Review by: Sophie Stevens
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $49.98 US
Running Time: 650 minutes
Rating: TV 14
Release Date: Available Now
Meet Vash the Stampede … a human trouble magnet.
Sit a spell and allow me to spin a yarn about a gunslinger so dangerous that whenever he got into a fight he’d leave a town in rubble and the town folk running for the hills. It’s no wonder they call him Vash the Stampede, or more affectionately, the Humanoid Typhoon. His adventures are also pretty darn entertaining and, at times, deep enough to make you ponder how good anime can get when everything comes together well. The Complete Series of Trigun is a four-DVD set you will certainly come to appreciate even if you missed out on the manga.
Based on Yasuhiro Nightow’s manga series, Trigun tells the tale of Vash the Stampede who has become famous for leaving a trail of destruction wherever he goes. This is why the Bernardelli Insurance Society has sent two agents, Meryl Stryfe and her bubbly partner, Milly Thompson, to shadow Vash and keep him from causing destruction. The problem is that Meryl and Milly don’t know what Vash really looks like so they ask around and think Vash is a Mohawk-wearing bandit.
As fate would have it, the real Vash runs into this bandit and his men and he reveals that he is something of a bumbling coward who believes in love and peace. He’s hardly the homicidal maniac that the rumors made him out to be and – despite the fact that he matches the real description of him – both Meryl and Milly don’t believe this weird guy in red is the same man that everyone calls the Humanoid Typhoon who has a bounty of 60 billion double-dollars on his head. It isn’t until other gunmen identify Vash that the girls believe the rumors.
Traveling with the man, though, both girls come to find out that there’s more to Vash than meets the eye. He’s the type of man who lends a hand to a person in trouble and never mind the rumors of him leaving a trail of corpses where he goes because the man is actually a true pacifist who will stubbornly not take a life no matter what because of a promise he made somebody near and dear to him.
Along the way they encounter a slick “priest” named Nicholas D. Wolfwood who carries a giant cross with him. Early on in the series, Wolfwood reveals that he’s also a gunslinger but – like Vash – there’s more to him than just being a broke ladies’ man. Unlike Vash, however, Wolfwood isn’t afraid to take a life and it isn’t until later that Vash’s peace-loving ways begin to affect him.
For the most part, the series finds Vash, Meryl, Milly and occasionally Wolfwood traveling to different towns and cities in this westernized desert wasteland. Of course, it’s Vash’s reputation and the price on his head that gets them all in trouble. In one episode, Vash tries to escape an entire town filled with people trying to collect on the reward for Vash in order to use the money to repair their power plant. On top of that he has to deal with professional bounty hunters as well as barbaric gunslingers looking to collect as well.
When not getting into trouble, though, Vash is helping people. In one episode he helps a town drunk find meaning in life once again and in yet another he rescues a female gambler who is taken hostage by a group of bandits. In another situation, he helps a child stowaway get his father’s desert steam ship from a group of terrorists. Vash often finds himself becoming a bodyguard for extra cash but, more importantly, leads his employer down the right path.
While often cowardly or acting like a total goof, it becomes clear to Meryl and Milly that Vash has a good heart and the two women become close to him to the point that they follow him out of friendship and, in Meryl’s case, something else. It isn’t until later in the series that we discover the truth about Vash, particularly where he really comes from and who exactly is the woman who has influenced his peaceful attitude. The series also gets a lot more darker and interesting as an assassin group called the Gung-Ho Guns is introduced and leads Vash down a very violent path.
Trigun is still refreshingly exciting and still just as entertaining as it was back when it was first seen and that is mainly do to the stories that are written well and filled with characters that actually have personalities that set them apart. Sure the animation isn’t as fresh as it once was but that won’t stop you from enjoying all the great visual effects.
That said, Trigun has classic written all over it and with good reason … it’s an amazing anime series that has everything you can ask for in an action series. It’s also wonderfully deep at times, genuinely funny in others and just exciting enough that you won’t help watching it from start to finish. Even if you’ve seen it before, you should definitely own this collection.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
Hot on the trail of the mysterious destructive force that is Vash the Stampede in a desert wasteland planet, Meryl and Milly from the Bernardelli Insurance Society find that the young spiky-haired blonde gunslinger in red is not what he seems despite the rumors and the three are joined by a roguish priest-gunslinger on their journey to discover the truth about Vash as well as who is targeting him.
VIDEO QUALITY: B-
Trigun looks surprisingly good despite its age and it looks as close to Nightow’s manga series … which is a really good thing, indeed. Some of the action sequences really do look great as well.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
The original Japanese voice cast is where it’s at when viewing this series but that doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the English dub thanks to the talents of Johnny Yong Bosch (Vash), Dorothy Melendez (Meryl) and Jeff Nimoy (Wolfwood). The score is decent yet dated and the closing theme song is so much better than the rocking opening theme.
The entire series collection can be found on four discs but as far as extras are concerned you won’t find much except for some trailers as well as the clean opening and closing animations.
The Complete Series collection of Trigun deserves to be among your collection if you’re an anime fan or someone who appreciates animation with a lot of heart. It’s a classic in its own way with stellar writing that makes the episodes not just good entertainment but deep enough to make you care about the characters. Consider this a real Must Have for sure.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment