EPISODE 1: THE $$60,000,000,000 MAN
Well... to be honest with you, this is a fairly boring episode :p It is important though, as it serves as our first impression to Vash, Meryl, and Milly. As they say, the first impression is the lasting one. Ho-hum... I suppose I should breifly summarize the plot for reference's sake.
The first scene of the anime begins with a pack of bounty hunters destroying a bar, only to have their target unharmed stand up, draw his gun, take aim... and the screen blacks out as we hear gunfire. Milly and Meryl get a brief description of their target, Vash the Stampede, in a local bar. It goes back to the bounty hunters, who are struggling to capture their target. When Milly and Meryl come onto the scene, the bounty hunters have captured and tied up the man they were after. The two insurance girls try to make a peace offering of donuts to the leader of the bounty hunters, when yet another bounty hunter comes onto the scene and mistakes the leader of the gang for Vash the Stampede. A gunfight ensues, and Milly, Meryl, and the real Vash run away. Milly makes Vash go to warn the nearby that the legendary outlaw is in the area while Meryl and herself went to confront the bounty hunters. When they get back, the bounty hunters capture them and tie them up, but Vash comes back and saves them while capturing the bounty hunters at the same time. But unfortunately the town he had been sent to warn was buried under a landslide when some explosives went off.
As I said, not a terribly interesting episode. However, we are introduced to Vash the Stampede, which makes it a landmark episode ^_^ The Vash that we are introduced to in this episode is the Vash I always picture: a big goofball that hides the fact he knows what he's doing by making a fool out of himself in the process. Just a guy out to have fun, not get into gunfights with bounty hunters and other bad guys. Since I didn't go into the series completely clueless, I knew that Vash WAS Vash the Stampede, and the bounty hunters weren't. But I suppose if you were completely clueless, you could be led to believe the rumors that Milly and Meryl heard about Vash being a bloodthirsty bounty hunter, and they might not have meshed well with what was presented in this episode; a peace-loving man who hated pain and disapproved of suicide, who went to great lengths to avoid killing the bounty hunters that had been after his head, and who seemed to loose it when the town was buried under the avalanche. Surely THAT man can't be Vash the Stampede. Meryl would've confirmed that suspicion since she didn't think so either. His morals are also revealed in this episode, and it is made clear that he sticks by them. He doesn't shoot anybody and is happy about it, he warns the bounty hunter before the boomerang hits him, he says he dissapproves of pain and suicide, and even makes some remarks about the way the lackeys are treated. So you gain much insight into his character from this episode, but it can only be taken at face value until you see more of the series and learn that he really IS a deep person who isn't fun and games all the time. The facial expressions were a bit difficult to get used to at first... what I read somewhere as "chunky anime." The faces would be normal, then exaggerated and SD'd. Maybe it's just me, but I think this was done in the first episode more than any of the others. Luckily, this trend seems to dissipate as the series progresses (or maybe I'm just getting used to them -_-;). But it's frightening some of the faces Vash makes. Almost... turns you off the series. But if you can make it through this episode, I think everything would be all right.
In short, intro to Vash, but other than trash a town and make a whole buncha scary faces, he doesn't do anything that interesting. Good essay? Probably not -_-;