EPISODE 19: HANG FIRE

    Lalala... your average episode. Filler filler filler. Well, not so much filler since he meets back up with the Insurance Girls. At least this one lacks the crazy rabid stuffed bunny, no? The only things really noteworthy is that Vash leaves the battle of morals to the one who's fighting, and he also sings THE GENOCIDE SONG!!! THE GENOCIDE SONG!!!

    The episode opens with another recap of when Vash fires on the fifth moon, as Milly and Meryl remember it... or more specifically Meryl, since someone wakes her up at the Bernardelli Insurance Society and it turns out to be a dream. Her coworkers begin to question her heavily about her travels and the destruction of the Fifth Moon. They kinda rip on Vash, and Meryl just tells them that he was a regular guy. A really annoying girl tells her that's how she always ends up with the bad jobs. The Chief breaks up the talk, takes Meryl into his office and tells her that they're back on the Vash job :p Meryl tells Milly (who's being punished for something with cleaning windows) that they're going to go look for him in Little Jersey. They're both happy that he's alive, though Meryl would never admit it. The coworkers are not impressed that the two are back on the case. Elsewhere a man has come across Vash and Wolfwood, who are stranded in the Desert. He gives them a ride and water, and the two begin to fight in the back of his truck about Wolf's motorcycle Angelina II. Wolfwood calls him Needle Noggin (Tongari) for the first time :p The man tells them to stop, and then asks where they're going. They give different answers, then start to fight about where they're going, much to the driver's chagrin. Back with Milly and Meryl, they've arrived in Little Jersey, talking to a man about a local troublemaker. Milly tells Meryl that she's located Vash, and the man's surprised that the sad-looking troublemaker was Vash the Stampede, since he was weeping and eating donuts. Milly and Meryl sit down, and Milly tells Meryl that Vash is heading to a certain town at speeds of 3,000 yars an hour. In a dark room, two shady-looking characters discuss some evil business. The scene changes to a restaurant, where Vash and Wolfwood are enjoying a giant plate of spaghetti and listening to a typhoon forecast. Vash said he always wondered what one was, and now he knows that its a furious beauty that destroys everything in its path :p Then Wolfwood tells Vash about the Frieze and Polo family, who are feuding violently over a broadcast satellite. Vash is touched, and Wolfwood begins to reprimand him. Vash leaves Kuroneko in his place while Wolf talks, and therefore sticks Wolf with the bill :p Vash has gone to the radio station to look up an old friend, who seems to be pretty disagreeable according to the two men Vash asks :p The scene switches AGAIN to Milly and Meryl, who are brushing their teeth on a sandsteamer, enroute to seek Vash. Of course, the Sandsteamer is held up _yet again_. :p The bandits have everyone tied up and held hostage, and can't be persuaded to let everyone go. One of the bandits tells Meryl that "If she was alive, she'd be about your age." Back with Vash, he's talking with his old friend Max, who he says "is still having staring contests with forecast charts." The man comments about the lack of red coat, and obviously is a great friend of Vash's, since his demeanor does cheer up when Vash walks in. Outside, the sandsteamer crashes right into the radio building and the bandits with guns begin roaming the halls. A crowd gathers outside, Wolfwood amongst them. Apparently the Polo family owns the satellite, and the Frieze family are the bandits, who are holding the satellite and everyone in the station and the passengers on the sandsteamer. The bandits plan on using the Typhoon for cover to escape, and Meryl finally understands that they were chasing a real Typhoon, and not Vash :p So the two girls immediately knock out their captors and begin making their escape. Meanwhile, Vash takes out two random bandits in the hall bloodlessly, much to Vash's friend(Max)'s chagrin. Max scares away two other bandits by telling them Vash's identity, and Vash plays along by pointing his gun over his head :p They run away. Back in the broadcast booth, where the majority of the bandits are holding Polo family members hostage, the bandits tell the rest that Vash is coming. They say that since there's only one entrance, they'll all be able to take him. Then follows a DAMN CREEPY scene where you can hear steps from the dark hallway and Vash's disembodied voice singing the "Genocide Song." The bandits have failed to turn off the broadcast from the station, so Vash's song is broadcasting on the speakers and can be heard echoing through them in the hallway, and also by the crowd outside. It's really creepy and meant to scare them, but the white-haired leader of the group sees through it, and Vash is disappointed. Vash tries to talk to this man, but it doesn't work, and a fight ensues. Vash fights the man basically by pistolwhipping them all into submission o_O; When he gets the guards down to just the one holding the Polo family member hostage, he comes to a snag, because this bandit threatens to kill the hostage if Vash resists. Vash gets mad, but then the man elaborates that the hostage had killed his daughter. Outside, everyone can hear everything since its being broadcast over the radio, and Wolfwood comments on the hopelessness of the situation. The guard is still tough on the hostage guy, and the hostage begs for his life. The bandit goes so far as to nearly pull the trigger of his gun, but Vash jumps in to stop him at the last moment. The Bandit is enraged, and Vash recieves a severe pistolwhipping himself. The bandit goes back to the hostage, who is begging for his father. The Bandit asks him how many times his daughter begged for her daddy before she died, and then he pointed the gun to the hostage's head again. Vash screams and begs the bandit not to take the life... and the bandit cries and apologizes to his dead daughter, since he can't seem to take the life. Milly and Meryl are relieved, and say that they have to get the two men out of there. Later, at sunset, Wolfwood tells Vash to be careful, and that luck and persistence won't work forever. Wolfwood then takes his leave. The girls walk up, and Vash greets them sort of subdued. He's pretty beat up from his severe beating by the bandit ;_; Elsewhere, we see a man in an overcoat approached by the white-haired clever bandit from earlier, who seems to have escaped the fight inexplicably and unscathed. The white-haired bandit then breaks into several wooden components and flies into the overcoat man's briefcase on the ground. The overcoat man (Leonof) then says that he WILL kill Vash the Stampede. (pfft.)

As I said earlier, the only really interesting things in this episode are basically that Vash stays out of the moral battle, and he also sings the Genocide song. Since the first applies to the character analysis... I'll talk about it first. Up to this point, Vash has always made the moral decisions in the battles, or always thoroughly convinced the people, actively and beyond the shadow of a doubt, that they shouldn't kill or hurt anyone in a serious way. In this episode... yes, he steps in and kicks some bloodless ass, but it seems that even Vash wavers when he finds out that the hostage, who the bandit wishes to kill, has taken the life of the bandit's daughter. He says nothing when the Bandit reveals this. Vash seems to be conflicted, and the only thing that he has to fall back on is his philosophy that it is absolutely, positively never ever right to take a life, since everyone deserves a second chance and "the ticket to the future is always open." Only having this though, Vash still begs over and over, putting himself on the line and recieving a severe beating (though he is not shot) because the Bandit doesn't believe Vash is in the right. Strangely, this tactic works and the hostage lives. But why...? Why does Vash just leave this battle of morals to the man? Even if he only knows that it's never right to kill someone, it would seem that, past events accounted for, he would still feel it necessary to step in and save the hostage, even if he'd done something truly evil. So why does Vash just lay to the side and beg with everything he has? Is it really, truly because his value system starts to break down at this point? Is this where it starts, where he really starts to question what he believes? It never ever breaks down completely... even when he does something against what he stands for, he repents severely, knowing he's done wrong. But... he is forced to bring into question his beliefs at several points after this, which is somewhat interesting. Vash believes that no blood should be shed, no pain should be felt, nobody should have to die at the hand of another, he believes in forgiveness, and he just wants everyone to be happy. If he were anyone but Vash the Stampede, he could pull off all these things everyday of his life. We all do these things daily. Is there really something wrong with them? Eh, but I'll talk about the other times this happens in the analyses to come. Next and finally though, is the Genocide Song. The Genocide Song. It doesn't really reveal anything about his character, since he doesn't really mean it and he's just using it like a scaretactic... and it is indeed a very Vash thing to do... but it's still DAMN CREEPY echoing down a long empty dark metal hallway and broadcast over the speakers. The dub lyrics are as follows: "Total slaughter... total slaughter. I won't leave... a single man... behind. Ladedadedie, genocide. Ladedahdedud, and ocean of blood. Let's begin the... killing time."

CREEPY.

Yea. Anyway, genocide and Vash questions his beliefs. Stuff. Yea. Next: killer rabid stuffed bunnies and hyper little girls which appear in much of the artwork for the series and which fans have been baffled to up until this episode! Hooray!