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Fuemi

  • Joined Nov 22, 2014
  • 31

Trigun Stampede

Jun 28, 2023

TL;DR PLEASE WATCH TRIGUN STAMPEDE. I am saying it as a longtime fan of Trigun, who has loved the 1998 anime for many years and it is still one of my favorites. I am specifically writing this review for people like me who at least have some knowledge of Trigun's source material or the original 1998 anime. I was admittedly among those who was concerned about the decision to make it CGI, and I griped about how it seemed like Milly Thompson had been 'replaced'. I understand all of those feelings. I understand reluctance to start this anime, or give it a fair watch. Nostalgia is a powerful thing that can cloud perception. 

But when I finally sat down to watch it and really took in what they did here, I felt my mind was blown. Nearly everything I had 'gripes' with felt justified upon watching the finale, there was a reason for it all. There honestly isn't an anime out there that is quite like Trigun Stampede and it deserves to be experienced.

Before Watching Trigun Stampede, I suggest you read the following and take it to heart:

1. It is not the same as the 1998 anime, and it ISN'T trying to be. Read that again. IT ISN'T THE SAME, AND IT'S NOT TRYING TO BE. Trigun Stampede is built from the same bones, but it's a VERY different show and you need to approach it as such. 
2. The 1998 anime was based off of material in a manga that only had 4 volumes of material at the time it aired, a manga which would go on to have 16 volumes total. Trigun Stampede is drawing from material that didn't even exist at the time the 1998 anime aired.
3. Watch every single episode before you make a verdict on this show, all the way to the end of its final credits rolling. I insist upon this.
4. This show is best experienced in theater-like conditions. I highly recommend blowing it up on a large screen and watching it in chunks, if not marathoning. Bring out the snacks too.

Like I said before, there isn't really another anime out there quite like Trigun Stampede. It has more in common with western comic book adaptations. Like all the Spidermans and Supermans out there. This isn't a direct adaptation, it's a continuity reboot. They ripped apart the story and built it back together from the ground up while also fleshing out existing lore and adding additional lore. Trigun's world has never been more built out. I found myself very fascinated with all the things I can glean from background details or offhanded comments characters make. For me personally too, as a longtime fan, it's amazing to see what elements of the show does still have in common with its predecessor despite being so different. References and easter eggs are everywhere if you care to look. I can't think of another anime that has had this kind of treatment except maybe Ghost in the Shell. While CGI anime wasn't and still isn't really my style, Trigun Stampede looks amazing. The finale in particular was a complete showstopper. The music throughout was amazing as well and brought out a great atmosphere.

Trigun Stampede is not perfect. It has some issues to iron out regarding its pacing, which is probably its biggest flaw. The plot moves at a breakneck pace trying to establish a lot of background and worldbuilding info in its 12 episodes over focusing on the characters themselves. Even one extra breather episode would have done it a world of good. I also have some specific concerns regarding plot points and characterization, but it remains to be seen if they will be addressed, so I will withold judgement for that right now. It's clear that the story isn't over yet. Trigun Stampede mainly is here so far to set up the dominoes, we have to wait and see if they will fall into place. 

If you want Trigun the space western episodic comedy that also turns into a gutwrenching examination of morality, I admit that this isn't that story. If you go in expecting that story, you will be disappointed and are better off going back to watch the 1998 anime. However if you're interested in Trigun, the story of Vash the Stampede, the planet he lives on, and the people who get caught up in his whirlwind, then give this a chance, and look forward to what's to come. Trigun Stampede for all of its flaws, was made with love and care by people who also clearly love Trigun and their vision for the tale deserves to be allowed to be told in full.

8/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
8/10 characters
9/10 overall

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Gogeta70 Nov 14, 2023

Thanks for the review! I wasn't sure whether I wanted to watch this or not, but I think I'll give it a shot. I'm gonna go and re-watch the original one first though, it's been so long since I've seen it. I want to spot those easter eggs! I'm glad to see that Johnny Yong Bosch is voicing Vash like he did in the original series, though sadly it doesn't seem any of the other main voice actors are returning. Also kinda sad they got rid of Milly.