Trigun Vol. #1 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Monday, February 18, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, March 28, 2000
Overall Rating: 4.6 (on a scale of 1-5)
English Acting: 4
The first comment I made upon seeing the cover for Trigun was... "Ohhhhhh, Shiny!!!" That's right folks, we have a foil cover. Talk about eye catching! But the big question is, can this show live up to the cool foil cover, or will the cover only hide a dull and drab show? Read on to find out!
(For your information, I am making another change to my reviews. I'm finding it difficult to truly judge the Japanese acting. This is mostly due to the fact that I don't speak any Japanese. So instead of giving a rating on something I don't know much about, I've dropped it. I will only be reviewing the English Voice acting (something I know a little about... on a good day ;-) And yes I tend to watch the English dub first and then a second viewing of the Sub later.)
Well Pioneer has delivered this shiny disc into my collection and from a technical aspect this disc is just as good as their past efforts. The sound and picture were clear and sharp on my set up. Saw a bit of shimmering here and there (was sitting rather close to the monitor at the time). But overall another top notch job. The menu is a step up for Pioneer. We've got music, sound effects and motion now! Way to go Pioneer! The menu selection is pretty fluid and it's easy to see what you have selected. Well, the foil case on this puppy really grabs your attention and holds it fast. What a great job. I can't rave enough (whoops I'm sounding like Chris now ;-)) But why didn't I give them a 5 for presentation? Well some important info is missing from the back of the case: Region coding and Special features being the most obvious ones. The goodies you get in this disc are characters designs, and a stills gallery. Well, another solid entry, let's get to the content now.
Trigun is a unique show in my collection (so far). It's the first anime I've seen with a pseudo-western feel to it. I'm not talking about western culture, I'm talking about Western as in cowboys and Indians! But keeping with the trend in anime to never do a show the way it's been done before... we get, Space Cowboys and Indians (well there aren't any Indians yet, but who knows). Now don't get me wrong, this show is very entertaining, it's just very different from anything I've seen before, and that's a good thing.
Well the basic story goes something like this. Vash Stampede has a 60,000,000,000 double dollar price on his head. It seems that everywhere Vash goes, destruction and carnage ensue. Of course with a bounty this high on his head, every bounty hunter on this planet is looking for him (except Boba Fett). Enter our two heroines, Meryl and Milly. The girls work for an Insurance company that is very hot to find Vash (if this guy is making peoples property insurance go up... they better find him).
Well Meryl and Milly have their hands full when they keep running into a young man who has everyone convinced he's Vash. Disaster and carnage follow this young man like the plague, but he's just too darn goofy to be the legendary outlaw... or is he?
So what we have in these four episodes is a crisis of some kind (dangerous bounty hunters, water monopoly, a town under siege, and a hostage situation), "Vash" shows up and basically goofs around, Milly and Meryl try to figure out where the real Vash is, there's lots of destruction and carnage and everything turns out all right.
Now don't get me wrong. This is a very entertaining show. It's well written and well acted. There are plenty of laughs and lots of shooting. But after it's over you just wonder one thing... where is this all going? We've got the basic characters, but thee doesn't seem to be a straight story line as of yet. This disc is basically the many adventures of "Vash", Meryl and Milly.
So if I was being picky (and I am a bit) I'd wonder if this is going to be the whole show. As entertaining as it could be, it will get old. Now if there is an underlying story (and I'm just being too impatient... which is a possibility) then I'm excited. These are fun characters and I'm ready to see them at their best.
The animation is very good. Many times it's at OAV quality and it rarely drops below that. I was very impressed with it. The overall design is also very cool. You've got a futuristic 1800's look, if that makes any sense. Most of the characters are dressed like they just stepped out of a Silverado (The bounty hunter Ruth, and Milly's outfit are good examples), but there is a futuristic aspect to the whole thing. The weapons are really creative (Ruth's gun is awesome, as is the cyborg's boomerang). There are strange beasts that the heroes ride on. And yet the old west feel is ever present. The look to the show is worth seeing in and of itself. Gotta make a comment on the weird heads of some of the villains (one of the characters looks like he popped off the Pep Boys sign). The main characters seem to have a familiar look but some of these secondary characters look just plain wacky.
The sound design is very good as well. The weapons sound just as cool as they look. Lots of work went into making each weapon have an individual sound. You also have lots of atmospheric sounds for the show. Sandstorms, crowd noise and just the ghost town ambience are all achieved very nicely.
As I mentioned above, the plot (at this point) is pretty basic. There isn't anything really to it, but it's fun to watch. What you have going on here is the same plot as the old TV show "The Fugitive". The outlaw wanderers the land and helps out people along the way. "Vash" just does it by accident instead of one purpose. LadyCat even pointed out that this show has a one armed man, too (the boomerang chucking cyborg). Would that make Meryl and Milly a split character of the relentless FBI agent? But what made people keep coming back to see the Fugitive was the fact that our hero was trying to clear his name. So far "Vash" doesn't seem to have a purpose. But it's still early in the series, so I won't pass judgment on it... yet.
The English voice acting was lots of fun. There are plenty of familiar American VA's peppered throughout this disc (Nanami and Jinnai from El Hazard where the ones I noticed immediately). So most of the mains do a great job. You get some weird delivery from some of the secondary characters (those gents in the opening scene in the bar... wooo boy!). But overall I think that once the show gets rolling we will get some really fun acting from all the cast.
The music is awesome. The opening tune is just plain cheesy guitar rock! I LOVE IT! That song alone is reason enough for a 5 rating, but the rest of the music is just as good. You got typical "western" style music, more rock and a great ending song as well. Yep, you guessed it, I'm getting the CD.
So all in all I can recommend this disc. This offers a solid beginning, just as long as it doesn't turn into the many adventures of Vash without a continuous story line. I'm pretty sure there is more story on the way, so I won't sweat it too much. This will make an entertaining series and one that will have re-watchability. So I say go ahead and get it. I don't think you can go wrong... but you might want to wait for the second disc to come out just to make sure ;-)
Hitachi GD-2000 DVD ROM, Cinemaster QI DVD Player (application), Dell Model UltraScan D1025HTX Color Monitor, ACS295 Atltec Lansing Speakers (right, left, Subwoofer)
Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
Running time: 100
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2