Anime Review: “Trigun”: A Fistful of Anime

Written by Alex Bowman January 02, 2013

“Trigun” is an anime that I recommend to people with my fingers tied behind my back. This show is a really great starting point for people just getting into anime because it is a lot like your first car; it may not look pretty and may stall on you a few times but it’s reliable, it’s practical and it’s comfortable. Like your ol’ beater, you will end up both liking and hating this anime for all of the right reasons. Despite a great premise and a colorful cast of characters, this anime feels like it is being held together with nothing more than duct tape and a prayer. So saddle up, you mangy prairie dogs and LET’S RIDE!

The $$60 Billion Man

The premise of “Trigun” takes place on a planet called Gunsmoke. The story follows two ladies, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, who work for The Benardelli Insurance Company and have been tasked with minimizing the damages caused by Vash the Stampede, a wanted man with a 60 billion double-dollar bounty on his head. Despite not knowing what he looks like or where to find him, the two girls decide to take the assignment as they eventually join Vash on his quest to spread peace and love throughout the world.

The Good

“Trigun” is an anime that has a lot going for it. The one thing that stuck out the most for me was the writing. The morality plays inherent in the story really add to the suspension of the action scenes as characters are left questioning whether or not it is justifiable killing other people on a world that has its roots set in violence. The blending of science fiction and Western elements creates a thick setting that you can really sink your eyeteeth into. However, the one thing you will really find yourself loving about this anime is that it is genuinely funny; some of the best lines come from Vash when he is stuck in the heat of battle.

The Bad

Despite its polish, this anime has a few chips and dents on its surface. One of the things that may throw you off is its Cerebus Syndrome; this is when a series that starts off as light-hearted and humorous takes a gradual detour into the realm of the serious and dramatic. This is very prominent in “Trigun” as the series delves into Vash’s back story and we see how Gunsmoke was originally colonized (spoiler alert: it ain’t pretty). Also, despite the lovable tendencies of Vash, he unfortunately has the limelight stolen from him when we are introduced to the gun-toting priest Nicholas D. Wolfwood. Despite being a great secondary character, he tends to hog too much scenery and you are left conflicted as to who you are supposed to be rooting for.

The Ugly

Remember when I said I cross my fingers every time I recommend this series to someone? That is because this anime has a lot of broken parts that can really drag it down as a whole. The animation for this show is terrible. I don’t buy the argument that this is as good as 90s animation could do at the time because “Cowboy Bebop” had some of the best animation ever drawn and it came out the exact same year as “Trigun.” Vash is also portrayed as this sissy wimp that prefers to either eat or run away from conflict. His attitude really clashes with the whole nitty-grity Western theme that the show is trying to create and his constant spouting of his annoying catch phrase ‘Peace and Love’ will make you want to beat him to death with Clint Eastwood’s poncho.

Goodbye for Now

At the end of it all, despite the technical flaws and god awful production choices, I still recommend “Trigun”. It has a really great premise and can be used as another stepping stone for getting into the world of anime. It may not look like much but it will definitely take you for the ride of your life; just don’t expect it to be a smooth one though.

My Rating: 7/10

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