Anime Spotlight: Trigun

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Vash the Stampede

Never has the Wild West ever been so awesome. Trigun is one of my all-time favourite anime series, an incredible mixture of over-the-top Western action, dramatic storylines, interesting and unique characters and a whole lot of wacky anime comedy. It takes what’s normally a somewhat light-hearted action genre in Western and turns it upside down, adding an alternate universe like world to this, a mixture of Western and sci-fi.

But while this show is indeed one of my favourites of all time, it’s really the first half of the series that stands out the most for me. The more happy, comedic side of Trigun is leaps and bounds more entertaining than most of the anime I’ve watched my entire life. It’s easily the anime that’s found the best mixture of high-octane action and hilarious moments that have me laugh my ass off at the same time. Of course when we’re talking about a type of media that can get away with ridiculous facial expressions, movement and voices, it’s a bit easy to accomplish that to say the least.

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Of course, the central character to the show and the primary source of all the commotion, whatever kind you’re looking for, is Vash the Stampede, a notorious wandering bounty hunter with a $60 billion double-dollar bounty on his head for the destruction caused wherever he goes. Yes that $60 billion double-dollars, don’t ask me how that translates here on Earth, I got no clue. But really, Vash isn’t really all that responsible for the destruction left in his wake, it’s become a matter of circumstance, especially with the bounty on his head, the people trying to kill him create far more of a mess than he ever could. However because of the damages sustained in his presence, he also has the nickname, the Humanoid Typhoon, to boot.

Vash for the majority of the anime is a super carefree, super happy and sometimes insane man, full of witty banter, hilarious expressions and one weird laugh. Any time he’s on screen, especially during the first 5-10 episodes is a real treat, there’s never a dull moment with him. Which makes the second half of the show so weird to talk about after watching the first half.

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Without spoiling too much, the second half of the anime gets a lot more personal and somewhat depressing, but not like Anohana or Your Lie in April levels, just depressing to the point you’d feel after a super funny action anime suddenly decides it wants to get serious. The anime goes from an action comedy to a interstellar drama, family gets brought up, a ton of out of the blue revelations emerge and the once happy-go-lucky anime somewhat starts to delve into more of a revenge tour.

That’s not to say the second half of the anime isn’t good, it’s damn good. But as someone who prefers light-hearted anime leaps and bounds more than serious anime, this sudden change really felt weird and somewhat out of place to me. To watch Vash go from the crazy being he is to a very sad lamenting state is almost shocking for me, given how you couldn’t get the guy not to smile before. But to trade that in for some really intense dramatic action, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, just wanted more of a heads up before that change happened.

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Vash vs Knives

Otherwise, the anime is a solid watch for really anyone, I don’t see a lot of people not enjoying this, unless really you’re against any violence or you don’t like smiling. There’s a pretty good cast of characters in Vash, Wolfwood, Meryl and Milly, and many others. It shouldn’t need to be noted, cause he’s so damn good at it, but Johnny Yong Bosch nails his voice acting in this anime as Vash.

So if you’re into action, comedy or anything in between, give Trigun a watch if you haven’t already. Otherwise, watch it again. You know you want to.

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