EPISODE 13: Vash the Stampede
You'd think the episode that got the honor of bearing Vash's name would be excellent. Instead, it is a clip show with very little new footage -_-; How disappointing. The new stuff that is there is very good, though ^_^ This episode analysis will be short. However, forgive me if I'm a little vague or innacurate, I'm doing this from memory from college and might get some of the details wrong. I'll probably fix this up when I watch it again, but for now you get my memory, which isn't so bad. I'll only talk about the new bits, since the others have been discussed.
The episode starts out with the carryover from the last episode. Vash decides to let Monev keep his life and turns his back and walks away after explaining himself a bit. Monev tells him not to be too trusting, and Vash says that he wasn't, because he had his finger on the trigger. The episode then goes into a long sequence with Merly writing a report to the Bernardelli Insurance Society about what's been going on, supplemented with a lot of clips from old episodes. At the end of the episode, Milly and Meryl go over to talk to Vash. They walk into his room without knocking and find him without a shirt on and drying himself off, which exposes terrible scars all over his visible flesh. They realize that it's the price he pays for never killing anyone, and talk for awhile. The next day, Vash is leaving town, and thanks the innkeeper for putting him up. The innkeeper tells him to just get the hell outta town. Milly and Meryl watch that and Vash walking away and talk amongst themselves about how sad it is and wonder how he does it, but when they turn their concentration back to him, they find him chasing after another girl, and of course Meryl is quite angry ^_^;
Not much to analyze here, and no new insights into Vash's personality, although we do get to see his body, and that is significant. I'll just talk about the cool things he may have done, then I'll talk about the body ^_^. The cliffhanger from Diablo was kind of anticlimatic, although you knew Monev wasn't going to die because it's VASH, albeit a very scary Vash. I wasn't ENTIRELY sure, though ^_^; I was a bit worried, and although it was anticlimatic, I'm glad he didn't kill Monev, especially in hindsight. I'm also glad that he can be hard in his mercy too, I like the fact that he kept his finger on the trigger. I suppose this shows that when he is driven into the angry rage like that, he's still Vash, but you STILL don't want to mess with a man in an angry rage. He's a softie at heart, but he's not going to ACT like a softie when you've gotten him into the rampage stage. I also liked the ending, when he thanks the innkeeper and is told to leave town and it would be the biggest thanks the innkeeper could recieve. That is a horrible, HORRIBLE thing, and further shows us the massive misconceptions that Vash has to live with, but he still deals with it and still acts courteous and doesn't even bother to correct the viewpoint. It's frustrating to us, the viewer, especially since Vash does nothing to stick up for himself. But in the end, Vash sticks up for others (especially all those people who were murdered), and that's what matters. That's what makes him Vash the Stampede. He still does the good deeds, even though he gets no thanks and only asked to leave town. The thing that happens immediately after that is also very Vash. He hits on a girl right after leaving town ^_^; He may live a hard life, but he knows how to live it right. That cracked me up, especially after I was so mad at that innkeeper. Ok. Then, the big thing for this episode was the body. We don't get to see ALL the scars (yet :p), but it was a pretty big shock when I saw them for the first time. It's jarring, because it's not really something you think about with an anime character, since most will get shot and then heal in the next frame. It drives home the fact that Vash SUFFERS. He suffers greatly, and he does it because he knows he suffers for what's right. Every one of the scars tells a story. It's a shock at first, and then it's very traumatic after you think about it for too long, because... well, because you know he took the bullet for someone else. Vash without a shirt on could be the posterboy for doing the right thing no matter the price. I kinda can't come up with words for it, because it's so... o_O; I guess it's mostly just something to put a lot of thought into. The image just really drives home the fact that Vash is sort of a martyr and really a hero. THAT is the Vash we've come to know and love, and it really provides a sharp contrast to the demon we saw at the beginning of the episode. Man alive... now I'm all depressed ;_;
So basically the only thing really important gleaned from that episode was the mental, somewhat symbolic image of Vash with all his scars. But it IS important, no matter how brief. Ah. Now I think I'll go do something happy.