Welcome to Anime Parlay. This is chapter 1 in the Trigun review saga. This is it! I am finally diving back into anime and I feel like I chose wisely for my first series to cover; Trigun. I am turning back into a young high-schooler, full with beard, just by turning this show on and with all my funemployment time. It’s an entirely different experience with the life experiences I have had the opportunity to have. Now the show plays a little different and that’s not a bad thing.
For Episode 1 of Trigun, I decided to refer back to the The Anime Parlay Review-bric so I could be on the lookout for certain things. These are my observations/opinions and may not reflect your own. For everything here on Anime Parlay I am offering the “LeVar Burton Guarantee” meaning you don’t have to take my word for it. Experience it for yourself and draw your own conclusions. Then you too can pay money for a domain and share it with people on the internet. Cool stuff! Let’s get into it.
Story / Plot
When it comes to most things I watch, I like things to be easily digestible. I am not referring to complexity when I say that. To me, the best stories are ones that are easy to understand AND have the ability to be retold, to some extent, to someone else. Stories are worthless if they can’t be shared with others and you can’t change my mind on that. I love being able to see/hear/experience a story and then share it with my partner. So, if I can do that with an anime title, no less, then it is, by these limited standards, a good story. Trigun makes the cut for the first episode.
It’s in the first episode that we’re introduced to the main players of the show including the goofy gunslinger Vash, the no-nonsense Meryl, and the aloof Milly. Meryl and Milly arrive in a town that just had a run-in with the “Humanoid Typhoon”, Vash the Stampede. These poor women have the VERY unfortunate duty of working insurance claims after these cities get leveled by folks hunting the legendary gunslinger. The nuance of their jobs escaped me when I was younger. Now having paid my fair share of insurance bills, I do not envy Meryl and Milly at all. Those girls work hard and I kind of blame Vash for that. Dude, not cool.
Long story short, a few bounty hunters also show up looking for Vash the Stampede. One misunderstanding after another leads Vash, the hard-working insurance girls, and the assorted bounty hunters to as a stand-off as they use only rumors to figure out who Vash the Stampede actually is. There’s gunfire, a giant boomerang, and resolution as the real Vash gets away from his would-be captors by incapacitating them and further destroying the city he had just caused collateral damage in. Ah, all in a days work! Episode 1 does a great job of flexing the classic misdirection plot for a “legendary” character which always sets the stage for a great show. Vash is the lovable idiot. I place more emphasis on the idiot part now that I am older (and more bitter) but damn, I still love him!
I did some research (Googled “Trigun”) and found out this show originally aired in 1998. This animation is stunning, even 20 some-odd-years later. That’s exactly what you want with an anime title. Sure, Trigun looks dated compared to it’s modern counterparts but that’s what really drives it’s beauty home. The shots where they actually break into details of guns, machinery, or weapons blew me away. Every round fired, and there are a lot (because Vash is a terrifying boogieman to these inhabitants), is accounted for, is animated, has an accompanying sound effect, and falls out of frame accordingly. That’s HOT! It doesn’t look stale for one second. The animators deserve a round of applause because if it were a live-action shot, it could have been something in a Tarantino film.
There is a lot of love for characters and the feelings they want to express to the audience as well. Vash, Meryl, and Milly were especially expressive and the animation helped convey their immediate emotions as they happened. It was almost human. Almost. Kind of strange when you think about it. Do they know I was watching them…
Opening Song: It’s great. It holds up. I’ve been humming it all week. That’s all I will say about that.
More importantly is the BGM that fills the idle airwaves. The music made for the show is perfect. I remember owning the soundtrack in high school with every slice of BGM the show had. The guitars are prominent and help set the entire setting of the show. This is a sci-fi/western but the composer clearly wanted it to be seen more as a western. I am curious to see how “staple” songs, or BGM they choose to use over for new events later on, will play a role. Are there movements that will become synonymous with main plot events as they unfold? Will I remember those seemingly useless songs after I finish this show? I mean, I already did once, right? Regardless, I am really paying attention to the music to see how it will add the show as I go on.
Okay, what was actually in this show. Obviously, there is an allegory (not so much a moral because the characters didn’t learn much) about using false information to construct fact. I think it’s safe to say that the bounty hunters and dedicated insurance workers used “Fake News” (gross, that felt gross to type, even ironically) to draw conclusions to the identity of Vash the Stampede. Lesson here, don’t assume. Double-check everything you see or hear, ESPECIALLY if you plan on hunting any armed individual worth billions in rewards for his capture. Yikes!
Other than that, maybe don’t be a claims adjuster in this world. Seems dangerous, risky, and like a lot of work. Hitting you with another Yikes. I do love the narrative juxtaposition though!
I am walking away from this episode a happy camper. This was a great introduction into anime the first time around. Now, it’s a great re-entry point. One thing I am EAGER to see is how (and if) Vash grows as a character. I had a soft spot in my heart for Vash back in the day. He was the adorkable womanizer who goofed his way through those difficult situations. It always made me laugh. Now, watching with fresh eyes and pretending I have just met this fictional character, I am annoyed. I am onboard with Meryl’s disposition for Vash. Seriously, Vash is a fluke.
I will give Vash this. His aversion to violence, bloodshed, and fighting is refreshing. I admired it when I was younger. I wanted to be that way growing up. Then enough “adults” tell you it’s foolish to live in the rainbows and butterflies and you realize the world really doesn’t work that way. Is Vash going to grow to realize that too? Does he already know? I am ready for that sweet sweet backstory in due time. I don’t want to spoil something I already know the answer to. Where’s the fun in that? That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. More insight coming soon!