On the planet Gunsmoke lives a man known as “Vash The Stampede” also known as “The Human Typhoon” Legend says that he leveled the city known as July. People say it’s impossible “No one man could accomplish such a feat!” “He’d be the devil himself!”. One thing can’t be doubted however is that he’s a formidable man with a bounty to match: $$60 Billion Double-Dollars to the person who drags his ass in.... Dead or Alive.....
But all that’s a changing as the Bernardelli Insurance Society has sent two agents, Meryl Strife and Millie Thompson, to track him down. You see... Vash has been declared a walking natural disaster, and ya can’t put a bounty on a Hurricane, now can you? And it turns out that this Vash character isn’t so bad, he’s a pacifist gunslinger with with strong ideals, not to mention that he’s huge goofball. But underneath that lighthearted persona lies dark secret, A woman named Rem, The lost city July and.... Knives...
Follow Vash on his journey as he searches for the man named.... Knives....
Supplementary Information: The original run for Trigun was from April 1995 – January 1997 in Monthly Shōnen Captain magazine, later released in Japan as three separate volumes, Dark Horse brought the manga over to the US where it was compiled into two volumes. I’m Reviewing the Omnibus, which compiles the two volumes into one book.
Same story, Different tone, More focus.
Like most people I was introduced to Trigun via the Anime, as such I might be comparing the two a lot. So the first thing I noticed when I started reading this book, was that the introduction was completely different. You see, the manga begins at the same point as episode five in the anime, it was very jarring to me to say the least. After reading the manga I can safely conclude that the manga and anime are two different beast. It’s the same story, but executed in two different ways. The first half of the anime covers the first volume of the manga (which is around 360 pages) With filler episodes taking up around half of the the first 13 episodes of the anime. although I really enjoyed the filler episodes, as it provided most of the comedy and action the series is known for, the manga cuts out most of the extra fat. While it still has some filler it never strays too far from the main plot, and it’s done in a way that still feels like one cohesive story. Something worth mentioning is the tone, the manga feels darker, and is a bit more violent than it’s anime counterpart and while many people like Trigun for it’s lighthearted humor the story benefits from the darker tone as does the art.
As I said in the intro, Vash is a man of strong ideals. But trouble always seems to follow him and it’s hard for gun wielding pacifist, the fact that he lives in a desert wasteland where everybody is itching to kill each other doesn’t help his idealistic sentiment, this is where most of the drama of Trigun comes from. There isn’t too much drama per se but when there is it’s usually about Vash and his refusal to kill people. Especially when Wolfwood comes into the scene. I won’t talk too much him as he only appears at the very end of the omnibus but Wolfwood and Vash have great chemistry together and with that chemistry comes some of the best moments in the entire series. Meryl and Millie’s presence aren’t as strong as it is in the anime, which is a shame as I think they’re very fun and enjoyable characters.
I absolutely love Yasuhiro Nightow’s art style, while at times the art can look very dated Nightow sense of style has it’s moments to shine with dark, gritty, and well directed action, and very unique and distinct character designs. Not to mention the planet Gunsmoke itself which is a one of a kind hybrid of Western and Sci-Fi environments, and lastly the “Plants”, strange and surreal creatures who power the technology of Trigun. While I admit that the art is not always very pretty, and the character design is hit or miss, it doesn’t take away from the strange and bad ass imagery Nightow can make.
There are quite a few bonus material, first is the Omake at the end of each volume comically chronicling the life of Nightow while making the manga. Then there’s a bonus story taking place before the events of the first volume, and finally there’s the Trigun pilot.
A Warning to Fans of the Anime
When I finished Trigun I was hungry for more, so I looked up Trigun Maximum (Which I will be reviewing). Trigun the anime is for most part a lighthearted action show with some dark moments. Trigun Maximum however is a lot more violent than than the show, with blood, gore and disturbing moments. As a fan of the show this really put me off and I stopped reading it after a while. I’ve picked it up again as I believe i’m now mature enough to enjoy it, if you don’t mind any of this and if you are a fan of the series then I highly recommend picking the manga up.
Trigun is a fun dark tale with great characters and some wicked art. Those expecting for the manga to be more like the anime will be disappointed. However, if you separate the anime and manga as different beast I think you’ll find a lot to like in this book.