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Trigun volume 3

Trigun volume 4
January 2006 SITE MAP   SEARCH

Trigun volumes 2 + 3 + 4
voice casts: Masaya Onasaka/ Jonny Yong Bosch, Hiromi Tsuru/ Dorothy Melendrez, Satsuki Yukino/ Lia Sargent

director: Satoshi Nishimura

90 minutes (12) 1998
MVM DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 6/10
reviewed by Michael Bunning
Vash the Stampede was an outlaw gunman, whose reputation had taken on mythical proportions. He'd appear in a town, wreak awful, cataclysmic havoc, and disappear. He had a 60 billion double-dollar bounty on his head, but no one had been able to collect it, because Vash was just too tough.

Trigun is, essentially, the story of Vash, as told through the adventures of two hapless insurance agents, Meryl and Milly. They're sent to find Vash and stop him from destroying any more towns. They actually find a squeamish, cowardly, gluttonous crybaby who's only ever trying to run away from the people trying to collect the bounty on his head (and kill him in the process). All the damage done is accidental, and no innocents ever get hurt. The townspeople whose homes have just been demolished end up rooting for Vash, and the bounty keeps getting bigger.

It's a lazy, bloated series, which is very episodic in nature. Vash arrives at a town, closely followed by Meryl and Milly. Someone hunting Vash arrives too. There's a huge gunfight in which no one but the bounty hunter gets hurt, but in which the town gets demolished. Vash runs away to the next town, followed by Meryl and Milly. Repeat...

There's actually a good story buried in the identikit episodes. Vash has a very dark past he'd rather forget about, but which is tracking him down relentlessly, and which (it's hinted at in these volumes) might have something to do with the fate of the entire world. The problem is that there's only enough story for ten episodes, at the most, and there are 26 of them. Of the nine episodes in these three volumes, only three actually advance the plot. The others are just fillers.

This is a real shame, because Trigun is strikingly well realised. It's set in a futuristic sort of wild west in which a desert is slowly and unstoppably expanding over an entire world, and in the desert, towns are failing because of lack of money, replacement parts for technology and so on. In tandem to the decay of civilisation comes the rise of criminal gangs who seem to follow the spreading desert, carving out empires for themselves from the beleaguered populace.

If the series were a third of the length it is, it would be a must-buy. Unfortunately, because of the lack of impetus that the unnecessary episodes impart, this can't be recommended to anyone other than die-hard anime fans with a fair amount of disposable income.

Extras are thin on the ground too: an English dub (which is no better or worse than most - stick to the Japanese and read the subtitles), trailers, advertising for Trigun toys and a couple of sketches. That's a real shame, too, because if the extras had been outstanding, it would have gone a long way to making Trigun something worth purchasing. Unfortunately, the way these discs stand, they're very firmly rental material.

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