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Throwback Thursday: Trigun

It’s that time of the month again, ladies and gentledudes! Of course, my apologies for leaving you guys hanging in September. Believe it or not, my social life isn’t totally dead, and my school life is still trying to kill me. But, enough about me. That’s not what you’re here for. You’re here to see what we pull out of the Wayback Machine for this month’s Throwback Thursday. This month, we’re looking at Trigun! Trigun tells the story of a gunslinger known as Vash the Stampede and his travels across the planet known as Gunsmoke. Kind-of-sort-of joining him along the way are a couple of insurance representatives and a very unorthodox priest.

Vash the Stampede is also known as both the Humanoid Typhoon, and in accordance with the price on his head, the Sixty-Billion Double Dollar Man. It’s this bounty that can sometimes land Vash in hot water, whether it be because someone wants the bounty or is pretending to be him to get what they want from a town that doesn’t actually know what Vash the Stampede looks like. Often though, Vash finds himself in harms way in order to protect the people around him, passing off his uncanny skills as dumb luck to avoid suspicion.

In the beginning, the stories are mostly light-hearted affairs, and Vash almost seems like a side character, as Milly and Meryl (the insurance reps I mentioned) look for Vash. As insurance reps, Merly and her junior partner Milly are tasked with making sure that any claims filed are legit. Considering how much damage Vash tends to cause and/or bring, you can imagine that the insurance company is wary of just giving away money.  It doesn’t take long though for the series to shift focus to the man in the red coat, though Merly remains hesitant to even consider that their donut-munching friend is Vash, whom most people consider a terrible outlaw ready to kill at the drop of a hat.

Vash and his brother, Knives.

Young Vash and his brother.

While the early parts of the series are fun in their own right, as we progress in the series, we begin to see and learn more and more about Vash’s past, as he faces ever-more dangerous gunmen out for his head at the behest the man named Knives. We learn what their relationship is, where Vash comes from, who helped shape him into the man he is, and the mysterious July Incident that earned Vash his planet-wide reputation.

If you’re a fan of Western-themed series, Dramedies, and/or the kind of anime that leaves you thinking about your world a little bit after it’s over, Trigun is among the top anime I can recommend. Along with the animated movie known as Trigun: Badlands Rumble.

Vash and his trademark shades.

Vash and his trademark shades.

For the folks that haven’t seen Trigun, it fits into a similar mold to the anime Cowboy Bebop somewhat in tone, and in the case of the main character, a little bit of background. However, there are some points where they differ, that, in my opinion, make Trigun a somewhat stronger series. These include a better-developed cast of characters, tighter continuity, and what I thought was a more polished product than Cowboy Bebop. That’s not to say Cowboy Bebop isn’t a fine anime itself, but my tastes, between the two, lean more towards Trigun. Vash himself takes some cues from other protagonists like Goku. He constantly pushes for “love and peace,” but holds back an amazing combative ability.

Depending on how you like your anime, Trigun may be extremely easy to get into, or be considered a slow-starter for some. If you like your anime more serious, you can probably skip some of the early episodes. If you’re a comedy fan, you’re going to enjoy the early stuff, but possibly less likely later episodes. Still, It marks the steady development of Vash’s character in a way that feels organic and is fun to watch.

While I don’t advocate binge-watching, myself, if you do it, this is the perfect anime for such an event. Just don’t be surprised is some moments get you right in the feels. For those of you who have watched it though, let me know what you think about this month’s Throwback Thursday selection, and be sure to check back next month for our next Throwback Thursday!