Trigun Review #3 – Peace Maker

Ahoy! You’ve reach Anime Parlay and this is the 3rd review in the Trigun Saga. Welcome to the adventure. I am back again to keep the tradition (“tradition”) going where I watch these old anime DVDs I bought in an attempt to find my appreciation for the medium and for myself. Deep! After being pretty bummed about Episode 2 (Trigun Review #2 – Truth of Mistake), I can say that Episode 3 was a great episode FINALLY building Vash’s character instead of his infamous mythos. It also triggered some great memories from high school. What are we waiting for?

Warnings! Spoilers be here and everything today will be judged based on the loosely adhered to The Anime Parlay Review-bric. As always, the following is all about my opinion because I paid good money for a place to gripe online and so can you. In fairness, you know we have the “LeVar Burton Guarantee” here at Anime Parlay. That means you don’t have to take my word for it. No way! I encourage everyone, when possible, watch/rewatch this episode and form your own thoughts on it. Growth and failure are at home here! Preliminaries complete. Review, engage!

Story/Plot

Yes! YES! Vash shows us his genuine goodness in this episode by helping the town drunk get out of his drunken stupor. There was a lot of feels in this bad boy! To get the story rolling, Vash comes to a little village looking for a legendary gunsmith hoping to get some help with his gun. As luck would have it (especially when you have a 20+ minute run-time to tell a complex story) Vash bumps into Frank stumbling around and the two wind up a bar shortly after. Drinking ensues as Vash befriends Frank by enabling his addiction. The two eventually finish their epic bender at Frank’s residence.

This is where the episode really come into perspective. It becomes revealed that Frank quit his epic gunsmithing when a bank robbery gone wrong took his wife and child. They just happened to be out and about when it happened and the leads me to believe the story now takes place in America. A dark, dark joke indeed. The kicker is that the guns that took Frank’s family were not only made by him, they were gifts to the robbers. Frank says his choice caused someone else to die. He now subscribes to equality saying that if he remains idle, he can’t fuck anything else up. Depression will do that to you.

Skip to the next day, some new bank robbers show up in town claiming to be Vash the Stampede. Hero Vash decided to jump into action without a weapon in hopes that he can help the townsfolk. Frank urges him to stay back but Vash goes forward with his reckless, improvised plan. Of course, Vash’s plan doesn’t work out so well but one by one, each villager pulls out a gun lovingly crafted by Frank. Turns out the thing that took his family was the thing now helping these villagers out in their time of need. Equality! I won’t get into the social/political aspect of the implications of this scene but Frank decided to use this moment to finally take some action. The town saves the day, Vash gets his gun fixed up, and Frank starts acting like his old self. Hell yeah!

Animation

Nothing new here. Stellar animation, again. Seriously great detail to character movement and how they interact with their environment. At the beginning of the scuffle between fake Vash’s team and real Vash, a gunman flanks real Vash from the right side. Vash drops low and grabs the gunman’s revolver. When I was younger, I always wondered why the henchman never fired on Vash when the barrel of his weapon was pointing directly at him. I only noticed during this rewatch that Vash is holding the cylinder of the revolver. If the cylinder can’t rotate, the hammer mechanism won’t activate and thus the trigger should be jammed. DUDE! Vash is GOOD! So are the animators for conveying this through 2D animation.

Music/Score

Oddly enough, I didn’t catch as much music this episode. It was the strongest aspect of Episode 2 but Episode 3 relied more on an emotionally driven narrative of struggling towards a personal salvation. We’ll give Episode 3 a pass for a lack of emphasis on the BGM. Maybe I missed it. I just didn’t hear/sense/feel it this time around. Bummer…

Trigun003-2

Substance

This is a great episode if you’re looking for some substance in Trigun. For me, the larger story being told here is that of Frank and how he moves through his struggles. Obviously, no one is going to be able to defeat depression and alcohol dependence over-night. The bigger point the show is making is that you can move past it. Any difficulty you can move past. It will never be easy but nothing worth doing ever is. For someone lazy, such as myself, that makes it suck more but with a little support or even our own personal Vash to push us forward, we may just patch those holes and set sail another day. Mmm, those are words I need to hear every now-and-then too.

Take-Away

Frank, town drunk and best gunsmith around, had to face his demons in this episode. It reminded me of when I took the first job I could get in my hometown after being discharged. I was a cashier for Rite-Aid and for the first month of my 3-months there I had this drunk guy stumble in and buy a huge bottle of vodka each day. I mean seriously. He was a nice enough guy, wasn’t driving, and always had a joke for me. Then he stopped coming in to the store. I assumed he found booze somewhere else for cheaper. My capitalistic minds is trained to assume someone left for a better deal than actually needed some sort of emotional attention.

Fast forward to about 3 weeks before I was about to leave the store for college. The guy comes in and looks almost unrecognizable. Clean-shaven, new haircut, and a beaming smile that did not look like his what-so-ever. He approached me and started talking to me about his recovery. Turns out he had watched his child fall to their death while hang gliding with him. I can’t even imagine. Honestly, the guy started touring around and started sharing his story at local community events and I hope he’s doing well. Everyone is going to move on at their own pace. All you can do is be an ally and help where you can.

That’s it for this chapter of the Trigun saga. More coming next week! I appreciate you joining me on this voyage. I can wait to see what I find and remember in episode 4. It’s just good to see Vash as the helpful wanderer. That’s my Vash!

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