The Red Coat: 4/29/01
You know, I never gave much thought to Vash's red coat. I figured it was just his trademark, just as some other people use roses, flowers, bloody messages scrawled across buildings, etc. But I did always wonder why it was that he didn't take it off or wear anything else if the description of "Vash the Stampede" almost always included something about a red coat and he could be easily recognized. When he lost it, I was upset because he just wasn't Vash the Stampede anymore. But when he got it back in episode 21, and there was an explanation provided, I was thrilled. There was a reason behind the red coat! Thus, I will talk about this reason for awhile. If you have not seen this episode, I do not recommend reading further, but what the hell, I didn't warn you of spoilers anyplace else, and these really aren't that bad, so knock yourself out.
Did it suprise anyone that he wore it because of Rem? I thought the conversation about red geraniums was really cute. "Can you eat them, Rem?" XD But the end kinda blew me away when she said that red geraniums symbolized determination and courage. Like I said, I hadn't thought about the coat standing for anything, but when you saw the flash of red cloth in the hallway, it was like a lightbulb went off in my head, if I may be generic for a minute. He wears the coat to remind himself of Rem's words was my first initial thought. Yes, he wears it because of the symbolization of red geraniums, but let's face it: Rem told him this, and they are Rem's words. Again, all that is and will ever be Vash will always, ALWAYS come back to Rem. The importance of Rem to Vash cannot be measured. I'll just have to tell you all about it one day, but I cannot go any more indepth right here, because this is about Vash and his red coat, and not Vash and Rem. But the fact still remains that he wears it because of Rem. Whether it's as a direct mental link to Rem or just through her words, the coat will always symbolize determination, courage, and Rem in my mind simply because Rem said it. But it could also be symbolizing Rem on a subconscious level for him too... he could just wear it for the red geraniums and I could be completely wrong. Don't take my word for it, I'm taking psychology next year -_^
Rem aside since I always have to talk about her first, the first thing that the red coat stands for is determination. If Vash is not the posterboy of determination, I'd hate to see who is (certainly some psycho with a one-track mind if not Vash ^_^;). The one who means the most to him dies. He spends more than 130 years enforcing her philosophies while simultaneously seeking revenge for her death from his brother. 130 years o_O; He only ever kills one person. That is sticking to your guns, so to speak. To be so driven as to keep the same goals for one hundred and thirty years is determination. That's what it says when you look it up in the dictionary, honest! Since I can't get over the 130 years of determination thing to go someplace else with it at the moment, I'll move on. But that just speaks for itself... *gets smacked*
Ahem. Next is courage. This is ill defined sometimes, since he's always ranting and raving about things being scary and whatnot. Actually, I don't think he's a terribly brave individual at heart, but he knows he must be brave to carry out his mission, so he goes up against things that most people would not. The scars on his body are proof of his particular brand of courage. He's almost been visibly blown to bits, and yet he keeps on trying to hunt Knives down. The Gung-Ho Guns kill people right in front of him, they kill his friends, and Vash will still go up against them. Even when there's absolutely no hope left, Vash will find a way. I'm beginning to sound like one of those people that spreads rumors about him ^_^; But it's very true. Like I said, he's not too terribly brave at heart, but he knows he must be, so he is the most courageous person on the show. Wait, I take that back, but not completely. Bravery and courage are two different things, but not quite. Bravery is having the courage to do something, and courage is defined as "the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution," then is defined as bravery. So they are almost the same thing. He does face danger and fear with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; moreso than anyone else. But I still believe he does this because he has to, and not because that's the way he is. I make no sense, do I? Well, it's just my opinion anyway... take what you can make out of it for face value.
So that's Vash's red coat. Pretty cool for something that I just figured looked cool, huh?