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Tear Jerker / Trigun

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Trigun is a story about one guy trying to preserve and spread his pacifist ideals in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where Anyone Can Die (except maybe him). Needless to say, a lot of this series is just plain sad and only gets more so as it goes on.

Both Versions

  • Of course, Rem's death. Imagine that the woman who's the closest thing you have to a mother just sacrificed herself to save you, your brother, and the entire race? ...Now imagine that the reason she had to do it was because of your brother. Knives, you bastard.
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  • The reason the citizens of Inepril City decided to go after Vash: A malfunction left most of their Plants inoperable, and everyone felt the resource crunch. It started a death-spiral where they needed money to call in Plant engineers from the city but found it increasingly difficult to find the money. One of the women explained she had a sick child and couldn't afford a doctor unless she did something.
    Vash: "Bounty hunters in aprons? Wouldn't want kids to see this."
  • "Goodbye, For Now". It's been some time since Vash blew a hole in the Fifth Moon with his Angel Arm, and he's been taking a 10-Minute Retirement with Lina and Granny Sheryl. After Wolfwood forces him back into the story, he says goodbye… and we flash back to when Lina found Vash lying half-dead in an alley. The two of them clearly cared deeply about each other.


  • Once the manga changes from just "Trigun" to "Trigun Maximum" (and not coincidentally from shonen to seinen), the humorous moments gradually disappear until they're gone completely, replaced by more sad.
  • Tessla's story. Even before considering the impact it had on the twins, it's heartbreaking to read that report, wherein some scientist dryly documents how the SEEDS crew (apparently out of curiosity) performed so many experiments on Tessla that her body literally broke down from the stress until she died. Then they dissected her and kept her parts in jars all around the lab.
  • Several of the Gung-Ho Guns get backstories here that they didn't in the anime which make them more relatable.
    • Leonof. As a kid, he had been friends with Vash. Some time later, he lost the woman he loved (Isabel) and tried to fill the hole in his life by making puppets. He keeps Isabel preserved in a coffin. When her coffin falls out of Sky City, he snaps the marionette wires Vash is holding him up with and falls to his death.
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    • Hopperd. He was a hideously-deformed hunchback reduced to begging to survive. Then he fell in love with a woman from July City. Not long after, she vanished (apparently vaporized) in the Lost July incident. Kinda makes his trash talking from the anime make a lot more sense, doesn't it?
    • Pretty much every member of the Eye Of Michael went through a world of hell.
  • The manga chapter where Vash resists getting stoned by villagers by using his power and terrifies Meryl due to her memories of his fight with Hopperd, to the point where she recoils in fear when he reaches out to her.
  • Knives finally getting sick and tired of there not being enough death, so he absorbs most of the Plants into himself to become an unstoppable supervillain. Remember that up to this point, his entire reason for wanting to genocide the human race was because he was appalled at man's treatment of Plants. Hypocrite. Sadder still because we've seen via Vash that female Plants are (with the exception of Chronica) absolute sweethearts, and are sentient and probably sapient.
  • Wolfwood's death. Vash cries and prays for God to do him one favor in the manga as he and Wolfwood sit in the ruins of Wolfwood's childhood home and share one last drink before Wolfwood dies. And as the children he just saved fly to safety, they get one last message to him: Welcome Home.


  • In Episode 6, "Lost July", the reason Elizabeth decided to go after Vash. She was from July City and was there when Vash destroyed it twenty years earlier. No one died in the blast itself, but thousands died in the aftermath of being stranded in the desert, including her parents.
  • A little added scene in Episode 12 that cements Meryl's character development. The acting in both languages during this scene is superb and emotional as hell.
    Meryl: Who is that? That is not Vash; that is not the same man...he's walking away. If we don't stop him, he'll never come back.
  • The entire second half of Episode 16, "Fifth Moon".
    • Vash's reaction as Legato forces him to unleash his Angel Arm against his will.
    • Just seeing Meryl so distraught after Vash left her at the end of the previous episode. She spends about half the episode crying, and it only gets worse after Vash destroys Augusta City and blasts a hole in one of the planet's moons. By this point, it's now absolutely clear how much she cares for him.
      • Right as things start to hit the fan, Meryl sees the light from Vash's Angel Arm, knows instinctively it's him, tries to go to him, but Milly grabs her and runs, knowing if they stay they'll die. The entire time, Meryl is struggling and begging Milly to let her go.
    • The slow pans to everyone else Vash has helped in past episodes looking upset at the news is heartbreaking as well.
      • Especially since it can be inferred that Frank Marlon started drinking again as a result.
  • Episode 17.
    • The sequence where Vash screams at Knives that he wants to save the spider and the butterfly, Knives insists Vash is being unrealistic, and Rem sits there horrified, realizing that something has irrevocably changed for the worse and she can't do anything about it.
    • The scene at the very end where the SEEDS mothership has disintegrated in Gunsmoke's atmosphere with Rem onboard, and Vash (along with the viewer) watch as the pieces shimmer in the sunlight, while in the background we hear Rem humming her favourite song. It's hard not to tear up even writing about it.
  • The entire latter half of Episode 18. After the traumatic events of "Fifth Moon", Vash finally finds some peace by taking on the alias "Ericks" and living with a young girl and her grandmother. Unfortunately, Vash's past shortly catches up to him and he is forced to leave again. Not only that, despite having saved the villagers from a local gang, they show their appreciation by saying they should run him out of town.
  • Episode 21.
    • The Hope Spot near the end as Vash manages to stabilize a Plant, whom he calls "little sister"… and then Hopperd does a suicide dive, smashing her casing and killing her. Worse yet, Gray had done the exact same thing less than five minutes earlier.
    • After the SEEDS Ship finally crashes on the planet (courtesy of Gray and Hopperd), all the people blame Vash, who did everything he could to save them. Brad, who up to this point had been kind of a Jerkass, defends him and rips his fellow Ship-dwellers a new one for refusing to accept reality. Cue Jessica coming up to greet them. She's one of Leonof's puppets, who pulls a gun intending to kill Vash but ends up shooting Brad ten times in the back. As Brad dies, he thinks about how much he'd grown while Vash had not changed a bit. He dies as the real Jessica watches.
      • The beginning of the next episode, at Brad's funeral, Jessica has this reaction to Vash.
      "It's not your fault. It's not, but...I'm sorry!" (runs away crying)
  • Episode 23, "Paradise", has two big ones.
    • Wolfwood, wracked with guilt over murdering Zazie, recalls Milly's disappointed face and thinks "Please don't look at me like that."
      • A few minutes later, after Milly shows up in his room, he breaks down in tears over the ordeal. Milly comforts him, but couldn't say whether he or Vash was in the right.
    • Once the shooting starts, Meryl runs to warn Wolfwood, only to find Milly there, crouched in a fetal position, who says…
      "Sempai, he told me to wait here. He told me to wait until he comes back." note 
    • Most famously, of course, is Wolfwood's death. As Wolfwood kneels in the church, dying from his wounds, he thinks about how happy he was travelling with the others and hopes to be reborn in a verdant Eden with Vash, Meryl, and (especially) Milly...then realizes his lifestyle really was the wrong choice and he doesn't want to die. His final words, depending on language, are either "I didn't wanna die this way" (English) or "I can't stand it" (Japanese).
      • That scene is made all the more heartbreaking thanks to the song "Paradise" playing in the background.
      • And then after that scene, the episode ends with poor sweet Milly kneeling beside Wolfwood's bed (where she had slept the previous night), wailing in despair, while Meryl watches over her and Vash waits outside the house, looking VERY serious. It is absolutely heartwrenching.
  • Episode 24, in its entirety.
    • The episode starts with Vash alone in a different town buying $$30 worth of doughnuts, trying to keep up his happy façade despite the events of the previous few episodes...and he just can't take it anymore. He breaks down crying in the middle of the plaza.
    • Meryl flashes back to a couple nights earlier. She tells Vash she needs to understand what's going on. And he tells her everything. As he talks, we see Meryl's expression morph from shock to despair. It sends her into a mini-BSOD.
    • Milly sets her own sadness aside to push Meryl into following Vash again, insisting through her own tears, "I'm absolutely totally perfectly fine now!".
      • When Meryl presses Milly, she says "I'm's what he would have done."
      • "Be sure you pack everything, because we won't be coming back."
    • At the end, Vash is forced to shoot Legato execution-style to keep Meryl and Milly from being beaten to death (or worse). The look on Vash's face as he, for the first time, knowingly and willfully kills a man, is painful to see.
      • It's never explored in the anime, but if anime Legato has a similar backstory to manga Legato, one can't help but imagine he was glad to be put out of his misery.
      • The vision of Rem in Vash's mind fading away as he pulls the trigger.
  • Episode 25 has a few as well.
    • The very beginning of the episode, Vash finally regains consciousness after 10 days in an Angst Coma and quickly remembers what he'd done. He lets out a primal scream as Meryl stands right outside the door, in despair because she can't do anything to help him.
      • Upon waking up, Vash has a flashback to the people that he's directly (or indirectly) killed in the last 24 hours - Wolfwood, Midvalley, and Legato - and asks himself, "What have I become?"
    • Later in the episode, the townsfolk - who had been friendly up to that point - find out Vash's true identity, drag him out of his safe-house, and drag him behind their truck in an effort to kill him. Keep in mind that he was still recovering from being shot and hadn't done anything to hurt anyone in the village. All because of his reputation. The way he just takes it is heartbreaking.

  • In the movie, when you find out that not only was Amelia Gasback's daughter, but she was only 19. If Vash hadn't let Gasback escape back then, she would have never been born.


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