Information on the biology and appearance of Vash the Stampede in Trigun Stampede (2023).
Physical Characteristics: Basic Physiology | Drain Gate | Hair | Plant Markings | Plant Wing and Flight | Portal Gate | Roots and Flowers | Scars, Amputation, and Healing | Strength and Agility
Wardrobe and Accessories: Clothing | Duffel Bag | Earring | Energy Bullets | Energy Cube | Glasses | Gun and Marksmanship | Personal Belongings | Prosthetic Angel Arm | Prosthetic Arm
Other: Bounty | Music | Personality | Plant Communication and Healing | Relationships | Toma Equestrianism
The design for plant markings is based on Chladni figure vibrational patterns used for the study of cymatics. Cymatics are the study of modal vibrational phenomena. This is different from the manga and Trigun (1998), which use a craquelure-style for plant markings.
The plant markings on Vash’s skin and eyes glow for the first time when he communes with the SEEDS03 electricity plant shortly after The Big Fall.
Vash has plant markings on his eyes, face, and body. The markings cover his entire face except for the center around his nose and mouth. They cover his ears completely and extend down his neck, under his clothing. In the most exposed view of his markings, as a teen, the markings continue over his shoulders and arms, stopping at his biceps. They also extend down his back and sides, covering the skin with dense markings apart from the areas around his his underarm and armpit.
We do not have a view of the rest of his body but the markings likely continue down and taper off before his knees, similar to how his arm markings end before his elbows. The markings likely also cover his scalp, though that is obscured by his hair.
Vash’s plant markings glow white when he communes with plants. They can also glow black when he uses his powers to take energy from or harm a plant.
While his markings do appear to be tinted blue or red at times, those colors are the result of the reflected light from the dependent plants he is communing with. We have not (yet) seen Vash’s markings themselves glow blue or red.
The glow of Vash’s plant markings is faint enough to not illuminate through the shirt he wears as a teen, but bright enough to be visible from at least several yards away. In darkness, the marking illumination could be visible through clothing.
The plant markings in his eyes are visible under external illumination. When Luida shines a light into Vash’s eye, the plant markings there are visible. They do not glow in response, but reflect the light.
Some have suggested that Vash wears his large orange shooting glasses in Stampede in order to obscure his plant markings from accidental illumination. This seems likely given his need to hide his nature and the ease of identification by this method.
Unlike his eyes, the markings on his skin do not appear visible without internal illumination, not from the pen light or direct sunlight. It may be the skin markings are not directly at the surface of his skin but under enough dermis to avoid catching the light.
Black Plant Markings
After Vash communes with the plant on the sand steamer, the plant markings on his body and eyes are visible. Initially the plant markings are visible but glow black, and then they change to glow white. The black plant markings may be caused by Vash’s use of his powers to take energy away from the plant.
While Stampede does not explain exactly what Vash does here, in the manga, when Vash communes with the sand steamer plant, he stops both their hearts for four minutes to cut off the plant’s power and stop the steamer. This appears to be a different mechanism for a similar result. Whatever Vash does here, the strain of it causes him to pass out and remain unconscious long enough for him to be taken back to SEEDS03.
In “To a New World“, Knives penetrates Vash’s back with his knife tentacles. He then makes his “initial connection” with Vash. Vash loses awareness, his eyes remaining open, his expression and body going slack. His plant markings begin to glow white.
Call And Response
When Knives gains full control over Vash, Vash’s clothing and body turn completely black and the markings disappear. After Vash is released from Knives’ knife tentacles and starts to return to himself, his markings glow again. He sings (see Stampede Vash and Music) and the dependent plants around him sing in response, suggesting that his plant markings are active because he is communing with the dependent plants.
In “High Noon at July”, Vash combines his gun, his energy cube, and his prosthetic arm to create a prosthetic angel arm. When he uses his powers to recombine the matter of the three together, his plant markings glow. This is the first time we see his plant markings activating without a direct connection to another plant. This is likely because he is pulling the required energy from his gate for his own direct use.
When Vash’s plant markings appear here, instead of glowing all at once, they first manifest beside his eyes, then glow fully. This is different from their previous appearances, perhaps because they are being activated in a different way.