ILLUSION OF DEPTH AND COMPLEXITY
Many people laud Vash for the fact that he has so much depth and complexity to his character, I can't disagree more with this notion. Much like everything else, there's good and bad sides to a character's depth. Properly-executed depth in a character maintains a consistent persona while adding some differing nuances in the character from time to time to add layers of realism to the character. However, with Vash, you don't get properly-executed depth. Instead, it's like he's several strikingly-different characters rolled into one. One moment, Vash is a doughnut-eating clown, and at the drop of a hat, he's quick to fight. In essence, Vash's character is like a mixture of chicken salad, tofu, grapefruits, cheap Mexican beer, cottage cheese, vegetarian chili, and Mini Wheats. Complex? Yes. Brilliant? HELL NO.
Because of the fact that so much of his character is established as a doughnut-eating assclown running and screaming like a baboon, Vash's more dramatic scenes down the road are impossible to take seriously.
EXTREMELY INCONSISTENT COMBAT
Vash is well-known in anime circles for the fact that he values all human life and therefore, refuses to kill people. During my first and last experience with this lame-ass anime, I loathed Vash for the fact that he refused to kill people, but after doing some deeper analysis of this anime and comparison with heroes like Batman, who also doesn't kill his enemies, I realized that it was Vash's extreme whining about his beliefs on life and contradicting personas throughout the series that drove me nuts. In so many episodes, he's bleating about how “No one has the right to take the life of another,” and this whining, bleeding-heart mumbo jumbo makes Vash's character even more loathsome. Now perhaps if Vash were a teenager like Tetsuo Shima from Akira, I can understand why he'd be like this. However, Vash is clearly an adult, so this excessive whining is unforgivable.
Even with the way Vash fights, he's as inconsistent as a bad game of Russian Roulette. This is so because in some episodes, he's running around in combat screaming, complete with big, dumb faces, and in others, he's a hard-as-nails combatant that falls short of killing his enemies.
This does NOT make an interesting character, just an annoying, inconsistent one. Whenever I see a protagonist in combat, I want him or her to remain consistent with their attitudes as they fight.
In short, Vash is a total mess of a protagonist, and easily among the most annoying anime characters ever animated. If you want a hero that doesn't kill his enemies that's so much easier to like, check out Batman from Batman: The Animated Series. Batman/Bruce Wayne is so much easier to like and take seriously in that show because he runs with his established personality while adding some differing nuances to make him realistic. If you want a hero that's a gun-firing badass, check out The Punisher from Garth Ennis's Punisher MAX comics. Frank Castle/The Punisher is a consistent badass and fearsome killer throughout the books and like Batman from BTAS, he has little moments in the books that show believable depth to his character.
Now that I think of it, I should probably rate Trigun lower now that I realize how much of an annoying burden Vash was to that anime.
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