Trigun Bookclub By Volume
Trigun: Volume 1 | Volume 2
Trigun Maximum: Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3 | Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6 | Volume 7 | Volume 8 | Volume 9 | Volume 10 | Volume 11 | Volume 12 | Volume 13 | Volume 14 | General Commentary
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Original Tumblr Post: Trigun Maximum 10.5
Trigun Maximum 10.5
Afterthoughts I had. About Vash, Wolfwood and human connections, point of views and how it affects me as a reader. Mostly babble.
Wolfwood has been our point of reference for some time. While the story is about Vash and his struggles, it is Wolfwood’s (and Meryl’s) reactions that make us not only understand how out of place Vash’ behaviour is, but it is their reaction that makes us want to understand Vash. We share their struggles and not Vash’. While Vash is the protagonist, without Wolfwood we would have so much less reason to try and empathise with Vash. Wolfwood’s struggle with Vash pulls Vash down from the position of a higher being to someone, whose intentions we can scrutinise and dissect, someone we can see flaws in and we can critisise. Wolfwood’s struggle with and around Vash makes Vash at least humanoid, if not human. We do not get much insight into Vash’ thoughts and are pushed away from any real talk like Wolfwood and Meryl are. We are shown the flashbacks and they give us an understanding how Vash’ ideals came to be, they give us a reason. But we are never really in Vash’ shoes. We see him from the outside, how he persists holding up his ideals to his own detriment. And through Wolfwood and Meryl we feel for Vash and are hurt by his self destruction. And we are helpless like them, because Vash does not change. He does not listen, does not even try, because he stubbornly holds onto his ideals without really understanding them.
Especially the struggle of Vash’ pacifism (which is none by the meaning of the word) and Wolfwood’s seemingly ease in killing is an interesting one. We constantly see Wolfwood struggle with Vash’ behaviour in the story, we see him reflect, we see him argue and give reasons for his own behaviour. We see Wolfwood persist to try and bring this struggle to rest, not only due to his own guilt, but because he wants Vash to take care of himself, he is hurt by Vash getting hurt. (Ironically, it is only at the end, when Wolfwood temporarily seems to take over the protagonist role that we get flashbacks and the foundation of Wolfwood’s reasons and ideals.) But we do not get much back from Vash in that struggle. Vash is not shown in a way that we really understand him. We get the little talk in Home, but not much more. And I understand why that talk leaves Wolfwood frustrated.
Same with what people mean to Vash. We get information like: Vash knows every face and name in Home. But those always read for me as so robotic. That is not a connection to people that Vash has there. Brad is a perfect example for this. Vash recognises Brad, but Brad has a completely different picture of Vash in his mind. Why? Because he has seen him last (and most likely for a short time) when he was 5 and now he is 17 years old. That is a whole lifetime! The older people of Home accept that, they care for Vash, but they surely had a similar struggle like Brad. A want for a connection, a relationship, has been constantly been put at bay and become one akin to a shepherd to his sheeps. And the older people had to come to accept this, that they will not get more, that Vash will always push them away and they can only wait and hope. It is not a relationship between equals.
Moving on with Vash’ relationship to Meryl. Like with Home, he is constantly evading her and fleeing from her. Even her learning about his past does not come with his consent. Not with hers, either, really, but at least she had the want to know more about his past. And worse, after that traumatic experience, he rejects her care for him and that stops any real talk about it, something that would help HER to process things.
Wolfwood did not stay with Vash fully out of his own will in the beginning. He had to join Vash due to Knives. But Wolfwood came to understand Vash deeply. An ironic twist, because Wolfwood came to his understanding of Vash in the same way Vash comes to understanding of others. By observation and drawing his own conclusions. They never really talk about that stuff. They state it and that’s it. It is no real talk or opening up. And that’s for the worse. That way, neither of them gains a complete understanding of the other, just “just enough”. Wolfwood doesn’t know about Rem (he asked), Vash does not know about Wolfwood’s upbringing. And that’s why their first real argument due to Rai-Dei’s death always sticks out to me. Vash gets so much about Wolfwood, he gets the kind soul behind Wolfwood’s cold mannerisms and his ability to kill without hesitation, but he never does the next step in trying to find out why. And I have no doubts that this stalled not only their budding relationship, but also played a big part why Wolfwood did not shed his protector-behaviour towards Vash and asked for help.
Lastly, the change in Vol.10. There is a change in Vash and a massive one. Vash finally realises the importance of Wolfwood in his life and rushes after him. Vash changes from the followed to the follower. And we finally get an insight to what Vash feels towards Wolfwood and that is such a big change in Vash’ presentation towards us readers. From then on we get less and less insights into Wolfwood and are put in Vash’ shoes. We are the observers. We are with Vash. Wolfwood is the one who gets observed. We do not get any insights into Wolfwood’s head when he dies. That’s why his scream and tears have so many different interpretations. We only get Vash’ thoughts. They completely switched places. For two volumes, Wolfwood has been our protagonist, but he has been Vash’, too. This experience has changed Vash, towards the world and towards us, too. We are back to not getting real insight into Vash when Livio and he eat. But we know of the change that has happened.
And the burial. We don’t get to see the burial, because even though we share Vash’ pov, that is too private to share.