It is the distant future, and a failed attempt at interplanetary colonization has put the remnants of the human race on an inhospitable desert planet. It's a rough place to live, with bandits out to steal your water and land, miles (or Iles in Trigun-speak) of sandy nothing between anything remotely habitable, and little or no order or law to be seen. Enter the unlikely hero, Vash the Stampede. An outlaw with a six billion double dollar bounty on his head, his very name strikes terror into the hearts of all that hear it. Women weep and children cry and brave men turn tail and run when they hear he's coming to town ... only, he's not really a bad guy at all!
Two insurance claim adjusters from the planet's largest (and only) public insurance agency, are sent to follow Vash the Stampede, ascertain if the man known as "The Humanoid Typhoon" is really responsible for all the claims they have been forced to pay, and if possible, stop him from causing any more damage. After an initial misunderstanding, the two "insurance ladies" begin to travel with the mysterious (donut scarfing, spiky haired, often silly) man in red and begin to discover, through the people he meets and the trouble he's often forced into, the kind of person the duly feared outlaw really is.
Vash is the poster-child for the misunderstood hero. He's a bred-to-the-bone pacifist, but because of his amazing skill with his six-shooter, and the tendency for whole towns to blow up when he's there, people constantly misjudge and fear him. My favorite moments in Trigun are when the various characters Vash meets actually begin to realize who he really is and what he's about. This series also wins my vote for the very best supporting hero ever (Nicholas D. Wolfwood, the gunslinging preacher), and best villain (Legato Bluesummers, the psychic nihilist). The other characters are also all very well done; from the cheerful kindhearted (tall as an amazon!) insurance agent, Milly Thompson, to the dastardly gang of bounty hunters and killers known as the Gung-Ho-Guns, every supporting character has a distinct personality and motives; no cardboard cut-outs here. And if you are a fan of guitar music, the intro song (composed by Imahori Tsuneo) is outstanding! (I am still searching in vain for that guy's album.)
And most of all, Trigun is FUN. It's a mad rollercoaster of action, comedy, science fiction and even a little romance all packed into twenty-six episodes of pure anime goodness. I'd even go so far to say that Trigun is more fun than three barrels of monkeys armed with nerf guns and whiffle bats! (But that's just me ...)
This is anime at its very best, folks. Not many commercial titles I have viewed in the last year can even come close. Oh, and did I mention that the English dub is also very well done? Rejoice! (Disclaimer: I am a hard core subtitles fan, I can count the number of anime I will watch dubbed on one hand with fingers left over, so by my standards, Trigun is very good.)
Even if action series aren't your cup of tea, I highly recommend Trigun because it has so much else to offer. Great characters, a strong story, and excellent use of humor and drama make Trigun a must-see.
Recommended Audience: Although there is very little gore (or even blood for that matter) and no nudity, Trigun is still a very violent anime. People die, towns blow up, and some rather disturbing scenes with the Gung-Ho-Guns and Legato would limit this anime to the teen crowd and up. Besides, some of the humor (like when Vash was crying in French of all things) would probably be lost on a younger audience.
Version(s) Viewed: R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (26/26)
Trigun © 1998 Nightow Yasuhiro / Shonen Gahosha / Tokuma Shoten / JVC
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