Vash the Stampede is an expert marksman who tries to promote “love and peace” as he has personally said in several episodes. He can abruptly switch from merry to a stern, dangerous personality when threatened. Normally he wears a smiling facade, which Wolfwood calls a “false smile”. Beneath this smile lies the pain of the burdens that Vash has chosen to carry. Also known as The Humanoid Typhoon, he is a wandering gunman who had a 60 billion “double dollar” ($$) bounty on his head. Due to the incredible amount of damage he tends to leave after a skirmish, his status as a human has been revoked by the government; he’s now legally considered a “localized disaster”. Although a multitude of crimes are attributed to Vash — primarily mass property destruction — he always resolves conflicts with as little violence as possible and refuses to take the life of any living being. Beneath his normally cheery, even goofy demeanor, Vash conceals enormous power which he, himself, does not fully understand. His abilities allow him to dodge bullets, and exert considerable influence over events with very subtle actions such as throwing pebbles to alter the trajectory of bullets, causing a gun to misfire by surreptitiously clogging it with chewing gum, and causing adversaries to injure themselves with assorted sleight-of-hand techniques.
Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson are two agents of the Bernardelli Insurance Company, sent to evaluate claims regarding the Humanoid Typhoon. Initially, they dismiss the idea that the chummy Vash is the legendary Humanoid Typhoon (partially due to the lack of an introduction), but the two eventually learn (much to Meryl’s dismay) that this is indeed the person they are assigned to track. Meryl is also known as “Derringer Meryl” and carries dozens of derringer pistols concealed beneath her overcoat. Milly is also known as “Stun Gun Milly” and carries an enormous two-handed minigun that launches large metal projectiles that are designed to knock opponents off their feet.
Nicholas D. Wolfwood is a superb gunman, almost equal to Vash, himself. Wolfwood is a priest, and carries with him an enormous cross as a symbol of his faith and a reminder of his sins; however, the cross contains a machine gun, a rack of automatic pistols and a rocket launcher. Wolfwood and Vash get into many conflicts over the morality of murder. According to Wolfwood’s mentor “…we are sometimes driven to become the devil himself.”
Millions Knives is the main antagonist, and Vash’s brother. Like Vash, he is a sentient power plant created by humans, but unlike Vash, he is a cruel mass murderer that intends to wipe out the entire human race, considering them unfit for this world. Most of the situations Vash ends up in are, in one way or another, connected to Knives.