Trigun Vol. #02 (Mania.com)

By:Eduardo M. Chavez
Review Date: Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Release Date: Thursday, January 01, 2004



Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Yasuhiro Nightow
Translated by:Justin Burns
Adapted by:

What They Say
There's a mysterious past buried in the mind of the affable, yet somehow incredibly dangerous Vash the Stampede, and everyone on this desert planet seems to know about it. Not only that, they've been trying to hunt him down for the sixty million double-dollar bounty on his head. Well, enter two insurance ladies, claiming that the man is a localized disaster, and voila! No more bounty. But that doesn't seem to end Vash's troubles, or his trail of destruction.

This is the world of Trigun. Full of hi-jinks, frantic action, dusty western poses, and a resounding theme: Peace and Love! Join us as Vash continues his adventures across this kooky, unfortunate landscape, seeking something to end his tragicomic journey.

The Review
Packaging:
Volume 2 continues to have the original art and logo on the front cover. Its really fantastic. The layout is the same with the image of a gun with a “plant” growing on it. Bullets are falling all over the place. On the right there is the volume number with the title, mangaka and series sub-title vertically underneath. On the bottom left is the mangaka again but now in kanji and romaji. Fancy!!

Logo Check!! (2003 Megs)... the logo is the same as the original. Everything, including the kana is there. And the same can be found on the spine where the title is in English above a shadowed kana title above the mangaka name in kanji.

Inside there is inside cover art. I have been told they are not in proper order but I am just really glad to see them there. It's a technique I would like to see more of. This volume also includes two bonus stories "Day In and Day Out" and "Trigun Pilot" along with an ato-gaki "Welcome to the Future #2." With all the extras this is really worth the cost.

The printing looks pretty good but I was wondering if the Shonen Gahosha version has the chapter header for Ch. 2 Diablo was so dark. I could hardly make some things out on that page but everything else looked great. Just wish that could have been left in color.

Artwork:
While I am not a real big fan of Nightow's art at this time, I am really impressed by the creativity shown in his character designs. Characters are a little on the long side. And in general I still cannot tell if some women are women (because of wide shoulders, long jaw lines, and the lack detail in his non-close-up faces). But I love his costumes. They range from laid back casual to straight out of KoF - leather, buckles and cool hair. And as crazy as those designs can be he usually makes those costumes work aesthetically and violently.

The layout is okay. I have to admit I think this volume has better panel placement and more variety but in general its pretty simple and the text bubble placement is often more confusing than pleasing to the eye.

SFX/Text:
SFX are not translated. What's really disappointing here is that there are a lot of them in this one and they vary because of the mix of comedy and action, so readers will miss out on those nuances that are brought out by those SFX. Knowing that Dark Horse does this so well makes it even more frustrating.

The translation here is very good. Honorifics that are used are there. So are some other japanese words like "sempai" (which was nicely translated in the gutter for those who are not familiar with those phrases).

Contents: (watch out for spoilers)
Vash has a history and it goes back a while. He has experienced a few things that he is still trying to atone to. But until he can settle things with someone close to him he will continue to be on the move. And where ever he goes so to will the insurance ladies that have been keeping an eye on him from the start of this series.

With some truly dangerous hombres and mujeres out for his head Vash has no time to lose. He tries to get out of town as soon as possible to reduce the chance for casualties. Even though he knows his enemy is near he makes sure to think of those around him first. So when he is attacked in town he makes sure to end things quickly. Vash's accuracy with a gun is lethal. His trigger is lighting fast and his mind is always aware of his surroundings. Seeing his personality up to this point you might not believe it but Vash really is dangerous. But true to form he never tries to take a life even if his is in danger. He leaves his hunters unconscious and humiliated. Then after a while he turns the game around. He goes on the complete offensive hunting his hunters in order to speed up his search for Knives.

Soon all of the Gung-ho Guns (the group of hit-men/women out for Vash's head) gather for a final showdown. Has gotten past two of them with ease and but nine still remain before Legato and eventually Knives. These Guns are only really here to stall Vash for Knives. They all want to be the one to take down the "human typhoon" but are just pawns in a bigger game. As the Guns fall one by one plans Knives are accelerated. Knives is to be revived using the power of a plant and once he is back Vash is to meet him. And when the time arrived Vash felt he had to go (so did everyone else as the nearest town started to pack it all up and run). Vash knows this could be the end but he could not let the past repeat itself. He would rather die before that would happen.

The reunion between these two brothers was quick and painful. A little yelling, a little hugging (of the wrong kind), then a little bit of destruction of heavenly proportions. It's really hard to tell what really went down after that. People around will say those two together unleashed something so horrific it could have only been done by devils. And soon after they met they were both gone. Vash and Knives, who where there when life started on this planet, have vanished leaving behind a legend and a scar so large everyone gets to see it every night.

Comments
Trigun is a tough one for me. If I did not know that there was more to this story I would be really disappointed. This volume ends with a lot of chaos and then a little poetry. It does have a decent ending but one that screams for more - more story or more detail. The plot that basically started at the start of this volume ends in this volume and its really rushed. You may wonder why Nightow bothered to introduce some of the new characters. What is behind the final showdown? And what really happened at the end? But there is more so I can feel at ease to know that those questions could be answered and that there is a lot of manga for this series to grow into something special.

As the first complete series co-publication for Dark Horse and Digital Manga I have to say I am really impressed. This series is a little rough but the production from DH/DMP is top notch. Definitely worth the higher price tag because of the wonderful cover presentation (inside and out), great translation, good page count and nice extras. If this series had translated SFX it would be a standard but I still say its possibly the Dark Horse title I have to recommend to everyone. Truly worth all the praise it gets.

Good but not fully recommended.



Mania Grade: C+
Art Rating: C
Packaging Rating: A-
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: Dark Horse
MSRP: $14.95
Pages: 336
ISBN: 1-59307-053-5
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left