Gunslingers in a bar discuss how half of Dankin town was recently destroyed by Vash the Stampede, who is sitting behind them. Seconds later, bounty hunters appear and shoot the bar into rubble, leaving only Vash and his table. Vash draws his gun and fires off nothing, since it wasn’t loaded. This isn’t much of a problem though, as he is very adept at dodging bullets. The sheriff of Dankin hires a bounty hunter named Ruth Loose to hunt down Vash and gives a slightly inaccurate description, telling him that Vash has a green mohawk. We are next introduced to two insurance agents out to investigate over 300 claims attributed to Vash the Stampede, Merril Stryfe and her soft spoken but large statured understudy, Milly Thompson. After a brief scuffle in a bar, the bartender gives them an even more exaggerated description of Vash, telling them that he is about 12 feet tall. All this time, Vash has been hiding under the sand. The bounty hunters are beginning to doubt that such a coward could possibly be Vash the Stampede. When one of them spots him, he attacks not by firing his gun, but by throwing it. Now on the run again, he sneaks behind another of the bounty hunters and draws a self portrait on a rock with the other mans gun. The man tips off his boss to Vash’s location, and he is quickly captured and tied up.
The insurance agents show up again and present the bounty hunters’ boss with a box of doughnuts as a token of goodwill. At almost the same time, Ruth Loose also shows up thinking that the boss is Vash. The situation gets even more confusing when the boss thinks Loose is Vash in a clever disguise, resulting in total mayhem! The insurance agents escape with the real Vash and offer him doughnuts and $$10 to warn the town for them. Still not realizing his true identity, the agents go back to the bounty hunters and offer the boss more doughnuts, which doesn’t work the second time around, and they are promptly tied up. Ruth Loose and the boss come to terms, realizing neither of them is Vash, and agree to split the bounty 70/30. They’re interrupted as Vash comes charging in on horseback declaring an emergency. After being cornered, the boss throws his enormous boomerang at him. Somehow, Vash manages to jump over the attack and render the boss in total agony by tightening one of the bolts on his arm. Upon returning, the boomerang knocks Ruth Loose out cold. Vash’s gloating over his victory is interrupted by some explosives that Loose lit before he was knocked out. They explode, causing a huge landslide that results in the devastation of the nearby Town of Felnarl. As the agents type their insurance report, they reveal that they still don’t know who Vash is.
This is a strong opening episode. We are introduced to some of the supporting cast here, namely the two insurance agents who vow to seek out the real Vash, wherever he goes. Since no one is really sure what Vash looks like, there is potential for many more humorous cases of mistaken identity in future episodes. It is through pure luck that Vash has gained his reputation. He doesn’t so much as fire his gun in this episode, much less kill anyone. The numerous bounty hunters after him are the ones actually causing all the damage. If the rest of this series is this witty, I can easily say that it ranks up with the best comedic anime I’ve seen, such as Slayers and The Irresponsible Captain Tylor.