Series: Trigun Maximum
Played by: Charlie
Height: 5'11" (180cm).
Hair: blond with a black streak.
Birthplace: Aboard an interstellar space craft known as a SEEDS ship.
Abilities: He has the ability to produce blades from his arms, as this is how his angel arm manifests itself. He can also use it as a massive canon capable of destroying a large city. He also has a genius level I.Q. and is skilled in combat and very resilient.
Occupation: Enviornmental Activist.
Point in Canon: Volume 6, Page 106 of the Trigun Maximum manga. After witnessing the Plant’s death.
Original Application: Link
Knives is Vash’s twin brother, identical in almost every way with only small differences, such as a slightly lighter shade of blonde hair and bluer eyes in Knives’ case (Vash’s eyes have green in them). They were born from the manmade technology known as a plant. Plants were designed by humans to help them survive in rough climates such as the desert planet that Trigun takes place on. Plants are alive, a whole new race of beings that are able to take massive amounts of energy and transform it into resources. Knives and Vash were born from one of the plants on a spacecraft heading away from Earth and navigating a fleet of hundreds of other ships (known as SEEDS) carrying millions of human beings in a frozen sleep in order to colonize other worlds and perpetuate their species. The twins were found and raised by a young woman named Rem, and within a year they grew from infants to young boys seemingly around the age of 9. During that year they lived with Rem alone as she was on duty looking after the ship by herself while the rest of the crew slept in frozen sleep.
After that year was over, there was an alert set off that needed the whole crew’s attention and the rest of the crew was woken from their sleep to help. Rem ordered Knives and Vash to hide in their rooms and not to come out even if they hear voices outside. The reason for this was that Rem violated the rules by having the boys on the ship with her and they might have been put into a frozen sleep. But the more pressing issue was that it was also possible that the rest of the crew would wish to experiment on them. From inside his room, Knives used a small computer to fix the problem that the crew was woken up to attend to before they were able to themselves. When the crew all went back to sleep, Rem chastised him. However, one crewmember named Conrad had not yet gone back to sleep and followed Rem to where the boys were. After talking to Rem about how she was breaking the rules and how it was dangerous to keep the boys there, he went over to speak to them and asked if Vash and Knives loved Rem. They both said “yes,” and Conrad smiled, reassured, and said that he wished to move forward with them. Knives, having been a very hopeful and emotional child, cried with relief and happiness that this other human accepted Vash and himself.
When Conrad went to sleep again, life with Rem went on for the twins as usual and Knives told Vash he was excited to meet all the other humans and be friends with them. Then one day, Vash and Knives were exploring the ship and stumbled upon files that detailed an experiment called Tessla. They discovered that before they were born, there was another child to come from the plant, essentially this girl, Tessla, was their sister. The humans experimented on her, scanned her body and took notes, but the experiments and the scans caused tumors to grow in her body and she slowly died. The boys then discovered a huge tank with her torn up remains floating inside. This discovery caused Knives to faint from the shock and he remained unconscious for days while Vash stayed awake but refused to eat. Eventually Knives woke up with no memory of the discovery, having been so deeply traumatized, he suppressed all of it deep down, both the memories and his emotions. Then Rem confessed all the details of Tessla’s death to Knives and Vash. She also told them of hers and Conrad’s efforts to get the rest of the crew to halt the experiments before they started having a negative effect on Tessla. Knives stayed guarded and continued to push his feelings on the matter deep down. Eventually Rem confronted Knives and said it seemed he was trying to deal with this on his own and push it all away, and Knives said that he was, but he would just keep moving forward. He started to cry for the first time since the discovery of Tessla and Rem hugged him, but he quickly pushed her away too.
Again life seemed to return to normal after that, Knives and Vash went back to being kids, but deep down Knives’ feelings were not being dealt with in a healthy way. Eventually, he had a dissociative episode; essentially he lost all reason and fell into psychosis, all from the fear of what the humans did to Tessla and how they leech off of the other plants. He became convinced that all of humankind needed to be exterminated for the betterment of the Plants and also the entire universe. It is suggested that in that moment of dissociation he wrote the program that caused all the SEEDS ships to crash-land onto the desert planet that the story takes place on. The ships carrying all the humans were never meant to survive the fall, but Rem stayed behind and managed to save many of the ships, rewriting the program to have a portion of them land safely. It is unclear why Knives was willing to let Rem live, speculation on that will be discussed in the personality section, but when she sacrificed herself he grew cold and angry towards her for managing to save so many human lives and called her a fool for giving her life for something so stupid. Despite being furious with Knives for doing what he did, Vash would not leave Knives alone (as that was the last thing Rem told him to do before the door to the escape pod closed, separating them: “Never leave Knives alone”), and they stayed together on the desert planet for 80 years.
80 Years PassedEdit
Sometime during those 80 years, Knives was acquainted with the collective consciousness of the sand worms and other insects, represented through Zazie the Beast, one of the Gung-Ho Guns. He formed an alliance with the worms in the pursuit of the destruction of the human race. Also in that time, he and Vash grew more and more apart in their ideals despite so many years together. Eventually it all climaxed to a confrontation in a town that fed off of passing travelers. Vash got into a car with a man asking for help in a nearby town, willing to give assistance but ended up handcuffed to a rock while the villagers went through his things. Knives then followed Vash to the town and killed them all, condemning them as being lowly humans who fell to avarice. Vash yelled at Knives from his handcuffed spot on the ground for killing them all, even the children and Knives continued to think what he did was the right thing and turned to leave Vash there to cool his head while he went and killed more humans. Vash was desperate to keep Knives there with him and to not let him go and hurt more people so he shot him and hit Knives’ shoulder. Knives paused and at first seemed calm about it, but then quickly exploded in anger and chopped Vash’s arm off with a blade he produced from his arm. That was when the brothers finally parted ways only to meet again some years later in the city of July.
At some point between parting with Vash and meeting him again in July, Knives found Conrad once again, greatly aged and somehow managing to live past the normal lifespan for humans. Knives located him in a mansion under the alias Revnant Vasquez and then forced Conrad to serve him as a scientific adviser. Conrad goes along with Knives from the guilt of what he and the other SEEDS crewmembers did to Tessla as well as being fascinated by Knives himself, a man he can’t believe used to be the little boy he met so long ago. It was also in this time period that Knives happened upon Legato in the rubble of a town he destroyed. He found Legato naked with shackles on his wrists. The boy had been being used as a sex slave. Knives quickly realized that Legato’s survival was not a coincidence and that Legato had used his special ability to control Knives’ body and ensure that Knives missed Legato when he cut up the entire town. Knives then created a long blade and held it to Legato’s neck from afar, but again Legato stopped him with his ability and asked if he could remain by Knives’ side (since Knives was his accidental savior). Legato said that if Knives wished to kill him then he would welcome death and released Knives from his control. Knives tested his ability to move again and pressed the blade to Legato’s neck, drawing blood. Once he saw that Legato was smiling, Knives’ eyes widened slightly and he retracted the blade, deciding to let Legato live. Knives smiles slightly and asks Legato his name. At the time, Legato had no name, so it was Knives who gave him the name “Legato Bluesummers.” And thus, Legato stayed with him as his loyal follower.
July City and Fifth MoonEdit
When Vash found out Knives was in July he went to go confront his brother only to be subdued and rendered unconscious. When he was unconscious, Knives had Conrad run tests on Vash’s Plant ability known as the “Angel Arm,” and Conrad informed Knives that Vash’s “energy output” was far greater and more powerful than Knives’ own Angel Arm. After that was done and later when Vash was conscious again and confronted his brother a second time, Knives tried to convert Vash to his beliefs. When it failed, Knives grabbed Vash’s face and telepathically caused Vash’s angel arm to activate. In the confusion, Vash ended up pointing the business end of his angel arm into Knives’ sternum and fired. The blast completely destroyed the city and the residents’ bodies were completely eradicated. Knives managed to survive, but his body was torn up and unable to be used. Conrad thought of a way to save Knives and managed to get a very upset Legato to help him tend to Knives’ body. Incredibly, Knives was conscious and calm despite his desperate and definitely painful situation and chastised Legato for being loud and pathetic with his tears.
Conrad managed to use another plant to regenerate the parts of Knives’ body that was destroyed. However, this took twenty years. In those twenty years, Legato was given control of the Gung-Ho Guns, an organization of assassins that Knives assembled over time. 20 years later, Knives was reawakened and sensing his brother’s returned consciousness, Vash set off to find him that same day. They had a second confrontation near the plant that Knives was reborn from, outside on a hill. Vash arrived soon after and Legato immediately ordered the Gung-Ho Guns surrounding the area to kill Vash. But instantaneously, Knives broke all of Legato’s limbs and twisted his head around 180 degrees while somehow leaving him alive. Knives did this because the last thing he wants is Vash’s death. Then Knives walked up to his brother and once again forced him to use the angel arm. This time, Knives got behind Vash and assisted him in pointing it into the sky. Somehow, Vash managed to momentarily de-transform his arm long enough to fire some bullets down at his and Knives’ leg, shooting them both, but managing to force Knives away from him. Unfortunately, his arm re-transformed and aimed at the sky again. The blast carved a hole in the fifth moon that orbits the desert planet as well as destroyed the city.
Death of a SisterEdit
For two years, Vash went into hiding and lived with a young girl and her grandmother, taking on the alias of Eriks. In that time period, Knives had Nicholas D. Wolfwood track down Vash and stay by his side to “bring him to the end without further harm.” Essentially, he sent Wolfwood to be Vash’s guide and babysitter. During that time until the point I am pulling him from, Knives destroyed a satellite that the humans living in the secluded SEEDS ship created to communicate with Earth. Then Knives’ activity is mostly unknown until he goes with Conrad and the 13th Gung-Ho Gun, Elendria the Crimson Nail to where a plant is struggling to survive. He witnesses the Plant’s gruesome death: her hair changing from blond to black and her body shriveling up and falling apart.
(It is after witnessing the Plant’s death that Knives was pulled from his reality and into Luceti.)
Knives is a misanthropic, delusional psychopath with tendencies towards extreme dissociative episodes and mania. That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his many psychological issues, but sums them up in nice little packages many of us like to think make him easier to understand. However, throwing a label or several on him doesn’t simplify 150 plus years of mental and emotional distortion and trauma. That would be like smacking a sticky note with the word “solved” written on it onto a rubix cube or the front door to a labyrinth. Both the rubix cube and the labyrinth are in fact solvable, but it takes a lot of digging and wandering musty halls of traumatizing memories to truly understand how to begin unraveling the mystery. The best place to start is always at the beginning, and in this case, that is in Knives’ childhood. Of course, his childhood only consists of the first year or so of his life, and this fact should be kept in mind when analyzing how he went from the child he was to the man he became.
Knives was a very hopeful and emotional child, always smiling and so very desperate to be accepted by the humans. In many ways you could say Knives was a dreamer while Vash was a little more realistic. An example of this is this exchange between the brothers on the subject of the humans they have not yet met (at this point, Rem was the only human they had ever known.):
Knives: “Do you think we can be friends… with them?” (Knives’ expression is an innocent smile as he says this.)
Vash: “Yeah. It might take a lot of effort though.” (He has a more serious and thoughtful expression than his brother’s.)(link)
While Knives was innocent and optimistic, he did have a sense of realism deep down as is shown later on when he thinks to himself: “I know. Not everyone is as nice as Rem. But they created the Plants. I want to believe that they will accept us.” Though Knives probably didn’t think of it like this in his conscious mind, it is clear that deep down, his view of the humans was similar to that of a child needing to be loved by it’s parents. Knives was a child who had so much love for life and those around him, having been raised in a sheltered environment with kind souls like Rem and Vash, it is only logical that his outlook on the world would be so hopeful. But it also seems like he was also a naturally sensitive boy, especially when you compare him to his brother who was raised the same way. This is a classic case of nature and nurture combining to develop an extremely kind and loving person. Unfortunately the drawback of such positive qualities in someone is that they are more vulnerable to mental and emotional scarring. They feel trauma and pain more deeply than others and this can be devastating if handled poorly.
Just how much Knives needed acceptance and love from humans is also shown when he and Vash meet their second human: William Conrad. When Conrad asks the boys if they love Rem, their reply of “Yes,” is enough for him to say “If you love someone with all your heart, then it’s alright. Let’s walk on… together.” This was something that spoke to Knives on a very deep level because he does love with all of his heart, so much of him is devoted to the love he feels for Vash and Rem, that to hear Conrad say such a thing and accept Vash and himself, brought him to tears (link). After this meeting with Conrad, Knives was encouraged further to meet all the other humans and make friends with them, later saying to Vash: “We can work through a few little differences if we just talk to each other enough. We can come to understand each other because there’s no difference… between their hearts and ours. Right, Vash? […] I just can’t wait!” At this point, you must be wondering, “How in the world did this adorable child become a genocidal misanthrope and psychopath?” Well, as I mentioned above, Knives was more vulnerable than your average child to trauma and pain. He had a fragile heart. So when he and Vash discovered what the crew did to the Independent Plant who was born before them, his heart and his mind shattered.
As said in the history section, their sister Tessla had been born from a Plant some time before Knives and Vash. Having seen nothing like her before, the scientists on the crew did many experiments and scans of her body, which eventually led to her gruesome and painful death. Knives and Vash discovered the computer files detailing all that happened to Tessla and then were deeply traumatized when they discovered her torn remains in a massive tank. Knives fainted and remained unconscious for a very long time, days even. When he awoke, he suppressed the memory of what happened and then Rem confessed it all. As said above, it would be disastrous if his emotions were dealt with poorly, and that is exactly what happened. He repressed it all and decided to push forward. But the wound grew in his heart and became infected. This is a boy who had been betrayed by those he so deeply needed to love him as much as he loved them in that pseudo child and parent way and he couldn’t handle the pain. He had only existed in the world for a year, raised by a wonderful person and bearing a naturally fragile heart. To him, the humans had taken that glass box of love and trust and smashed it on the ground, and swept it up in a dust bin like trash. Ultimately, to hate something or someone(s) as much as Knives hates humans as an adult, you have to love it with all your heart first.
It is the ultimate emotional scar when a child’s trust is so terribly betrayed by those he sees as pseudo parental figures, especially at such an early stage in his life. For Knives, this scar was more like a wound that could not heal, it still bleeds even as an adult, and he constantly creates his own haphazard scabs to cover it up with his psychotic hatred of the entire human race. This hatred seemed to be born in a single dissociative moment. It is hard to explain exactly what happened because the scene is shown without words. Knives wakes up from sleep one night and seems to be hollow, his expression dull as though he isn’t completely there. Eventually he wanders over to one of the computers on the ship and in the darkness, starts tearing his thumbnail from his finger with his teeth, almost mindlessly, blood dripping all over. While no words were said, this behavior clearly shows that Knives had a psychotic break (link1, link2, link3, link4, link5). “Unfortunately, small children… have no idea when to tell they’re going insane.” (Livio to Wolfwood). The DSM defines psychosis as “a symptom of mental illness characterized by a radical change in personality and a distorted or diminished sense of objective reality.” Knives displays two forms of psychosis from the point of his psychotic break in childhood and consistently into his adulthood.
The first form of psychosis that is very obvious in Knives is delusions. Delusions are defined as “an unshakable and irrational belief in something untrue. Delusions defy normal reasoning, and remain firm even when overwhelming proof is presented to disprove them.” The majority of his opinions on the human race are incredibly delusional. He sees them all as trash and completely selfish creatures who don’t know how to do anything but destroy and take. It is important to keep in mind that Knives sees no problems with his slaughtering of so many people. In fact, he truly believes he is saving not just the Plants, but also the whole universe from the plague that is humanity. In his delusional mind, he’s protecting his siblings whom he loves so much and all other organisms that exist from the humans by simply destroying them, like anyone else would destroy bacteria with disinfectant. It is also near impossible to convince him otherwise even with perfectly valid proof to the contrary. Examples include his past experience with Rem as well as when Vash tells him the story of the town Knives slaughtered the day that Knives chopped off Vash’s arm. Knives saw the villagers as simply greedy when they chained Vash up and stole his possessions and did not spare a thought to what other motives they might have before he killed them all. In later chapters of the manga, Vash explained to Knives that while what those people did was wrong there was a still a reason that makes the whole situation not nearly as black and white as Knives originally perceived it to be (to avoid more spoilers, I will not go into what the reason was, but know that it definitely changed the situation). Knives barely batted an eyelash at this new information, his powerful 150 years-long delusions about the evil of humanity firmly retaining a hold on his mind.
The second form of psychosis that Knives shows, is disorganized behavior, defined as “unpredictable and inappropriate for a situation or environment.” This is where his extreme manic and dissociative tendencies come into play. If something is said or done a certain way he can easily have an extremely violent reaction or a completely calm and cold reaction, but either way they are inappropriate. An example would be when Knives chopped off Vash’s arm or when he broke all of Legato’s limbs and twisted his neck 180 degrees. When he chopped off Vash’s arm, that was an overly violent reaction to Vash’s accidental shooting of his shoulder. A sane and rational person would be able to recognize that Vash fired the gun without thinking and in desperation to stop Knives, and most likely felt bad about it soon after. But Knives calmly turned to his brother, seemingly cool about what just happened and then immediately shifted into a thoughtless rage, slicing his brother’s arm off as if removing his brother’s arm was completely justified in retaliation to what Vash did to him. One the other end of the spectrum, Knives’ inappropriate crippling of Legato when he made a move to attack Vash was done with complete cold detachment. While a sane and rational person might just shove someone down to the side and tell them not to, Knives immediately went for the violent punishment. Knives is very unpredictable, a difference in tone or the slightest action that he does not like can get any kind of reaction, sometimes appropriate behavior for the situation, oftentimes not.
Knives is often in a state of disconnect from himself, such as many of his emotions and who he used to be, and this results in the delusional mindset that everything he does is completely okay and for the best. When looking at the dynamic of his closest relationships, it is easier to see how he reacts to his squashed feelings of love and caring. You might think, “Love? Hasn’t he lost the ability to feel such a thing?” The answer is a firm “No.” Knives feels all the same things he did before he lost his sanity he just can’t properly deal with them so he dissociates from these feelings before he can consciously feel them and reacts to the source of said feelings with mentally unstable and unpredictable violence. His relationship with Vash is a big example of this and even his relationship with Legato. When Vash shoots him in the shoulder, his inner reaction to that was distress that once again, someone he loved hurt him. He can’t handle when those he cares about hurts him in any way, not ever since the discovery of what happened to Tessla. So before he could even begin to feel that emotional pain, his psychosis switched him into a blind violence instead. Vash is the most important person in the world to Knives and this basically means that Vash gets to see the ugliest sides of Knives’ insanity because Knives’ way of protecting and saving his brother is hurting him until he sees things his way. Knives believes that if he keeps throwing Vash into painful situations that show the uglier sides of humanity, then eventually Vash will have to finally see “reason.” And yet, despite this, Knives doesn’t want any harm to come to Vash that he doesn’t have control over. This is why he sent Wolfwood to look after Vash, even saying to Wolfwood: “Reach him… guide him… and bring him to the end without any further damage.”
Knives decided to send Wolfwood as Vash’s guide shortly after he was reawakened and had his second confrontation with his brother. When he reunited with Vash again after so many years and saw the scars on Vash’s arm, he looked so utterly sad and concerned, asking Vash why he does not see the truth about humanity even after they have marred his body so horribly. It is most likely that the decision to send Wolfwood to Vash was a reaction to seeing what 20 years of dealing with the humans without Knives there to “protect” him, did to Vash’s body. His relationship with Vash is complicated but at the same time pretty straightforward in how Knives feels about his brother: love plain and simple. His method of expressing his love is insane and illogical (but don’t tell him it’s illogical, he might kill you). However, his relationship with Legato is a bit more complicated. They say you should be careful when you name something, be it a pet, a houseplant, or your favorite hat, because automatically you can start to grow attached to it. It’s a psychological quirk that sentient beings have, the bond that is formed when you bestow a name on someone. Knives found this boy and named him “Legato Bluesummers,” most likely for his blue hair. Meaning he obviously put thought into it. Hell, he could have named him “trash,” if he wanted, but he didn’t. And that was the start of this complicated relationship.
As said above, Knives is still capable of feeling love and caring. These things, he can’t let himself feel for a human, so in Legato’s case, his feelings are muddled. If he cares at all about Legato, it might be a very minute caring that he is not consciously aware of, but he is definitely attached to Legato in some way. Knives may be insane and misanthropic, but he is in no way a sociopath. Meaning, he is not capable of spending so many years with a child he named himself and watched grow up, and not feel something for him. What he feels for Legato is enough to cause him to hurt Legato more than his other followers. As was established previously: Knives can’t cope with feelings of love, caring and pain and disassociates from them, instead directing nonsensical violence towards the sources of those emotions. This makes his actions towards Legato especially cruel because Legato is a human and Knives definitely feels some unnamed emotion that is not hatred for him. But that can’t be; Knives can’t feel anything besides hatred for humans, right? Wrong. Knives started out loving humans with all his heart, and that doesn’t just go away, it is merely shoved so far down he’d need years of therapy to find it again and even more years of therapy to come to terms with it. So what does Knives feel for Legato? I am hesitant to pick an emotion or several because it’s just so complicated, but you know that saying “there is a fine line between love and hate”? Well, Knives might not love Legato, but he hates him, not just because he’s a human but also because he’s a human that managed to make Knives feel “something on the other end of the spectrum from hate” for him. Knives will never admit it to himself, though.
But why did Knives pick up Legato at all? Well, it could have been a whim, or it could have been that in that moment they met, Knives saw something in Legato that he subconsciously connected with on a personal level. Legato has said that he never had a purpose before he met Knives, and even after, his purpose was an expendable one. He had grown up nameless and constantly used for sex, everything was taken from him as he was preyed off of his fellow humans. Sounds pretty similar to what the humans do to the Plants and even what they did to Tessla so long ago. The humans use the Plants’ bodies and slowly steal everything from them for their own selfish needs. It is unlikely that Knives consciously made the connection, but I believe that on some deeper level he did, and that’s why he accepted Legato, even smiled slightly when asking for his name. I believe that storytelling-wise, Legato is there to show the deeper sides to Knives’ feelings about humans. In order to convey that Knives is not simply a villain who feels nothing but hatred for the human race, Legato is added to the equation as the first human since Rem, that Knives feels something opposite from hatred towards to further complicate things for Knives and reveal these things about his character. Of course, I am not saying that that is Legato’s sole purpose in the story, he is also very important in other ways, but when it comes to Knives, that is what he is there for.
His feelings about Rem are just as convoluted as his feelings about Legato, but for Rem, they run much deeper. As a child, Knives loved Rem deeply, she was the one who raised him and Vash and she was nothing but kind and loving to them. She was their adoptive mother, and as an adult, Knives still loves her. But much like with Legato, he can’t let himself come to terms with these emotions and reacted to her sacrifice to save the other SEEDS ships with disdain, saying “I thought I’d spare her, but now I see she was just as flawed. I’m glad she’s gone!” What he said implies that up until she made her sacrifice, he had not considered her to be like the rest of humanity. I believe that Knives couldn’t let the only mother he had known die despite all the hatred he felt for her race. It is also likely that he wanted her to live because he had only recently fallen into his madness and his opinions on humanity were still forming in his mind. Furthermore, I think that her death helped him slip further into psychosis. Immediately after the mother-ship exploded, Vash was distraught over the loss of Rem, but Knives cackled uncontrollably, becoming more manic and unstable in his behavior than before. I think this was how he was reacting to the grief of losing her, by twisting that love and pain into psychotic anger.
tl;dr: Knives is a psychotic environmental activist who loves his brother and all the Plants so much that he’ll commit genocide to “protect” them.
Physical: Knives is pretty strong in body, on par with his brother in strength, agility and combat ability. He also has the ability to produce blades from his arms, as this is how his angel arm manifests itself. In the manga, Knives only uses his angel arm the same way that Vash does (in the form of a massive canon) once, when he destroyed a satellite. Most of the time he prefers to manifest the angel arm in the form of blades that he can use to slice up and destroy an entire town of people with or to duel one on one with someone. It is also important to note that in the manga the angel arm does not require a gun to activate, it is a natural part of a Plant’s body (in the anime it was different). Knives is also very resilient as can be seen when his body was torn apart when Vash fired his angel arm into Knives’ sternum. Despite being so close to death, Knives managed to stay conscious and hold on to life while Conrad and Legato worked to save him.
Mental: “He is a creature with a boundless degree of strategy and intelligence.” (Liesem, V. 14, p. 74). Knives has an extremely high I.Q. and is very skilled with technology, it is said he is more knowledgeable in that area then his brother. He also has a degree of psychic ability that is most noticeable is his psychic connection with his brother. The two are able to sense each other’s presences and moods across long distances. Examples of this include when Knives reawakened, Vash startled awake from sleep, having sensed his brother’s return to consciousness. And when Knives became upset and enraged over the death of the Plant and the discovery of the black hair, Vash halted in his trek across the desert miles away with a concerned look and said Knives’ name quietly. Knives also displays some telekinetic ability, though he seems to either rarely use it or have certain limits with it. When he breaks Legato’s limbs and twists his head around 180 degrees, he does this with one simple touch to the man’s head as can be seen here. He also displays some possible telekinetic abilities when he glances behind himself at an approaching man and the man suddenly finds that he cannot move his legs.
Emotional: Knives is full of emotional weaknesses, but where there are weaknesses, there are strengths to at least balance them out a little bit. Knives is a very determined man, and while his determination isn’t a very good thing for the human race, it benefits him just fine. He is also confident in his abilities and intelligence, as well as his moral standing. An example of these traits can be seen when he is fighting Vash at the end of the series, and despite pretty much having lost the war and there was nothing left for him to really fight for, he still fought and told Vash that he’d never regret the path he’d chosen.
Physical: While he has a long lifespan and does not age, he is in no way immortal. Knives can be killed, it is not as easy to kill him as it is a human being, but his body will bleed when shot or stabbed just as much as any mortal. He also has limits on how often he can use his angel arm abilities. The more he uses them, the closer he’ll come to death as the depletion of his energy source will start to turn his hair black and eventually when there is no blond left, his body will shrivel up and die. I feel that it is also important to note that in the manga, his pain tolerance is actually very high. Many people are better acquainted with his anime portrayal that shows him being extremely intolerant to pain and that would be considered a definite physical weakness. However, it does not apply here. In fact, considering Knives was able to stay calm when he was blasted to pieces by Vash’s angel arm and his insides were spewed across the ground, it’s safe to say he has an insanely high pain tolerance.
Mental: As was said in the personality section, Knives’ major mental weakness would have to be his mental illness. Of course, that is not to say that he has a chemical imbalance, this we can never know for sure seeing as it’s never talked about in canon nor is he even human, so human illnesses likely don’t apply to him. But he is indeed mentally ill brought on by trauma. Whether it’s made worse by some kind of chemical misfire in his brain we’ll just leave up for debate and head canon. But anyway, his unstable mental condition makes him vulnerable to negative stimuli and his unpredictable behavior patterns make his reactions to certain things extreme and detrimental to him. This can be seen in the way he reacted to witnessing the death of the Plant: by mindlessly slaughtering any humans nearby who weren’t his followers. This was the event that cause his hair to start turning black which is physically detrimental to him, but going by the expression he bore in that moment, being so mentally unstable without any proper treatment of that weakness just sends him further into insanity every time something traumatic happens to him, like he’s spiraling down the rabbit hole with no way to get back out.
Emotional: Again, as was talked about in the personality section: Knives is a very emotional person. When he hates, he hates with an unyielding passion and when he loves, he loves so fiercely that when his heart isn’t handled with care, he can’t bear the pain. To make it more complicated, he not only feels each emotion so very strongly, he also oftentimes feels several strong emotions all at once. If you take a second to try and imagine what that must be like, it’s no wonder he lost his marbles and automatically dissociates from these feelings and reacts to them with violence. After 150 years of that kind of internal war, I think I’d be off my rocker too. So, being so emotionally vulnerable directly affects his mental weaknesses and strengthens his psychotic delusions and behavior. I’d have to say that you could likely find a canon example of his emotional weakness in every single scene. But to pick one out in particular, I’d have to choose when Vash shot him in the shoulder. I already talked about it above, but to drive the point home about how hard it is for him to cope with his strong feelings of love and pain when whom he loves hurts him like that, I’ll point it out again. Vash shoots Knives, Knives cuts off his own brother’s arm. Appropriate reaction? No. Knives is an emotional wreck? Yes.
Vash the StampedeEdit
Right hand man.
Nicholas D. WolfwoodEdit
(To be elaborated on at a later date)