Everything you need to know about Trigun and more. This comprehensive review will detail Trigun facts and lore, the manga, and more than you thought you needed. Will contain spoilers at some parts, but if you just want a overview look at the score and the story/general outlook. This is intended as a complete look at the series and its surroundings. No e-mails please about evil spoilers, Ive already adressed that, if you do it accidently, Gomen, but it in no way lessons the series or the impact such events will have.
Plot = 9/10 very good, original, with the gun fighting theme not dragging it down as much as it would seem
Characters = 8/10 the tragic figures and detailed characters and mannerisms make this nearly perfect as a study of more human than human. However it suffers from some annoying Sailormoon complex shoving villains in out of nowhere, only to shove them out again at end of episode.(half the gung-ho guns have nada on them, but the other half is detailed nicely).
Music = 9/10 great stuff, fits very well, and aside from maybe two tracks I didn’t like its good listening. Easy to find as well
Final score = XXv
Two and a half X’s. Great stuff, good for anyone, but may put some people off, well handled, good stuff to look for.
Trigun is the story of a desert planet in the far-flung future and mankind’s bid to survive in this environment. Into this is the story of one man, a legend, a demon. The humanoid Typhoon, Vash the Stampede. Responsible for billions of double dollars in damage, but as so far no casualties. As the thugs, mercenaries and Insurance Company (who wants to put and end to paying out their policies by keeping tags on him and his destruction) girls converge on the mysterious Vash, the secret of mankind’s past and future will come about. Who is Vash, What is his secrets, and is the greatest Gunman ever, really that much of a dork? How can a gunfighter preach love and peace, and still live to tell about it?
Trigun is at first glance, your typical action/comedy with more center on the comedy with action. But this is only as a basis to get into the character of Vash the stampede and the planet Gunsmoke. The mysterious past and present of this man, and the deadly Gung-Ho guns who are after him, soon take center stage over his zany antics in his bid to preach “Love and Peace” over a planet of desert and death. As the greatest Gunman his work always brings him to some intense and great gun fighting. But a diversion that takes this in a similar vein to Cowboy Bebop is its detailed character’s, the ordeals they face, the past that made them and the uncertain future they find themselves led up into. This is far more than a comedy with guns, or a drama with some laughs. It’s more akin to a parallel between deeper stories. Like the concept of Cain and Abel, and Odysseus. Classic heroes and tragic events that shape the future. As the man makes a journey of innocence into bloodshed, can he go back to that innocence again? With so much blood, how can anyone stay clean?
Trigun has an instant groove akin to Bebop again in its new but old again music. With a mix of Jazzy, and rock guitar themes, powered with the odd evil electronica of the villains, it has its own signature groove, and some tasty OST’s to try out. I say tasty as each one is called a donut (after Vash’s intense love for the delights). Look for Trigun: First Donuts, and Trigun: the 2nd donut happy pack. The first contains most of the series music, and themes, like Legatos and Knives intensely diabolical techno malevolent pieces, and the guitar driven opening theme. Many other themes, like battle music, and such, I recommend Yellow Alert or track 17 I think on the first donuts, good stuff. The second is an addition of more themes, left out AND drama acts. That is a popular choice of Japanese series to have a drama cd, with the characters doing various speech blurbs, etc. The second has such highlights as one of the villains asking a cat if it has fleas before trying to…shoot it off, lol. And the entire cast making fun of Wolfwood the priest for having a northern accent. These are of course in Japanese, so if you don’t speak it…uh take my word for it. Best track is the first one on 2nd disc, which has Vash’s voice actor giving you his “evil” intonation of Love and Peace recited over and over again.(hey as much as it was said in the series I could see him being annoyed with it too) very creepy cool.
This is the in-depth character analysis of the main players in Trigun.
Vash is the lone hero, tragically alone in a world that’s after him for his past. He is on a permanent basis of atonement you might say, for his mistakes before, and seems to know a lot more than he originally lets on. He hides a lot behind his initial facade of humor. Like his evil twin, his separation from mankind, his ultimate responsibility for the current state of affair and why he refuses to take a life. He is the tragic hero, on a permanent wanderment from paradise, trying so very hard to be more human than those he finds around himself, and trying to find the good in anyone. His world is falling apart when his past catches up with him, and the choices he has made seem all the more mistakes in the face of current affairs. How can he not take a life when it will cost him more by doing so, and how can he reconcile his own life, when he is forced to kill? Like Cain and Abel he suffers the sins of his brother’s actions and the death which drove them to this land, and like Odysseus he is wandering away from his home the tragic figure lost on a sea of sand. Will he find redemption or will his pretending to be human, cost him more than he can guess?
Wolfwood is a travelling priest and assassin, who carries a confessional and a Large wrapped cross which is far too heavy for any normal person to carry. “It’s so full of mercy…” Wolfwood, the tragic anti-hero explains. It is in fact full of guns, as well as being a large construct gun. Holding extra pistols in the arms and being a large caliber machine gun otherwise. The parallels between his “burden” of the cross and Vash’s mission are easy to draw. He also hides his past behind a facade of humor much like Vash, which brings the two close as friends. Not because of the masks, but because both can see the pain beneath the surface of the other. Wolfwoods pain is worse, as he is sent to first watch Vash by his evil brother Knives, and then ordered to kill Vash. He is often astounded at how idiotic Vash can be, refusing to kill, and when Wolfwood takes his own path, killing to save Vash, the two are brought to a seemingly impassable barrier in their ways. The reconciling of the men is a painful process that only happens with the death of Wolfwood, who seems satisfied in his and Vash’s choices at the end giving Vash the proper direction to take on his path. He wonders on his life, crying to think he hasn’t made the right choices much like Vash. They both are at opposite ends; yet somehow meet in the middle through their suffering. And when Vash takes up Wolfwoods mantle, and carries the burden of his cross, you can see how the two paths reconcile in his character living on with Vash and the girls.
The Insurance Girls:
The insurance girls who are originally sent after Vash the Stampede and instead end up with the idiot fool in a red jacket. When they truly come to understand what and who Vash is, they stay with him wishing to see his dream come true. Meryl and Milly, brains and brawn personified. They can hold their own in a fight, and become the comic relief, love interest to the tragic figures of Wolfwood and Vash. Meryl being hurt the most by Vash’s refusal of their help, and Milly by the death of Wolfwood who she had a one night stand with the day before he died. The two women are the only “human” comfort that Vash or Wolfwood receive, acting much as anchors to the two, and as sympathetic points of view. Though the action they retain is limited to earlier on, and to being pawns for evil schemes, they are essential to their humanist standing. They are the ones who stay in towns, work with the people, and rebuild their lives. They are the ones left behind after Vash’s love and peace message to try and actually fulfill it with the people.
Knives, Vash’s “evil” brother:
Knives is the twin to Vash, and his twin in suffering. He took it another path. Instead of Love and Peace, he took Death and Destruction. In fact he is responsible for the destruction of the spaceship which was carrying mankind to the stars and left the few remainders on the desert planet. He was trying to kill them all off, so he and his brother would have a perfect place alone. He hates that he and Vash were abused and hated, looked down upon for who they are. Mankind had been able to tap into some energy of these beings, plants of sorts to power everything. Vash and Knives was a crossbreed between the superior race and the humans. And the crew of the ship they were on hated them. They hated what they stood for, and that hate grew in Knives. He hated how Vash got everything from their mentor Rem, and seemingly all the love. He wish to be with his brother, and like his brother loved. But when he went to cut his hair he screwed it up, resulting in him looking like an evil mirror of his brother. He chose his own name, and early on, when they were taught of life and death, distinguished himself from his brother and Rem by relishing in the idea of how easily others could die. He killed the crew, and most of the humans on board in the crash to the planet, and even shot off his brother’s arm years later. Along with Vash he does not age like us, and has watched the remains of humanity struggle to pull them together, and has decided to wipe them out once and for all, as he intended to long ago.
Trigun the series is a rather quick run, with only 26 episodes it’s a nice ride. Not rushed, but not slow. With little filler and great taste. Key points to watch for are the emergence of Vash’s true feelings, his potential, fighting, killing, living, etc. The love that springs between the girls and him, and his interaction with Wolfwood. The series takes much darker turns near the end compared to the beginning, but it maintains its core. Its main drive. “Paradise Lost” is a great episode, with the core of the series being summed up before the final test of Vash’s path he chose. The English voice actors are ok, but personal opinion as always. I prefer Japanese as the littler mannerisms and accents make it amusing. When they tease Wolfwood on his accent, you can actually understand what they are talking about without some bad American joke in English trying to cover up a little nuance. It’s the little things really. Both versions are overall, rather good. The ending did leave something for people, as characters were killed that really gave the story and viewers a connection they wanted to maintain. The series doesn’t bog itself overly down by trying to be too preachy as well, and didn’t randomly make ten ova’s or a movie to try and explain more of the story. They didn’t need to.
Trigun Maximum, The manga info:
As Trigun the series was good, the manga was better for one reason. The flaws of the series were covered up and improved, and in Maximum a key plot point is changed. The regular Manga follows the same story as above, but the Gung-Ho guns get more than an episode of appearance before they die or are removed and they don’t bog themselves down with inane rushes at Vash. It is more thoughtful, as to be expected. Not everything can fit into TV. But as the characters are great in the TV series, they are excellent here.
Cover of Maximum:
In Trigun Maximum all the above is true as well as one huge difference. Wolfwood is not dead. The biggest disappointment to fans was the apparent death of Wolfwood near the end of the series as his anti hero played perfectly off of Vash, and the two worked great as a whole. Maximum follows the same plot up until that point then veers off into new territory. Great work as everything is fixed, and now a major character is kept alive and well. For those lamenting manga-loss. Tokyopop in an odd move seems to have plans to license EVERY manga since 1987 or something like that (might just be mid 80s on). So you may soon enough see Trigun, and Maximum on the shelves, but that remains to be seen. Scanslations can be found on the internet, I don’t need to tell you where or how as you should be able to find them on your own. The art is great in both series, and more intense I feel in flow and action.
This show was originally to be aired before Bebop first got put on. However they turned it down due to…excessive gun use.(yeah makes sense since they put you know…BEBOP on instead, no guns there). It has been reset to air, and will be edited most likely and in English of course. The question you have, to watch or not to watch. Well if you can buy the DVDs. They have English and Japanese tracks which are perfect so you can listen to both and decide what you like more. The English is NOT horrible on this dub as in others, and the story is relatively unedited changed. Certain key twists actions may be removed, such as the blatant deaths of characters and Villains. Other than that, I don’t expect much to change. The dialogue is not excessively vulgar and aside from commercial breaks, other edits, should be ok. But if you can, watch it somewhere else, lol. ^_^
Personal Thoughts/Major Spoilers comments:
This is a great series that addresses some great issues in a new light. The whole concept of killing comes and goes in most anime as, well nothing. Its something everyone does, everyone faces with not a single twitch or change in mannerism, as if they faced it their whole lives. Trigun looks at it, and treats it much like it is, a real consequence and PROFOUNDLY deep action. Pulling a trigger may be very simple, but what comes afterwards is not. And Trigun clearly works to define that, and does an excellent job of doing so. When Wolfwood kills Zaszi the beast, saving Wolfwood he does it as he would before, and has done before many times over, but he suffers from it when faced with his actions. He looks back on his life and the death, and is forced to decide if he took the right action. He thinks he did the right thing, but he will never know, he can’t know if things would be different because he killed him before he could know. Vash is forced to kill Legato, and not forced. He suffers as he realizes he must slay a life to save many more than that. He is not “tricked” into it, or forced, he could let them go and maintain his principles, but he takes the life of his own will which causes him more suffering than any before. I liked that, though it’s nice to have the violence, to have a show look at it and treat it as a subject and not just as a means is refreshing. And that Vash eventually triumphs on his path says even more, but even more so as its left open ended, with more work to be done.
By Darknight ZO