The tone of this space western darkens as director Satoshi Nishimura hints at the hero's curious past. In a two-part episode, the people of Inepril City try to capture Vash: they need the $$60,000,000,000 reward on his head to repair their ancient power plant. When Vash defeats the evil Nebraska Family with his extraordinary marksmanship, he gives the reward to the townspeople to fix the plant. Meryl has to admit that the often clownish blond stranger really is Vash the Stampede.
Elizabeth, the beautiful repair engineer, believes Vash destroyed her hometown years ago and is seeking revenge. But Vash has no memory of what happened to the city; he can only recall the ruins. Vash leaves on a sand steamer, but a young stowaway takes advantage of the soft heart beneath his cool exterior. The kid helps the Bad Lad gang hijack the steamer, but the plan backfires as the vicious leader threatens to destroy the vehicle and kill everyone aboard in a cliffhanger ending.
The increased violence and choppy cutting don't always mix satisfactorily with the comic tone set in the first episodes, but Nishimura piques the viewer's curiosity about who and what Vash really is. --Charles Solomon