The wild gun-crazy action of Trigun gets collected in a new eight-volume DVD boxed set featuring 26 episodes of brand-new art from Takahiro Yoshimatsu, the character designer of Trigun.
Who and what is Vash the Stampede, a.k.a. "The Humanoid Typhoon"? To bounty hunters, he's an outlaw with 60,000,000,000 Double Dollars on his head. To Meryl Stryfe and Millie Thompson of the Bernardelli Insurance Society, he's a walking disaster area who's cost the company a fortune. To otaku
, he's one of the most popular characters in anime. Based on Yasuhiro Nightow's manga
, this comic adventure takes place in the distant future on a desert planet that looks like the American Old West. Vash wanders from town to town, unsuccessfully pursuing peace, doughnuts, and "the mayfly known as love." Meryl and Millie follow him, trying to minimize the destruction, but Vash's only real friend is the gun-totin' preacher Nicholas Wolfwood. Despite their grudging affection, Wolfwood articulates the other characters' thoughts when he tells Vash, "When you're around, things always seem to get worse!"
Anime heroes tend to be either cold-blooded warriors who kill for honor (the Gundam Wing pilots) or unlikely nerds who grow into the role of warrior when it's thrust upon them (Shinji Ikari in Evangelion). Sometimes comic and kooky, sometimes gentle and earnest, Vash reveres life and agonizes over the bloodshed he inadvertently causes. He'd rather eat than demonstrate his amazing marksmanship: he doesn't fire a shot until the fifth episode, although one of his arms is actually a gun. Voice actor Johnny Yong Bosh articulates both Vash's suffering and adolescent exuberance whenever he sees a pretty girl with exceptional panache. The runaway popularity of Trigun seems to have surprised the filmmakers. Although no plans have been announced for additional animation, a new manga series has appeared, Trigun Maximum. It seems unlikely that the artists would prematurely end the adventures of a figure with so much potential--and so many fans. --Charles Solomon