Debuting over Japanese television under the title Toraigan in 1998, the half-hour animé series Trigun was, like so many others in the sci-fi genre, essentially an outer-space Western. The hero of the piece was, technically speaking, the villain: Vash the Stampede, the most notorious outlaw on the planet Gunsmoke. With a reward of 60 billion dollars on his head, the blond, blue-eyed Vash would have been well-advised to keep himself scarce, but he insisted upon poking about and trying to rescue the weak and helpless from worse outlaws than himself. And besides, despite his gunslinging prowess, Vash never killed anybody (a rarity in a Western, to say nothing of an animé series). In America, Trigun premiered March 31, 2003, on cable’s Cartoon Network.
Vash the Stampede is a very lighthearted, expert marksman that tries to promote love and peace as he personally said in several episodes. He appears to be a very merry person that dislikes seriousness, but is actually very deep and serious as can be seen in the situations he finds himself in. He usually presents a smiling façade, which Wolfwood is prone to call a “false smile.” Beneath this smile lies a lot of pain and the burdens that Vash has chosen to carry. Also known as The Humanoid Typhoon, he is a wandering gunman with a 60 billion double dollar bounty on his head. Every town he passes through either labels him “an act of God” or “a human disaster.”
Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson are two Bernardelli Insurance agents sent to evaluate claims regarding the Humanoid Typhoon. Initially, they dismiss the idea that the real Vash is the legendary Humanoid Typhoon (partially due to the lack of an introduction), but the two eventually learn (much to the contradiction to what Meryl wants to think) that this is the person they are assigned to track.
Nicholas D. Wolfwood A superb gunman, almost equal to Vash himself, and arguably the most skilled human being with a pistol in the series, Wolfwood is a priest who wields an enormous cross “to carry his sins”, however, the cross contains a machine gun and a rack of automatic pistols. Wolfwood and Vash get into many conflicts over the morality of murder. According to Wolfwood’s mentor “… we are sometimes driven to become the devil himself.” Wolfwood is a tragic figure in that his redemption comes at a terrible cost.
Millions Knives The main antagonist, and Vash’s brother. Like Vash, he is a sentient plant created by humans but unlike him, he is a cruel mass murderer that intends to wipe out the entire human race, considering them unfit for this world. Most of the situations Vash ends up in are, in one way or another, connected to Knives.
Rem Saverem Vash’s mentor and childhood friend, who taught him the value of life. It is mostly because of Rem that Vash is the hero he is. Vash constantly finds himself asking what Rem would do in his situation. When this happens, Vash enters a peaceful “dream world” when he asks Rem for help
Gung-Ho Guns A group of superhuman assassins with extraordinary abilities and equipment. Their leader is Legato Bluesummers, a fanatical henchman of Knives who shares his nihilistic philosophy and possesses telepathic powers, who sends them out to attack Vash and cause him as much suffering as possible. The group’s lineup differs slightly between the anime and manga versions of Trigun, with some characters appearing in one but not the other.