PuchiCon Panel – Vash the Stampede
- Intro (2 min)
- Introduction of Anthony & Doc – thanks everyone for coming out
- Who here has heard us before? Who here is very familiar with Vash/Trigun?
- Background (3 min)
- Vash the Stampede created by Yasuhiro Nightow in Trigun Chapter 1 – The 60 Billion Double Dollar Man (May 1995)
- For purposes of this panel, we’ll be focusing on the anime version, not the manga, since the story is much more streamlined in the anime
- Vash is an alien with decelerated aging, who is raised by Rem alongside his twin brother Knives
- Knives grows to hate humanity and attempts to crash their spaceship into a planet – Rem puts the boys in an escape pod to protect them
- Knives and Vash battle, and Knives cuts off Vash’s arm – this triggers a latent power inside Vash, and the explosion destroys the town of July (although all the people within were spared) – this incident is what triggers a $$60 billion bounty
- Vash becomes a drifter, being followed by Meryl & Milly, insurance agents who document the destruction left in his wake (or more accurately the wake of those trying to kill/capture him)
- Despite being incredibly proficient in weapons, Vash is a pacifist who refuses to kill anyone, even those trying to kill him
- Knives hires a gang of assassins (the Gung-Ho Guns) to hunt his brother down and cause him pain & suffering
- After several run-ins with the Gung-Ho Guns (including being forced to kill the leader, Legato), he and Knives have a climactic battle, resulting in Vash wounding Knives but refusing to kill him, honoring Rem’s last request: “Take care of Knives”
- Issues (15 min)
- Direct traumatic relationship with Knives
- Idealism to the extreme
- Humor as an immature defense mechanism
- Treatment (10 min)
- In-universe – “the ultimate NPC escort mission”
- Out of universe – Significant childhood trauma, a complicated ongoing relationship with family, perfectionistic self-drive that is also self-sabotaging
- Skit (10 min)
- Hello Vash, I’m Dr. Issues. – Well hello there. How are you?
- I’m doing well, thank you for asking. -So, I notice there’s a plate of donuts out there, are those for someone specific? Or…
- Those are for anyone in the waiting room. -Aww…but I’m in your office now…can I have one anyway?
- Sure, but -*rushes out, comes back* Oh man, I love the apple cider ones the most.
- I’m glad you like them, now what can I do for you? -Huh? Oh, I’m good with the donuts.
- No, I mean what do you want to talk about. -Um, I think you could use a bit more variety, although I did see some with sprinkles. Then again, those are a bit too artificial for my taste. *chomping* nature knows how to provide the best flavors, ya know?
- I appreciate your interest in natural health. But I must admit, your reputation precedes you. -Gosh, I’m just some wanderer, *emo-style* searching for the elusive mayfly of love
- Not all who wander are lost -I’ll bet! You meet the most interesting people along the way. Insurance agents, outlaws, homesteaders, outlaws, beautiful women, outlaws…I said outlaws, right?
- I got the hint. Sounds dangerous. -Sure, if you’re not as careful as I am.
- Careful? From the triage report you sound fairly reckless. -Yeah, I should pay more attention to the beauties…am I right, or am I RIGHT? *awkward laugh* you’re not laughing.
- Not a fan of sexism. -I didn’t mean to offend you. Sometimes I get a one track mind. I should examine what’s really important…THESE DONUTS! *truly maniacal laugh* You’re still not laughing
- *holds bridge of nose* Vash…Vash…Vash. I’m going to try and keep some level of decorum as I say this. Please…I’m begging you…just take my questions as seriously as you take your appetite, alright? -*dramatic* Sir yes sir! You don’t have to get so cranky.
- Why are you deflecting before we even get to any topics? What’s so bad that you won’t do the most basic of introductions? -*sarcastic* I saaaaaid hello.
- If you keep this up, I’m willing to say goodbye. Trust me, the bill that you’ll be footing based on reported damages in the first place won’t be wiped out unless you have a complete psychiatric evaluation.-*sigh* If you say so.
- Thank you. Now, since we’re short on time, tell me the biggest concern you have in life. -Oh wow, that’s heavy…um, life I guess?
- Your biggest worry is life itself? -I want everything to live. Is that so wrong?
- That’s…unique. Can you narrow it down? -Nope.
- Ooooooookay…hoo boy. And…what do you do about life as a whole? -Save it. Cherish it. No matter what. That’s what…she would have wanted.
- She who? -Rem. She was…she taught me everything I needed to know.
- She definitely sounds special. Based on the tense, I’m guessing something happened. -*nervous laugh, rambling style* Well sometimes bad things happen you know so I just keep going on but as long as I don’t think about it too much and how nice she was and everyone deserves to live because she said so and I don’t want to let her down but I don’t know why everyone hates me sometimes but I still love them and it…it…*exaggerated crying* IT ALWAYS HAPPENS TO MEEEEEEEEEEE
- *pause* Hmmmmm…didn’t quite expect that. In my line of work, we’d call your emotions labile. You’re on a rollercoaster here! -I’ll try to keep calm. I’m not so bad once you get to know me.
- It took us this long for you to stop deflecting, and then the real emotions came out like a firehose. That’s not the best way to handle things. Plus, the only time I got the sense you were actually serious was when you mentioned the sanctity of life. Maybe such a heady philosophy is cracking you. -No way. It grounds me. It’s my core. You probably understand me more than you think. Don’t you fight against suicide?
- Absolutely! -But why?
- *pause* Well, there’s a myth out there that taking your own life is a way to eliminate pain. But from what I’ve seen, it’s the opposite. The person becomes a pain bomb that spreads that sorrow to every person that ever had a positive thought about the one who is now gone. I’m willing to see through that lie. -And what if it wasn’t a metaphor for emotion. What if there were real bombs involved, and bullets, and weapons you couldn’t even dream of. What then? What if someone is so bent on hurting others that the only thing you can do is stop it…but that person has a value too, don’t they?
- Yes. -So where am I wrong? Why do so many people fight me when I don’t want to fight them?
- Sometimes I chant a mantra to myself: “Magnets draw metal because they are strong.” You’re a target, for sure. But not many of those who are as pacifist as you are willing to fight in the…unique way that you do. You’re begging to become a martyr. -Don’t say that…*yelling* DON’T SAY THAT. I want a fun life. A simple life. But I won’t run from anyone who needs saving. Trouble finds me. I’ve had to deal with Knives.
- ***misunderstanding, WAY too flippant***…and swords, and bullets, and lasers, and rockets blah blah blah -You fool! I mean my brother. *sighs* You know, it’s really hard to love someone when they want you to be someone you’re not.
- *pause* Can you deal with the imperfect? -What’s that mean?
- You, your brother, Rem, whoever that is…the people you save, the people trying to kill you…it’s all one giant imperfect mess. And yet, I get the sense that you will never be satisfied. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. You have passion; I can see that. No one can promise you peace. But what I can do is help you mold your purpose. Life itself may be zero-sum if you look at the end, but the value is infinite if you find a way to enjoy the things in between. -*pause* Wow. That’s really sweet…
- Thank you -BUT NOT AS SWEET AS THESE DONUTS!
- *whining* Ohhhh man…I thought I was getting through to you. -***munching again*** Well, you know what they say…the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
- THEY DON’T SAY THAT IN A THERAPY SESSION -Well, I gave you a new technique. Gotta go, Doc! Thanks for the comfort food!
- Ending (5 min)
- Thanks everyone for coming!
Next episodes: Mister Sinister, Ventriloquist, Bigby Wolf
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