We're watching Trigun at the moment at our little Wednesday anime sessions. It's almost physically painful to watch just two episodes at once. It's so good. Vash is so cool. I've actually been downloading the translated manga (here) and reading it to get more, but for once I think the anime is better than the manga.. but that's a discussion for another time and place, when my brain is running at normal operating power rather than the dregs of the day fuelled by lingering traces of caffeine.
The problem is, being cool means you are of the personality such that you don't take pleasure at your own being cool. I don't know anyone who quite matches Vash (and it's a qualitative thing - coolness, in my lexicon, has several different colours or flavours. Vash matches one of them. Lina Inverse falls into another. I don't know if anyone has read the Deryni books (Katherine Kerr) - well, I know at least one person reading this has, since I lent them to him - but the character Alaric Morgan falls into the same category as Vash) but with that kind of coolness, one can't take pleasure in one's coolness because to do that would wreck the coolness - if that makes sense. That is, the property of having that type of cool character and the property of enjoying one's own coolness (which is a type of vanity, I suppose) are mutually exclusive.
So, as a conclusion, one who is aware of this type of coolness can never be that cool unless they lose that awareness (wearing black velvet robes only looks really cool if they're your normal gear and you're not wearing them for effect - which is why I wear my totally unsuitable black velvet cloak with the traily kitten-toy-strings to the lab, and why I feel so stupid when the hem gets caught in my bicycle and I have to surreptitously yank it out). I actually think I wouldn't want to be cool like that, since it seems to be inevitably twinned with angst, and while angst works wonderfully in shoujo stories of all kinds, especially CLAMP ones, it's not a particularly good ingredient for life. The other, more real, frustration for me is that I seem incapable of writing characters like that. They never want to be like that, and I know that if I pushed it, they'd end up so cheesy they could out-cheese ABBA - or a very old piece of Edam, at least. Not that I don't like my characters, but I would love to have written Trigun.
Wow, that was amazingly incoherent. I don't usually like nested brackets or convoluted sentences like the above, but I'm going to leave them in, I think, so you can have an idea of what my brain feels like when I update the comic ^.^
- Sun Kitten, 4th October '02