EPISODE 16: FIFTH MOON

    I have a love/hate relationship with this episode. Some major stuff happens. But... I dunno, I don't care for it. Maybe it's because I had been building this stuff in my mind for awhile before actually seeing the episode, and when I finally got to see it, it failed to meet my expectations? I dunno. But the fact remains that some cool stuff happens here. VERY cool stuff. Major plot-kinda stuff. And even though the dub calls it Augusta, I call it August, because I wish to stick with the month motif for the major cities.

    This opens with the famous Midvalley & whores scene with Legato eating and EG Mine begging for his turn at Vash :p I LOVE EG MINE, basically because he's such a pussy. When he leaves, Midvalley asks if he's really sending EG out by himself, and Legato laughs and says no. The scene switches to Milly and Meryl, who are worrying about how they haven't seen Vash in two weeks. Meryl of course is still acting like a bitch, but they both really are worried :p Some people gossiping about how horrible Vash and "his gang" are distract the two girls, but Meryl, despite her bitchiness, sets them right. While walking down the street afterwards, Meryl decides she's going to do her job and go after Vash. The scene switches again to a drunk guy who wanders into a bar to Vash, who tries out his tough guy act with Legato. The drunk is scared, but is kinda going nuts when Vash starts angsting comically about how scared he is about facing Legato. Of course, this cute scene is interrupted by a guy who's under Legato's control telling Vash to meet him in August. After delivering the message, the guy shoots himself in the head. Vash is very VERY shaken... and there's a serious scene where Vash is deciding to go face Legato after all... shattered by the comic drunk :p There's a brief scene in another random bar where news of Vash is spreading to Wolfwood. Also another brief one where Milly and Meryl hear where he's heading. THEN we return to Vash, who's made it to August. Then we get a truly great scene, where Vash uses his reputation in his favor (and kinda chauvenistically :p) to clear out the massive town of August. Then he walks the streets by himself, a little unsettled. He stops when blood drips down upon him, and he sees Monev and Dominique hung from the side of a building, dead. He's really angry, then EG Mine shows up in all his glory and takes credit for their deaths. Of course there's an exchange between EG and Vash about how Vash is the only other person who has to die... but EG Mine is just so damn funny, and he's not supposed to be XD You need to watch the dub to get the full effect, methinks. There's a brief scuffle where EG fires his spikes, and then they are stopped by Rai-Dei the Blade. Rai-Dei is pretty poetic, telling EG that the battle between him and Vash was kinda pointless. Then he launches into a speech about being a noble samurai and wishing to engage Vash in some sort of samurai ritual. He pulls out a scroll and everything. Vash looks at it, and says something about not being able to read it XD (OF COURSE they're not speaking Japanese! I love Trigun :p). Rai-Dei continues on with his noble speech about being a Samurai, and saying how he seeks the feeling one sees just before death, at the edge of the abyss. He asks Vash if he knows what he's talking about, and Vash says something about never seeing anything at the abyss. Rai-Dei reaches for his sword and says he still believes something's there. Then there's a brief scene where EG jumps back in, firing the spikes at Rai-Dei and saying that he was dispatched to take care of Vash. Rai-Dei tells him his turn ended long ago, and EG's shell falls off. There's a flashback to how Vash cut all the wires that powered EG's arsenal back in the initial scuffle, and then Rai-Dei tells him that he's out of his league and kills him by slitting his throat with his sword. This of course gets Vash angry, and they begin to fight. Rai-Dei is angry that Vash won't fight him more severely, and Vash tells him about warrior's compassion, and he can't hit Rai-Dei in a way that would kill him. Rai-Dei says something about how those are the laws of men, and that he and Vash weren't men but demons. Elsewhere, the Insurance girls show up in August seeking Vash, both knowing the danger they're in. Back at the fight, Rai-Dei is fighting Vash with his sword, causing huge shockwaves from the swordplay (big enough to take out the buildings o_O;). They fight some more, and Vash one-ups him with his machine gun arm. Rai-Dei simply fires his sword blade at his shoulder, then takes out Vash with a hidden gun. Rai-Dei gets kind of mad that it was so easy to take him out, and asks Vash what he's seeing at the edge of death. Cut to Vash's mind, where Legato is telling him to use something. Vash, out loud, starts yelling "STOPITSTOPITSTOPIT!" Rai-Dei is disgusted that he's begging for his life, but then a compartment in Vash's gun pops open and a light starts eminating. The Insurance Girls are just outside of August, and Meryl is trying to go in, but Milly's stopping her, trying to tell her that it's out of their league. Then they see a light. Within the city, the gun is fusing with Vash's hand much to Vash's dismay. Rai-Dei is excited that he's finally feeling what is at the edge of death, and asks if this is what he seeks. Vash tells him to run away. Legato is controlling Vash (obviously making the gun fuse with his arm), and he's pointing this strange new gun directly at Rai-Dei. Rai-Dei isn't running, so Vash uses his machine gun on the fused gun (the Angel Arm) so that it points up into the sky. It goes off, and Vash is screaming and all. Wolfwood is watching at a distance, in awe and wondering what the light is. Elsewhere, Midvalley and Legato are also watching, Midvalley asking about it, and Legato telling him it was the same light that took July. Milly and Meryl are also watching outside of town, helpless to stop it. The light coming from the city is going straight up into the sky, it seems to be damaging the moon. Afterwards, Wolfwood is in August, surveying the damage. He finds Rai-Dei, who gets up and tells Wolfwood that they have to stop Vash, stop the monster. Wolfwood kills him by shooting him. He looks out across what remains of August, saying noone died, but so many have had their lives destroyed with the city. He then asks Vash if this is the path he's chosen. Then there's some rumors between two men about how Vash has destroyed July and August and even put a crater in the Fifth Moon. These two men's rumors are interspersed with the incidental characters from all the previous episodes looking sad while apparently hearing the rumors wherever they're at (also a very cool scene). Back in a hotel room, Meryl is staring out a window when Milly comes in with a letter from headquarters. Meryl's relieved, since apparently they've been waiting for two weeks for instructions. When they open it however, it's a letter telling them that Vash has been declared Mankind's First Official Human Disaster, they are both to report back to the office immediately, and any further incidents involving him the insurance company would have no part in. Meryl cries and Milly holds her, saying to the air that she wouldn't forgive Vash for making Meryl cry. Sound Life is playing in the background, and the episode ends with August at night, barren and destroyed.

Yea, okay... this episode's a lot cooler than I remember :p When I first saw it though, I was really disappointed. I guess the series kinda builds up to this moment to a degree, and there's kinda stuff that goes along with that. What also needs to be discussed is Vash's fear about facing Legato, the way he handles more than 1 Gung-Ho Gun at once, as well as the death of more than one Gung-Ho Gun. Also, it should be noted that had Legato not intervened, Vash probably would've died. And... of course... the Angel Arm :p First thing's first I suppose, and that is what's building up to this episode. So much actually does, mainly Vash's mysterious past. Since we're kept in the dark about his origins, we are kind of expecting something big to happen. This is that big thing. With July, we are never told how Vash destroys it, or even if he does destroy it. That kinda leaves a big question mark, whether Vash IS capable of destroying a city... and why people would think he is if he in fact can't. Sure, he does cool stuff over and over and over again, but after his sudden identity shift in 12, it's almost like there SHOULD be something else big to go along with it. Or maybe that's just me. I had stumbled across the spoiler for the Angel Arm accidentally, so I was really anticipating it. But... for me... the Angel Arm isn't as cool-looking in this episode as I thought it would be ;_; That's mainly due to the fact he's holding it back, but still... it SHOULD be cooler-looking. It is much better in the last episode... but let's be honest, it's not as cool as it is in the manga :p I suppose I shouldn't be complaining about its appearance though, since the thing at this point has leveled two of the seven great cities and has put a hole in the damn moon :p As a major point in the series, this ranks up there (I'd say his personality shift, his Angel Arm, his past, and the showdown with Knives are the four major points of the series), but somehow, it let me down the first time I saw it. I rewatched it two years later through the eyes of nostalgia and I think it kicks ass, but back then I thought it sucked... but through the eyes of anticipation. I'll just say that to the casual viewer, maybe it's neutral. Or maybe it kicks ass, since it IS Trigun :p Anyway, that's getting off topic. NEXT! Legato! Of course he opens the episode, and of course he's eating something :p But this isn't a Legato shrine. More importantly is Vash's reaction to Legato. At first, we kinda think he's pissed off and ready to have a go with him. But of course this is just an act posed to a poor wandering barfly, and he breaks down into genuine comic fear, like he very well should. Though it is quite comical, I think the fear is legitimate. Maybe not fear... it almost seems as if he's trying to stall, find reasons or ways not to face him. Which he continuously rattles off. He also says that he's genuinely afraid of Legato. After all, so far in the series, Legato is the only one who has loomed and posed a general threat to the degree that perhaps even Vash couldn't handle him, much more so than the Gung-Ho Guns have so far. In the end... Legato kind of lives up to that reputation, which is creepy to look back on. But in this episode, the comedy stops when Legato's presence appears and kills someone right in front of Vash. Then Vash gets serious and faces the threat of Legato, to the point that he's ready to go to August as per Legato's instructions. Then we get more comedy, in one of the cooler scenes in the series when Vash dashes around yelling out his name and clearing the series. It is truly a fine moment :p But later, Legato appears again, controlling Vash's actions. This... is significant, because it kind of proves Vash has faults and vulnerabilities that he has no control over (up to this point, yes he's gotten shot and beaten a bit, but it's mostly because he's being lax or nice to a particular opponent at the time). This is a scary thought too, a man who can control the actions of Vash the Stampede, to the point that it caused him to level a city against his will. Yes, this is Legato. We never get any insight into his character at all, other than he's a coldblooded killer with no emotion whatsoever, which makes him all the more terrifying. Would he truly be a match for Vash if they both put everything they had into the fight? Then there's the Gung-Ho Guns. At this point, we have their story established, and it would be kind of boring if there was just one an episode from this point on, each more stronger than the last. That's probably why there's two in this episode, and EG Mine's one of them. I must tell you, there's a special fondness in my heart for EG Mine, because he's just so lame. And he's not supposed to be! He's supposed to be really menacing, but his voice coupled with his overly flashy actions and his completely useless attacks with SPIKES despite the fact he's a Gung-Ho Gun make him absolutely hilarious. He's also a step down from what Vash has been fighting lately, seeing as how Vash takes him out within seconds. It's inconcievable to me that EG Mine killed Monev and Dominique. I think he's lying, and that those two just happened to slip and fall, mortally injuring themselves, and EG was just standing around in the right place at the right time (...actually, Dominique does commit suicide by taking a plunge in the manga). Yea, anyway, the fact that he killed the two really makes Vash angry, angry enough to fight him. Vash, of course, beats him within seconds, but before anything of this is seen, we meet Rai-Dei, who makes pathetic short work of EG Mine by slitting his throat. Of course, killing in front of Vash provokes him into fighting out of a sense of justice, like I said up there with EG Mine. Vash raises some interesting points with Rai-Dei. Mainly that he doesn't speak Japanese. But other than that, which probably only amused me, he also says that he can't hit Rai-Dei in any way that would kill him. Rai-Dei says that he can hit him however, because they weren't men but monsters. There's probably more truth in that than Rai-Dei realizes... but Rai-Dei has no problem, even though he puts on a front of being an honorable sword-weilding samurai, with fighting dirty with guns. Which brings us to our next point, the fact that Rai-Dei more than likely WOULD'VE killed Vash had he not been interrupted by Legato. I dunno what to think of this, that one of the Gung-Ho Guns is capable of killing Vash. Sure he fought dirty, but Vash should be ready for that... instead he was brought down in a massive way. And he also COULD'VE won easily with his Angel Arm... in any situation actually :p But it would've killed Rai-Dei. Which, even on his deathbed, he probably wouldn't have done. But still... Rai-Dei the Blade brought down Vash the Stampede. All it took to take out Rai-Dei was a well placed bullet from Wolfwood, but Rai-Dei took down Vash. Maybe this proves that Vash isn't as strong, perhaps, as everyone gives him credit for... that his weakness IS the fact that he won't kill anyone. This is illustrated several other times before this, but Vash really would've bit the dust all alone with noone to save him had Legato not set everything up so that he could trigger Vash's Angel Arm. Which put a crater in the fifth moon, destroyed July and August, and somehow didn't kill Rai-Dei after leveling the city, despite the fact that he was standing RIGHT THERE. I've already talked about the Angel Arm earlier though... not much to say about it. It's Vash's third gun, and perhaps expected and hinted at in the title "Trigun", hm? Hehe, but I don't think any unspoiled person was expecting quite THAT sort of third gun. Yes. It also hints at something that's never mentioned, but only implied in the series, and that is that Vash ISN'T human. This is actually only the second hint we get of it, the first being when he adjusted and fixed those plants. We'll get a few more hints later. ...I take it back, Knives states blatantly at one point that they aren't human :p But I suppose maybe this isn't so much of a hint as it is... blatantly obvious that humans can't have guns that fuse with their arms and make craters in the moon on top of all the other cool stuff that Vash does. So, yea... the Angel Arm is important in itself, and also in unveiling a bit about Vash (besides the fact he really really didn't want to use it because it would destroy everything... that's just sort of a given at this point). Just as an ending note, after Legato watches it destroy everything, see how he licks his hand? They never say why he always strokes and licks his hand in the anime, which makes me mad. He's licking his hand because he was talking about Vash, and that hand was the one that Vash is lacking at the moment. Er... yea. Where Vash's machine gun arm is currently used to be the place where Legato's current favorite hand was. And it's his LEFT hand too. *shudders* I imagine there's plenty a yaoi doujinshi based off that :p

Much plot development. Massive massive plot development in the use of the Angel Arm. Other cool stuff. But the next episode is my absolute favorite in the entire series, and massively overshadows this one. I guess all you need to take away from this episode is that Vash gets called DRAMA QUEEN.