Vash the Stampede: the name inspires panic everywhere on this sandy planet and is associated with a $$60,000,000,000 reward to anyone who can stop his destructive rampage. Blonde hair and a red coat are the only information given to Milly Thompson and Meryl Stryfe, two insurance representatives in charge of the Vash case, who must find the infamous outlaw at any costs. The path of destruction seems to always mingle with one man. Blonde hair, red coat… he matches the description physically, but can this bumbling fool be the legendary Humanoid Typhoon?
summary by Kjeldoran
Highs: Spotlessly mixes action, comedy and drama; compound character development; reflective philosophical dimension; imaginative universe
Anyone fairly new to Japanese animation needs to get a one-way ticket for this first-class flight into anime fandom. It may not be perfect, but Trigun is as easy to lap up as it gets and is such a roller coaster of emotions and themes; hardly anybody who watches the entire series can claim it to be predictable or mundane.
One of this anime’s most prominent features is its design. Weapons, characters, technology and scenery; everything in this wild, wild West setting proposed by Trigun‘s manga creator Nightow Yasuhiro is of indescribable freshness. It also sets the stage for more sentiments than one usually expects from an action series. Believe you me, laughs, gasps and weeps will all be at attendance and all this right from the start.
While action and comedy pick up early, the storyline will require a little bit more patience. Worry not, though, as it slowly but surely unfolds into superb and complex character development, moving drama and still finds time to touch assorted philosophical aspects. Corners were regrettably cut here and there; this is especially noticeable in the few all-filler episodes and when paying attention to the short, albeit sweet, music rotation. The overall technical quality can nevertheless be deemed above normal for its format.
Yep, Trigun is all that and a box of Pocky. Condone a few animation flaws and episodes that should have been left out and you have something which will meet up to anyone’s standards. Not the laughing type? You may be annoyed by the goofy beginning but should definitely press on; the first and second halves of this anime are like night and day.
Highs: Deep character study; very creative elements; dynamic direction works well
Lows: Most characters lacking background; filler episodes break the mood
People who are new to anime should dip their toes in with a taste of Cowboy Bebop. For those who want to get a better feel for the water, I suggest going with Trigun because its style and themes are much more common in anime.
First and foremost, Trigun is an extensive character study of Vash the Stampede, who he is and why he sticks so strongly to his moral philosophy of saving everyone. There is an overwhelming amount of background given him, and by the time the last episode’s credits scroll, you will know just how and why he has lived his life. Spicing up Vash’s life and the rest of this anime’s world are a lot of creative facets; the desert world carefully melds a spaghetti-western style with advanced lost technology to create a quite interesting universe. Weaponry, character powers and other technological aspects are unique in their own way, but the creativity never wanders into the ridiculousness that plagues other anime. On top of that, the direction that this series takes slowly evolves as the content begins to shift. At the beginning, it is all fun and laughs as the focus is that of a hilarious comedy. Drama is constantly laced throughout, but it and the action take precedence during the middle of the anime; this tactic allows the series to be very effective in gaining attention and getting its messages across.
While Vash is explored in depth, many other characters are not. Every other character is essentially relegated to being a side character, and with exception of Wolfwood and Knives, no one else ever receives more than a few words about them. It is easy to see that many characters evolve but are only explored as a result of Vash’s experiences. The only other noticeable flaw in Trigun: the filler episodes break the mood by going off on episodic experiences. This was done because the creators of the anime had caught up with the manga, and their attempt to delay the inevitable only hurts.
With good action, comedy, a philosophical side and creativity that will catch many people’s attention, Trigun is a great anime for beginners. Although many will overlook this title as they delve into other treasures anime offers, it is still quite memorable.