“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.
StoryTruly 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.AnimationNow, 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.SoundNow 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.CharactersWhere 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.OverallDespite 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.
STORY: PART 1: 1/10, PART 2: 6/10, PART 3: 8/10, AVERAGE: 5/10 Most tend to judge a show from it early episodes and usually they are right because it is very rare to have a show which changes its initial mood too much. This anime is one of those rare cases that it does. One should not judge it partially but as a whole. The best way to properly analyze Trigun is to separate it into three parts. I wouldn’t call them arcs because it’s still the same story. - The first part is episodes 1 to 11. These are mostly aimless comedy, where the lead character is goofing around and saves random people in random areas. It is very light and makes you think that the entire show is nothing but silly storyless adventure. - The second part is episodes 12 to 16, where the story is now entering an on-going and more serious phase. You are given some insight to the hero’s past and he faces far more fearful and inhuman opponents. Now you think the show will be hereon an average to good action/comedy/drama.- The third part is the rest of the show (17 to 26), where the comedy portion almost disappears, violence, death and tragedy are increased tenfold. This part reveals the hero’s tragic past and how he tries to make up for all the damage he and his brother caused to the world. The catch is, unlike in the beginning of the show where nothing seems hard to accomplish when he is fighting seriously, over here he hardly manages to achieve half of what he intends to do.The mood of the show changes almost 180 degrees from beginning to end, turning from a silly comedy to some serious tragedy. That is perceived as a bold and well received element that makes the whole deal far more memorable and interesting. If it was tragic or comedy all the way, the effect on you would be halved. That is still not enough for me to give a 10 to the story. As much as I liked the mood swings, I found many scenes where the storyboard was messy and chaotic. The plot seems to move any way the animators felt like it and the action scenes lack realism almost entirely, which in effect ruins a big part of its attempt to be serious. The major showdowns are also a major problem as they all seem to end fast and almost effortless or way too simplistic. The conclusion is like that as well so it may feel lukewarm in comparison to what was building up along the way so far. So if I am to give a score to the story, I will do so in parts and in overall to better help you see what I mean CHARACTERS: 8/10 The meat of the show is the characters and their very weird mood swings. Just like the story, everybody begins as a shallow comical stereotype but along the way they are fleshed out and by the end of the show you feel they have become a lot more than they started as. This is not limited to the main characters only but to most secondary allies and adversaries as well. As the story moves on to darker regions, you see more sides to them and you do understand their motives. Many of them also get killed by the end of the show, something that could fool you to be impossible the way the story began. At first you see the hero being a pacifist who miraculously never kills or let anyone be killed, giving you the impression this will stand as such up to the end. Yet you see how numerous times he fails and how that affects his mentality. I am still not going to give a 10 here either. Many characters still behave too weird and unreasonable. Especially the villains, they are throwing their lives away. And many minor support characters appear to be wasted potencial since they appear only for a few episodes. ART / ANIMATION: 7/10 The setting is a planet that resembles the Wild West and it’s filled with various sci-fi elements. I can’t say I was too amazed with it since it didn’t seem to go past the obvious and offer some sort of symbolism, an element I adore. Also, for a space western, there doesn’t seem to be any real connection between the old and the new; it’s just random anachronisms without uniformity. Animated by the king of anime series, Studio Madhouse. Not one of their greatest works but you can easily see the dynamism and quality of the material they were given. Animation and artwork feel dated and almost average in budget, which lowers the enjoyment along the way. You clearly see jerky motions, proportion deformity and bad scene follow up, such as characters standing in completely different poses all of a sudden or appearing and disappearing out of nowhere, or just standing completely frozen for too long. There is some very interesting choreography in most battles which will impress those who seek brainless entertainment. The main warriors are after all cool looking with those long coats and glasses of theirs, plus they have some really weird futuristic weaponry. I personally found it to be way too unrealistic to work on me. They dodge a million bullets and fire with six shooters dozens of times without reloading. Plus, those two girls are at one episode completely useless fighters and on the next they are elite sharpshooters. And what’s with the doomsday device they hide inside them? All that ruin the credibility of the action and even the drama but I do appreciate the vividness and inserted humour they have. MUSIC: 7/10 Voice acting is fine for such a show and the main music themes are very strong rock pieces. Yet most of the duration lacks background music and the rest of it feels pretty uninteresting. That takes away from the enjoyment again. VALUE: 5/10 So, is it an important anime historically-wise? Somewhat yes for its unorthodox turn around as well as the lively shoot outs. But it also came out at the same time as Cowboy Bebop, another space western that beats it on all accounts. Not only that, but there was also Outlaw Star the same year, a third space western, to take away even more of its special feeling. Furthermore, some years ago there was also Rurouni Kenshin, which was also about a somewhat similar protagonist with the same goals. Add to that how the first half of the show is aimless adventures with very little reason or interest to rewatch. Thus, it shares the same scores with the story sections in this regard. ENJOYMENT: 5/10 Is it an enjoyable show? Yes but not all the way. The first half was very boring and I wasn’t thrilled with its comedy as some others were. It is the second half that becomes interesting and that is why enjoyment gets the base score. OVERALL: 6/10 Unlike most of the fandom, I wasn’t fooled to give it 9s and 10s just because it becomes better as it goes on. As a whole it improves but it still has several mishaps that prevent it from being a real masterpiece. Most like it for its lively battles and darker side later on but after other shows like Black Lagoon or Hellsing came along, surpassed most of its appeal.
I understand that a rating this low for Trigun is a bit out of the ordinary so I am not expecting pleasant reactions. The story for Trigun is that of a man who is always on the run because of the bounty on his head and ultimately seeking a way to resolve his past. I had really high hopes for this anime. I have had it recommended to me by a lot of people and it's reputation precedes itself. I figured it was worth trying. I was left dissappointed. The entire series was always a reiteration of its key point that it is not for any one human to decide who lives or dies. Yet, to a degree I didn't think this show added anything new to the argument and often kept bringing up the same points again and again. I feel like it didn't make me think more deeply about the concept of killing and didn't bring up anything I hadn't already thought of. Should you kill someone who is trying to kill you? Should you kill the person who is about to kill your friends? Should you kill the person who is going to destroy the world? Yet the answer, a MAJORITY, of the time is always just "save everyone." I feel like that is a wonderful idea in theory but isn't practicle when most humans aren't like Vash and don't have amazing abilities to make sure everyone comes out alright. There is only one episode that I liked and it was the only one that broke this little chain of repetition. I would have been able to put up with a lot of this if the ending solved anything. I kept thinking what would happen after the last episode and it doesn't seem like the actions in the final episode would have made a difference at all. The animation was choppy and relied on a lot of still shots. The backgrounds were alright but nothing to stare at. At the beginning I could put up with the animation a bit more but it just seemed to get lazier and lazier. I sometimes judge the animation on if I can notice a loop (such as if a characters hair is moving or snow is falling.) This was one anime where most of their loops were incredibly obvious and I have to think that they weren't even trying to hide it. I know that this anime isn't new but I have seen far more impressive animation come out around the same time. I actually enjoyed the sound more than anything else in this show. The music was interesting and distinctive. I also liked the main voice actors a lot. This catagory would have been ranked higher if so many of the small time villains didn't have such laughable voices. I couldn't even take their fights seriously. I feel like I could have been more leniant with this review if I had liked the characters better. I liked Vash when he had a smile on in spite of his problems. I was relieved to find a character who didn't mope for episode upon episode. However, when he finally started his mope fest he lost a lot of the parts of his personality that I liked. I got tired of how depressed and glowering he started to get. I am not saying he didn't have the right to be upset. The poor guy had been through a lot. I just got tired of watching his attitude. The insurance girls were neither here nor there for me. I thought they were fairly boring and stereotypical. I cannot even describe my dissappointment in Legato. I love a crazy psychopathic character. The more sadistic the better. However, Legato was entirely unoriginal. When he first appeared I was intrigued but I soon realized he was just going to hang around for episode after episode to send his minions after Vash. He is what every other unoriginal sadist is; just a calculating killer who is going to order other people around. I was tired of him quickly. His part in episode 24 (for those fans who know what I am talking about) was the most interesting part he played. I was actually moved by this episode more than any other but it wasn't enough to make up for every other episode he appeared in. Wolfwood was actually intriguing and was my favorite character by far. If more of the characters had been as interesting as him I would have better remarks to make about this catagory. Ultimatley, I was underwhelmed. I was expecting fourth of July fireworks and got a fizzling sparkler. It was somewhat entertaining but isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Everyone who likes it is welcome to his/her opinion. I just think that reviewers should also hear from someone who wasn't crazy about it.
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