Van is drifter who aimlessly wanders the planet called "The Endless Illusion" to exact one goal, revenge.
An orphan, Van never really knew his parents and grew up in the slums of the planet. His only concern was where his next meal was coming from. That changed the day he met Elena, who showed him his potential.
He began to train as an armor rider, working with one of the Original Seven Armors, Dann of Thursday. His bond with Elena grew until they became lovers, and were due to marry. On the day of their wedding, a man with a claw for his right hand asked them to join his dream to reformat the world. Van and Elena refused, resulting in the man violently attacking them both. Van barely survived the ordeal, and his body underwent a reconstruction, connecting his life force to Dann.
He uses his remaining life to hunt down The Claw and gain revenge for Elena's death.
Van's primary look in the series is a black tuxedo topped off with a hat fashioned like a cowboy. On the right, his hat has a large golden ring. He pulls uses the ring to twist his hat around when he requires Dann.
The shirt he wears beneath the long tuxedo-like jacket is a simple white button-down dress shirt with a black ribbon tied about the collar.
His attire was what he was wearing on his wedding day, akin to a groom's tuxedo.
Van is a tall, slender man with a lanky build. Although thin, he possesses an athletic build and lean musculature, the perfect compliment to his skills as a fighter and armor rider.
One noticeable mark on his chest is a distorted scar that flairs up if he doesn't ride Dann of Thursday for long periods of time. He uses Dann's interior to heal his broken body, which mean's he must stay in constant contact with the Armor to live.
For an episode-by-episode summary, see Van: Series History.
Van is the primary protagonist of the series. He is traveling the world, searching after a mysterious man with an artificial claw hand who killed his bride, Elena, on the day of their wedding. Van swore to kill this man to avenge Elena.
His primary weapon is a shape-memory cloth held at his side like a pistol. When an electrical charge is run through the weapon, it can change configuration to a dueling sword or extend to grapple or embed itself into walls. Van can also spin it in place from its hilt at high speed to act as an efficient shield against projectiles.
Through his travels he has been given several titles, including: "Van the Unemployed", "Van the Freeloader", "Hangover Van", "Steel Van", "Invincible Van", "Pretty Boy Van from the Garbage Dump", "Van the Unsung Hero who Gives It All He's Got", "Van of the Dawn" (his favorite), "Daybreak Van", "Nice Guy Van", "Van that Weird Guy who Helped Out", "Van of a Thousand Conquests", "Van of a Thousand Naps" (according to Joshua), "Van, The Devil in The Poisoned Tuxedo", and "Van the Devil's Swallowtail Suit". Although laconic and calm of nature, whenever information about the Claw's whereabouts are mentioned, he quickly shifts to extreme anger.
His white Armor, Dann of Thursday, or simply Dann, is held in place over the planet in a crucifix-shaped satellite, and is launched to his position when he twists his hat 180 degrees, holes varying in size form on his sword and then swings a 'V' with his sword in the air. It is one of the strongest armors on the planet, and uses a sword as its primary weapon. Due to Van's position as one of the "Original Seven" he needs to enter his armor once a week to regenerate. If he does not, he will fall ill and eventually die. In addition, Dann's regenerative abilities grant Van immortality as long as he rides periodically.
Van tries his best to remain un-involved with those he meets along his way, and if he does help them, he does so out of public sight. He has an extremely low tolerance for alcohol, and drinks milk instead. When dining, he asks for all the available seasonings or all the condiments.
Although unexplained at first, he also possesses an unusual scar on his stomach; a circle split vertically down the center with seven lines radiating from the outside.
Van has a habit of forgetting the names of those he meets on his travels, especially Carmen, much to her chagrin. It wasn't until later that he begins to remember consistently. The first whose name he begins to remember is Wendy. The only person's name whom he does remember right away is Priscilla because she is a strong opponent which Van considers to be almost on the same level as him.
He is shown to still love his wife Elena even after her death and shows no romantic interest in anyone else.
He suddenly disappears without saying goodbye, and doesn't show up until a few years later, unwittingly meeting Wendy at her home.
Usually a loner, Van prefers to keep himself to himself. He is often quiet and laid-back, usually not wanting any hassle. This can sometimes seem like Van doesn't care about others. However, Van will always do the right think, trying to help people when he can, and defending others when he deems it right.
His silenced, keep-to-self demeanor does quickly change when it comes to women. Van is a man who believes that a woman should be treated properly. A believer of chivalry and being a gentleman. This is noticeable several times when Wendy finds herself wrapped up in a dangerous situation. An example of this is shown in the first episode when Lucky grabs Wendy by the head and shows her the traumatic devastation in her hometown of Evergreen. Van retaliates by defeating Lucky, saving Wendy and the town.
Another part of his personality is his rage. Every time the infamous name of "The Claw" comes up, his face twists. Eyes filled with wrath, his voice snarling out. This comes from his desire for revenge. This can often cause him to be inconsiderate to others, not caring what happens as long as he can get his hands on The Claw.
When it comes to combat, Van skills are matched by few others in the series.
His primary weapon is his sword, a shape-shifting weapon that links him directly to Dann of Thursday.
The sword is made from a unique material, allowing it to function like a belt in it's lax state. Able to be relaxed to look like a mere piece of cloth, it is easily revertible into a whip-like state. This allows Van to stretch and bend it, using it to wrap around any desired object just like a whip. For instance, he can send it toward an opponent who's using a simple pistol, wrap it about the weapon, then immediately straighten it into a sword to knock it out of the opponent's grip.
In it's hardened state, Van wields his sword with expertise. He excels in melee combat, using his sword both offensively and defensibly. He is able to swiftly cut anything in two, while also spinning the sword at such a speed to deflect bullets and other projectiles. This allows him to go one-on-one with enemies who use guns. Van also displays an impressive agility, which combined with his swordsmanship make him a swift and deadly combatant.
As an Armor Rider, Van can use his sword to summon his armor, Dann from it's satellite ring to the Planet. This is his best line of defense against opponents who also use armors. As an Original Seven armor, Dann possesses unique abilities which gives Van an advantage in battle. Van controls Dann with his reconstructed body, putting his own energy into controlling the Armor. Van is able to control Dann to an expert degree, fighting numerous foes throughout the series and emerging victorious. Dann itself is equip with a sword too, and Van controls it much like his own sword.
Overall, Van is an expert fighter, both efficient in melee and Armor combat.
- Elena: Van's bride who was murdered by The Claw. Elena was involved with researching the Original Seven Armors, and initially worked with Van, having him test out Dann's abilities. Although Van was initially hesitant to open up to Elena, she proved kind and caring enough for him to soften. Their relationship blossomed into a romance, in which the pair were to be married. Unfortunately, The Claw attacked both of them, resulting in Elena's death and Van's reconstruction. Van uses his remaining life to avenge Elena, whom he still loves even after her death. He uses his love for her to drive himself forward to avenge her.
- Wendy Garett: Van's first traveling companion. Initially Van simply puts up with Wendy as they are both trying to find The Claw, although he struggles to remember her name at times. However, after Wendy cares for him when he falls ill, and her constant resilience in her mission, Van warms up to her.
- Carmen 99: An information broker who has known Van for some time. Carmen knew Van when he was with Elena, and knows what drives him to find The Claw. Their paths cross on many occasions before she joins him in defeating The Claw. She usually uses Van for her own ends, knowing of his skill in combat. Like Wendy, Van often forgets Carmen's name, much to her annoyance. Despite this, Carmen helps keep Van grounded at times, often reminding him that rushing into a situation will be bad for him. She later reveals that she's always had a thing for him, which is why she is so ready to help him achieve his goal.
- Ray: Upon meeting Ray for the first time, the pair are initially rivals, hired to protect the opposing Twins in B-5-10. However, they appears to be opposite sides of the same coin. Ray tells Van that The Claw killed his wife too, and he wants revenge. Often, Van will use Ray to his own ends, especially when pursuing leads on The Claw. Ray does the same to Van, actually tracking him for a while. The pair seem to have a mutual respect for each other, but that respect is often coated with a rivalry and competitive aspect.
- Joshua: Van finds Joshua irritating when they first meet, Joshua ends up tagging along with him and Wendy in order to stop Ray's path for vengeance. Despite irritating Van, Joshua proves useful and more that willing to help where ever he can. Van eventually recognizes Joshua's worth and comes to respect him.
- Priscilla: An Armor rider that the Rail Work Corporation (RWC) hired Van to compete against in the B-1 Grand Prix. Unlike Wendy and Carmen, Van has no trouble remembering her name. When the pair meet for the first time, Priscilla and Van find they share a love for riding armors. Priscilla becomes smitten with Van after their fight and decides to join him on his journey. He seems oblivious to her true feelings, but knows she is a capable armor rider so trusts that she can fend for herself.
- The El Dorado Five: Nero, Jose, Barrio and Carlos know of Van by reputation before he and Wendy arrive in their hometown Gloria. They praise Van for his skills and treat him like one of their own. They seem to see a lot of themselves in Van, considering they were defenders of the town in their youth. Although Van initially finds their praise and persistence annoying, he ultimately sympathies with them, as they are only trying to recapture their youth. The later assist Van in his fight against The Claw.
- Yukiko: Yukiko helps Wendy take care of Van when he passed out from hunger, upon arriving in Gloria. She gives them both a meal and gives them both a place to stay, although Van sleeps out in the open with the El Dorado V. Yukiko is grateful to Van when he helps the El Dorado V defeat Bucci, who was dangerous close to destroying her restaurant. When she joins up with Van later to fight The Claw, Yukiko offers a more supportive role. She provides Van and the team with meals and acts as a more nurturing figure to the group. She is willing to help Van in whatever way she can, and he is appreciative of that.
- The Claw: Van seeks revenge on The Claw for killing Elena. His quest for revenge is the one thing that drives him. Upon finally spotting The Claw at Zonnet, Van is overjoyed to have him in his grasp. Van pursues any lead he can just to get closer to The Claw, even killing The Claw's subordinates who try to stop him. In Van's mind, he must kill The Claw to avenge Elena, and should he fail, he could never forgive himself.
- Gadved: Van had known Gadved for sometime, meeting him through Elena back when he was training to ride Dann. Gadved saw a spark in Van, noting his skills in armor riding. He gave Van a puzzle, which would allow Van to unlock further abilities with Dann should he complete it. Their relationship was something akin to a master and student, where by Gadved advise Van. Gadved was even present at Van's Wedding to Elena, whereby The Claw wounded them both. Gadved saved Van's life at Elena's dying request, and had Van reconstructed. When they reunited at Zonnet, Van confesses his thanks to Gadved for saving him, although it also meant he had to carry the sorrow of losing his wife. Their relationship turns sour when Gadved reveals that he was the one who led The Claw to Van's Wedding. Gadved had seen the potential of The Claw's dream to reformat the world, and wanted Van and Elena to join. As they refused, The Claw attacked them both. Van and Gadved decide to fight in their armors, and Van defeats Gadved with regret.
- Carossa: Van enrages Carossa when he make Melissa cry at Zonnet. Carossa attacks Van and threatens to fight Van. Later, Carossa and Melissa ambush Van and co as they travel to The Claw's base. Carossa seems to have a deep hatred towards Van, although that hatred seems to be informed by their comrade's ideals. Van finds Carossa annoying, but also begs for his cooperation as they can take The Claw down together. Van's pleas fall on deaf ears and he defeats Carossa, who is finished off by Ray.
- Melissa: Van meets Melissa at Zonnet, initially thinking she bumped into him. When he demands an apology, she starts to cry. Van tries to comfort her but is attacked by Carossa. When Melissa and Carossa ambush Van and co later, Van initially tries to cooperate with them, but Carossa and Melissa refuse. Melissa even threatens to kill him. However, Melissa attempts to stop Carossa who becomes enraged at Van, realizing that they are in over their head.
- Woo: After Van bumps into Carossa and Melissa, Woo arrives to reign the twins in. Van thinks Woo is the twin's carer and demands he controls them. Woo tells Van not to worry about such trivial things, noting a warrior like Van will make his sword cry. Van is alarmed, realizing that Woo has knowledge of his weaponry. However, Woo and the Twins leave before Van can learn anything else. When Van and Wendy travel to the rendezvous point on the Birca One, Woo attacks, wanting to stop Van's pursuit of The Claw. Woo manages to defeat Van, causing Van to become overcome with doubt and fear. Woo gives him three days to leave, which make Van panic. Ultimately, Van is able to overcome Woo thanks to unlocking his puzzle, and realizing his love for Elena keeps him going.
- Michael: Wendy's brother proves to be a thorn in Van's side, facing him several times, preventing him from reaching The Claw. Michael blames Van for leading Wendy astray. Van thinks Michael is an idiot, and notes that Wendy is trying to stop Michael for her own reasons. Van realizes Michael is a threat, but is willing to defeat him given Wendy's blessing.
- Fasalina: When Van first fights Fasalina, he is shocked at her skill and unusual fighting style. He quickly realizes that she is a formidable opponent, even comparing her to The Claw. He is sickened by her flirtatious and playful demeanor, but knows she is a deadly threat to him and his pursuit of The Claw.
- Van has the second-most appearances in the series, appearing in 25 of the 26 episodes. He is absent from the episode, End of a Dream.