Warning: Spoilers for Trigun Stampede, Episode 10Trigun Stampede‘s episodes have become dense with rapid-paced action, but all that violence had to claim a hero sooner or later, and it seems the unlucky victim is a face that many expected would be the first to fall.
At the end of the previous episode, Meryl and Roberto were kidnaped and taken away to JuLai, deep into the heart of Knives’ base in Trigun Stampede. As Knives’ mad scientist, William Conrad, tried to explain to the pair what their goals were, the newly revealed human/Plant hybrid Elendira awoke and began targeting them. She used her ability to conjure hundreds of massive nails, which she launched at them with murderous intent. While Roberto was able to fight them off for a while, he was eventually struck by one. Though Vash and Wolfwood arrived to stop Elendira, it was too late for Roberto, who bled out in the elevator, handing his gun over to Meryl and asking her to use it to defend herself and escape.
Trigun Stampede Kills Roberto
When Trigun Stampede was first revealed, fans were confused by the presence of this new male character, Roberto, as well as the absence of Milly, a fan-favorite Trigun character from the manga and original 1998 anime. In the first episode, it became apparent that this iteration of Meryl was younger and less experienced, so Roberto’s role was to act as her mentor in this dangerous world. Roberto’s entire vibe as a character is very much “getting too old for this,” and many fans immediately latched onto these behaviors as hints that Roberto would die before the season was out, traumatizing Meryl and causing her to grow into the more familiar version, the one known as “Derringer Meryl,” as seen in previous versions of Trigun.
Roberto’s Death Confirms Trigun Stampede‘s Timeline Placement
One thing that has become apparent is that Trigun Stampede is set earlier in the characters’ lives than the first Trigun anime or manga. Vash’s bounty is only 10% of what it is in the 1998 anime, for example. Meryl’s inexperience, as well as the continued existence of the city of JuLai, also both hint at an earlier time frame. One of Roberto’s last acts is to give his gun to Meryl–not coincidentally, a Derringer pistol, as she’s known for using in the manga and first anime. Meryl has taken her first steps towards becoming that character, and the last few episodes of this season of Trigun Stampede are sure to force her into taking a stand that will solidify her as “Derringer Meryl” once again.
While Roberto may not have been the character fans expected or wanted, he turned out to be a valuable asset for Trigun Stampede‘s original take on the series, and now the door is open for Milly to join, putting Meryl in Roberto’s shoes as the senior and forcing her to learn why he tried to protect her the way he did.
More: Trigun Stampede Has a Genius Use For Traditional 2D Animation
Trigun Stampede debuts new episodes on Saturdays, via Crunchyroll.