With Knives’ closing in on his final goal, Trigun Stampede Episode 11 delves into the past as he struggles to bring Vash around to his side. But as he takes his brother on a trip down memory lane to convince him to join his cause, we learn more secrets about the past as time rapidly runs out for humanity.
The slow peeling back of the past and how it has come to shape Knives and Vash has been a core narrative beat for this season. We’ve seen both the good and the bad of them, as well as those around them. It has been a fascinating journey to see how two brothers, raised in such similar circumstances, could grow to be such different people. While this latest dive into the past does bring more pieces into focus, I find myself unsatisfied with the conclusions it brings for Vash.
Without going into spoilers, all I will say is that Knives visits Vash’s memories with him to try to convince his brother to come around to his side. There is a fundamental strangeness to this idea. These are Vash’s memories. He already knows everything that Knives shows him throughout Trigun Stampede Episode 11. So how is this supposed to change him now? These are the moments that led him here in the first place. Knives bring no new facts to these moments and shed no new ray of light on a true meaning that Vash was unaware of. He just does the same raving he has every other time he’s appeared about how humanity is evil and plants should be free. The same discussion Vash has rejected over and over again. While I can see how the new reveals could change viewers’ feelings about Knives, I just don’t see why it should have any sort of fresh impact on Vash.
While the primary objective of Knives’ efforts seems poorly considered to me, the manner in which these events are brought to life is amazing. Studio Orange delivers the surreal landscape of Vash’s memories beautifully. The twists and turns of every moment, the dream-like transitions between them as well as Vash’s emotions over his and Knives’ shared past are all delivered in a way that makes all these instances feel impactful.
While the bulk of Trigun Stampede Episode 11‘s time is spent in Vash’s memories, we do get to see what transpires in the outside world. Meryl confronts Dr. Conrad about what is going on, giving the show a chance to explain the weird pseudo-science behind Knives’ plan. This explanation doesn’t really help the narrative any, given that it is a largely incoherent string of made-up concepts woven with real-world terms that don’t bring real clarity as much as more confusion.
When all is said and done, Trigun Stampede Episode 11 brings an emotional confrontation between the brothers Vash and Knives despite some glaring flaws. The visual presentation shines bright enough that my issues with some of the larger concepts don’t completely ruin the episode.
Trigun Stampede Episode 11 is streaming on Crunchyroll.
Trigun Stampede Episode 11
- Rating - 7.5/107.5/10
Trigun Stampede Episode 11 brings an emotional confrontation between the brothers Vash and Knives despite some glaring flaws.