Trigun is one of those anime that is very well received. It’s rare to find someone who dislikes the show and it has become a classic. Shows about a gunman can be pretty bad, (Name generic live action cop/mafia show) but they do have a lot of potential as well. (Black Cat, one of the greatest manga series ever and also a pretty good anime)
The first half of the show may take you by surprise. Vash The Stampede is wanted for 60 Billion Double Dollars. 60 Billion is already a lot and that’s not counting the Double Dollars! (Well, that’s just what they call the currency, but it’s still intense!) Vash is rumored to have destroyed an entire city (While sparing everyone) and he’s one of the meanest folks around! Millie Thompson and Merril of the Insurance Corporation are tasked with finding him. The (Really flawed) plan is that they will stay by his side and keep him out of trouble. If Vash really is this deadly, that may not be the best move.
Vash may surprise you as well. He’s a happy fellow who never draws his gun unless he needs to do so. He’s nothing like the rumors paint him to be. He manages to dodge gunfire all the time, but to the unsuspecting passerby, it looks like it’s all just an accident. Vash’s abilities have been honed over time and he’s mostly just looking to live a life of peace. Unfortunately he seems to be cursed, but more on that later.
The first half of the show is pretty episodic and pits Vash against a lot of bounty hunters and authority figures. Along the way, the gang meets up with Nicholas D. Wolfwood. Woldwood is a travelling Priest or so he claims. His cross is actually a large weapon that can fire bullets and rockets. Wolfwood is definitely less merciful than Vash and this sometimes leads to delicate situations.
The plot really begins once the Gung Ho Guns start to attack. They are a group of highly skilled villains who want to make Vash’s life as miserable as they can. They try their best and definitely start to increase the body count. Once they are introduced, the plot finally starts. Knives wants to destroy the human race and he’ll stop at nothing to succeed.
The villains are able to wipe out the population an entire city in a pretty short amount of time. Time is definitely not on Vash’s side as he’s thrown from one tragedy into another without any time to rest. The series definitely picked up during the 2nd half, but it’s certainly not as cheerful as the beginning of the series. Prepare for the stakes to get high!
Vash The Stampede is the main character of the show. For the first half, he comes across as being pretty annoying. He’s a very skilled gunman, but he never takes anything seriously. Later on, we find out about his back story. Let’s just say that having a gun turn into a giant alien arm is not normal. Is Vash really human? Well, the answer to that may surprise you. Vash made a solemn oath that he will never take the life of another living being.
The oath applies to animals and creatures as well, which definitely helped Vash rise in my books. Lately, we’re always seeing “Heroes” make the “tough” choice and cross the line. They always try to justify it, but it doesn’t make it right. After all, Light Yagami was doing it for the “right” reasons wasn’t he? Vash is put into a lot of tough spots and is forced to make difficult calls. He’d rather die than destroy anyone, but his friends are put in danger and things get really dicey for him.
Vash has to make the ultimate choice. If he doesn’t pull the trigger, his friends will die, but if he does, then he’ll be no different than Knives and the other villains. The 2nd to last episode explores it all and has a nice moral. Vash realizes that there is always a chance for redemption and the difference between making a mistake and being a villain, is that he knows that he’s sinned. Vash tries to make up for it and continues to abide by his beliefs. The series actually has some Christian themes towards the end, such as forgiveness and redemption. One character in particular is changed by it and Vash definitely puts up an effort to act in the right. The series ended on a high note for me, because of the good messages at the end. It’s what turned Vash from an unlikable character to a pretty cool one.
Nicholas Wolfswood is another character who went through some drastic changes. He started out as a Priest, but the Church that he represents is pretty different than most. It can hardly be called a Church from what I can gather. Nicholas believes that sometimes you must destroy the enemy if you are to win. It’s a belief that most Marvel/DC characters seem to believe. Nicholas continues to believe this, but one day he destroys an enemy, but he starts to have doubts. It may not have been necessary to destroy him and he finally begins to realize it.
Nicholas enters his big battle against a Gung Ho Gunman. Nicholas is winning, but can he win without destroying his opponent. Nicholas does pretty good and he ends up making the tough choice. Sometimes, it’s better to lose a battle, than to win by losing your morals. Nicholas ends up going to a church and confesses his sins for the first time. He may have been a Priest in name only, but by the end he seems to finally convert. His ending can be seen as tragic or happy depending on how you view it. Personally, I’d say that it is emotional, but still positive. Things could have been much worse for him, if things had played out differently.
Millie and Merril are supporting characters, but they’re not quite as good as the first two characters. They don’t really have much of a point in the show and only serve to keep the show cheerful. Or at least, as cheerful as the show can get towards the end. Knives is the big villain at the end, but he misses out on most of the series. He appears at the end, but is it too late to become a likable character? I can’t say that I’m a fan and he was actually pretty underwhelming at the end. Sure, he was decently tough, but Legato seemed to be more impressive. Knives basically stands for everything that Vash is against.
Legato is an intriguing villain and you would think that he was the leader for most of the series. He is easily the strongest villain in the series and his telekinesis is very dangerous. He was a decently cool character, but towards the end, he wasn’t as good. He was just another pawn in Knives’ game after all.
Those were pretty much all of the notable characters. There were others of course, but they weren’t so great. I can’t say that I really liked any of the other characters, but some of them made for tough opponents. One of the things that I never got over, was how different Vash looked with and without his glasses. It was like he was a whole different person. I never got used to how he looked with them on, but it’s not a very frequent occurrence.
Towards the middle, we get an origin episode, which is completely different from the rest of the series. We find out a lot of crucial facts, but it wasn’t one of my favorite episodes. It was a change of pace, but it’s mostly a tragic episode that makes things even worse for Vash. The crew is really awful and their scenes are pretty cringe worthy. Vash also looks pretty bad and my favorite part of the episode was the last 10 seconds, where Vash makes his decision.
The soundtrack is pretty catchy for the show. I liked the ost and while it may not be legendary like Naruto or Bleach, it was pretty good. In the end, that’s what counts after all. I recommend this anime. A lot of people will enjoy that it can be emotional and action packed. The villains do tend to run their mouths with some language, but as long as you focus on the pwnage and action scenes, you’ll be all right. The show never gets too violent as well and if you don’t mind Naruto and Bleach, you’ll be okay as well. There are a lot of similarities to Black Cat, even the main characters are pretty similar with their attributes, choice of weapon, and ultimate attack. This show’s no Black Cat, but it definitely gave its all!