In this everlasting late-90s hit inspired by Nightow Yasuhiro’s manga, Trigun tells the unique story of the mysterious Vash the Stampede (accompanied by two insurance agents), and his wandering journey on the Planet Gunsmoke. Throughout his adventures, Vash meets a small number of friends and a handful of foes. Due to Vash’s circumstantial reputation of consequently causing destruction wherever he goes, he becomes wanted with a bounty of $$60,000,000,000!!!
In addition to Vash, we at Honey’s Anime would like to share with you the rest of who makes the top double dollar list! So get ready, take some notes, and be ready to go on the hunt for the ultimate cash prize!
As a disclaimer, we at Honey do acknowledge that there are numerous differences between the Trigun anime and manga. For now, this list exclusively emphasizes how the listed characters are featured in the anime.
10. E.G. Mine
Vash’s third opponent from the Gung Ho Guns is E.G. Mine. E.G. wears a lower face mask and is surrounded by his spike sphered suit which can shoot out its spikes with the control of strings on his fingers. Like his fellow comrades, he is driven solely by violence.
Unfortunately, the size of the suit gives him too many disadvantages in terms of movement against the agility of Vash, and his defeat would lead to his untimely death to Rai-Dei the Blade. His most memorable quality is his Golem (from Lord of the Rings) sounding voice in the English version of the series.
In addition to the voice, he uses some colorful language that comes across as comical as opposed to intimidating showing that he is a very memorable scrub with his appeal being his over the top design.
9. Leonof the Puppet-Master
If appearances could be deceiving look no further than Leonof the Puppet-Master, who may look like a fragile old man but possess a unique set of skills to be an effective assassin. As his code name suggests, his main weapons are life-like puppets that he can control with strings.
Though his role is relatively small and vague compared to the original manga (in which he plays a larger role in Vash’s past), he serves as a large threat to Vash and company in his featured episodes when he uses puppets of a bandit to slaughter innocent people in a hidden space ship.
8. Monev the Gale
At number 5 (though given the code number 1) is Monev the Gale (which is purposely venom backward), one of the first opponents of Vash from the Gung Ho Guns. Trained by Knives to take down Vash, Monev develops a tremendous physique and peak human abilities. Thanks to his training, he is capable of handling the heavy firepower locked onto the wrists on his suit.
What also makes him a significant addition to this list as that he is one of the first villains to morally challenge Vash to his boundaries due to his love of destruction and killing. Regardless of Vash sparing his life, he could have won the fight if he didn't push him to let his inner rage take over. But just because Vash allowed him to live doesn't mean the rest of his crew would be as forgiving.
7. Rai-Dei the Blade
Also wanted by Honey’s Anime on this list is the samurai-inspired Rai-Dei the Blade of the Gung Ho Guns. In addition to his tattered Japanese influenced attire, he also carries a katana that also functions as a sword. But its use is mostly meant to create a sonic blast with his swing. In addition to his skills as a swordsman, he is very aggressive in his fighting and fights to kill. Just like Vash’s fellow rivals, he is pushing Vash to embrace killing and he hopes that by doing so, he can get a real fight out of him.
Unfortunately, Legato intervenes and makes Vash resort to using his Angel Arm weapon causing the Fifth Moon incident where Rai-Dei is involved, but survives. However, his end does not come at the end of Vash, but by the hands of Vash’s friend, Wolfwood.
6. Dominique the Cyclops
Dominique serves as the sole female member of the infamous Gung Ho Guns in the animated version of Trigun, and as appropriate to her moniker, she has one regular human eye and has a hypnotic red and yellow eye she covers with a patch called Demon’s Eye, which can cause temporary paralysis. As part of Legato’s scheme, she is in it to not only kill Vash but also trying to get him to embrace his inner killer. Being ever so chivalrous, Vash tries to plea with her not to fight because he doesn't feel comfortable fighting women.
At first, Vash falls victim to her Demon’s Eye but as the battle rages on, he studies her patterns and finds a way to counterattack (by concentrating on his injured finger), gaining the victory and sparing her life. Though her physical skills may not be up to par with her peers and Vash, her Demon’s Eye gives her a tactical advantage. And the ultimate punchline of her battle with Vash, by the time Meryl and Milly show up when Vash has claimed victory, they get angry at him under the presumption that he attacked a defenseless woman.
5. Midvalley the Hornfreak
Midvalley the Hornfreak is a high-ranking field member of the Gung Ho Guns. Despite his rank within the organization, he is still exclusively loyal to the orders of Knives. Midvalley is handsome, has a great sense of fashion, and greatest weapon, his saxophone, named Sylvia. The sound waves it emits can generate strong vibrations causing heavy damage to its surroundings.
Thanks to the composing of Imahori Tsuneo for this series (who also did the soundtrack to the first season of Hajime no Ippo), he makes a tune appropriate to the calm nature of Midvalley who just wants to put on a show. The fact that he requires no physical or artificially advanced abilities, just a cutting edge technological weapon such as his saxophone makes him an effective and deadly assassin that would require the cunning of Vash and/or Wolfwood to overcome.
4. Legato Bluesummers
Shooting into number 4 is the number 2 baddie of Trigun, Legato, the frontline leader of the Gung Ho Guns. Like Knives, Legato, in the anime version of Trigun, is solely driven to kill all of humanity. His methods as a villain are psychological. Complimenting his cerebral methods are his psychic abilities given to him by Knives. Even without the use of his psychic powers on Vash, he pushes Vash into ending his life by putting the lives of Meryl and Millie at stake to the point that Vash hesitantly puts a bullet to his head.
To someone like Legato, he feels that by having Vash pulling the trigger is a victory, since it was his goal to get Vash to kill, which makes him a worthy villain. The performance of Seki Toshihiko in the Japanese version masterfully captures his calm, confident, apathetic and manipulative qualities. The English performance by Richard Cansino brings a blank tone that expels him of any emotional connection to humanity.
3. Millions Knives
Though Legato was the most featured villain, ranking at number 3 is the Big Bad of the series itself, Millions Knives, the evil twin of Vash. If his atrocities were publicly known, he’d probably be put on a bounty of $$120,000,000,000!! Like Vash, Knives is a plant, an artificially enhanced human being. In turn, he shares the same superhuman strength and abilities as his pure hearted twin brother (In addition to being a crazy gun duelists) such as their angel wing cannons.
Unlike Vash, Knives wants to wipe out mankind and seeks destruction due to seeing them as inferior. Though Vash may have a heart, Knives makes it up with a twisted mind by being able to invent the weapons that Vash is capable of using such as his guns. Though Vash likes to be out in the open and do things himself, Knives works behind the scenes and lets the Gung Ho Guns do all his work, demonstrating that he is also a capable and very intimidating leader. Even after emerging victorious in their duel, Vash still continues to embrace Knives as his own brother into the sunset.
2. Nicholas D. Wolfwood
At number 2, but could be just as worth as $$60,000,000,000,000, is the co-lead, Nicholas D. Wolfwood. Though initially introduced as a rival, but seeing the error of his employer’s ways and how Vash is truly a righteous man, he becomes his most valued ally. Though he dresses akin to a priest and carries a gun in the shape of a cross known as The Punisher, he has no qualms about killing until he befriends Vash. What leads such a supposedly peaceful man to a life of violence? It was just the way he was raised with the expectations of joining the Gung Ho Guns, but after seeing the suffering of the orphans he brought into his care, he makes his living by applying the only skills he has, and that's with a gun.
Complimenting his handsome looks (he is actually in his mid-40s in the anime, but his age in the manga is surprisingly different as well as his overall backstory), he is voiced in the Japanese version by the legendary Hayami Sho, whose roles range from Max from the original Macross series to Vanilla Ice in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders. The unique thing about Wolfwood’s speech patterns is that he speaks in an Osaka accent since Vash’s seiyuu, Onosaka Masaya, happens to be a native of Osaka.
1. Vash the Stampede
There is no avoiding at number one, we have the $$60,000,000,000 man himself, Vash the Stampede. Due to the consequences his presence brings in relation to his 131 year past, destruction follows but thankfully, whatever happens, is covered by insurance which leads to him being followed by two agents of the company, Milly and Meryl. When the audience and characters get to know the man behind the reputation, he is rather childish, friendly, caring, and easy going. Then, behind those warm qualities, is a man who is covered in battle scars and uses a cybernetic arm, which in turn can be used as one of his ultimate weapons, the Angel Arm.
The multi-layered qualities of Vash are brilliantly portrayed equally in Japanese and English through the performances of Onosaka Masaya and Johnny Yong Bosch (the role that solidified him as a dub actor). Due to his unique origins, he is a man of various abilities that normal humans are not capable of doing in gun duels with his grip strength (from the heavy power of his guns and his other secret weapons), speed, reflexes, and agility. Despite his destructive abilities, he maintains a very strong opposition to killing his opponents due to his upbringing from his childhood. His willingness to put others before himself and still be true to his principals makes Vash not only number one on this list but to serve as an example of living a meaningful life whether we have 50 years or 131 years to live.
Thanks to the combined contributions of the small cast of heroes compared to its large cast of villains, the series teaches audiences about overcoming the odds. The story is not about Vash avoiding the bounty on his head, but overcoming his past even if what happened was beyond his control. Though people cannot change the past, they can always create hope for a better tomorrow.
Vash gives his opponents a chance to redeem themselves even if it consequently falls on deaf ears. The fact that he is willing to give that chance demonstrates that in real life, we all have that choice to live a good life. Even if we make that choice, it's still on us to make the right things happen by working hard to make them that way. Last, we all have one life to live and we need to make it worth something for ourselves, which serves as the ultimate message of the animated Trigun.