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WO's Honorable Mention: TRIGUN

So this post has been long in the making, since over the past 8 years, various people have been pushing me to watch TRIGUN. Now before you think that I was just being stubborn, let me set your minds at ease a little, by saying that most likely, I was being stubborn.

Most of the opportunities I had to watch the show were only in the form of the local video store rental section that only carried a couple of the DVD volumes, and past experience had taught me a valuable lesson about trying to piecemeal a series together by watching in the middle, or watching half, then jumping episodes, then finishing the show... yeah, you get the idea; it would have been a huge mess. So despite the fact that I had heard nothing but good things about TRIGUN or Vash the Stampede, I just wasn't really in much of a position to watch the thing.

After a while, when the Geneon closure happened, Vash and friends were gone. And not just gone, they were freaking long gone. Copies of the show sold on Amazon for outrageous sums, and the people that were lucky enough to own a complete copy of the series were too damn stingy to let me borrow it. So for the better part of this past decade, I went without knowing much about TRIGUN, except it sounded like a show about a gun, possibly three of them, and that it had a funky blonde haired guy that wore John Lennon style sun-glasses, and sported a red duster.

In those past eight or so years, anime has changed. Really changed. Shows that focused on high-octane gun fights, and good-guy versus bad-guy were fast being replaced with different cliches and trends. The animation had undergone a complete overhaul, and what would pass for anime by the more modern standards was slowly burying the bygone classics of just five to ten years ago.

I have made it pretty clear that I'm a progressive fan of anime, and I take my fandom in the more upwards mobility direction. I try my best to keep a keen eye on the horizon of what's coming next, and not keep some hang-up of my fandom in the past, with those past classics. So as the years rolled on around, the desire to want to see TRIGUN had eventually waned to a point that I gave the show up as a lost cause. It's a sad fact of the anime fandom, that titles will eventually vanish, and disappear; shows that were the best of the best even a short while ago, will have their license cancelled, they'll be dropped, no more prints will be made, and we the fans will go on moving forward.

Fortunately for the lot of us, FUNimation Entertainment did what they have become best known for—aside for the English dub and distribution of Dragon Ball Z—and that is license rescue a bunch of fan favorites. One of those titles just happened to be the now abandoned TRIGUN series. To make the deal even more sweet, they were going to offer it completely original to the Geneon version, so that we could get the benefit of seeing this classic in its classic form.

So now that the wait is over, and I've had a chance to sit down and see this classic anime for myself, with my own two eyes, the verdict is what I was hoping it would be.

I went into this anime hoping that it wasn't going to disappoint me, and hoping that I could overcome the influence of eight years worth of fans chanting its name. In fact, it was everything I could do to keep the bias of the fan-base from driving me away from the series after the first two episodes.

One thing for sure was that I knew going into this thing that it was very likely I was in for another one of those contemplative moments in my fandom, that would see me later reflecting on the course and flow of the shows that I had seen over the years. I was pretty sure that I would either be changed, or not changed by the series, and I hoped that at least if there was something that I could take away from it, it would be for the positive.

So the show in question, is clearly dated. in fact, the look is very familiar territory for those of you that have watched anything pre-2001. Now, that isn't an issue, but like I mentioned before, the style and look of anime today has changed, and the styles of characters and the animation isn't likely to attract many new audiences and fans based solely on the look of a thing. TRIGUN is no different in that regard.

So the basic plot of the show is fairly cut and dry. The series is about a man named Vash the Stampede. He is a wandering gunman that has issues with killing people and is always wanting to overcome a challenge with little violence and no bloodshed. Sadly though Vash's life has taken him into one spot of trouble after another, as he has also been nick-named the Humanoid Typhoon, and no matter where he goes some sort of disaster is soon to follow with him being the one every accuses. This has also earned Vash the Stampede the hefty bounty of 60 billion double dollars. A sum that men, women and children would risk all to claim.

Also in the series are two agents for the Bernardelli Insurance Company named, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson. The two of them have been assigned to find and locate Vash the Stampede, since he is the insurance companies largest liability, and has amassed them a significant amount of claims.

The series is rocky at first, and bounces along with pretty sporadic episodes, and even though Vash is often mistaken for being the cause of the disaster that usually comes to any given town, he is almost always never recognized as actually being Vash. Since his quirky eccentricities remove him from the equation of ever being the most terrifying man alive.

It isn't until around the fifth episode that we really understand some of what Vash is about. His good nature and his skill as a gunfighter are clearly two things that contradict one another, and his ability to stupefy makes him a much more complicated character than meets the eye. Not to mention that vash himself is a powerhouse of hilarity when he gets on a roll, and the voice work provided by Johnny Yong Bosch(Ichigo Kurosaki-Bleach) is an amazing performance that will almost guarantee to leave you in fits of laughter on the floor.

I had some doubt when I began, but I have to say that this is a show that is well in amongst a host of others that literally knock one's socks off. The soundtrack is amazing, and the overall performances of the VAs is really good. This is an older anime that I for one am so very glad got another opportunity to see some well earned lavishness from the fans.

I would recommend this to anyone that is a fan of Space/Westerns, shoot 'em ups, and other great anime as Cowboy Bebop. This is one anime series that will have you on the edge of your seat one minute aiming your finger at the bad guys, and the next chanting "Love and Peace" and the top of your lungs.