The planet Gunsmoke, in the distant future. A planet of thirst and dust where humanity struggles to survive. Living on this world, is Vash the Stampede, a legendary gunman, also known as the Humanoid Typhoon, who has single handedly destroyed entire cities. Even a $$60,000,000,000 reward has not proven enough to stop his destructive rampages.
The Bernandeli insurance company, worried about the massive payouts they have had to make following Vash related disasters, dispatch two agents, Meryl and Milly, to track down and observe this legendary gunman, and try and keep him away from trouble.
This is the basic plot of perhaps the most eagerly awaited UK anime release in recent memory. Trigun is an action comedy, with serious undertones that first stormed the anime world in 1998 when it first appeared in Japan. Blending slapstick humour, with western style gun fighting (with a little bit of an adrenaline upgrade of course) on a futuristic desert planet, where saloons and six shooters mix with the remnants of once high tech equipment, now all patch jobs and cack handed adaptation for the inhabitants needs.
Trigun is the brainchild of Yasuhiro Nightow (who recently worked on the character designs in Gungrave.) and the animation was handled by Mad House, one of the better animation studios, whose work is rich in colour and fluid movement. Sometimes the colours of the background pieces can appear a little dull and faded, but I think this is a deliberate attempt to emulate a natural phenomenon. Anyone who has worked in harsh sunlight can tell you, that after a while the eyes start to lose some of their ability to pick up colour definition. Mad House seem to take this into account, and the softer colours are used during the daylight shots, and when shadows or the night is involved, the colour really does show itself with spectacular results.
The four episodes present on this disc have little real continuity, save the ‘coincidences’ of Vash and the insurance girls meeting up in several different towns. The episodes seem to be so loosely connected so they can do some fleshing out of the characters (especially the apparently dorky hero, Vash), and give the viewer an idea of the nature of the world the story takes place in.
The sound track to this series is an eclectic mix of techno, rock, jazz, and blues which works well with idea that this is a planet where the past and future have collided, leaving seeming out of place wreckage everywhere. The sheer range of musical styles included within this series is impressive, and combined with great sound effects and good voice acting make for pleasant viewing on top of the gorgeous graphics and detailed set pieces.
I have been noticing that one the whole, the dubbing going on these days is of a pretty decent standard compared to the cringe worthy efforts of a decade ago. The same can be said for Trigun’s dub, which on the whole is pretty good. Some of the minor characters are still pretty poor, and sometimes I found that the actor playing Vash did things I did not like, but it is still a solid effort and good to watch.
As far as extra’s go on this disc, it is the usual MVM fare, with a trailer for Trigun, Chobits and Kiddy Grade and an image gallery of stills from the episodes on the disc. A nice addition to the line-up however, is the presence of character design sheets, which show some sketches of over 20 characters that appear in these four episodes alone.