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Original Tumblr Post: Trimax Vol 12 Ch 1-4
Trimax Vol 12 Ch 1-4
This volume is extra long so figuring out how to divide this up is tricky. Hopefully, this post isn’t too long because I have many, many thoughts about the showdown between Knives and Vash.
- Chronica and Domina and honestly the entire Earth fleet present some really fascinating questions about Plants and how things work on Earth. I mean, the implications of something like this having happened before, and being so destructive and unpredictable that Chronica tells Domina not to rely on the data from previous encounters.
- Also, the language they use around the data. “We already share all our data.” It’s a very sciencey way of referring to what is basically telepathy, I think. We haven’t had language for how any of this works before and that’s part of where the terror and uncertainty comes from. When Vash accidentally went all rogue angel and anyone touching him got a front row seat to his memories, that was probably “sharing data.” But that kind of clinical description sure as hell wasn’t what it felt like for anyone involved. Then, it felt more akin to the supernatural, to cosmic horror, because it was so unknown and out there. But for these Independents, it’s just sharing data, it’s just what they are and how they work. There’s a split between the level of mysticism that Plants have acquired on No Man’s Land (due to the lack of resources and how heavily they rely on them) and the more (seemingly) scientifically oriented Earth fleet.
- This entire sequence where Vash looks back at his past, everyone he’s helped and fought for, all the enemies he’s faced, is so gorgeous and hard-hitting. He’s steeling himself for the final battle and reminding himself what matters, what he’s fighting for. It’s so telling that the last images are of Rem and Wolfwood. But it’s also telling that we don’t see Wolfwood’s face. Is it because the grief is too fresh? Is it because Vash feels guilty? I’m not sure. But the juxtaposition of a solitary cross among a sea of faces is hard to beat. It’s a punch in the gut.
- And another thing! Razlo and Livio are included when he considers the Gung Ho Guns even though he never fought them directly. But Vash doesn’t place Wolfwood there though he also was very much so one of them. He doesn’t see him as one, Wolfwood has become so much more to him and he’s refusing to acknowledge some of Wolfwood’s last words, that all he is is a monster.
- There’s something about this page that reads to me like a prayer. Vash’s pose, his lowered head, his hand and gun centered, it’s his own form of prayer. To who or what, I can’t say. He’s not asking for anything except strength to reach the end, to protect those tough and tender days he loved so much.
- It hurts me that he doesn’t expect to make it to the end. Tellingly, his hair is almost entirely black here. He’s used up most of his life force. In some ways, I imagine he’s performing some kind of final ritual for himself. He’s reminding himself what he’s fighting for because the person that gave him hope again when he thought all was lost is gone.
- Is the Earth fleet planning on dropping a nuclear bomb on Knives to stop him? Because that’s really what it sounds like. I get that he’s dangerous, but wasn’t the whole point of coming here to help the people on this planet, not kill them? Seems like the Earth fleet aren’t quite the good guys we were hoping they would be.
- But then Knives just disappears! That’s not terrifying at all or anything.
- Knives just teleported, a power apparently completely unknown for even fused Independents to have. That’s wild. But also not. He’s probably fused to more Plants than other Independent has before, to the point that his own body is losing shape and he seems to be becoming one of them. It’s weird to say that he’s becoming less human, since he’s always been so focused on not being human, but at least in form he was. Not anymore, and it’s signaling a dangerous change in his power levels.
- Domina experiences a Knives jumpscare, which doesn’t bode well for her. It’s never a good thing when Knives suddenly appears in your mind.
- Panic and fear for your life can make people do insane things, but truly shooting guns into the air at a massive airship that is far above the city is such an incredibly useless and stupid thing to do.
- Knives did say he had enough power to reach past the boundaries of the planet. But man, that’s horrifying. He took complete control of another Independent. He fused with her like he was originally thinking of doing with Vash. He spoke in her voice and everything, even convinced Chronica that it was Domina for a moment. That’s…really scary. Can you imagine if he had done that to Vash?
- Knives straight up doesn’t have anything resembling a body anymore. He’s getting into biblically accurate territory here. The body horror is real.
- Also, I’m not surprised that he calls Chronica and Domina slaves of humans. He’s always looked down at Vash for helping them and living among them. Of course he’d say even worse things for the ones actively working with humans in their military. Though I’m still curious how much actual choice Chronica or Domina had in taking this assignment and becoming part of this crew.
- Sometimes I forget Trigun is actually scifi. But now we have a spaceship battle! Though I’d actually argue Trigun is sci-fantasy but that’s another discussion entirely.
- I’m still not over the fact that Knives fused with another Independent and is using her like a puppet. Like, that’s a terrifying capability for Independent Plants to have. Imagine what else he could do like that. Imagine if he had Vash’s power behind him. Imagine if Vash had decided to do something like that. Truly, I can’t put into words how horrifying that is. I’m not surprised anymore that humans would find a way to alter Independents so they can’t do that.
- Shooting straight into the air when there’s nothing to hit up there really isn’t a smart move. But people are scared and aren’t known for thinking straight in those circumstances.
- I have to agree with Luida here. I don’t like how quiet the military is considering how adamant they were about fighting back earlier. That doesn’t bode well at all.
- Vash fired his angel bullets at Knives! They kinda look like a black hole in the form of a bullet.
- His power and accuracy remain unmatched. He’s way too far away from Knives for his gun on its own to have the power to reach him. That means he’s using his Plant powers to gain more speed and distance.
- It also looks like he severed the threads connecting Knives to Domina. Or disrupted them? It’s hard to tell, but either way, he’s showing his hand and letting Knives know he’s here, and he’s not going to let him get away with his plan.
- It strikes me that we’ve never seen Vash openly use his powers like this before. He might move inhumanly fast and dodge attacks that would kill most people but he hasn’t actively created gates and used them against people. His powers don’t work with his version of pacifism. Add to that his fear of them and what they’re capable of, and it’s no wonder he never used them.
- Things have changed now. He’s throwing that aside now. He’s not on the defensive anymore. He’s not scared of himself either. He’s got nothing left to lose and he’s going to throw everything he has at Knives because he has to protect humanity (and everything Wolfwood fought to protect).
- But also, his face here. It’s empty, slightly unhinged. He chooses this moment to put his glasses on. Is he hiding? Putting up a shield? Or is he actively turning himself into diablo, the angry avenger he keeps inside himself? Either way, there’s just something cold and entirely unlike the Vash we know in these panels. Including the very antagonistic way he’s talking to Knives, which is also quite a change. He’s done trying to reason with him. He’s finally realized there’s nothing he can say that will stop him. All they can do is fight until there’s only one man left standing.
- Knives has also decided he’s done with Vash. If he’s so willing to attack him, Knives is done trying to protect him. But even as he says that, Knives covers his face. Like he can’t stand to see his brother’s death. He knows he has to do this for his mission to succeed, but deep down, he hates it. Now I’m wondering if that’s why Vash put his glasses on too. To give himself that barrier between himself and the death of his brother. Because I maintain that no matter how much Vash said he was out to kill him for revenge, until this moment, his actions said that he didn’t truly mean it.
- “I’m disappointed. I don’t even want to see your corpse.” Knives, that’s—that’s a lot. He wants to destroy Vash so utterly, there’s nothing left of him. But he’s lying to himself again, because I don’t think it’s about how Vash still fights like a human, so he’s disgusting and beneath Knives and deserves a destructive death. It’s about not wanting to see the dead body of the brother he would’ve done literally anything to protect.
- Vash’s hair is getting blacker and blacker by the page and it’s hurting me deeply. He doesn’t care about surviving at all. There’s just Knives and him.
- Interestingly, when Knives realizes that Vash has fashioned his powers into bullets, he becomes complimentary again. He’s basically thinking, “Well, at least you finally put your powers to good use.”
- But Vash says no. He’s accepted who and what he is, he’s accepted his power, but at the end of the day, he’s still just a gunman. He’s a simple man fighting to protect what he loves. He is not “other” like Knives. He’s part of this world and he’s fighting to protect it. Vash reaffirms his beliefs and who he is before Knives and that’s really, really powerful.