“Trigun” is another one of those anime that I have known about forever, but never got around to watching for some reason. At almost any manga/anime convention you are guaranteed to see at least one Vash the Stampede walking around with Nicholas D. Wolfwood carrying a giant homemade cross. When Funimation put out this boxset of the Complete Series, I figured it was finally time to sit down and see what all the fuss was about with the guy in the long red coat and his friend with the giant cross.
To no ones surprise, “Trigun” is a great series.
I really love the Space Western genre (Firefly, anyone?) and “Trigun” takes the tropes of the genre and gives it some unique twists. Sure, there are the usual drifting into a barren town and kicking out the local boss, or quick-draw contests and bank robberies, but there are also sentient plants and seedships traveling interstellar distances.
Tone-wise, the series is split almost directly in half. The first part is a screwball comedy of errors, focusing on two insurance agents Meryl and Milly, as they hung for the legendary gunfighter Vash the Stampede, known as the Human Typhoon. Vash causes enormous amounts of damage every where he goes, and the insurance company is looking to cap their loses. They fall into company with a goofy, seemingly harmless guy in a long red coat who (of course) turns out to be Vash the Stampede himself. But instead of a cold, calculating gunman Vash is a pacifist who fights only for Peach and Love and refuses to kill. They do some road tripping, moving from town to town, and pick up as a straggler the priest Nicholas D. Wolfwood who turns out to be almost as good with a gun as Vash himself.
The second half get serious, delving into the past of Vash and Nicholas, and the mysterious killer known only as Knives. Vash has a history that he has entirely forgotton, including exactly who and what he is. And it turns out that Nicholas did not join their company by accident, and tragedy moves in his wake.
I confess I like the second half better than the first. The “super killer who is really a nice guy but just misundertood” bit works for awhile, but starts to wear thin. And just when you can’t take another comedy of misunderstandings and hijinks, the true story takes over and you delve beneath the surface of the characters. That was were this anime moved from just mindless fun to something worthwhile and interesting.
I am glad I finally got around to watching “Trigun.” Great series, and this Funimation boxset is an economical way to get all 26 episodes. There isn’t much here bonus feature-wise, but that isn’t really necessary. The story is complete as it is.