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Trigun: Volume 1 | Volume 2
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Original Tumblr Post: Soupy Brains
I’d seen the Soupy Brain panel before I started reading the manga for @trigunbookclub, but seeing it in context is something else.
‘Cause it’s not really about Vash, is it? He frames it like it’s about him, but it wasn’t his flashback we were about to fall into on the previous page. It was this kid’s.
I mean, sure, Vash is up there in the first panel bemoaning how this whole situation is just going to contribute further to his reputation as the Humanoid Typhoon… but this page doesn’t focus on Vash. Heck, even in that panel, he’s the one speaking and STILL manages to be the one in the background.
And in the panels just after Vash’s soupy brain line, he takes the time to more explicitly make it clear to the kid that Vash isn’t the only one whose soup brain is gonna be needed here.
Of course, Vash couldn’t know exactly what the kid is thinking, but Vash is VERY good at reading people, so it isn’t a stretch to think he recognized the kid was getting into a “this is my fault” mentality and decided to use his own actions to get the kid out of it. This is actually a pretty effective technique IRL, not only with ornery kids who are disinclined to listen to adults, but with actual adults who are getting too caught up in their own stuff. Having someone else reflect both a similar distress to our own distress and then seeing them take productive action to mitigate that distress can help us see our own way forward.
And if we needed further proof this was for the kid’s sake, a couple pages later, the kid starts spiraling into a flashback again, full-on crying over how they think they’ve failed their father and their ideals and so many other things.
And Vash is right there again, forcing the kid out of it.
His reaction might seem a bit harsh, but there are two factors at play here. First, a LOT of people are going die if they can’t figure out this situation, and while Vash might be able to do it on his own, it’s going to be faster and more effective if they do it together. Second… well, second, as Rem reminded Vash in his dream earlier in the chapter, the ticket to the future is always blank.
It doesn’t matter what this kid has done, if it’s horrible or not, if it’s disappointing to parents or has potentially devastating consequences. Right here and right now, there’s a chance to make it right. There’s a chance to prevent the vast majority of those consequences, to perhaps quite literally turn this ship around. But they aren’t gonna get there if either of them spend the time instead drowning in their own sadness and regrets.
So they’ve gotta take that blank ticket and write their next destination on it. There’s still time, and they’re gonna use ALL the space in their soupy brains to make sure that the next stop is a better one than the station they’re at now.