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 7.1
Trigun Maximum 7.1
Me: Okay, I rush quickly through the volumes to catch up.
Also me: *rambles your ear off*
- Happy Days
Dunno, how that can be a happy day when the ships are nearly falling down. Don’t worry, they stay in the sky… for now.
And Rem’s obvious fear that is strong enough for her to take time to call the twins WHILE the ships have an emergency and Vash’ constant cautiousness make Knives worry, too. If the twins are such an exceptional appearance, why didn’t Rem wake the other watchers?
But Knives has more important things to do than worry! He seems intrinsically connected to the emergency at hand.
I… watched too many sci-fi-horror stuff. My first thought when seeing the hand was: ZOMBIES!
And ewewewewew, needle in neck. NOOOOOOO! EWWWWWWWWW! I am so icked out.
They have no brainwaves when being frozen. We learned that in the last chapter. So, they are dead. Imagine being nothing and suddenly… BAMM! You’re back! Cold as hell and need to act immediately. Fuckity.
Hi, Conrad! You look exactly like 150 years later. Tell me your skincare routine.
Three years. I shall make a note, this seems important.
Eh, typical crew banter. At least it is not like ‘98. Brrrr….
Knives, what did you do?
And the crewmembers are sus. Do they know? Why would they know? But they zoom in on something, maybe something that happened three years ago? But Rem lies. And suddenly that friendly crew banter seems less friendly and a predatory feeling added.
Rem does not accept. She thanks the crewmate, but she does not accept it! With the sus scene before it reads like Rem is shielding the twins from the crews knowledge. And it looks more and more like Rem is hiding something like fear and mistrust behind her friendly face. (Also, I think it is somewhat funny that Rem and Wolfwood act so similar. Both don’t truly lie, they avoid and distract.)
How did Rem not see Conrad not going into coldsleep? She had to be pissed at Knives at that moment to err like this! XD And we get the confirmation that Knives was the cause for the emergency and that’s why he is so locked onto his little tablet.
A year… later more to that.
I think Rem’s handling is a bit naive. She just wants to take the twins into coldsleep with her. That’s okay. But how does she think her crewmates other than Conrad will react? Does she have different pods for the twins? Isn’t there a high risk that one crewmate would see two more pods in use? Or does she want to take them in the same pod with her? Then they would be discovered at the next emergency. Conrad seems to be on her side, while not completely okay with her violating the rules, he tolerates it. And while in coldsleep, Rem is unable to act if some crewmate decides to… whatever.
Vash’ expression. He does not believe it immediately, but Knives makes him believe and trust Conrad’s words and in a peaceful existence. It is so weird to see Knives being the hopeful and excited twin. And in the current timeline, both are full of pain and despair. Just Vash is masking behind the smile he learned to wear.
I think of her like an echo, like the image of Conrad was one when Knives killed him. The twins do not know. They think of their little crush instead and need to check her pod first. They cannot discern if the image is real or not.
An abandoned, medical wing with a fresh, cut flower. A memorial for someone or something and it is taken care of. Maybe Rem or Conrad (since it seems he just went back to sleep) put it there. With the distrust for the other crewmembers, I doubt it was one of them.
Tesla, the name is not foreboding at all. Like Tesla the inventor without whom our day and age would not be possible, but who was duped out of his inventions, who was used up until he died poor and isolated. (The man loved pigeons and I know I would have vibed with him just for that)
Yeah, the subject… the dehumanised subject. The person being able to perceive, feel and hurt that is just a soulless subject. The subject that is able to speak! How did it take ONEHUNDRED days for someone to pipe up about the ethical questions of: Cutting the child up! I didn’t get it in the first read through, but she got tumours most likely because she was scanned so much. Do you know how much you need to be x-rayed for that to happen? Many, many, many times. Daily… And they did not care… Tesla was not able to perceive pain in their warped view.
We only see three of the five crewmates loom over Tesla. With the dispute and everything, we can assume that Conrad and Rem weren’t involved, but also weren’t able to stop it. Either because they weren’t able to get through to the other crewmates or being overruled.
The question of ethics is an important one for me. Even distancing myself from the horrible feeling I have about all of this and look at it more rationally, why did they do this? Yes, curiosity mixed with dehumanisation. But I mean not only that, aren’t there protocols and behavioural standards that they have to keep up? *points to Germany and Japan in the 40s* There is a reason those exist! The SEED project has to have rules for behaviour and for emergencies! How to act if something unforeseen happens! And human rights do not stop working just because you are in space. These people played god, they played with a lifeform! A lifeform they were able to perceive as conscious! There are so many things that can be tested without vivisecting her! And besides that, do they even have the training to do so? Their work is to keep the SEEDS ship on course… Sorry, but engineering stuff and ship stuff to VIVISECTION… that’s a far jump. What was even their goal in this? Because I don’t read any here. I just read someone ripping off the legs of a spider to see what happens. Understanding Tesla and her power is not their goal! There is no hypothesis, there is no thing they want to prove. Even the simple idea of: How does Tesla work/perceive stuff… Because for that… they could have talked and used tests that aren’t… *stares at the picture* ripping out her heart to see what happens. We see them use EEGs! Some close friends work in research. To make a study that contains humans they need to get through a dire evaluation process, and an ethics committee and more often than not they get denied because some wording is slightly off. Hell, they had to go through hell to get a study with pigeons approved! (granted… the pigeons were euthanized and their brains were cut up into small slices).
Tesla didn’t even reach her first birthday. That’s why it is so important that the boys are a year old to Conrad.
Even in death they did not leave Tesla whole. Her brain is separated and her angel arm, too. The rest of her body is torn apart and left floating in a tank like a medicinal specimen.
But I like these panels. “Someone just like us.” Interrupted by the very personification of grief and regret. Then Vash seeing what happened with Tesla.
What do you think? How long did Knives and Vash stay in the room, staring at Tesla in terror? Vash looks dehydrated and starved… How long did it take for Rem to look for them and find them, much less retrieving them.
- Separate Ways
I… wouldn’t call that weakness, Rem… I know the wording is meant to resemble a prayer… but… Weakness is me binging on a chocolate cake, weakness is falling back into a bad habit, weakness is lashing out at someone in pain, weakness is letting someone step over your boundaries because you are too afraid of rejection. Weaknesses are things that make us fallible, that make us be at odds with each other and that make us imperfect, but still loveable beings. Weakness is not cutting up and killing an innocent child in slow motion. That was a continued active decision to be horrible. They did not reflect upon their actions at all.
“Forgive us in our weakness.” And Rem cannot ask for forgiveness for her colleagues. They aren’t the least affected by what they did, okay, Conrad. But asking for forgiveness is nothing you can do in proxy. And it should not be on the boys, too. They need to work through their pain and grief. The only person who could forgive is Tesla, but she is dead. Rem needs to work through her guilt herself, not that she is really good at it. Vash truly takes after her.
Oh, how the turn tables.
Vash goes full Knives. Understandable. Vash is the more cautious brother. Even then he was hopeful, it was always with Vash staying reserved and awaiting rejection. And with the last chapter of volume 6 in mind, his way of thinking gets constantly affirmed. Though the question is what changed from this little Vash to the adult Vash. Because adult Vash does not allow himself those thoughts, while he is rejected by humans most of the time. The thoughts are there, they make him and they make his behaviour. But he denies himself these at the same time, ignoring his feelings and hurts.
Vash going for the throat. Not unjustified, but still hot damn.
Rem was at least a bystander in Tesla’s death. Either she, Conrad or the both of them voiced the ethical questions, but it took 100 days until it was dire enough for it to be written in the report. But we don’t know for sure. Rem’s and Conrad’s involvement is kept in a pretty vague light. Maybe she even experimented on Tesla at the start? We can’t know. But we know it haunts her.
Interestingly, Rem’s grief is about herself. It is not entirely about Tesla, but her involvement in her death. It is about her not having enough power in any way to stop the crew. Adult Vash mimics Rem in this with his martyrdom. This whole situation of Rem’s guilt makes me think of the base ideas behind the Milgram-Experiment, Asch-conformity experiments and peer pressure, while the torture itself reminds me of the banality of evil. There are of course complicating factors here, like that in this situation there is no higher authority figure and we don’t get a code of behaviour, the isolation of the crew members and more.
I… pity Rem, I feel for her, HELL, I get how isolated she feels from her peers, how (from what we can gather) she was powerless to stop the torture. I feel the dilemma she was in, I feel for her. But at the same time I judge her for her words. While Vash is lashing out, he has points! How can he trust Rem right now? He knew of his otherness the whole time and now he was confronted with what happened to others like him. Rem hid that from him. Somewhat rightfully so with him being a child, but still… Vash does not know how she tried to stop this or if she tried to stop this at all! He doesn’t know her pain and this is not the moment in which it should be about her guilt. But she makes it about herself. Rem is there for them because of her guilt. She wants some kind of forgiveness for her being unable to protect Tesla. The twins cannot give her that. No one but herself can give her that. But having her guilt towering over their whole relationship makes it unhealthy and quite frankly Rem a bad role model. Rem hides herself from the twins, giving them an incomplete picture of a person to look up to. This lashing out from her is a rare occasion of showing her true self and I don’t believe adult Vash has a grip on the real Rem at all. He mirrors her, but he is unable to see that the role model he had is very unhealthy and ill.
In the end, Rem wants to do some kind of atonement for her involvement with Tesla (be it by being an active torturer, by being a bystander or being helpless to stop it) and she uses the twins to get it. I don’t think of her as a monster, but she was in no position to be a mother to the twins and it shows. She was an everywoman that got dealt a hand that was way beyond her abilities.
Peach! A peach is an interesting symbol. It can mean life and immortality. Considering the following scene starts with a peach and how impactful it was…
It is also interesting that they don’t seem to talk really. Rem does not really open up there, she puts on a mask and tries to wittle down Vash to get him to eat. She doesn’t help him through his pain like this. Ignoring the others position is not the way to help people.
Ugh, Vash sprouted the same thing to Wolfwood. It is so fucking judgemental. And like Vash’ similar lines in that talk (the other with the devil are total hits), these lines totally miss the mark. What about this is too light?! I know Rem says this, because she cannot help Vash with his trauma here. She wants to help Vash, she wants him to live and she is out of any helpful options. But those lines are so empty… It is the same with the typical depression sentences that people get: “Have you tried not being sad? You are just lazy. Other people have it worse than you.” They are voiced frustration, they are a cry of helplessness, but they are the opposite of helpful. They are without empathy. They deny validity to Vash’ feelings, they push them aside. And I hate that. Worse, these lines just make Vash’ mental state so much worse, which ends with this.
And this is the pivotal moment for Vash. He got his revenge. He got his anger out. And it is empty. Revenge is nothing, it leaves you a shell. His hurt clouded what and who he truly cares for. And now his action finally takes him out of his stasis.
And that’s why adult Vash tries to not kill/hurt in anger. Because it leaves you empty, it doesn’t solve anything. The person you hurt is gone, but you are still hurt. He learned it the hard way. Rem is the example of people trying to change, if people who hurt you are doing better by you. And because she did it, everyone else has to be able to do that, too. (Well, everyone is able to change, but not everyone will change, but that is Vash’ fallacy here, not mine.)
Oh, Alex is finally mentioned. Rem was so deeply depressed. Look at all the alcohol bottles. Alcohol as coping mechanism runs in the family -_-
Rem has been depressed, her loss made her. She should be able to emphasise with Vash in his stupor. But if you are that deep in it… getting out of it needs to come from yourself. You need to be wanting to get better, you need to get help in therapy or with medicine or better both. She cannot force Vash to get better. She should have known. (Sorry, but that is something close to my heart, I am miffed at Rem here!)
I like and I don’t like the blank ticket. For once it symbolises that you can start anew at any time. You can choose where to go, your past does not bind you down. But… for some people it does. The blank ticket only works if you are unbound by responsibilities, by community, hell, by money. There are limits. And Vash never got to understand that. Rem wasn’t there to teach him. Well, she was. But the lesson did not stick. Because, yeah, her ticket was blank, but he chose her responsibilities to all the people. She chose to try and save as many people as possible. She could have jumped into the rescue pod and flee with Vash and Knives, but she didn’t, because her responsibilities bound her to this place. And I don’t feel Vash understands that.
Oh, he knows.
He looks so dopey, I get cuteness aggression.
But with the chapter title in mind, this is where Vash and Knives drift apart.
- King of loneliness
Front page showing Vash and Wolfwood. Nice.
Okay, we finally get more info. Nothing about if Conrad and Rem were part of the experiments in the beginning, but at least now we know who started opposing. And, yes, it is the right thing to inform Knives. I still feel split about it, since they are a year old, they do not have the emotional maturity to handle it/Rem has not the abilities to handle child trauma, but then again they are able to understand so much more, would hiding really work? Let them make informed decisions and they get to.
Making my rounds back to Conrad. That is why he wanted to stay with Knives, even after betraying him. Because that was his kind of atonement. He feels guilty for being unable to help Tesla, he projects that onto Knives, too. I groaned at him betraying Knives that late, but it makes sense. Giving Knives a new body, trying to help him, he was acting out of his guilt. Still massively stupid and in complete denial, but there is some sense in it.
Because that’s healthy… Rem and Vash feel something is off about Knives, maybe more than just the shock about Tesla. But they trust him. And he shows emotions, he cries. While he isn’t his chipper self, there is the old Knives. But is it just a mask? I am not sure. Towards Rem, maybe not, but Vash gets some more sinister vibes.
*stares at adult Knives, who hides his fear behind aggression and anger* Yeah, fear is completely pointless… Sure… No way you are going down the rabbit whole of genocide right now.
Again, NIghtow’s brilliant display of two different emotions in one face. Fear, sadness and hurt vs. anger and madness. The current Knives takes over the small, fearful kid.
*stares* Much rational, so emotionless, no fear at all. I always laugh at this sentence. He is so far gone in this moment…
Porque No Los Dos?
Those numbers… make no sense. If 802 of 1.000 ships got destroyed, then there would be 60 Mil casualties and 20 Mil missing due to the ships being still lost. Or are the missing persons just the people who aren’t known to have died or have been lost after the initial crash? And how many survived? We could at least take a shot in the dark and math an estimate of survivors..
Okay. 80 Million lost or death. Taking that the death toll and lost are both directly caused by ships lost/destroyed and not the aftermath.
802 +124 ships gone.
80M/926 would be people per ship.
= People survived in emergency landings
around 10.713.000 survived the initial crash.
We know much death and strife followed until humanity stopped stumbling that much. So, I assume that the population took another downfall and is now back to where it was.
Knives, you are able to reflect enough that you did an oopsie by killing your sisters, too. But you are unable to understand that fear hides behind your anger or that you abuse Vash… Man…
Knives is not completely wrong about his assumptions about humanity as a gross. But that makes it so difficult to get through to him. Yes, his sisters are exploited, but he is a big cause for this. Should humans just give up and die? And he ignores the blatant devotion the plant engineer showed, he ignores how many of his sisters are well taken care off.
Did his sister truly merge of her own will? Or is it another moment of Knives ignoring others autonomy because he is so rational?
“And from that moment on, the world was plunged into chaos.” I… think it was chaotic before that… but yeah, rat in a corner-Knives is another level of deranged.