Welcome to Anime Parlay! I’m The Captain and I’m the type of person to make coffee unintentionally before bedtime. If you are too, you’re in good company. Sleep is underrated anyway! Wait…
This is Chapter 2 of the Trigun Saga as I rewatch the old anime shows that captivated me in my teenage years. I think it’s safe to say that we have all watch through some filler episodes in our time. Maybe you we’re wading through a connection between story arcs or perhaps you just enjoy shows that lack engaging content. I can respect whatever works for you! What I am getting at is that we have all done it, knowingly or not. Today, I would like to say that Episode 2 of Trigun is filler and I did NOT realize that until I rewatched it.
It pains me to say that but it felt like filler to me. I don’t want to say it’s filler because it would throw off the perfection of its 26-episode run. I don’t want to say it’s filler because I paid for the DVD which had Episode 2 meaning I paid for filler. I don’t want to say it’s filler because I love character and world building but this episode had a limited amount of both. I don’t want to say Episode 2 is filler but…it’s filler…
Here’s what I got out of Episode 2 through the lens of The Anime Parlay Review-bric. Needless to say spoilers ahead. This is a review and you’re a sentient creature here in the universe, I trust you. As always, Anime Parlay rocks the “LeVar Burton Guarantee” meaning you don’t have to take my word for it. Come up with your own opinions and share them with me. Things work much better when we talk about it together. Let’s get into it.
My whole hangup with Episode 2 is the plot. It has nothing to do with what happens in the narrative. I mean, they made an episode out of it, obviously. I am confused with what this episode has to do with the overall plot. As far as I can remember, the contents of this episode have no bearing on future events, character development, or the outcome of the overall story. It only has a thinly veiled moral complexity in which the main characters (Vash, Meryl, and Milly) hardly take a firm stance on. If anything, this episode degrades our “hero” and heroines by showing their willingness to work with a villainous venture capitalist intent on profiting off of a dying town for his own profit. Wow, this show got dark!
Seriously, Meryl and Milly arrive at a near-ghost town devoid of citizens and water. In most cases, civilization and water go hand-in-hand. One would say they’re exclusive to one another. Meryl and Milly are only able to quench their thirst by visiting the last bastion of humanity in the area which happens to be a large mansion. There, they find Vash from their last adventure.
Vash is posing as himself and working as bodyguard for Mr. Cliff. Mr. Cliff is the wealthiest man in the area as he sells off the water from his family’s estate to gain financial capital. Unfortunately, his prices become to high (due to “demand” Mr. Cliff cites) and the local villagers can no longer sustain life due to the water shortage. This leads to would-be-attackers to coming to the mansion at night to attempt to get access to this resource. Vash takes up guarding Mr. Cliff from these assaults as the insurance workers come looking for water. The story dives (pardon the pun) into the cliche end of the pool very quickly.
There is an undercover marshal posing as an aristocrats’ daughter but really only acts as a lightning rod for Vash’s forward advances towards her. She has a role in the episode but really is just there for plot and jokes. Why do that? Anyway, Mr. Cliff turns out to be the bad guy (WHAT?! The industrialist who chose profit over people?! No!), the marshal makes her move, Mr. Cliff makes his, and then it turns out Vash can dodge bullets. Don’t worry, by the end of the episode all of the characters that saw Vash’s superhuman skills chock it up to “seeing things”. Nothing mattered and the characters even mention the futility un-ironically through dialogue. Get the funk out of here with this!
Another solid episode as far as the animation goes. I keep finding myself studying the mechanics of the weapons in this show. Does it function? Could it function in the real world? I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t visualize the silly gadgets in this episode becoming real but yikes. Mr. Cliff has what I’ll describe as a quadruple machine-gun holster hidden under his noble cloak. It appears to be triggered by strings attached to the firing mechanism. Simply put, this short man with Hittler-esc features was able to lift his cape to reveal four automatic weapons and fire them simultaneously, without recoil, until he ran out of ammunition. WHAT?! No. My limited knowledge of military weaponry tells me Mr. Cliff severely injured himself while discharging his weapon. It’s not looking good for Mr. Cliff.
Where there is a dark cloud of unnecessary plot choices, there is a silver lining to the music that goes with those optional devices. The BGM was flawless in this episode. Everything had intent and purpose. It added to the melodrama playing out between the characters. It sold the episode and I would argue why I never considered this episode to be just filler. It was disguised as a real episode because of the music.
I will say that the guitar motif the show uses adds to everything. I can hear the addition of instruments that don’t come off as “western” or “cowboy” building the scene taking place. During Episode 2, Vash, Meryl, and Milly were skulking through a secret passage that lead to Mr. Cliff’s underground water reserve. While they were creeping through the tunnels, there was some guitar riff with the accompaniment of a woodwind instrument of some sort (I didn’t do band…). It added a sense of sophistication and mystery to the underlying plot-building guitar.That really kept me engaged throughout the episode. Nicely done!
This episode was lacking. If you did not watch this episode while going through this series, you would not miss a thing. The town, which get’s destroyed, in the episode has no bearing on the rest of the show other than adding another catastrophe under Vash’s belt. So, it’s meaningless because everyone in this world already thinks Vash is a force to be dealt with so… who cares?
At the very least, the episode makes a vague argument against a rich tycoon controlling the stake of a natural resource. Monopolizing it for his own personal gain. Even then, Vash finds himself helping the tycoon out because he needs cash. Meryl and Milly just help the Tycoon to keep an eye on Vash. No one takes a real moral stance on the issues in the episode except Mr. Cliff and the Marshal. There is no point to this episode other than to round out the number of episodes. Bold, I know.
I did not think I would have a discrepancy in my watching of Trigun. In my head, it’s the perfect show to get someone into anime with. I have managed to hook people with Trigun but now I might offer a refined list of which episodes should be watched and which ones are optional adventures for you to enjoy at your leisure. Maybe I am wrong about this whole thing? You’ll have to let me know. As it stands, Episode 2 is a total bummer. You could miss this one and watch it later.
Episode 3 is on the way as I keep trucking along on this re-watch journey. It’s been a delight to comb through this old media for the gems and duds. I can’t wait to see what I find down the road. Until then, thank you very very much for reading. Happy to be writing for anyone’s enjoyment but glad I am doing it for my own. It’s a great excuse to watch anime!