveals the miniguns hidden inside, Vash notices immediately that one of his shots ended up jamming one of its barrels. Knowing what happens when a bullet can't leave a gun, he screams at Midvalley not to fire. Midvalley, with a knowing smirk, pulls the trigger anyway, whereupon his saxo-gun explodes and kills him.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: Vash to Knives in the manga, several times but especially when he confronts him at the end of Trigun Maximum. A fan translation had him say "You're a wimp with a bulldozer" while the official translation said, "You, by your own efforts, have become a mindless bulldozer who chases weaklings."
- Slap Yourself Awake: In a variant, Vash concentrates on the pain from his previously injured finger to counteract a villain who uses hypnosis to paralyze people.
- Slasher Smile: As a child, between when he tries to kill himself and when he decides to save Rem.
- Slipped the Ropes: In the anime, he slides out of ropes to protect a young woman from bandits. Said bandits catch him before he can get back into them... the second time.
- Stepford Smiler: Lampshaded by Wolfwood at one point, who observes that his smile doesn't reach his eyes, and that he's "hurting like crazy on the inside".
- This is why it's such a big deal when Wolfwood notes that one of Vash's smiles is genuine.
- Super Speed: Vash shoots about six times faster than a human gunman, which is impossibly awesome. Also played with with Dominique the Cyclops. He makes gunpowder explode faster than normal. He breaks physics through physical contact! And we thought he didn't have the girly family superpowers.
- Übermensch: Played with; his strong personal code of ethics is extreme pacifism, which he imposes on people mostly by obnoxiously getting in their way and humiliating himself. Even Wolfwood admits how effective his persistence is at resisting the dog-eat-dog philosophy of the world around him.
- Technical Pacifist: He's only willing to shoot people as long as the shot isn't lethal.
- 10-Minute Retirement: Actually two years (in the manga; timespan unclear in the anime), but given Vash's lifespan it may as well be ten minutes. After the Fifth Moon Incident, Vash ends up in the tiny farming village of Kasted, where he lives under a pseudonym and enjoys a quiet life with the girl and old lady who nursed him back to health. Unfortunately for him, Wolfwood showed up to remind him he couldn't keep running away from his problems.
- Tender Tears: He has a few Manly Tears moments, but he cries quite a bit as a sign of sensitivity and empathy to other people's sufferings (even when said suffering happens to be a completely made up story).
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Not only does he strive to live without killing, he also attempts to spread this philosophy to others, including villains, even at the cost of his own health and safety. Other times, he begs characters who have a just cause for vengeance to forgo it and let things lie. Legato ultimately forces him to take a life, specifically his life, by using his psychic powers to force a crowd of civilians to kill Meryl and Milly and then puts Vash's gun against his head. All Vash has to do is pull a trigger and he saves his friends while killing a villain. Even this puts him into a Heroic B.S.O.D.. After he emerges from it, he fights his evil brother with the intent to kill him and does so. The bottom line is that fulfilling this trope outside of an idealistic setting is really difficult, really dangerous, and thus the user must be really really to committed to it.
- Trademark Favorite Food: You brought me doughnuts?! Danke, danke!
- To a lesser degree, he seems to really like pancakes/flapjacks and salmon sandwiches.
- Tranquil Fury: After Monev proceeded to kill a decent amount of the population of a town they were in at the time, he doesn't take it lightly. Proceeding to effortlessly fight him off and make him retreat with a calm but evidently furious look on his face, emphasized by his Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- Transformation Trauma: He does not handle the involuntary unleashing of his Angel-arm well.
- Trauma Conga Line: Doesn't even begin to describe what this guy's been through.
- Unstoppable Rage: However the "tranquil" part of his rage gives out eventually, but it still doesn't make things better for Monev.
- Violence Really Is the Answer: Vash refuses to kill, but his ultimate need to use (lethal) violence is shown as very traumatic. Since the series ends right after the choice, it's hard to tell what his future will be.
- The manga elaborates it more than the anime, but the aesop is the same: Sometimes, you just have to do it, it's not pretty, it's sad, but it needs to be done, to prevent something worse.
- Walking Disaster Area: Known as the "Humanoid Typhoon", he is so potent an example of this trope that the planetary government legally declared him an "Act of God" and a "Natural Human Disaster". The plot of the anime involves him being followed from town to village by a pair of Insurance Agents who investigate insurance claims taken out against the damage caused by Vash simply being in the area.
- Walking the Earth: He usually wanders from place to place with no special reason. Unfortunately, he tends to bring disaster wherever he goes.
- Wave Motion Gun: Vash the Stampede's Angel Arm is a proper, honest-to-goodness wave motion gun. If it gets shot at medium power, it annihilates entire cities. If it's shot at full blast, it carves gigantic craters in other planets.
- The best part is that, in the anime, it basically consists of a tiny cylinder of Applied Phlebotinum in his revolver. Talk about miniaturization… note
- When He Smiles: When he smiles for real, since most of them are fake. The real ones are rare, but when they come up...
- Window Watcher: In the second episode of the anime, Vash has been hired to guard a young woman named Marianne. He hears the water running in her bathroom, and ties a rope around his waist so that he can lower himself from the roof to peek through the window. She wasn't there, though, and when Milly walks in a second later, he claims that he had been checking the roof for spooks.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: With his idealistic desire to protect others and the massive collateral damage he causes, he'd fit right in a traditional Shounen universe (think One Piece). Unfortunately, he lives in a Crapsack World that's basically the Old West in space, filled with millions of violent people who fear and despise him, along with hundreds of powerful bounty hunters after his head. And that's before dealing with his Ax-Crazy genocidal maniac twin brother and a nihilistic henchman whose only purpose is making people suffer… and his efforts to do so eventually back Vash into a corner.
- Your Costume Needs Work: This tends to be the reaction of anyone when finding out Vash is the Humanoid Typhoon - unless they've seen him in action, at least. Badlands Rumble gets an entire bar laughing at the thought, with one patron even suggesting he might be doing Cosplay.
"Derringer" Meryl Stryfe
"Does this man look like the legendary gunman Vash the Stampede? That droopy-eyed, weak-looking, bristle-headed, promiscuous-looking donut freak of a man?"
Voiced by: Hiromi Tsuru (JP), Dorothy Elias Fahn (EN, series), Luci Christian (EN, Badlands Rumble), Carmen Ambrós (Spain), Georgina Sánchez (Latin America, series)An insurance agent for the Bernadelli Insurance Society, she and her associate Milly were given the task to search for Vash and apply "Risk Prevention" to try and mitigate the collateral damage he causes. She is often seen typing records of her and Milly's exploits on a typewriter to send back to the company. She is nicknamed "Derringer" because of the fifty derringer pistols she carries under her poncho. In the anime, it takes her a while to realize that the goofy, donut-scarfing man that she and Milly always seem to run into is THE Vash the Stampede.
- Action Girl: She rarely gets the chance to show it, but she's a trickshot artist with a reasonably fast draw. The problem is, aside from local bandits, she and Milly are usually outmatched.
- Action Survivor: How she manages to surviving being so close to Vash the Stampede is a mystery even to her.
- A Day in the Limelight: Episode 14 of the anime, corresponding with Chapters 10, 11, and 12 in the manga. In both instances Vash complains about how little time he got.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: In the anime, she attempts to beg the Legato-controlled townsfolk not to hurt Milly and herself. It doesn't work, and Vash is forced to save them by shooting Legato. She also does it again when the townsfolk are tormenting and injuring Vash and he is too far into a Heroic B.S.O.D. to do anything about it, so Meryl begs them not to shoot him, then uses herself as a Human Shield while trying to talk them down.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Gives several to Vash over the course of the series.
- Awesome, but Impractical: She has about 50 Derringers hidden under her cloak, but they only hold two bullets each. So in prolonged gunfights, she burns through her guns along with their ammo.
- Boyish Short Hair: To reflect her complete focus on her job.
- Does Not Like Guns: According to the manga, she was this when younger, but her father encouraged her to carry a Derringer to help her fight those who were bigger than her. She took that advice and ran with it.
- Cannot Spit It Out: In the anime in particular, she falls in love with our favourite blond goofball but has a hard time expressing those feelings, and she can never pluck up the nerve to tell him how she feels. Awww.note When she finally does seem about to tell him, Milly comes in for a Moment Killer.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: In the anime, she gets angry at Vash hitting on every woman he meets, which sometimes leads Milly to tease her.
- Deadpan Snarker: How she keeps her sanity around Milly and Vash.
- Expressive Accessory: Her earrings. They stick out to the side when she's particularly excited.
- Freudian Slip: After Meryl and Milly see Vash's scars, he says he'd rather women didn't, since they might run away. In the English dub for the anime, Meryl has to correct herself after letting "I wouldn't run away" slip. In the original, she says "no they wouldn't [run away]."
- Go Through Me: During Vash's Heroic B.S.O.D. in the anime, a whole lynch mob is taking out its frustration and despair on him, especially now that he won't lift a finger to defend himself. In the end, Meryl puts herself between Vash and a gunman to stop the mob from killing Vash, ignoring all pleas from said gunman that he will kill her too if she comes any closer.
- Groin Attack: Episode 19 had Meryl delivering a swift groin kick to a random Mook who got close to her after hearing something about a typhoon (which was possibly a reference to Vash).
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Meryl is the tiniest woman we see in the series, while Vash is one of the tallest men.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: While she's got nothing on either Vash or Wolfwood, She's shown to be a crack shot with her Derringers; once disarming several opponents in rapid succession.
- Intrepid Reporter: at the end of the manga, with Milly
- The Gunslinger: Despite packing 50 derringers under her cape, she is shown to be a Trick Shot artist, able to aim accurately on the run.
- Hidden Weapons: Has about fifty something guns strapped to the inside of her cloak.
- Laughing Mad: Mild case of this in Episode 6 of the anime after Vash uses her as a Human Shield against the dartguns of children "bounty hunters". After commenting on her good use as a shield, Vash laughs loudly. Meryl starts laughing too while pulling guns on him (or the kids; it's not clear who she'd shoot first).
- Little Useless Gun: Meryl's derringers are neither taken seriously as a threat nor used to deliver meaningful damage over the entire course of both series. This is because of the Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality; Milly's stun-gun can be used with impunity, but since Meryl's little guns can't invoke Rule of Cool or the beaten-up-by-bullets effect and she's not a killer, they aren't allowed to actually do much of anything. Still good that she doesn't go around unarmed, and she does take some useful actions; the derringers themselves are just useless. Even though a real derringer can kill you very dead.
- Averted in the episode "Love and Peace", in which she uses her derringers to help Vash outwit the hostage-takers, shoot the guns out of the deputies' hands, and put a hole through the sheriff's badge.
- Also averted in Volume 5 of Maximum, where she uses her gun to break a five-way Mexican Standoff.
- More Dakka: At least fifty derringers hidden in her cloak.
- Replacement Goldfish: At the end of the anime, Vash seems to view her as similar to Rem.
- She's Got Legs: Shown off nicely with a pair of skin-tight leggings
- Ship Tease: With Vash, such as when she told him she wouldn't run away after seeing his scars. And later, they share a private moment where she tells him he can stay with her and Milly, if he liked. To which he replied, might not be such a bad idea.
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: In both the manga and anime, she finds herself reluctantly becoming attracted to Vash. It isn't until the final episode that she openly admits it, when Milly tells her that Vash will return one day.Meryl: (smiles skyward) "Of course. He wouldn't dare keep a good woman like me waiting."
- Small Girl, Big Gun: An interesting variation, as her guns are tiny but so numerous she must be carrying her weight in derringers.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Her last name – Stryfe (anime subtitles) vs. Strife (manga).
- Tsundere: A fiery Type A. Oftentimes it seems like she doesn't like Vash at all, but they both know its all an act.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: At first glance, you'd expect Meryl to be the girly one, since her attire is more feminine than Milly's. But she's the tombyish one, being practical and business minded.
- Workaholic: At first, pretty much everything she does is for her job, which is following Vash around to try to prevent the damage he causes.
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: In the manga, Vash never calls Meryl by name until things really start to get serious (i.e., Legato and the Gungho Guns show up.) He calls Meryl and Milly both by name for the first time when he's warning them to stay away from him. Meryl grasps the seriousness of the situation because he uses her name.
"Stun-Gun" Milly Thompson
"It's like my big-big sister always says: 'Never hold back in matters of the heart'.
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (JP), Lia Sargent (EN, series), Trina Nishimura (EN, Badlands Rumble), Olga Supervía (Spain, series), Marta Barbará (Spain, Badlands Rumble), Mónica Pavón (Latin America, series)Meryl's assistant and fellow Bernadelli agent, Milly is plucky and cheerful, and in the anime is constantly trying to convince Meryl that above mentioned man is the real Vash. She's also incredibly tall, and nicknamed "Stungun" because like Meryl, she conceals a weapon underneath her clothes — a huge stungun that can pin enemies to walls without killing them. She likes pudding.
- Action Survivor: Even more so than Meryl, since she's in the thick of things more often.
- Adaptational Dye Job: Milly is a blonde in the manga, with her hair darkened to a light brown in the anime.
- Badass Adorable: What else could you call a girl like Milly who lugs around a gun bigger than her partner?
- Berserk Button: Don't get between her and pudding."You should never get between people and their pudding!"
"Wastage of pudding is punishable by heaven!"
- Beware the Nice Ones: She's very strong and throws a mean fight.
- BFG: Her stungun. The thing looks like a portable Gatling gun and can fire projectiles with enough force to flip a truck or launch huge boulders out of a deep underground well.
- Bifauxnen: In the anime and the beginning of the manga, Milly wears masculine clothes: dress shirt and pants, tie, suspenders, greatcoat. In the manga, she eventually goes for a slightly girlier look and cuts her hair.
- Cat Smile: Pops up in a few episodes.
- Cloud Cuckoolander: She is an almost stereotypical example. She once nearly threatened a shopkeeper with her Hand Cannon when in search of pudding... and got it. Only to drop her grocery bags a few moments later to emphasize a point mid conversation.
- Cute Bruiser: She's absolutely adorable, and yet she repeatedly hands hardened outlaws their ass.
- The Ditz: Subverted; she may not be very intelligent, but she is actually much wiser than Meryl.
- Genius Ditz: In the anime, Milly not only figures out who Vash is several episodes before Meryl, she wins a chess game Wolfwood is sure he's losing with one move. Milly is clearly smarter than she appears.
- Genki Girl: A six foot tall one, no less.
- Gentle Giant: She stands as tall as most male characters, if not taller, and is very easygoing unless she gets good and angry.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Though it leaves her heartbroken when Wolfwood dies, she eventually recovers and is shown to be in good spirits again by the end of the series.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Older example.
- Intrepid Reporter: By the end of the manga, together with Meryl.
- Lampshade Wearing: When she gets drunk, she gets drunk.
- Massive Numbered Siblings: "Dear Father, Mother, Big Big Sister, Middle Big Sister, Little Big Sister, Big Big Brother, Middle Big Brother, Little Big Brother..."
- Naïve Everygirl: To the point of seeming rather slow sometimes. But she's not stupid, just sheltered.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Much sharper than she first seems. She catches onto some things quicker than some of the other characters at times.
- Pillow Pregnancy: In the anime, uses her great size and strength to smuggle a slave girl away from her masters by having her cling to Milly's stomach underneath her shirt, so Milly can (with Wolfwood's help) pretend to be an expectant mother. While the sight is rather ludicrous (someone immediately asks if she's expecting sextuplets), she still manages to get away with it.
- Small Girl, Big Gun: Subverted, since she's very tall.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Milly" in the anime, "Millie" in the manga, though it sometimes appears as "Milly" in the manga too...
- Statuesque Stunner: The fact that she's a giant by the standards of women doesn't make her any less adorable.
- Sweet Tooth: Pudding!
- Technical Pacifist: She carries a "stungun" that can fire X-shaped crosses capable of knocking over a truck.
- Too Dumb to Fool: While she initially appears as The Ditz, she tends to figure things out faster than other characters. Vash once comments that she's very smart, but "doesn't realize how smart she is."
- Trying Not to Cry: In the manga, when Zazie the Beast kidnaps Meryl, Wolfwood tells Milly to stay in a safe place while he and Vash try to rescue Meryl (who they're not sure is still alive). Milly refuses, wanting to help save her. Wolfwood seems about to physically fight her off to protect her, but she stands her ground and prepares to fight him, while holding back tears.
Nicholas D. Wolfwood
Nicholas D. Wolfwood, the Cross-Punisher
"I picked up my first gun at the age of seven. And I shot. I remember how strangely easy it was to pull the trigger. I actually laughed. Because that one shot was all that was needed to silence that sickening piece of garbage who had the nerve to call himself my guardian. It was that simple. And so I was free."
Voiced by: Show Hayami (JP), Jeff Nimoy (EN, series), Brad Hawkins (EN, Badlands Rumble), Lucas Cisneros (Spain, series), Toni Mora (Spain, Badlands Rumble), Carlos Hugo Hidalgo (Latin America, series)A wandering priest that carries a portable confessional box and The Punisher, which is pretty much a mobile weapons platform (it's a rocket launcher, machine gun, and a pistol rack all-in-one). He tends to call Vash "Needle-noggin".
- Absolute Pecs: Rare male example. His neckline is low to begin with, but in Badlands Rumble, it's just absurd.◊
- Adaptational Wimp: In the anime, Wolfwood dies bleeding out from a gunshot wound. Given the Healing Factor he has, his manga counterpart likely wouldn't have bled to death if the same had happened.
- Ambiguously Brown: His exact skin tone is very inconsistent, but he usually has a darker skin tone than the other characters in the official art, presumably because of all the time he spends outside. Averted in the movie, however.
- Badass Biker: Especially in the manga, where he's a lot more heavy on the Bike Fu.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Wears a black churchman-like suit, albeit showing chest.
- Badass Normal: In the anime, which was made years before his backstory was released (but was overseen by the manga's creator), he is a regular guy, but still badass enough to comfortably hold his own against the superhumanly skilled Vash and the freaks of nature he has to fight.
- Badass Preacher: He is a priest and wants to make the people of their wretched world secure and happy, especially the children. He pursues this goal with preaching, fundraising, and swinging around a cross-shaped combination machinegun/rocket launcher/pistol rack and taking down anybody in need of an asskicking. He's also a part-time assassin and in the manga, a genetically-engineered killer. That cross of his is so heavy because it's full of mercy!
- Bad Dreams: In the manga, he has these about the orphans and how he's "no longer qualified to hold them."
- Becoming the Mask: Apparently part of his severe moral dilemmas regarding his friendship with Vash; also why he can so easily isolate Vash's Stepford Smiler tendencies.
- BFG: The Cross Punisher.
- Car Fu: More like Bike Fu.
- Child Soldier: He's been reared to be a gunfighter since the day he was old enough to hold a gun. The exact details depend upon the adaptation. In the manga, he was recruited by Chapel to become an assassin for the Eye of Michael at a very young age. In the anime, Chapel begins to train him to take his place in the Gung-Ho Guns after he shoots and kills his abusive guardian at the age of seven.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Because he's a Knight Templar caught between extreme factions with the goal of protecting the maximum number of people it is feasibly possible to protect and a seriously Dark and Troubled Past, he betrays just about everyone at least once. Very rarely to any real effect, and they were usually expecting it. He's actually got a very loyal nature, so he kind of telegraphs before he does it. Related to Double Reverse Quadruple Agent below.
- Church Militant: Inverted, at least in the manga. He's part of The Eye of Michael, a group of assassins masquerading as a church.
- Cool Bike: His beautiful shiny Angelina II.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: the giant cross he carries is actually a disguised arsenal.
- Cool Bike: He uses one to kill the robot gang.
- Cool Shades: They compliment his "cool guy" image rather nicely.◊
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: Dresses and acts somewhat like a Protestant minister, but does things more in line of a Catholic one (such as hearing confessions). In the manga, he's a member of the Eye of Michael, which claims to worship Plants. In the anime, he's intended to be the successor to the current Chapel the Evergreen, of the Gung-ho Guns, which would basically make him a priest of Knives.
- Note that the job title he gives himself in Japanese, bokushi, refers specifically to a Protestant minister rather than a Catholic priest.
- A Death in the Limelight: The episode "Paradise" focuses on him and ends with his death. In the manga he gets two whole volumes to himself, with Vash only appearing right at the end. Needless to say, following the full reveal of his tragic backstory and the resolution of said backstory, he winds up dying after overdosing on the same chemicals that aged him and gave him his enhanced skills.
- Death by Sex: Sleeps with his friend/love interest of sorts, Milly. Dies in the same episode.
- Double Reverse Quadruple Agent: The anime doesn't go much beyond a morally-conflicted Double Agent, but between the Eye, Chapel, the Guns, Vash, and the children, Manga Wolfwood is playing a lot of sides at once. He's not in control at all.
- Dying Alone: But only in the anime; he's with Vash in the manga.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Manga only: the last moments of his life, from the moment he defeats the robot gang to his complete owneage of Chapel and Lazlo.
- Explosive Overclocking: During his fight with Livio and Chapel. He regenerates instantly from his wounds, but dies shortly afterward.
- Expy: Of El Mariachi from Desperado.
- Also of the lead singer of the Japanese band Ulfuls, which is also why Wolfwood uses a Kansai accent.
- Friend to All Children: Vash lampshades this in episode 9.Vash: "I could swear you were more generous with those children." Explanation
- Good Shepherd: We never get to see him do much in the way of actual priest-ing, but he apparently takes excellent care of the orphanage he runs. This gets played with a bit, since the measures he takes to be a Good Shepherd brings him to some dark places.
- Guns Akimbo: Fully capable of using the Punisher and his pistol at the same time.
- Healing Factor: In the manga, it makes him age faster, and he can boost it with drugs.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Shortly after shooting Zazie, he breaks down in tears in Milly's arms.
- Heroic R.R.O.D.: He intentionally overdoses himself on the drugs that enhance his healing factor fight before his final fight with Razlo, even though he knows it'll kill him in minutes.
- Improbable Weapon User: Oh sure, we've covered the Punisher, but it reaches a new level in his fight against Razlo when he ejects his pistol's magazine into him. He ends the battle by detonating his entire remaining stock of ammo in a massive explosion.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: The manga never quite explains why his True Companions inflict it upon themselves to put up with him in the first place, knowing that he expresses his affection by distributing humiliating nicknames ("Tongari/Spikey", "big girl", "small girl", "crybaby Livio"), "playful" insults and various blows. Plus, his manga version is particularly macho and even tries to protect Milly from Midvalley... by pretending he'll shoot her if she doesn't leave immediately, then punching her in the stomach to knock her out (he gets booed by onlookers). Borders on Values Dissonance when his mistreatment of Vash is Played for Laughs. It's even a wonder Nightow still manages to make him such a likable and well-written character for all his Knight Templar and Jerkass traits.
- Kansai Regional Accent: In the original Japanese, Wolfwood speaks Osaka-ben. He is the only character in the entire series who does so. Regrettably, the English dub of the anime makes no effort to distinguish his accent, and the Dark Horse translation of the manga only occasionally does.
- The irony of this is that all of the show's main seiyuu except Show Hayami grew up in Osaka – he's from Kyoto but normally speaks Standard Japanese. note
- Knight Templar: Wolfwood's a bit too attached to the idea of sacrificing lives for the greater good, and generally believes its okay to get your hands dirty as long as it's for a good cause.Wolfwood: Sometimes, we're even driven to become the devil himself.
- The Lancer: To Vash. Their philosophies are directly opposed, but they're still close allies.
- More Dakka: The Punisher he carries has a rocket launcher at one end, a machine gun at the other, and racks for about half a dozen semi-automatic pistols.
- Mr. Fanservice: Seeing as his chest is constantly visible.
- Murder, Inc.: His Dark and Troubled Past, at least in the manga. Provided him with Training from Hell and low-level superpowers. Anime is more ambiguous; he may have just had a Professional Killer for an Evil Mentor before getting mixed up with the Guns.
- Mysterious Middle Initial: Word of God's response to the question of what the D stands for is utterly random, ranging from "Daily Cigarette Intake" to "Dokonokuminomonjawaresumakinishiteshizumetarokakora."
- Nun Too Holy: He claims to be a priest, but he not only hears confessions for money (admittedly, there were times in history where priests would sell "forgiveness" for money and land), he's also a chain-smoking hard-drinking killer who, in the anime at least, paid for the orphans he took care of by being a gunman for hire.
- Obi-Wan Moment: In the manga, he shares one last quiet drink with Vash in the rubble of the orphanage he just saved by killing Chapel and defeating Livio/Razlo. The last thing he sees before his body finally gives out is confetti thrown by the children in gratitude as a ship carries them off to safety. The contrast between this scene and the brutal fight before it is incredible.
- Pants-Positive Safety: Has the habit of carrying a single pistol (outside his Punisher) in his pocket.
- Papa Wolf: For children in general, but especially those he grew up with at the orphanage in the manga.
- Parental Substitute: As a child (in the manga), he spent an entire year caring for an orphaned baby girl because she was less inclined to cry around him, only stopping because she'd been adopted. Years later, he found her again and saved her life. In the anime, his caring for the orphanage may count.
- Perma-Stubble: Though he is mostly clean-shaven in Trigun Maximum.
- Poisonous Friend: Killed one of the Gung-Ho Guns because he thought Vash's idealism didn't cut it. In the manga, Knives sent Wolfwood to follow Vash for this very purpose.
- Redemption Equals Death: In the manga he dies after stopping the Eye of Michael from destroying the Orphanage where he grew up, and redeems his childhood friend of Livio.. In the anime, after a heated argument with Vash regarding killing Zazie the previous day, Wolfwood opts to adapt Vash's lifestyle. When he fights his mentor later that day, Wolfwood manages to get away with getting a few non-lethal shots at him and letting him live. As soon as Wolfwood turns, Legato manipulates Chapel via mind control into shooting Wolfwood. Presumably, Wolfwood didn't shoot back even after seeing Chapel raise his gun again.
- Pragmatic Hero: Unlike Vash, he sees no problem with killing enemies if the situation requires it.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Defeats Chapel and Razlo, but overdoses on his healing drugs in doing so, killing him shortly after.
- Sexy Priest: He's attracted Milly's attention and is definitely a loose example of a normal priest.
- Shirtless Scene: After sleeping with Milly, he stands up next to a window shirtless and deep in thought.
- Shoot the Dog: His killing of Zazie in the anime, according to him because Vash wouldn't do it.
- Shout-Out: The sight of Wolfwood carrying his cross weapon echoes the unnamed soldier's from the film Angel's Egg.
- Smoking Is Cool: Not that he cares about dying from lung cancer, since he has an accelerated healing factor, and therefore shorter life span.
- Super Serum: In the manga, the only reason he's able to stand on Vash's superhuman level and survive is because of biological augmentations performed by the Eye of Michael. He's actually the prototype, with Livio being a more successful attempt.
- Totalitarian Utilitarian: His basic philosophy: it's impossible to save everyone and some people are beyond redemption, so its best to try and save as many good people as possible, regardless of the sacrifice. Part of what makes this so bad is that he combines it with Murder Is the Best Solution and Pay Evil unto Evil.
- Tragic Hero: He eventually does want to save people in the same way Vash does, but dies to protect everyone from his own master in both the anime and the manga.
- Younger Than He Looks: In the manga he's seventeen-ish, but looks like he's in his mid-30s. This is because of the special treatments Chapel put him through during his Training from Hell, to give him enhanced strength, reflexes, and Healing Factor.
"Your reaction was better then I hoped. You're fun. And to think I could kill every man, woman, and child here in the blink of an eye if I wanted to. The power of death is intoxicating."
Voiced by: Toshihiko Seki (JP), Richard Cansino (EN), Toni Mora (Spain), Gerry Meza (Latin America, series)A sadistic blue-haired man with psychic powers who works under Knives and has the orders to make Vash's life a living hell.
- Adaptational Villainy: Since the anime didn't get to the point where his backstory was brought up, he comes off as completely heartless
- Ax-Crazy: Though more Sympathetic than many.
- Bad Boss: To the Gung-Ho Guns.
- Badass Longcoat: Spikes of Villainy on one shoulder and a human skull on the other. Also, the coat is white, a color traditionally associated with death in Japanese culture.
- The Bad Guy Wins: His goal was to make Vash experience eternal pain, and he succeeded by forcing Vash to kill him.
- Big Eater: A villainous example; almost every time we see him on screen, he's eating something.
- Bishōnen: Though he tends to be Ax-Crazy, which distracts us from the sexy
- Boomerang Bigot: Played with no laughs at all. He was at least born human (prior to getting a ton of modifications), but is an Omnicidal Maniac who wants to kill all humans and anxiously awaits the day when his own boss will kill him. He could very well have been modded in childhood by the people he hated so much at the place where they were keeping him. At any rate they paid him more careful attention than your average boy whore, worked out he was planning to kill them all, and the simplest explanation for how they were able to use the method they did for killing him is that they developed the cancellation technology from the coin-box, and were using it. Given Legato couldn't stop his death-by-rape but after the building got sliced up a bit could brain-hack Knives enough to stay alive.
- Creepy Monotone: Very creepy.
- Death Seeker: And it's never been more disturbing, also a Break the Cutie ploy to Vash.
- Depraved Homosexual: Presumed, based on his slavish devotion and the fact that he is utterly depraved. The Rape as Backstory probably doesn't hurt, unfortunately. Or all the creepy BDSM stuff in the manga.
- The Determinator: Legato's desires to make Vash suffer but also physically as well. His final battle with Vash in the manga is basically him refusing to give up even after being beaten into a bloody pulp by Vash's Angel Wings and being technically paralyzed from the neck down.
- Dissonant Serenity: Bishōnen yet is a cannibal and a sadist.
- The Dreaded: The first enemy to genuinely unnerve Vash, and the Gungho Guns would rather be Driven to Suicide than to face his wrath.
- Dub Name Change: In Spain, he is known as "Regalt Bluesummers", which is another way of transliterating the katakana making up his name… sort of. note
- Epic Flail: In his final fight against Vash in the manga, he swings a mean weapon called the "Guernica" that can only be described as this. The head of it is rather artistic and about twice his size. It's also full of guns.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Really hates slave traders, due to his past as a sexually abused slave boy.
- Extreme Doormat: Implied to be this with Knives, anyway.
- Fashionable Asymmetry: His white coat has chubbier right shoulder which also features metal spikes. He also wears some straps in the other.
- Faux Affably Evil: Even more so in the sub where he mimics Vash's boyish tone to be sarcastic.
- Freudian Excuse: He had a really really really really crappy childhood, and honestly Knives is the best thing that ever happened to him. Which is just pathetic. So he has reason to hate everybody.
- Go Out with a Smile: And it has never been so creepy.
- Goth: Looks like it, but is far more sadistic.
- Groin Attack: Inverted; he kills someone with a blade on his crotch.
- Handicapped Badass: In the manga, Knives shatters his spine during the Fifth Moon Incident, and he spends most of the Maximum paralyzed from the neck down. This doesn't stop him from tormenting Vash and even his own minions, especially once he starts to use a capsule fitted with mechanical spider legs to move around. He eventually regains full mobility by learning to manipulate his own body just as he does with those of other people.
- The Heavy: While Knives has a much more prominent role in the manga, in the anime, it could be said that Legato is in fact the Big Bad of the story while Knives is the silent Greater-Scope Villain.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Originally the hot dog he ate was much worse and more explicit, but it was so disturbing that the editors of the manga forced the author to remove most of it! Didn't prevent him from chopping off the head of the shoe maker and stuffing it in a paper bag.
- Kill All Humans: His goal, which is arguably worse than Knives' reasons because he's a Boomerang Bigot who wants every last human, including himself, dead and enjoys it deeply.
- Knight of Cerebus: Everything goes to hell after he shows up, especially in the manga.
- Laughing Mad: By the time Legato starts moving around after Knives shattered his spine, he's gone absolutely insane and sports huge slasher smiles while cackling madly throughout the manga.
- Leitmotif: Perfect Night which fits his Cerebus Syndrome nature well.
- Love at First Sight: After using Knives to free himself from enslavement, he falls into a very sick version of this. Upon seeing Knives for the first time, he "wished to know him" and asked to stand at his side.
- Mad Love: Knives invariably treats him like dirt, and in the manga cripples him utterly in a fit of rage. This only enhances his devotion.
- Marionette Master: In the manga, he even applies this to himself. (Yeah, it's Mind Screwy)
- Manipulative Bastard: To the Gung-Ho Guns.
- Man in White: Dress like this, but has the spikes and skull to make sure you know he's bad.
- Meaningful Name: Legato named himself. Presumably he meant something by it. It will forever be a mystery what. (Legato is a musical term meaning something like "played smoothly and connected," the mystery lies in exactly why he felt it was appropriate, or if he just liked the sound of it.)
- Misanthrope Supreme: It's unclear whether his primary motivation is whatever he knows of Knives' Start of Darkness, his own crapsack life, the world in general, his complete and utter devotion to a guy who happens to be an Omnicidal Maniac, or his own personal flavor of crazy. He has his own Tear Jerker Start of Darkness in the manga, where he is much less cool but much more The Woobie (although a disgustingly evil woobie), but in the anime he is both more mysterious and more emotionally self-sufficient.
- The Nameless: Until some point after falling in with Knives, literally. Probably why he introduces himself so much.
- Nightmare Face: Pulls off some rather impressive ones◊ in the manga.
- Not So Stoic: In the anime and first three volumes of Trigun, Legato is a very calm individual. Once Knives breaks his spine, he slowly becomes more and more unhinged until by the end he's become a terrifying raving lunatic.
- Peek-a-Bangs: His hair typically covers one of his eyes, and also shadows his face. In the anime, combinated with his sharp features, the shadow sometimes makes him look like he has a thin moustache.
- People Puppets: Psychic in nature in the anime, where he also has some degree of telepathy. In the manga, he has the mutant or cybernetic ability to extend nearly-invisible "wires" of some sort that can directly activate other people's muscles.
- Poisonous Friend: To the Gung-Ho Guns, he even admits that he doesn't care for them in the manga.
- Power Limiter: Played with in the manga, the coin case that Legato gives Vash way back near the beginning. Once Vash collects all the coins, the case acts as this. Instead of Vash voluntarily using it, Legato uses it himself just so their final fight will be interesting. In the end, Vash destroys the case.
- Psycho Supporter: Dangerously insane he may be, but Legato is completely loyal to Knives. No matter what abuse he may suffer at his hand.
- Psychotic Smirk: More so in the manga.
- Put Them All Out of My Misery: Very, very much so.
- Rape as Backstory: Only implied in the anime, but shown on panel in the manga. Luckily, Knives turned up by coincidence and destroyed the building and everyone else in it before they could rape him all the way to death.
- Sadist: He's an utter, sadistic psycho with a murder habit who likes to torture the lead.
- Sadistic Choice: See his Thanatos Gambit.
- Sanity Slippage: By the end of the manga, he's stark raving fucking insane.
- Single-Target Sexuality: It would be more accurate to presume that Legato hates everyone who isn't Knives.
- Slasher Smile: Being normally The Stoic makes this creepier.
- Spikes of Villainy: Those same spikes appear on Grave's coffin in the Gungrave series.
- The Stoic: Moreso in the Anime than the Manga.
- Straw Nihilist: Especially in the anime, where everything he says is as pessimistic as he is.
- Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: When the Gung-Ho Guns fail to kill Vash, Legato uses this as his final gambit to ruin his life. It works, until Meryl convinces him to snap out of it and finish his business with Knives.
- Sweet Tooth: Eating something like cheesecake has never been so damn creepy.
- Tall, Dark, and Snarky: More Like Tall, Dark and Creepy.
- Tearful Smile: Biggest, happiest, most weepy smile you ever saw on a naked child when he was kneeling there in the rubble, realizing that Knives had chosen to spare his life and accept his petition to follow him, and had even asked his name, and he didn't have one to give.
- Thanatos Gambit: Forces Vash to shoot him in the head to save either Milly and Meryl (in the anime) or Livio (in the manga), using this to break him further.
- Too Kinky to Torture: Especially in the manga
- The Unfettered: His unrelenting pursuit to make Vash's life a living hell is truly terrifying.
- Villainous Glutton: Of hot dogs, which are strongly implied to be human meat.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: In the manga where he's got a sympathetic backstory as a nameless sex slave and, like Knives, has let his own pain drive him into becoming an Omnicidal Maniac.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Though we notice his eyes and costume more than this feature.
"Did you have fun living as a human, dear brother?"
Voiced by: Toru Furusawa (JP), Bo Williams (EN), Ramón Rocabayera (Spain), Ariadna Jiménez (Spain, child), Rubén León (Latin America), Eduardo Curiel (LatAm, child)Vash's twin brother. Has a pathological hatred of humans and wants to exterminate them all, as he views himself and Vash as superior beings. He at least has a pretty good reason for it in the manga, since humans mutilated his and Vash's older sister and kill Plants by draining them for energy.
- Ambiguous Disorder: Like Legato's example above, he is more clearly described as mentally ill in the manga. At least, he suffers from a severe form of PTSD and some kind of crippling depression - anything beyond that is unspecified.
- Bad Boss: Cares nothing for his subordinates.
- Cain and Abel: Cain, though he's actually the younger brother..
- The Chessmaster: In the anime, less so in the manga.
- Despair Gambit: His main plan with regard to Vash. In the anime, this ultimately pushes him into a Heroic B.S.O.D..
- The Dreaded: When the man with $$60 billion on his head freaks out about him, you know he's bad news.
- Evil Twin: To Vash. Knives himself see it the other way round, with Vash the evil one for always trying to thwart his plans to wipe out humanity.
- Foil: He is explicitly set up to be this to Vash. This is especially true in the anime where their powers are literally identical.
- Freudian Excuse: In the anime, he snaps and decides to wipe out humanity because he was verbally and physically abused as a kid by a member of the Project SEEDS crew shortly before learning that mankind's poor judgement had rendered the Earth nearly uninhabitable.
- In the manga, however, he has a bit more of a reason for snapping. He and Vash discovered a secret report that gave them a truly horrific revelation about the nature of morality and their relationship to mankind. See the entry on Tessla below for details.
- A God Am I: Knives's megalomaniac tendencies and belief that he is a kind of noble crusader or even a kind of Jesus figure.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: From learning Tessla's story and finding her remains.
- Hates Everyone Equally: He consider all the humans equally as lower life forms.
- Just a Flesh Wound: Manga only. When Vash shoots Knives in the shoulder in the manga, Knives's reaction is to calmly look at it, looks back at Vash and then slice off Vash's arm telling him to aim better. Even more apparent after he is practically obliterated by Vash's Angel-Arm during the Lost July Incident and, during his recovery, calmly tells Legato to shut up because he's being too loud.
- In the anime, however, his low pain tolerance is his Achilles' Heel.
- Kill All Humans: Out of hate, rather than believing that their lives are worthless like Legato.
- Knife Nut: Only in the manga, where it fits more in line with his name.
- Major Injury Underreaction: When Vash shoots him in the leg, Knives's reaction conveys more alarm at the fact that his own brother would shoot him than for the injury itself.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Moreso in the manga.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Knives is an Aryan on steroids who rants about being a "superior breed".
- Never My Fault: Knives is practically a child in his sense of right and wrong. The evils of a few humans are enough to convince him the whole species must die. While humans are certainly to blame for many things, the terrible abuse of Plants in the story happens because there is no other way for humans to survive on the hellish world he stranded them on.
- No Yay: Invoked with his brother, no less. And several scenes in the manga are specifically staged so that it looks like Knives is raping Vash.
- Orcus on His Throne:
- In the Anime, he relies on Legato to torment Vash while he completes the decades-long process of recovering from the effects of Vash's Angel-arm blast in July City.
- In the manga, he's a Lazy Bum whose only deadline is his and his sisters' lives expiring, which he starts moving pretty promptly after he learns about, and his only threat is his brother trying to pose one. Which he likes Vash doing. And which Vash is pretty bad at.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Unlike Vash, he's perfectly fully willing to use it towards his goals.
- Psychopathic Manchild: Knives has incredibly simplistic motives and goals, ranging from ruining Vash's life and ideals for hurting him once to killing humans for using Plants in a system he forced them into in the first place.
- Razor Wings: In the manga, one of Knives' powers is part of his body turning into feathers which are monomolecular blades.
- Sanity Slippage: Notably, Knives didn't get this as a kid; he went immediately off the deep end after his traumatic revelation, but then acted like he'd blocked it out and was perfectly fine… right up until enacting "Plan Kill All Humans".
- Sealed Evil in a Can:
- He took an Angel-Arm blast to the face during the Lost July incident and has spent the two decades since then screwed into a Plant-casing slowly recuperating. The moment he's up and about, things turn very bad very quickly.
- In the anime, his first action upon release is to vaporize Chapel For the Evulz. In the manga, the first thing he does is shatter Legato's spine, and then he proceeds to force Vash to blow up the Fifth Moon.
- Self-Made Orphan: He is responsible for the Great Fall, which also directly kills Rem, the closest thing he had to a mother.
- Shut Up, Kirk!: To Vash in the manga, multiple times, with some "The Reason You Suck" Speech thrown into the mix.
- Slouch of Villainy: Manga Knives, generally with a hand over his eyes of forehead to show he's Full of Upset.
- Smug Snake: In the anime, where he comes off a lot more stable, yet his philosophical position is less well-supported.
- Spared by the Adaptation: He's still alive, though unconscious, at the end of the anime.
- Stepford Smiler: When young, he hid his homicidal urges from Vash and Rem very well.
- Straw Nihilist: A variation, as he thinks everyone except him and his brother should kill themselves.
- Twincest: Fan Wank notwithstanding, nothing actually happens, but manga Knives has a very... fusional and obsessive relationship with Vash to say the least.
- Unstoppable Rage: The unproductive kind, for the most part. Tends to destroy everything within range even if that includes people who were fairly integral to his plots.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In the manga, he was a genuinely kind, optimistic kid until he saw something terrible and couldn't cope.
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Knives actually agrees with Rem's goal of creating a new Eden. However, his idea of Eden is one where the entire human race has been slaughtered.
- Villains Out Shopping: Seen hanging around naked in a tube and drinking A Glass of Chianti in an oasis in the anime, and playing the organ in bondage gear in his base and hanging around with a depressed/psychotic expression in the manga. Knives might be the laziest, most idle Big Bad around, which is bound to make us think he'd be less messed-up if he had a hobby or something.
- Wave Motion Gun: Also possesses an Angel Arm. In the anime it's identical to Vash's, but in the manga it takes the form of a massive scythe.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: As a child, his motives and goals are fairly similar to Vash's in that both desire protection and survival for the people they care about — it's their methods that provide such a stark contrast. Knives seems to have lost track of their similarities pretty early, and by the time the main story starts cannot be relied upon to adhere to any goal other than rage and revenge.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Knives actually has a shot at qualifying as this in the manga, at least during the flashback. During the main storyline, he's a Jerkass extraordinaire with a dash of "The Dark Side Will Make You Forget", but the story of Tesla would put anyone off the human race, especially a cute little kid who just wanted to be accepted...
Gung-Ho Guns noteA group of thirteen ultra-powerful mercenary assassins hired by Legato on Knives's orders to cause Vash as much pain and suffering as possible.Each Gung-Ho Gun is given a designated number (and, in the manga, a coin half to give to Vash if they're defeated), but their numbers often inexplicably differ between the manga and anime. Also note that a few members only appear in one version or the other.
The Group As A Whole
- Ax-Crazy: Most of them are mercenaries or Serial Killers hired by Legato and Knives.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Most of them commit suicide when defeated instead of having to face Knives and or especially Legato, for their failure.
- Carnival of Killers: Are all killers, but with different methods.
- Cyborg: Some of them, as part of the above.
- Deal with the Devil: They are said to have given up their humanity in exchange for strength. This is metaphorical, but their choice to work with Knives while knowing his goals is much more literal.
- Humanoid Abomination: Those that aren't mostly human, anyway.
- The Magnificent: Each of them has a title, usually referring to their abilities. E.G. Mine is the only one which does not fall into this form. In Gratuitous English, no less.
- Psycho for Hire: All of them. Some (notably E.G. Mine) talk openly about how they expect to be paid handsomely for their work.
- Quirky Mini Boss Squad: To Knives
- Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits: In the anime, they have a Cyborg, cripple, a sniper, a saxophone player, a one-eyed lady, a samurai, a kid, a priest, a puppet master, a man with a strange spike-shooting weapon tied by strings to his body, and a Venom Expy in the group.
- The Stoic: Several of them rarely speak. (in the anime, two of them never speak)
- The Unfought: Gazelle the Peacemaker is an action figure of a Gung-Ho, who never appeared either in the manga or the anime.
Monev the Gale
Voiced by: Masuo Amada (JP), Peter Spellos (EN), Eduardo Fonseca (Latin America, series)The first Gung-Ho-Gun. The only thing known about him was that he was locked away and trained solely for purpose of killing Vash.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Begs for his life after slaughtering an entire town and subsequently getting beaten by Vash. Unusually for this series, it works.
- BFG: Wields two types, a chain gun he wears around his wrist and back and a rocket launcher after he loses that.
- Dirty Coward: He thinks nothing of murdering a town full of people, yet begs for mercy once Vash comes out on top in their fight.
- Expy: Of Venom, his design strongly resembles him. Heck even his name is Venom spelled backwards. Most likely this was a homage as Nightow is well-known to be a huge fan of American superhero comic books.
- Eye Scream. In the manga, Vash shoves his gun into Monev's right eye socket so hard that it looks like his eye ruptures.
- More Dakka: This is his M.O., which (ironically for this series) stands out in contrast to most of the other Gung-Ho Guns, who tend to prefer more bizarre techniques.
- Oh, Crap!: His expression after seeing Vash's Glowing Eyes of Doom.
- You Have Failed Me: Winds up killed for his failure. Most likely from Legoto.
- '90s Anti-Hero: He looks like one (even though he is a villain) – Disproportionately huge muscles, bright colors, massively impractical guns, grimacing like a loon all the time… Rob Liefield would have a hard time coming up with anything crazier.
Dominique the Cyclops
"You're naïve. Had I been so inclined, I could have killed you three times already."note Tries her luck against Vash but he finds out her powers and easily beats her. Her fate is different depending on the media. In the anime, Legato finds and kills her off-screen. In the manga, she commits suicide by falling off a cliff.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears one
- Better to Die than Be Killed: In the manga.
- Bifauxnen: Before Vash confirmed she had an ample bust, her gender was somewhat ambigious. She has a body type similar to Milly's (albeit less stocky) that she hides behind her oversized longcoat.
- Dark Action Girl: The only explicitly known female in the Gung-Ho Guns and a far more effective enemy than Monev against Vash.
- The Dark Chick: She likes to play at this. See her quote above.
- Eyepatch of Power: To hide her special eye's powers.
- Hellish Pupils: In the manga, her special eye is reptilian in design.
- Nice Hat: Wears one. It makes her look like Carmen Sandiego.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Her main power is her right eye, which is red colored in the anime but reptilian-like in the manga.
- Self-Disposing Villain: In the manga.
- The Smurfette Principle: The only unambiguously female Gung-Ho Gun. note
- Teleport Spam: What Vash assumes her power be after watching her in action.
- Time Stands Still: What her real power is as her right eye affects her opponent's senses and freezes them in place via hypnosis, allowing her to get the drop on them.
- Unskilled, but Strong: She relies heavily on her eye's powers and is unable to dish anything out once that's been discovered.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: In the anime, she has purple hair. Due to the manga being black-and-white, her hair color in it could be anything.
- You Have Failed Me: In the anime, she's killed for her failure and strung up beside Monev.
note A villain with two shells on either side of him that shoots out spikes.
- Adaptational Badass: Actually manages to be a more of a threat in the anime, though not by much.
- Anime Hair: Has black spikey hair.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Vash beats him in one panel in the manga and both the former and Rai-Dei basically strip him of his weapons while the latter kills him.
- The Dark Chick: Especially in the anime, where he relies on brute force, but is much weaker than the rest of the members, despite his own views thinking otherwise.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: His method of murder includes shooting spikes at his opponents. In the anime, he's stabbed to death by Rai-Dei after he loses to Vash.
- In the manga, it's never explicitly stated how he dies… but he is dead, likely at the hands of Knives' agents, as he is later tallied as one of the deceased Gung-Ho Guns]].
- Improbable Weapon User: He uses two shields that shoot spike projectiles held together by string connect to his fingers. Unlike most examples, this is actually crippling as he has no other way of defending if they get into his range.
- Mask of Power: Does not help him against Vash at all.
- Meaningful Name: The only one without an awesome nickname and is thus defeated in the shortest amount of time, at least in the manga.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: In the manga, after Vash bonks him on the head, the focus immediately switches to Vash and Legato. E.G. never appears again. Though at least his name is given whenever someone tallies the dead Gung-Ho Guns, so it wasn't like he was completely forgotten.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Especially in the anime, he has a high opinion of himself and thinks he's on par with the rest of the members, but in reality, he relies heavily on his spike projectiles to kill enemies and seems to be the only reason why he was even considered a member.
- Spikes of Villainy: Has them as a weapon, with the manga version being even spikier.
- Weak, but Skilled: His spike projectiles are effective against a group of thug, but when faced with a man who can throw pebbles to deflect fatal bullets and has the speed to match those skills; He is obviously outmatched.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Especially with the manga adaptation, which had elaborated on almost all the members' pasts.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Rai Dei does this to him once he proves to not be up to the task of taking Vash on, and it is highly implied Knives also does this through his agents as he's tallied among the dead members.
Zazie the Beast
Unusually for this series, the characterization for Zazie is completely different between the manga and the anime – literally the only thing the two versions have in common is the ability to control insects. As a result, both are listed separately.
Zazie the Beast (anime)
- The Beastmaster: At least, to insects.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: Controls giant bugs through a device in his head.
- Demonic Possession: Zazie in this version thinks so, Vash has another theory in mind
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: Wolfwood kills him before he could do anything.
- Evil All Along: He's partially responsible for why his friends' parents have been forced away by Legato's powers as well as trying to kill the villagers in order to piss off Vash.
- Guns Akimbo: Has the single most normal weapon arsenal of the Gung-Ho guns, and is a terrible shot.
- Hellish Pupils: Has purple slits once revealed to be evil.
- Hidden Depths: Vash notices that he was crying before the insect attack, which caused Zazie to lose his cool.
- Killed Off for Real: Like most of the Gung-Ho Guns.
- Our Demons Are Different: He has to control insects with a device on his head and possesses a child while submissive to Legato and by that extension, Knives.
- Shrinking Violet: Pretends to be this.
- Tyke Bomb: Vash strongly thinks he is this.
- Vocal Dissonance: Sounds much older than your average kid, justified as he might be "possessed".
- We Hardly Knew Ye: We don't get much on his character and Wolfwood guns him down just as Vash was starting to get through to him, especially as to how he possessed the kid or how the kid came to think that way as well as how he came to have a device that controls insects.
- According to Word of God however, it may the demon that possesses him that might be speaking through it.
- Worm That Walks: While not directly stated, it is implied that the aliens centipedes have taken over the boy's mind and possessing him to do his dirty work.
Zazie the Beast (manga)
The sixth Gung-ho Gun… who is actually a hive-mind of insects native to the planet that has the ability to possess human bodies.
- Bare Your Midriff: As a girl and then as a disco king-like man.
- Creepy Child: Originally this in his first host.
- Dark Action Girl: Briefly... it's complicated.
- Dark-Skinned Blonde: In two of his three bodies.
- Deadpan Snarker: When Zazie kidnaps Meryl to use as bait to lure out Vash, she makes a weird face in an attempt to look cute. Zazie just stares at her and asks, "Is that look supposed to be amazed, sick, or cute?"
- Deal with the Devil: He does this with Knives in order to see whether they would better coexist with him or humans. Once he proves dangerous, they turn on him, only to be killed themselves.
- Demonic Possession: A much more passive one as it possesses humans that are the nearest by to communicate with.
- Double Agent: Played with. He's still working for Knives, but his first mission is to act as this since Hoppered and Midvalley aren't trusted.
- Heel–Face Turn: After realizing Knives is becoming too powerful and might end up wiping them out as well as the humans. It's brief, though, since he's quickly defeated and decides to give the final coin-half needed to Vash.
- Gender Bender: After the little boy host dies, Zazie possesses a girl.
- Then returns as a man after the girl dies.
- Hellish Pupils: Particularly while in the little boy host.
- Hive Mind: Zazie is actually a group of insects that resided on Gunsmoke before the humans populated it. They're actually controlling people they take over to act on their behalf.
- Not Quite Human: You know something's up when you see those eyes of his.
- The Worm That Walks: Bizarre variant; Zazie is the collective mind of many literal worms in a hijacked human body.
- Pretty Butterflies: First respawn, appears in a cloud of pseudo-butterflies; possibly some kind of connection technique for the newly appropriated hub.
Leonof the Puppetmaster
Voiced by: Kaneta Kimotsuki (JP), Milton James (EN), Eduardo Ménez (Latin America, series)The fourth (manga) Gung-Ho-Gun. As his name suggests, his special ability is to create and control puppets via special marionette strings, up to dozens at a time. While most of his puppets are obvious, he is capable of making them look surprisingly lifelike if need be. He also has the ability to throw his voice, as well as distort it to sound however he wants. This gives Vash a hard time as he has to distinguish friend and foe.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Vash tells him of the people Leonof used to know as a kid, he freaks out, especially at the last name mentioned, implied to be his real name.
- The Chessmaster: Controls his People Puppets like chess pieces while he watches from a distance, controlling their every move.
- Evil Old Folks: The oldest of the Gung-Ho Guns. This is true even in the manga, as the older looking member, Chapel, looks like he does due to overuse of his enhanced body.
- Freudian Excuse: See The Lost Lenore below for more details.
- Forgotten Childhood Friend: To Vash, in the manga.
- The Lost Lenore: In the manga, he's preserved the body of his dead love interest in a coffin next to the other puppets. It's implied that he started making puppets because he was lonely.
- Marionette Master: A given due to his specialty.
- People Puppets: Though he only pretends to use corpses.
- Speech Impediment: Leonof speaks in a very unusual cadence (which disappears when he talks through his puppets). In Japanese, this is expressed by random syllables being written in katakana, while the English translation renders it like this…"WheRe aRE YoU, VasH tHe StAmPEde? yOU've diSaPpEArED…"
- Spell My Name with an "S": Leonof vs. Leonoff vs. Leonov. The former spelling is used in the manga.
- That Man Is Dead: Thinks himself as this, which when Vash reminds him of his past, he freaks out.
- Villainous Breakdown: He loses it once the Armor-Piercing Question comes up, he goes from wanting Break the Cutie to deciding to kill him.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: The anime kills him off before we learn why he even joined the Gung-ho Guns in the first place.
Hopperd the Gauntlet
- All of the Other Reindeer: He was ostracizd and abused for being a hunchback.
- Berserker Tears: When explaining how he hates Vash for what he did to July.
- The Brute: Like Gray in the anime, though he has a lot more to say.
- The Dark Chick: Fits this more than Dominique, as his angst is what makes him dangerous in the manga.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Defeats Vash in the manga, something Knives and Legato never did.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: His shield serves as a spinning top.
- Evil Cripple: He has an incredibly large hump for a back that prevents him from walking upright, he also participates in a plan to wipe out all of humanity. He's more malevolent in the anime adaptation.
- Hannibal Lecture: Gives one to Vash to deconstruct his view as a saint.
- The Lost Lenore: His motive for joining the Gung-ho Guns in the manga. The girl in question died during the Lost July incident, for which he's blamed Vash ever since.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: His shield also doubles as a gun; it can fire bullets from its center.
- Redemption Equals Death: In the manga.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Hopperd (anime) vs. Hoppered (manga).
- Villainous Friendship: With Midvalley in the manga.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Just like many of the later Gung-Ho Guns in the anime. Like with Leonof, the anime omits his backstory completely.
Gray the Ninelives
The seventh Gung-Ho-Gun: A huge hulking beast with many a weapon embedded inside him. What he actually is varies between manga and anime.
- The Brute: Fits this more than Monev as he relies on brute force.
- Collective Identity: The reason behind his name in the manga as he is a group of midgets that control one bio-artificial body.
- Cranial Processing Unit: Averted in the anime. He's seemingly defeated when his upper body is destroyed, but reveals just before crashing the ship Vash and Wolfwood are on that his brain is actually in his crotch.
- Crazy-Prepared: Has a weapon conceled in his thigh in case he lost his upper body.
- Cyborg: In the anime, the only part of him left that isn't a robot is his brain.
- Determinator: Even as a brain or midget, he will not stop.
- Kevlard: In the anime, he takes a grenade by Wolfwood point blank and goes unscathed, but after he loses his big masses of muscle courtesy of an acid bath, another grenade is enough to rip him apart.
- Humanoid Abomination: In the manga, he's actually a hideous bio-clone controlled by a group of midgets.
- Nigh Invulnerable: This is what his title refers to, though the actual reason differs from manga to anime.
- Silent Bob: Doesn't say a word in the anime.
- Super Strength: Due to being a nigh invincible machine.
- The Un-Smile: In the anime, since he has no mouth.
- The Voiceless: In the anime since he's a machine.
- Averted in the manga when he curses Wolfwood for betraying them and then again when his Collective Identity is revealed.
Caine the Longshot
The eighth Gung-Ho-Gun. Only appears in the anime (replacing Livio and Razlo).
- BFG: Has a hundred-foot-long sniper rifle, likely due to Rule of Cool.
- Chameleon Camouflage: His cloak can change into the color of the sand, which makes it more difficult to spot him. Weirdly enough, his large weapon is still well visible after using the technique, so its usefulness is rather relative.
- Cold Sniper: Practically the embodiment of this trope.
- Crippling Overspecialization: He can hit targets from absurd distances, but if his target can actually reach him he's pretty much defenseless other than a single pistol which he opts to use on himself instead.
- Expy: His design makes him look like a bizarre mix of Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.
Rai-Dei the Blade
- Ascended Extra: He got his own spin-off manga.
- Born in the Wrong Century: He'd fit into Rurouni Kenshin with his abilities, but unfortunately he lives in the westernized world of Trigun; no one in this series has such honour. Turns out, neither does he.
- Death Seeker: He tells Vash that his one desire is to experience the void between life and death. Vash warns him there's nothing to see there but fear.
- Freudian Excuse: In his spin off, he was going to settle down with an apprentice and potential Love Interest, but then some organ rustlers decide to kill everyone including the two mentioned, so he kills them and becomes the evil that he is today
- Katanas Are Just Better: Though it can become a shotgun when needed.
- Mix-and-Match Weapon: A katana who not only can become a shotgun, but can also fire its blade.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Rai-Dei is a Cowboy Samurai Assassin on Steampunk Rocket Skates! In space!
Chapel the Evergreen
Chapel the Evergreen (anime)
Evil Mentor, but unlike Master C, he genuinely cares about him.
- Bald of Evil: More of a Punch-Clock Villain if anything.
- BFG: Holds one similar to Wolfwood, that can split into two separate ones.
- Church Militant: Unlike the example below, he is bit more lenient.
- Early-Bird Cameo: He can briefly be seen spying on Wolfwood in Episode 10 of the anime, although only his ankles are shown. This occurs long before he properly appears.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It becomes clear that after he "killed" Wolfwood, he became enraged once Legato dismisses Wolfwood as trash, and tries to kill him.
- Evil Mentor: But is much more benign about it.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Knives has him obliterated for defying him in the act of trying to avenge Wolfwood.
- Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Subverted in that he actually cares for Wolfwood enough to attempt to kill Legato to avenge him.
- Guns Akimbo: Has a cross gun similar to Wolfwood's that can split into two machine guns. Justified as he is the one who raised him to use the Punisher.
- Hidden Depths: He has Wolfwood try and take his apple away even as an adult like a father teasing his son.
- Like a Son to Me: Unlike the manga example below, it is strongly implied that he cared for Wolfwood as his son and goes to shoot Legato for insulting him.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: Knives has him killed after he tries to take down Legato for forcing him to kill his student.
Chapel/Master C (manga)
The leader of the Eye of Michael, an order of assassins who worship the Plants and Knives as gods.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: He's NOT "Trip of Death".
- He and Livio are also this to another duo who look to follow the Gung-Ho theme, but show up to quickly kill them off.
- Church Militant: Unlike Evergreen, he is truly evil.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He can't get why Wolfwood became so hesitant to kill people.
- Evil Mentor: To Wolfwood, but is much more of an ass about it.
- Evil Old Folks: Subverted, in that his appearance is a result of an overuse of an altered body, but is still much older than the rest of the main cast, with the obvious exceptions of Vash and Knives.
- Handicapped Badass: Confined to a wheelchair, but that's nothing; he can still shoot off his BFGs like a pro.
- Healing Factor: As a part of his enhanced body and the reason he looks so old.
- Humans Are Bastards: Believes this zealously like Knives does.
- Jerk Ass: He's this to everyone except Knives to which he views as a god.
- Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: He spared Livio's life to raise him, not because he was doing something selfless, it's because he wanted to use him as a weapon.
- He even shoots off his own legs to get Livio to be incredibly loyal to him.
- Karmic Death: Tries to kill Livio once he proves useless, but is then killed by him.
- Knight Templar: To Knives' goals.
- Lack of Empathy: Once Razlo/Livio proves useless, he tries to kill him.
- He also tries to have Wolfwood's orphanage destroyed in order for him to lose emotional ties.
Midvalley the Hornfreak
Voiced by: Tomohiro Nishimura (JP), Steve Bulen (EN), Eduardo Menez (Latin America, series)The eleventh Gung-Ho-Gun, and the one who appears to be closest to Legato.
- The Dragon: To Legato, in the anime. In the manga, he's almost a Starscream.
- Dragon with an Agenda: In the manga only works for Knives because he was coerced into it.
- Improbable Weapon User: A saxophone modified as a gun.
- Instrument of Murder: A saxophone that can create shock-waves when blown.
- Mad Artist: More in the anime than in the manga.
- Musical Assassin: He kills with a modified saxophone gun.
- Psycho for Hire: He was always a musician who killed with his music, which got Knives's attention.
- However, it turns out that wasn't something he wanted and tried to escape the Gung-ho Guns due to this.
- The Starscream: In the manga, since the Gung-Ho Guns don't take kindly to job resignations.
- Villainous Friendship: With Hoppered in the manga.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: In anime Ep.24, he kills himself on Legato's orders the second his fight with Vash turns against him. He sticks around much longer in the manga.
Elendira the Crimson-Nail
The thirteenth Gung-Ho-Gun. Only appears in the manga. May be a transwoman, may be just a cross-dresser, but she's just as loyal to Knives as Legato is.
- Abnormal Ammo: Unlike most others, Elendira uses giant screws and nails over using a gun.
- Ambiguous Gender Identity: Biologically male, but seems to prefer being referred to with female pronouns. note
- Authority Equals Asskicking: With the Gung-Ho Guns, manga only
- Battle Butler: To Knives.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: During her most intense fight and even as she lay dying, impaled on her own nail, her makeup stays perfect.
- Creepy Crossdresser: Assuming he isn't a transwoman.
- Dark Action Girl: Assuming she is a transwoman.
- Deadpan Snarker: She has a very sarcastic sense of humor, in contrast to most other characters.
- Death from Above: In the form of giant nails shot down from Elendira's air transport.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Considering Elendira is in fact biologically male.
- Fragile Speedster: Thank God, considering all the effort it took Livio to land that one hit.
- Guyliner: If Elendria is a man.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Those nails look like they hurt. She also dies on one of them.
- Improbable Weapon User: With her spikes. In actuality, those things are way too big to be thrown around.
- Lightning Bruiser: Once she removes her Power Limiter, and proceeds to beat the crap out of her opponent.
- Mind Rape: She has the ability to make others think they're suffering incredibly gruesome deaths. Like so many things about her this is never explained.
- Power Limiter: Removes it during the battle against Livio.
- The Resenter: Toward Legato, for being favored by Knives. It's mutual.
- Villainous Crossdresser: Biologically male, speaks & dresses female, gender status never clarified. Badass enough to terrify people despite that.
- Keep in mind that, in a world of guns, s/he fights with a briefcase full of red nails and is probably the deadliest thing on the planet (because Knives is lazy and Vash is a staunch pacifist).
Livio the Double Fang
In the manga, one of two members of the Eye of Michael called in to be the last of the Gung-ho Guns. One of Wolfwood's friends from the orphanage where he grew up.
- Action Genre Hero Guy: When he becomes a good guy, he shaves his head, looking like a pale version of this, however, after the events of the manga,he now has a mane.
- The Atoner: Post Heel Face Turn, as is obvious he feels guilty about the whole Wolfwood deal.
- Badass: Defeats the strongest member of the Gung-Ho Guns by himself... sort of.
- Badass Preacher: As a member of the Eye of Michael.
- Badass Cape: Post Heel–Face Turn.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: He isn't, but when Legato mentions "Double Fang" and "Trip of Death" arriving, we cut to two guys, one with two big tusks, and the other with the power to extremely expand his muscles. One would think these are them until the real McCoys make their entrance.
- Master C isn't the Trip of Death, Livio is, more specifically, his split personality, Razio
- Beard of Sorrow
- BFG: Wears a machine gun on each arm that can fire forwards and backwards.
- Characterization Marches On: Just the Final Battle, he goes from stoic with a psychotic side to a significantly more wisecracking side after talking to Vash for a short while.
- Childhood Friends: With Nicholas Wolfwood.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: His guns are each shaped like one.
- Defeat Equals Friendship: Combined with Et Tu, Brute? from Master C trying to kill him.
- The Dragon: To Master C.
- Facial Markings: Three lines connecting his eye with the device on its ear. He lacks the eyebrow above them.
- Good Costume Switch: Combined with Important Haircut, when he casts off the Eye of Michael and follows Vash.
- Guns Akimbo: Wields the Double Fang, two cross-shaped sub-machine guns capable of firing forwards and backwards.
- Healing Factor: Like most members of the Eye of Michael. Better formulated than Wolfwood's prototype version.
- Heel–Face Turn: After being defeated by Nicholas and the betrayal from Master C, he decides to team up with Vash
- His Quirk Lives On: he carries Nicholas's Punisher at the end of the manga.
- Nice Hat: After defecting to the good side.
- Perma-Stubble: After his heel face turn. And at the beginning it could be called...
- Post-Stress Overeating: Along with Vash after Wolfwood´s death.
- Red Herring: Twice he kills two guys that seemed to be Gung-Ho Guns, but turned out to be assassins. Also he's both the Double Fang and Trip of Death
- Sharing a Body: Counts as this as well
- Split Personality: With Razlo.
- Split-Personality Merge: With Razlo after the fight with Elendira.
- The Stoic: At first anyway.
- Superpowered Evil Side: When Livio goes up against Elendira, he's forced to use Razlo to win.
Trip Of Death
Razlo the Tri-Punisher of Death
In the manga, the latter of the two members of the Eye of Michael mentioned above. Actually Livio's psychotic Split Personality; much more violent, yet also more loyal to Chapel.
- Badass Beard: After he became a good guy.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: Carries three Punishers, just like Wolfwood's.
- Et Tu, Brute?: He does not take Master C's attempt to kill him very well.
- Facial Horror: He gets his faced horribly demolished twice; once by Wolfwood and again later by Elendira. Neither result is pretty to look at, and it's only thanks to his super-healing that neither is permanent.
- Healing Factor: Being part of Livio's consciousness helps in his favor.
- More Dakka: Dual Wielding More Dakka!
- Multiarmed And Dangerous: Uses three Cross Punishers, with a cybernetic arm sprouting from his back to wield the third one.
- Nice Hat: Apparently the same one Dominique wore.
- Red Herring: It's not Master C who's the Trip of Death, it's Razlo, Livio's second personality.
- Self-Made Orphan: Razlo's existence is thanks to parental abuse. The reason Livio was sent to the orphanage was revealed to be because Razlo stabbed his parents.
- Split Personality: Livio's, which manifested even before his joining the Eye of Michael.
- Super-Powered Evil Side: Livio's
Boss of a gang of bounty hunters that come after Vash in the first episode of the anime. He and Loose Ruth end up teaming up to capture Vash. He also later appears in the manga...
- Bad Boss: He threatens to kill one of his subordinates and seriously injures another trying to take Vash out, knowing his gang member was in the line of fire.
- Battle Boomerang: His weapon of choice.
- Canon Immigrant: Was introduced in the anime first before making a minor appearance in the manga shortly thereafter, whereupon he's immediately killed by Grey without ever meeting the main cast.
- Character Death: Appears in the manga only to die a few panels later.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Gray the Ninelives kills him by impaling him with his own boomerang.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: In the manga, courtesy of Grey the Nine-Lives.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: In the anime, he and his group of bounty hunters have Meryl and Milly tied up, and Descartes appears to be about to rape them (not sure how that would work since he's so huge). Luckily for them, Vash shows up riding a thomas in to save the day... then starts screaming for his mommy when the bounty hunters start shooting at him.
- Starter Villain: In the anime, where he's the first antagonist Vash confronts. In the manga their confrontation (if it occurred at all) happens behind the scenes before the first chapter begins, though it presumably played out the same minus Meryl and Milly's appearance.
A bounty hunter that comes after Vash in the first episode of the anime. He teams up with Descartes to capture Vash.
- Badass Longcoat: It's brown but has a red inner lining, which briefly leads Descartes to think Ruth is Vash The Stampede.
- Bald of Evil: Once his hat is knocked off, it turns out his blond hair doesn't extend much above his ears.
- Famous Last Words: Non-lethal example.Vash: "You better watch out."
Ruth: "What for?"
[THWACK! as Ruth is hit by Descartes's out-of-control boomerang]
Vash: "...Whoops. Too late."
- Faux Affably Evil: He's surprisingly friendly for a heartless bounty hunter."Mister Vash the Stampede, it's a privilege to meet you. Your face is starting to look like it belongs on the double dollar. You really can't blame me for coming after you, though, since your head is worth sixty billion of them."
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: He is the one that suggests Descartes "enjoy" Meryl and Milly.
- The Stoic: At least until he gets blindsided by a giant boomerang.
A wealthy businessman who appears in the second episode of the anime, in charge of the water supply of a dried up town. He hires Vash to protect him and Marianne from an assassin, but it soon becomes clear that there is more to the story than he let on.
- Captain Obvious: "Recently someone's been trying to kill me. That could be bad for business and my health."
- Faux Affably Evil: Acts like he hired Vash to protect Marianne because he cares about her well-being. When she finds out what he's really up to, he tries to kill her.
- Good Hair, Evil Hair: Look at that Hitler-stache!
- Greed: Stated by Marianne to be the reason why he's monopolizing the water under his property.
- Non-Standard Character Design: He's the shortest character in the series (even Meryl's taller) and has a cartoonishly big nose.
The Nebraska FamilyA family of outlaws infamous for the amount of destruction they cause, consisting of their unnamed father, his wife Patricia, their sons Gofsef, Kanta, Tonkichi, and Chinpei, and their daughter Marilyn.
- Cyborg: One of the sons is a gigantic cyborg. So is the mother.
- Dumb Muscle: Possibly Gofsef, who does whatever his father tells him to do. Patricia is at least snarky with her daughter, Marilyn.
- Gonk: Oh good lord. The family patriarch is a scrawny old man with three teeth left, and his wife and one of their sons are literal giants. The other three sons are built like the Juggernaut. At least their only daughter looks relatively normal.
- Hot Skitty-on-Wailord Action: Yeah, see above. A scrawny old fart standing 5'5" tall having kids with a woman standing 30+ft tall and looks like this. HOW?!
- Mad Scientist: The father, who was presumably the one in charge of his giant offspring's aumentation.
- Talker and Doer: The father and Gofsef, and Marilyn and Patricia.
- Starter Villain: Dr. Nebraska and Gofsef in the manga; in the anime they're merely villains of the week.
Brilliant Dynamites Neon
"Nothing shines like hard won fame."
Voiced by: Unshou Ishizuka (JP), ? (EN)Leader of a band of outlaws called the Bad Lads. He runs into Vash during his gang's takeover of a sand steamer on route from Inepril City to May City.
- BFG: The twin giant dynamos on his shoulders.
- Chewing the Scenery: He's very fond of this, in line with his ideology of wanting to do everything as flashy and bombastic as possible.
- Cutting the Knot: He seizes the sand steamer only to discover that the money is locked in a huge vault that nobody on board can access. His solution? Turn the engines to full speed and run the steamer off a cliff to crack the safe open.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Neon sticks to what he says and really likes it when someone "sparkles" brightly. He outright refuses to kill Vash despite pretty much winning a duel they had. He even helps stop the massacre he started because he agreed to do whatever Vash said if Vash won their duel.
- Fauxshadow: At the end of his duel with Vash he outright states they'll cross paths again, with the whole thing making blatantly clear he and Vash will have a rematch later on. Only they never do, as he only makes a brief cameo and never encounters Vash again for the rest of the series.
- Karma Houdini: Is never brought to justice for his murders, and is confirmed to still be alive in one of the last chapters.
- Large and in Charge: Is nearly twice as tall as his minions.
- Noble Demon: Neon is not a nice man, but he challenges Vash to a one-on-one duel despite having a huge advantage in numbers, and even puts his own life on the line to save the sand steamer after conceding the duel.
Project SEEDS CrewNote: Under construction. Please expand and contribute.
"No person ever has the right to take the life of another."
Voiced by: Aya Hisakawa (JP), Bridget Hoffman (EN), Mayte Supervía (Spain), Adriana Casas (Latin America)One of the maintenance staff on the main SEEDS ship. She takes Vash and Knives in as her own children when the crew finds them, and acts as their surrogate mother. She is extremely kind and idealistic, and Vash treats her lessons and worldviews as sacred. She is also, however, highly competent and has great resolve.
- The Atoner: In the manga. She didn't fight hard enough to save Tessla, the first independent plant born on the voyage, who died Strapped to an Operating Table less than a year old, and all the devotion and secrecy in which she raised the boys was initially motivated by her determination to do better, given this second chance.
- Black and White Morality: To a point; she enforces an universal view of never taking a life, which in the series's universe proves to be overtly simplistic, if not downright dangerous.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Appears this way in Vash's memories, as they used to spend time together in an artificial paradisiac garden.
- Giver of Lame Names: Who names their foster-son Knives? Crazy ninjas, that's who! Pirates! Not pacifist astronauts conspiring to prevent the kid from being dissected by their coworkers! It's like she was asking for it.
- The Gwen Stacy: To Vash.
- Heroic Sacrifice: On a greater scope than most. She forgoes saving herself in an escape pod to try and fix Knives's sabotage* , and her sacrifice prevents the total annihilation of the human race (or at least a big chunk of it in the manga), allowing some of the SEEDS ships to land on Gunsmoke.
- Hero's Muse: She inspired and guided Vash. She's the reason he never kills anyone, no matter how much they deserve it. She took Vash and Knives in as her own children when the crew found them, and acted as their surrogate mother. She is extremely kind and idealistic, and Vash treats her lessons and worldviews as sacred.
- Meaningful Name: Rem can be translated to English as "the world", depending on the context.
- Parental Substitute: To Vash and Knives. Although given what they are, they don't really have parents.
- Plot-Based Voice Cancellation: When Rem makes her Heroic Sacrifice, she yells something to Vash that is cut off by the blast doors closing. Vash still takes this "something" as gospel even over a century later. The reader/viewer never learns what she says. note
- Posthumous Character: She died over a hundred years before the start of the story.
- Rapunzel Hair: Black hair down to her waist (or past it in the manga). Fitting given her personality.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Rem's last name – "Saverem" (anime) vs. "Seibrem" (manga)
- Some countries (not Japan or the USA) spell her first name as "Lem".
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: She is resolutely against murder and teaches Vash to save everyone, even his enemies who are trying to kill other people. It's an admirable ideal but very hard to put into practice. Because of this, Vash puts off resolving the Knives problem for a long time because he's looking for a solution that doesn't involve killing his Ax-Crazy brother.
William Conrad/ Count Revnant Vasquez
- "Knives... please forgive us humans..."
- The Atoner: Agrees to serve Knives out of his own guilt for the cruel experiments he performed on Tesla.
- Humans Are Bastards: He might even be more aware of that fact than Knives. He tries to lead Knives away before the latter can witness the Last Run, when an aging plant is drained of all remaining power to cause a horrific death.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: When Knives learns of the limited powers of Plants and the black hair that signals eventual death, and how Vash is even further gone than he is.
- The Mole: Ultimately betrays Knives by tricking him into using his power carelessly, causing his hair to turn black. Unfortunately, it only makes Knives get that much more serious about wiping out humanity.
- Armour Piercing Question: Cuts right to the heart of the matter in the manga when little Vash and Knives are shyly meeting their second human ever — "Do you love Rem?" (Knives nods shyly. Joey smiles) "Then it's fine."
- Boom, Headshot: In the anime, Knives takes him out right between the eyes.
- Only Sane Man: Is one of the few crew members who isn't unhinged.
- My God, What Have I Done?: In the anime, he starts to show shades of this after he kills Rowan, which sets Knives off to shoot him.
- Shoot the Dog: Kills Rowan to save Rem, and feels horrible about it afterwards.
Voiced By: Kyousei Tsukui (JP)An anime-only SEEDS crew member. A foul-tempered drunk and speciesist (he hates Plants).
- The Alcoholic: Can be inferred, as every time we see him onscreen, he's drunk.
- All Men Are Perverts: He gropes Mary.
- All Men Are Rapists: Knives takes Steve's usual pervert status and takes it a step farther... he manipulates Rowan into manipulating Mary to say that Steve raped her to get Steve put back into the pod, then Rowan sabotages it so that Steve dies.
- Asshole Victim: Knives sets up his death.
- Bait the Dog: He seems like the fun Boisterous Bruiser at first, but then he brings up on how Vash and Knives are "monsters" and beats up on the former while driving the latter to insanity.
- Bullying a Dragon: He both beats and verbally abuses a being that has far more intelligence than him and that possess unknown powers.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In the anime, he's pretty much the sole catalyst for Knives's descent into madness — if he wasn't such a Knight Templar, Knives would never have become so scared of humans.
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: He abuses Vash and Knives under the belief that they are "monsters" because they aren't human. The abuse causes Knives to effectively become a monster.
Voiced By: Shigeru Nakahara (JP)Another crewmember, a man with an unhealthy attraction towards Mary.
- Ax-Crazy: Kills two members of the SEEDS crew, one of them his love interest.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Appears to be a normal person at first, but reveals himself to be the above trope after things start going downhill.
- Canon Immigrant: An anime-only character.
- If I Can't Have You...: To Mary.
- Love Makes You Crazy: He loved Mary but believed (incorrectly) that Steve's advances on her were working.
- Murder the Hypotenuse: Basically what happened with Steve.
- Not Good with Rejection: Apparently not, since Mary rejected him and he shot her for it.
- Slasher Smile: While pointing a gun at Knives.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Rowan.
- Yandere: A rare male example.
Voiced by: Maya Okamoto (JP)Project SEEDS's only known female crewmember aside from Rem.
- Canon Immigrant: An anime-only character.
- Killed Offscreen: By Rowan.
- Love Triangle: Steve and Rowan both seem to have feelings for her.
- Meganekko: She wears big dorky glasses.
- The Tease: Not overtly, but she does say about Steve and Rowan, "I guess if there was only one, it would be boring."
- Two Girls to a Team: She and Rem are the only two females on the SEEDS crew in the anime.
A manga-only character, Chronica is an independent Plant, just like Vash and Knives. She serves aboard an Earth-based fleet that is finally responding to the transmissions coming from Gunsmoke (i.e. No Man's Land).
- Big Damn Heroes: She and the rest of the fleet only show up at the bitter end, when Knives is about to finish the rest of humanity.
- Not So Stoic: Once her ship crashes. As Vash runs off with Knives at the end of their battle, she attempts a desperation attack on them, but is stopped by Livio.
- The Stoic: Even in the face of Domina's fusing, she never loses her calm demeanor.
- Superweapon Surprise: Despite their desire to swoop in and save humanity, Chronica immediately employs their most powerful weapon, the "Tall Hammer", against Knives. Of course, it doesn't work, but it does buy Vash some time.
A manga-only character, Domina is Chronica's subordinate, and also a Plant.
Only appearing in a flashback in the manga, Tessla was the first known Plant able to live independent of her casing. She was discovered on one of the SEEDS ships and taken in by the crew. Once she was about a year old – physically appearing about 10 – the crew scientists (over Rem's tepid objections) performed multiple highly invasive experiments on her. The stress of it caused her body to rapidly deteriorate until she died. After that, her body parts were kept in jars on the main ship… to be discovered by Vash and Knives, who were born a couple years later. This became a great source of trauma for both of them, especially Knives who never figured out how to cope.
- Artificial Human: She was a Plant, like Vash and Knives after her. That means she was created by man to at least some extent, though it's never exactly clear just what a Plant is.
- Body Horror: Oh, big time. The internal report collated after her death talks about some of the prodding the scientists did to her… and into gruesome detail about how her body literally fell apart as a result.
- For Science!: The explicit reason the SEEDS crew performed all their experiments. By the time they realized what a toll it was taking on her body, it was too late.
- Humans Are Bastards: She did not appear to think so, but the discovery of what was done to her cements this idea into Knives's head; he cannot cope with learning the truth and decides mankind as a species is at fault.
- Playing with Syringes: Her cause of death.
- Posthumous Character: Even during the flashback she's been dead for over a year.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "Tessla" or "Tesla"?
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Questions of ethics, probably posed by Rem, went ignored. Rem's inability to save her caused her to become The Atoner.
Sky City CitizensThese are the people who live in the uncrashed SEEDS Ship that Vash considers the closest thing he has to a home. They have preserved much of the Lost Technology that either disappeared or broke down with No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup down on the planet's surface. Their occasional forays to the ground have given them a healthy distrust of outsiders.
SenseiSensei is the 80+ year old leader of Sky City's people. As a child, he was part of the original group who found a half-dead Vash and took him in.
- Cat Smile: His mouth pretty much always looks like this.
- Miniature Senior Citizens: He's shorter than even most of the children.
- Spared by the Adaptation: In the anime, he's still around once the story moves back to the surface at the beginning of Ep.22. In the manga, however, he is apparently Killed Offscreen by Leonof at some point during the battle. We never see his body, and Luida won't give a straight answer when Vash asks, but a later vision of Vash's where he thinks about everyone who died includes him.
Voiced by: Kouji Ishii (JP)A member of the Sky City crew who serves essentially as Sensei's right-hand man. He has a massive crush on his neighbour Jessica. Unfortunately for him, she is madly in love with Vash (whom neither of them had seen since they were little kids). This reality upsets Brad and makes his already abrasive personality worse. His fate is wildly different between the anime and manga.
- Action Survivor: As an ordinary human he destroys several of Leonof's drones, and later survives a bombing run on the Ark.
- Death by Adaptation: He is killed by Leonof (via fake-Jessica) in the anime.
- Green-Eyed Monster: His unrequited crush on Jessica, who is head-over-heels in love with Vash, makes him an even bigger jackass than he would normally be.
- Heroic Sacrifice/Redemption Equals Death/Taking the Bullet: Anime only. He spends most of the two episodes in which he appears as a major jerk to Vash (and pretty much everyone). After the SEEDS Ship finally crashes on the planet's surface, the surviving inhabitants all blame Vash, but Brad – the only human besides Wolfwood to actually fight – stands up for him. Almost immediately after, however, a fake Jessica puppet (courtey of Leonof) pulls a gun and tries to shoot Vash. Brad, intentionally or not (it isn't clear), shields him and takes the entire clip in his back.
- Jerkass: Starts out as this towards Vash.
- Motivational Lie: Maximum-only. When Vash and Livio return to the Ship without Wolfwood, Meryl and Milly want to know where he is. Brad tells them that he's gone on a journey and that they will probably never see him again, rather than have them break down upon hearing that he's actually dead. They realize pretty quickly what actually happened, and Milly breaks down later.
- Unlucky Childhood Friend: Brad's unrequited crush on Jessica makes him an unusual male example.
- Broken Pedestal: Anime only. At the beginning of Episode 22, we see that she had a difficult time dealing with Brad's death and Vash's (unintentional) role in it. When Vash tries to talk with her during the funeral, she runs away crying.
- Genki Girl: She's rarely seen without a big smile on her face and is one of the characters in the manga most likely to be drawn super-deformed. The first time we see her in the anime, she's sparkling.
- Girlish Pigtails: Notable in that she's the only female in the series to have them, and she's by far the girliest.
- Mugged for Disguise: In the anime, Leonof ties her up and replaces her with a perfect-likeness puppet; said puppet then attempts to shoot Vash but kills Brad instead.
- Precocious Crush: Got one on Vash when she was a little kid. It never went away, and now that She Is All Grown Up she fully intends to act on it.
- Self-Proclaimed Love Interest: To Vash.
- Spell My Name with an "S": For some reason, the artbook lists her as Charlie, which isn't even close to 'Jessica'.
- Supreme Chef: In the anime, Sensei heavily implies she is one. To prove it, we see her cooking a gorgeous feast in honour of Vash's return (he never gets to eat it due to what happens immediately after). In the manga, she's in charge of Vash's meals while he recovers from his latest fight.
- Textile Work Is Feminine: In the anime, she sews Vash's replacement jacket.
Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (JP), Bill Timoney (EN)The small black cat with huge green eyes that appears randomly at least once in every episode of the anime (but less often in the manga). Included because Nightow found the kitty easy to draw. Her name means "Lord Black Cat".
- Crossdressing Voices: In the English dub, not that it matters.
- Jerkass: In Episode 25, Vash sees her and reaches down to pet her… and she slashes his hand.
- Mascot: Both an in-universe and meta example.
- In real life, she is the unofficial mascot for the series, and Kuroneko plushies can often be found at anime conventions.
- In an episode of the anime, locals drink out of a bottle of Kuroneko-sama brand beer. Later on, she appears on a calendar.
- Once an Episode: She appears in every episode of the anime at least once. In many episodes, she shows up more often.
- Recurring Extra: Such a recurring extra that Kuroneko-sama appears in a flashback that happened a century ago.
- Rummage Fail: In one episode Wolfwood is searching for a book in his bag and instead finds the kitty.
"That creep is a pedophile! He deserved a good thump!"
Voiced by: ? (JP), Michelle Ruff (EN)Lina is a young girl who finds Vash and brings him home with her to take care of him after he drills a hole in the Fifth Moon. She lives with her grandmother in Kasted City.
- Boyish Short Hair: Is quite the tomboy and has her hair short.
- Drink Order: She walks into a bar with Vash and orders a shot of tequila, even though she's only twelve.
- Fiery Redhead: She's the only redhead in the series, and definitely gets like this when she's angry.
- Tears of Remorse: She cries when a group of thugs start punishing Vash for what she did.
- Tomboy with a Girly Streak: Despite her liking to have her hair short does she like working with hair and is a skilled hairdresser.
IngwayA bandit who holds a bar hostage as part of a revenge plot against the richest man in his town.
- Badass Baritone: He's got a very deep voice.
JuliusA young boy who travels with the Demislad Caravan and is the key to the caravan's entry into the City of Fondrique. He decides to run away with Moore when he learns about the caravan's side business and his past.
MooreA poor dancing girl being taken along the Demislad Caravan route. She and Julius fall in love and decide to leave their old lives behind.
- Say My Name: JULIUS!!
Badlands Rumble Characters
Voiced By: Tsutomu Isobe (JP), John Swasey (EN), Alfonso Vallés (Spain)A notorious robber who escaped police capture with Vash's help 20 years before the central plot begins. Now seeking revenge against the gang who betrayed him, bounty hunters from all over have arrived at his target, Macca City, to take him in for the reward.
- Bank Robbery: Something he was great at and held much pride in until he was betrayed.
- Berserk Button: "You messed up my robbery. My robbery, damnit!"
- Determinator: There's something to be said for a guy who can take a weighted net to the face and not slow down at all.
- Eyepatch of Power: Gets one after Kain shoots his eye out.
- Foil: To Vash. They're both have an Impossibly Cool Weapon that does three things, but their philosophies vary differently.
- Honor Before Reason: His forte as a robber.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon /Swiss Army Weapon: His oversized gauntlet fires bullets, rockets, and electrical fields.
- Not Allowed to Grow Old: The beginning of the movie, where Vash saves Gasback and Kain is 20 years before the main story. By the main story, Kain has gone gray, but Gasback looks exactly the same. So does Vash, but that's justified.
- Revenge: Betray him in a heist? He'll come back 20 years later, destroy what honest businesses you have and steal the only thing keeping you and an entire town alive. Go big or go home, no?
Amelia Ann McFly
- Action Girl: She literally kicks the ass of some guys in the beginning of Badlands Rumble.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: Gives many to Vash over the course of the movie. Granted, he did kind of deserve it.
- Badass Longcoat: Wears one throughout the movie.
- Bare Your Midriff: Her outfit exposes her stomach.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Vash.
- Character Development: She initially is dead set on killing Gasback, to protect others from dying and as revenge for her mother's death, but after spending a lot of time with Vash she seems to have adopted his philosophy, opting to send Gasback to jail rather than kill him.
- Chekhov's Gun: Her mother's "precious secret" was the antithesis to Gasback's own destructive gauntlet.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Starts off cold and isolated but gradually warms up.
- Does Not Like Men: Claims that she's allergic to the particularly stupid and ridiculous ones. When Vash touches her bare skin, she screams and breaks out in hives.
- Fiery Redhead: She's a redhead and she's fiery.
- Hates Being Touched: By men at least. She breaks out in hives.
- Heroic B.S.O.D.: Has a short one after she believes Vash has been killed, and realizing she may have been just as bad as Gasback. Then she snaps out of it and decides to do something about the situation, and enlists Wolfwood's help to do it.
- Improvised Weapon: Uses a Frying pan and a soup ladle to defend herself against some men in a barfight.
- Luminescent Blush: Mild case when she is drunk.
- Not So Different: Amelia has a minor Heroic B.S.O.D. when she realizes that her indifference to possibly shooting the plant while pursuing revenge against Gasback meant that she was just like him.
- Perpetual Frowner: Until the end of the movie when she smiles at Vash when he turns out not to be dead.
- Revenge: Originally what she was after Gasback for, since she blamed him for her mother's death. Also, seems to be later trying to avenge Vash's Disney Death as well as trying to get the plant back from Gasback.
- Ship Tease: She develops feelings for Vash.
- Strong Family Resemblance: To not only her mother, but to Gasback as well.
- You Killed My Mother: Claims that it's Gasback's fault (and therefore Vash's fault) that her mother died when she was young. This is because Amelia's mother was in a relationship with Gasback but chose to stay behind until they met again. She died when robbers seeking the money Gasback gave her wounded her and the local doctor refused to help.
- Younger Than They Look: She's actually only 19, meaning if Vash hadn't saved Gasback 20 years ago, she would never have been born.
- Youthful Freckles: When she was a small child.
Kain/KeplerOriginally part of Gasback's gang, he betrayed Gasback and left him to die after shooting him in the eye. He then began a life of making easy money in Macca City, but Gasback has plans for revenge.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Promptly begs Gasback for his life after the tables are turned on him.
- Dirty Coward: Shamelessly begs for his life and shoots his friends in an attempt to save his own skin from Gasback.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: At least partly. There are other more prominent reasons, but Gasback was shown hitting him unnecessarily at least a few times.
- Screams Like a Little Girl: When Gasback is about to shoot him, but Vash outscreams him (in an attempt to save him).
- Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: When Gasback is about to shoot him in the head.