Trigun (トライガン) is a 26 episode anime based on a manga by Yasuhiro Nightow. Directed by Satoshi Nishimura. It’s an spaghetti western influenced action show. It was one of the first really big hits when anime just started to break beyond the back room of local video stores, but a lot of younger people haven’t seen it so I think I am in the clear of doing this.
Trigun takes place on the planet Gunsmoke is about Vash the Stampede, also known The Humanoid Typhoon a person feared and hated by everyone for a event called “The July Incident” that put a giant bounty on his head. He travels around trying to help people as others try to capture or kill him. He meets Wolfwood a priest/gun for hire and two insurance agents follow him around trying to keep the damage that follows him minimal. As the series goes on his past and that of the entire planet Gunsmoke is revealed.
It’s an action series with a lot of comedy parts. As the series goes on it leans farther and farther into Sci-fi. It tries, if not always successfully, to talk about the idea of life and killing and nature vs. nurture. The cast is pretty good and fleshed out by the end with most feeling like actual people. Vash is against killing and tries to solve problems without violence which puts him at odds with almost everyone else, which is something I always like to see. The series is almost split into two parts, the first part is more episodic and just introduces the main cast and lets you get to know them. The second becomes much more serious and the actual story starts taking place. The two major villains of the show are two of my favorite villains in any anime.
One of my favorite things is how everyone has this mental idea on what Vash is like. A remorseless kill machine that will destroy everything in his path and how everyone changes after they meet him. They see he is a good person with a lot of heart that just had a unfair life.
The style is almost its own in anime, or at was when it was released. Its a western so expect to see a lot of deserts and cowboy looking attire, if filtered through a Mad Max lens. You can also play spot the black cat that is in every episode.
Worst thing by far in the series is Vash’s “Flirting” with women. Its played as a joke, but is straight up harassment. Its played for laughs and it just doesn’t work. It thankfully drops off as the series goes on but the beginning leans on this way to much.
The actual animation isn’t that great. The show was not really a popular in Japan and you can tell due to the budget cuts as the series goes on the animation gets worse. It is never truly bad, just becomes pretty mediocre.
Weeb level: 3/10. It might be the most culturally western anime I have ever seen. There really isn’t any strong Japanese cultural elements in the show. Everyone has a European name. The biggest thing I can think of is the fact Vash goes super deformed every now and then might confuse some new anime viewers.
Fanservice: 4/10. There is some male gaze on the women for a few characters. Some shots that are just there so you can see a woman figure. No nudity. The show did seem to linger on Wolfwood with out a shirt on a few times.
Quality: 8/10. I really like this series and Vash’s outlook on the world did influence me a lot as a young one, but some things don’t hold up well. Some episode as just boring. The biggest knock against it is Vash and his harassment of women.
Where to Watch: The entire series including the movie is on Hulu right now. It is also on Funimation’s site.