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Original Tumblr Post: Vash and Alcoholism
Vash and Alcoholism
I’m still chipping away at essays for volume 5 and might write stuff for 6 but I need to stop and talk about this panel.
Warning for discussion of alcoholism and self-harm.
[ID: Crop of two panels from Trigun Maximum Volume 6 chapter 5. The first panel we see Vash looking down at the alcohol he spilled on his coat and prosthetic arm. The speech bubbles say “Ha… he he…” The second, much larger panel is a close up of his face. Most of his face is in shadow, except for the bridge of his nose and one eye, which is closed and crinkled like he’s smiling. He’s holding his damp hand to his mouth, accompanied by a word bubble that says “slurp”. End ID.]
Something about this is genuinely so disturbing. He’s been caught day drinking during a shootout, laughs weakly, then drinks the spilled alcohol on his hand. The way his eye is drawn makes me think he’s supposed to be smiling, but the rest of his face is in stark shadow and I just.
If I’m remembering right up until this point Vash has been seen drinking but as a joke or as part of a larger celebration (see the celebration for the message from Earth. He had the goofy tie around his head and everything). This is the first time we see Vash as alcoholic, seeing it as the unhealthy and inadequate coping mechanism it is.
He looks strange for the rest of the fight too, looking both exhausted but also frightening and uncanny, like:
[ID: Crop of a two page spread from Trigun Maximum Volume 6 chapter 5. Vash is holding his gun but is standing in a strange pose, his torso bent over, neck bent further, with an unsettling and blank expression on his face. End ID.]
God. He looks so. I’m not even sure how to describe it. He’s still doing his usual Vash routine, refusing to kill, but he seems detached or absent from his own head.
Maybe it’s because I have a family history of alcoholism and I’m desperately afraid of developing a dependency myself (with my mental health history it feels likely) but seeing Vash like this is so upsetting. Combined with shooting at the target in the first chapter until he bled (which read as self-harm to me) we’re seeing Vash become more overtly self-destructive.
And from what I remember of future chapters it’s only going to get worse.
Update: Well this post blew up. Everyone’s additions are so good! Glad we all agree that alcoholism is scary and dangerous and that Vash is slowly destroying himself in the worst way. Glad to share TrigunBookClub with a bunch of smart, very sad people <3
#he’s having a bad time #once more i ask for someone to get him some space anti-depressants #i’m begging
Reply: domfock: Vash and Alcoholism