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Trigun Review

by: Sheex
July 14, 2007

story 8/10

Trigun screenshot

Truly one of the classics around the anime world. Though, due to its age, its visual appeal leaves much to be desired, Trigun should hardly be judged at face-value. The experience is genuinely human -- while pretty much any consistent anime viewer knows there will be pacifists in any given series, Trigun balances this perfectly. With pure-hearted, idealistic, visionary heroes versus macabre, sinister, yet intelligent villains, many differing outlooks on life are explored. It is this fact that causes Trigun to exist on a tier of its own, and has earned its place in many circles as a work of pure genius.

A solid, innovative plot evolves throughout the progression of the series, stacked with many layers that add to rewatch value; one will notice things on a second or third watch that he or she did not initially realize. Not only this, the casual pace at which Trigun flows fits it like a glove; clearly, learning a trick of two from The Three Bears, it's not too fast, not too slow, but just right. Perhaps the only significant flaw, in my humble opinion, lies in the execution of the last episode: Trigun compacts three episodes worth of content into one finale, and ends up failing at doing so efficiently. There is no real conclusion, and with far too many open and loose ends, it leaves an awkward sense of finishing Trigun without truly ever doing so.

That said, Trigun works around Vash the Stampede, a wanted criminal with a 60 billion double-dollar bounty on his head.  Right off the bat you get the feeling there's something more to him than meets the eye, as he would much rather inhale a box of donuts than massacre a town.  Like many leads in anime, Vash appears to be obnoxiously pacifistic, continually reciting his motto of, "Love and peace!"  As you might have already guessed, unlike other series that choose to implement this cliché, Trigun presents a solid reasoning behind Vash's philosophy.  While the first half of the series focuses on developing his personality, the latter certainly presents a number of interesting challenges and decisions for the pure-hearted idealist to confront, many which do no merit joyous outcomes.  Unlike anime that try to flaunt pseudo-intellectual crap as quality, Trigun masquerades its intellectual aspects beneath a partially comedic skin, and the drastic, believable shift in mood from the first to the second half is not something to scoff at.

animation 7/10

Now, while I more than aptly flatter Trigun, the low-budget animation does probably stand out as its weakest point. Overall quality, smoothness, and detail are quaint at best, and though age does play a role in this, it does not excuse it. An abundance of droll, uneventful backgrounds (albeit on a desert planet, this is a slight given), with the aid of a good many countable stills, make the animation the least enjoyable aspect of show.

sound 7/10

Now Trigun's soundtrack is a whole 'nother issue: one does not truly enjoy it until the series is completed. I remember while watching Trigun for the first time commenting to friends about how much I disliked all aspects of its sound, and being promptly rebuked with, "Just wait, it grows on you." Their words proved true, and sure enough, I now quite enjoy the music.  While certainly not one of the best OSTs out there, a number of tracks seem custom tailored to fit the series, such as Legato's theme.

characters 8/10

Where most might immediately turn to Vash as the deepest character of the series, I actually turn to co-villain, Legato. A devious, cunning sycophant, one quickly characterizes him as nothing but a bloodthirsty sadist. However, while to an extent this might be true, Legato remains completely logical, concise, confident; certainly nothing close to the stereotype commonly given to such evil. The perfect enemy in all respects, the choice Vash is forced to make regarding him toward the end of the series will, most probably, stick with me until my deathbed: those who have seen Trigun know what I am referring to. This fathom-deep intimacy with the human mind, found through each of the main characters, makes Trigun, in my book, a must watch for every anime fan.  Vash, Meryl, Milly, Wolfwood, Legato, Knives -- all are designed with this spectacular precision.

overall 8.5/10

Despite being one of the first series I set my eyes upon, Trigun was one of a handful of anime that set my bar of quality quite high.  While I certainly wouldn't claim it to be the best anime ever made, it has rightfully earned its place toward the top.  A superb mingling of comedy, action, drama, and intellect, it has a number of qualities that give it a broad range of appeal.  Whether you're new to the world of anime or a battle-worn veteran, Trigun should definitely be on the top of your list of series to see if you haven't watched it already.

Anime Info

“Vash, the Stampede” - worth 60 billion dollars to the one who can turn him in. Bounty hunters everywhere are on the lookout for this legendary gunman, not to mention insurance agents Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, who are tasked with preventing any potential damage that this Vash can cause. But with 60 billion on his head, Vash is not an easy man to find.

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About the Author

Sheex's avatar


Though I'm a big fan of slice of life and romance, I'll watch just about anything that catches my interest. My opinions tend to be pretty level-headed, but I have been known to be controversial from time to time! Feel free to lay into me if you so desire, as I always appreciate feedback - positive or negative. I hope you enjoy reading!

More Reviews


Calahan avatar Calahan
Dec 23, 2012

I think this anime, along with the main characters and Vash's ideology, worked well when the show was dealing with straightforwad "villain of the week" storylines, and as such I enjoyed the first half of the series for what it was. A lighthearted comedy romp featuring an instantly lovable main character.

But as the story unfolded in the second half, and seemingly overnight the villains became deadly serious, in both their capability and willingness to quickly kill hundreds of people. Then this anime, along with the main characters and Vash's ideology, started feeling both stupid and out-of-place, and became nothing but annoying by the end. And IMO, being annoying is the worst crime any anime can commit.

And as others have already commented on, the ending is poor. Which is certainly not unique to Trigun, as a lot of animes that actually have endings, tend to have poor ones. But here it acted as the cherry on the annoying cake, and in some ways was a fitting end to the downhill slide that started once the show turned serious. As that change in direction just left the main characters, who worked great when the show was lighthearted, instantly out-of-place.

A great shame really, as a few of the early episodes featured some genuine laugh out loud moments, and I couldn't wait to watch the next episode. But by the end I was struggling to finish it, and the final episode just couldn't arrive soon enough for me. I gave it a generous 6/10 (and that's only because I laughed so much during some of the early epsodes)

AnimeAllen avatar AnimeAllen
Mar 13, 2011

Trigun is so awesome! Loved it.

LinkSword avatar LinkSword
Sep 12, 2010

When I see all the positive critics towards Trigun I can't help but think it really improves later in the series, because I've watched 6 episodes, and so far, not so good... It's not terrible or anything, but a certainly fitting word to describe it would be uninspiring.

VashTehStampede avatar VashTehStampede
May 9, 2010

I can completely cope with the fact that the animation was not perfect and your reason for not accepting it even though it is an old series... However, if you watched Trigun when anime was first coming out, you would be simply astounded at how well the animation properly demonstrated emotion and fight scenes.

For many, mainly the people growing up with Adult Swim, this was a show that made people watch anime and I believe it will be still in the top animes ever for years to come.

As you can probably tell by my username, I love Trigun.

jouru avatar jouru
Apr 9, 2010

I would have to respectfully disagree with hookaffy on the note that Vash survives every confrontation with dumb luck. Thought it may apear this way I think it's always on purpose and the fact that Vash can pass every single thing he does off as an accident is a testament to how skillful he really is. Another reason would be to not draw attention to himself and show how humble and modest he it. I think it also has a dramatic affect when he applies a serious attitude, which signifies that Vash is really pissed off, or is facing a tough opponent.

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