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Original Tumblr Post: Chapter 3-4
I’m INVESTED. I need to know what happens next. Especially since the last chapter ended on a cliffhanger.
Stream-of-consciousness thoughts for TriMax Vol. 5, Chapters 3-4 below.
Chapter 3: Loss
- Well, that plus the title page art is ominous. He looks really peaceful for someone who’s losing it enough to grow giant feathers out of their arm.
- Is he really a traitor if he’s still doing the job Knives sent him to do? Or are you just giving him shit because some part of you thinks whether he betrays Vash or betrays Knives, betrayal is betrayal and that’s worthy of shame and punishment?
- I feel like hiding a gun in your sax would muck up its sound a bit….
- Looks like a few of his shots hit Midvalley.
- Ok, I think I finally get it. For this fight, Nightow is actually using very particular visuals to represent Midvalley’s attacks. I wish I’d figured this out sooner. Might have made some other scenes make more sense. (No, the sound effect doesn’t help me much. I don’t know what the Japanese onomatopoeia is for sax sounds.)
- I hope Milly is ok through this. I don’t think most people are as tough as Wolfwood.
- Wolfwood’s a force to be reckoned with, for sure.
- Ok, I had to go back through the Wolfwood parts in the last two chapters of the last volume. I totally missed that he couldn’t see. I thought his references to it being dark and all were more metaphorical than literal. My bad. But him being blinded this whole time and still managing to hunt down Midvalley just makes him all the more intimidating.
- I still don’t understand why Gauntlet and Midvalley are so determined to cover their tracks.
- Oooh, Meryl’s elevator-cell isn’t doing so hot.
- FEATHERS. (I love how Gauntlet’s reaction here is just pure confusion.)
- Ohhhh, that’s an angel arm silhouette.
- Going… down?
- Dude, Gauntlet totally has a cross on his face in between his eyes. Because of course he does.
- Aaaaand everybody’s screaming. I think that’s reasonable.
- Needs moar feathers.
- Knives flashback?
- Knives flashback. Vash flashback, but with Knives. Gauntlet is seeing this?? Goshdarnit, Plants are weird.
- LOL, from Knives’ perspective, Vash is being rude. All Knives has done is try to look out for his brother. The fact that he’s doing so in a horribly destructive and abusive way is lost on him, so all he sees is Vash pulling a gun on him for no particular reason. And he was so happy to see Vash, too. (Also, shout-out to Knives’ weird drinking habit.)
- Ah, it looks like Vash is communicating these memories directly via touch. I gotcha.
- Uhhhhhhhhhh…. Is Knives having someone inject Vash with stuff?!?! That is NOT talking, sir!
- Knives, holding the metaphorical sword over the doctor’s head, daring him to just try and destroy them, since all that would do is prove Knives’ cynicism right.
- Poor Meryl is probably REALLY confused right now. Whatever she might have expected, I’m sure it wasn’t fifty billion eldritch feathers coming through the ceiling.
- Knives looks so proud of himself. He’s waaaaay too calm and happy about his brother panicking. That’s no way for an onii-san to behave.
- Yeah, Knives, what you’re saying isn’t gonna make Vash want to resonate with it more….
- I have thoughts on this panel and the rest of this scene between the two brothers.
- You know… I made a post about exactly what Knives is saying about Vash’s scars and how that appears in Stampede.
- Ugh, he’s getting Vash worked up. He’s trying not to, but it’s not like all those moments didn’t still hurt.
- Honestly, this is a bit of a brutal way to communicate this all to Gauntlet, but I don’t know how else Vash could do it that would have Gauntlet understand and believe Vash, especially while they’re plummeting down an elevator shaft. And Gauntlet is going to relate to it in a way other people might not, because from what little we’ve seen of his life before the Gung-Ho Guns, he was also hurt, betrayed, lied to, humiliated, treated like an animal, had his every word questioned, and been laughed at while people (whether figuratively or literally) dragged him through the mud. I could go into more detail, but it’s either that or another chapter tonight….
- Ugh, the quivering gun pointed at Knives….
- Knives is blaming Rem, but… I think inasmuch as she is to blame, it’s because she died before she could help Vash flesh out these ideals better. And that’s not her fault, even if she was the one who chose to turn back to try and save everyone else. She wasn’t the one who decided to crash the ships.
- Uhhhh, what are these little face-thingies crawling through???
- Vash is still trying to fight it, and when Knives sees he won’t give up, he gets… pushy. Pushier. Injecting your brother with stuff to force change is already, to put it very mildly, pushy.
- The focus specifically on people Vash interacted with and clearly cared about getting sucked into the gate is… a good touch. Painful as all hell, but that pain is important to the narrative. I don’t think either of the anime adaptations quite managed to capture it so well.
- And Gauntlet gets to feel the loss of the girl he cared for all over again.
Chapter 4: Villain
- Maybe part of the reason people have historically had trouble recognizing Vash is because they’re expecting someone a lot older than he is. Or maybe he’s so much of a legend they don’t quite believe he’s the real deal.
- Also, Gauntlet’s gotta be, like… what? Late 60’s at the least, yeah?
- Well, if this isn’t a poignant opener….
- Is… Meryl getting a glimpse of all of Vash’s pain here??
- I’d say it’s impressive that Gauntlet’s screams have reached Midvalley, but we’ve already established Midvalley has superhuman hearing.
- It appears Vash’s pain is so much that Gauntlet would rather die than continue to experience it.
- “They rigged this whole place to blow?” This is my surprised face —-> 😐
- And now it’s Wolfwood’s turn to point a gun at Milly. Fair’s fair. But I think she would have actually tried to throw him down if he hadn’t relented when she pulled her gun, and it’s clear here that he pulled his solely as a scare tactic.
- I’m not sure what this is, but it definitely feels like Vash’s doing.
- Gauntlet definitely expected to die in that attack.
- Duuuude, Midvalley even found him! Lucky!
- Haaaaahahahahahahaha, Wolfwood is STILL going after the Hornfreak.
- Oh, that ball of light swallowed up the debris? That’s another point in the “Vash did this” column.
- Midvalley’s calling Wolfwood out here, huh.
- CREECHUR VASH IS WITHIN EASY HEARING DISTANCE AND CREECHUR VASH SAYS THIS CONVERSATION IS OVER!!!
- Also, wings.
- Ahhhh, I love how Nightow made Midvalley dedicated to calling Vash “it” here. It says so much about how Midvalley sees Vash/Knives, his place in comparison to them, and how he thinks everyone else should approach them.
- Midvalley’s approach is still fatalistic, I see. “No matter which of them wins, we all lose, caught in the crossfire.”
- LOL, even in creechur form, Vash doesn’t appreciate Midvalley’s sentiments.
- Fuck. He was reacting to Legato. That’s FAR worse.
- Seriously, folks, I get antsy EVERY TIME Legato shows up. EVERY. FREAKING. TIME. I’m still traumatized from ’98… and where I know he’s gonna take things eventually here.
- Oh, he just had to get himself his own ripoff Angelina. Thanks, I hate it.
- “What’s he doing here?!” Grinning like the madman he is, of course.
- He’s really happy about this whole “torture the hell out of Vash but don’t kill him because Knives-sama asked for it” thing, isn’t he? Freaking yandere….
- “You may have your rest.” Ummmm, is Legato gonna kill Gauntlet?
- Wolfwood’s still ready to throw hands in spite of being DEFINITELY outgunned right now.
- Wait, is Midvalley trying to take down Legato?!
- Whyyyy did Gauntlet shoot him??
- FUCKING LEGATO, THAT’S WHY. Someone take this man and his iron maiden box and throw them in the bottom of the sea already. Please.
- Ok, it’s a nice touch to have this be the contrast to how the title is listed on the opening page. Why have one person highlighted as a potential villain when you could instead highlight two?