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Anime Review: Trigun (1998)
Director: Satoshi Nishimura
Studio: Geneon/Funimation Entertainment
Released: March 12, 2013
Runtime: 650 minutes
Availability: In Print, on DVD, Buy on RightStufAnime and Amazon
In the distant future, on a desert planet called Gunsmoke, a notorious outlaw travels the world, wreaking havoc and destroying cities wherever he goes. His name is Vash the Stampede and he is the $$60,00,000,000 man, and everyone is chasing him, including two insurance girls, Meryl and Milly, who try to keep the damage Vash causes to a minimum.
But Vash's goofy exterior, he hides a dark past that refuses to leave him alone. He must confront the mysterious Gung-Ho Guns and keep his promise to "Take care of Knives".
Impact of Trigun and Licensing Woes
Even after 12 years, Trigun is still a great anime; it’s considered a classic these days. But why is it still so popular even though it’s been out of print for ages after Geneon Entertainment closed, and has recently been relicensed by Funimation Entertainment on DVD. The answer is simple, the characters and story.
This was a gateway to anime for a wide audience because it aired on Adult Swim. It's a classic, right up there with Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Cowboy Bebop. The dub is highly regarded by fans, even if they don't like English dubs.
Despite the fact that it wasn’t an exactly faithful adaptation of the manga, it’s still a very good anime to watch. It’s funny, has plenty of action, suspense and depth. The animation may look dated today but it doesn’t look bad, except for a few instances where they re-used animation in a very obvious place.
Trigun Complete Series Trailer:
The English Dub
This review will not cover the Japanese dub with English subtitles because this review is written for people who might just be getting into anime and aren’t “sub purists” who only watch the Japanese version and don’t watch the English version.
The English dub is terrific and everyone sounds great, the performances by Johnny Bosch, who voices Vash the Stampede is perfect and it’s surprising because this was his first anime role. Jeff Nimoy is also great as Nicholas D. Wolfwood, a very unconventional traveling priest. Dorothy Elias-Fahn is also well cast as Meryl Strife and she’s a very good voice actress. Lia Sargent plays the seemingly air-headed insurance girl Milly Thomson and she gives a nice performance and it’s nice to listen to her voice, even though it might get on some audience members ears.
The animation is still very nice to look at and the musical score is very memorable, especially the opening theme “H.T.”
The music evokes the feel and emotions of a western and it sounds like something you'd hear in a western. It has a lot of twang and guitars and the music is a wonderful thing to hear. It evokes emotions in the audience and there are musical themes that I think of when I remember Trigun.
The Themes of Trigun
There are also themes concerning pacifism and genocide and also strong aspects of Christianity in the character of Vash the Stampede. Trigun’s themes resonate with many viewers and have made him one of the most memorable and iconic anime characters on screen. It defined anime for many in the U.S. and is considered an anime classic that is a must watch.
The themes of pacifism and morality and how much restraint is needed not to kill in a world where killing is easy makes the audience think about Vash and his beliefs about not taking a life.
What Doesn't Work:
Animation is dated but still good
THe animes' mood changes and it can throw people off
The story is very well done
The English dub is amazing
The soundtrack is awesome
Grade: A+ It's older, but it's a must watch for Anime Fans:
Overall, Trigun is a great anime and it still looks good despite its age, although the characters do sometimes go offmodel. The music is nice and the English dub is very good. The story is worth your time and it’s very deep and meaningful and has a good message, but this is not for kids, as it has stronger language, blood and violence. But it is definitely a classic anime that deserves to be on your shelf. Experience the space western for yourself, it’ll stick with you after it’s over.
It's available on Hulu and YouTube, along with Funimation's official website so there are plenty of ways to see it if you want.
Trigun is an anime classic that was the gateway anime for many western fans. It has excellent animation, deep themes, and a captivating story. It's well worth your time and money, and it's not expensive to purchase at all.
I enjoy watching it and it's one of my favorite animes to watch.
If you want to stream the anime you can watch it on FunimationNow and YouTube.
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