Trigun Limited Collector's Edition Set 2 - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: A-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: A
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Menus Rating: A
  • Extras Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
  • MSRP: 89.98
  • Running time: 300
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Trigun

Trigun Limited Collector's Edition Set 2

By Chris Beveridge     April 13, 2006
Release Date: January 17, 2006


Trigun Limited Collector's Edition Set 2
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.


What They Say
"On a desert planet scorched by twin suns, bounty hunters scour the planet looking for Vash who has a $$60,000,000,000 bounty placed on his head! Vash has been credited with the destruction of several towns, but miraculously, there is no record of him ever taking a life. However, only two things ever happen to those who catch up to Vash - they either crawl away wounded (mostly from self-inflicted damage), or they stagger away in disbelief that such a dork could possibly be the man they are looking for!
"


THE HIT ANIME SERIES HAS COME BACK WITH NEW SOUND!

Limited Edition Metal Case and individual think pak feature the new art by the creator YASUHIRO NIGHTOW!

5.1 surround sound was created for the DVD

Video includes the original Japanese opening (each opening is different!)

Includes Episodes 15-26 on 3 discs

The Review!
Audio:
For this viewing, I listened to the show in its original Japanese language with the new 5.1 Dolby Digital track. The new surround sound track is quite impressive, as is evident right off the bat with the opening song. The rear speakers help bolster the overall sound with some great directionality in music, voices, sound effects, and gunshots. It's interesting to do a comparison with the original 2.0 track and hear the improvements made. The sound is very clear and free of distortion. I did give the English dub a test drive and from what I could tell there were no drop-offs in quality, although the dub voices seemed to be cranked up in volume a bit more.

Video:
Presented in its original 4:3 aspect ratio, the transfer looks quite solid here. For the most part, the video looks very sharp with some instances of jagged lines or crawling edges, which for some reason I noticed a little more frequently in this second set. Best news, for those who own the original Geneon releases, is that the rainbow effect seems to be gone for the most part. The ED animation does feature some rainbows, as if they just re-used the same English credit sequence. Overall this new release is a solid improvement.

Packaging:
Enclosed in a tin case, the first 14 episodes of Trigun are packaged in 3 thinpak cases that fit quite snuggly in the tin. The tin is quite the collector's item, featuring great Nightow artwork and some raised elements (like Vash himself and the logo) that give the cover nice depth. The back of the case only features the logo with some bullet-hole graphics.

The covers are reversible and feature more great Nightow illustrations. The reverse sides feature mug shots of the prominent characters of the show, 1 per each side. The backs of the standard covers feature only episode and extras listings. Overall, it's a very clean and nice looking package that Trigun fans should enjoy.

NOTE: Not included in this review copy, there is also a collectible keychain enclosed in a keepsake pouch.

Menu:
Opening with a gun blast, the new menus by Nightjar feature a set of wanted posters that have each of the menu items. After selecting a sub menu, the picture slides and scrolls to the selected sub menu. The colors stay true to the show and the Western feel, with lots of yellows and browns in a dim light that is flickering like candlelight. I also love the donuts that show up in the DVD credit screen. One of the key guitar music pieces from the show plays while the menu is up, also in 5.1 sound.

Extras:
The extras are spread across each disc, featuring a lot of character galleries, Japanese VHS/DVD/LD covers, and a few TV spots. While I do appreciate the breadth of the galleries, I personally find viewing them on the TV to be frustrating. I'd much rather see these designs on paper as inserts or other special packaging. An interesting little bit is that Geneon put 9 different trailers, 3 per volume, on this release that should give buyers a good look at their current library.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
For those who have not watched Trigun, or at least these final 12 episodes, you may be quite shocked at how dark of a turn the series takes and carries to its final conclusion. For those, like myself, who have watched the series, the end of Trigun is an attention grabbing, dramatic showdown that will possibly leave one with mixed emotions due to a lot of background story that feels like too much too late. At the same time, the series also nicely wraps up two of the better done character introspections in the whole medium.

There is quite a lot of information packed into these final 12 episodes surrounding Vash's past, the history of the planet, and his relationship with the murderous Gung Ho Guns. We learn why Vash has such strong feelings about saving every life, which are tied to a woman he looked up to as a young child. There is a strong sci-fi aspect thrown into the mix regarding how the planet came to be with the variety and clash of technologies, Vash himself even being a part of that long lost technology.

It is a lot of information to digest, but I never felt overwhelmed as the story focuses more on Vash and how the events from his past shaped him to be who he is today. To be honest, I felt a little disappointed that this history was left to the last minute. Looking back, I would have much rather seen a lot of the episodic, comedic episodes earlier on (which I do enjoy) to be trimmed a bit in order to expand on the ideas that were brought to the table here regarding the planet and character histories. I would have also liked to have known more about the Gung Ho Guns. Why are they so powerful and how did they get their unique powers to begin with? Why have they lost touch with humanity and now seek to destroy it? As it stands, they are very flat and only serve as fodder for Vash and Wolfwood. At least their designs are wildly creative.

Hindsight and bumps in the road aside, the core story surrounding the introspective journey of Vash and Wolfwood continues to carry this series to the end. As the Gung Ho Guns assemble, it becomes harder and harder for Vash to stick to his ideals as death is following him around every corner. However, events progress to the point where Vash will have to question his ideals and whether or not to make special concessions.

Tagging along with Vash is the fallen priest, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, who is the subject of arguably the most emotional and gut-wrenching anime episode ever--"Paradise" (#23). Wolfwood lost his touch with humanity after seeing so much suffering, but it is Vash who opens his eyes up once again to the good that can be found within violent, desolate planet. The relationship between these two characters and how they go about resolving their own personal issues is quite an introspective experience. This aspect of the anime is definitely its strongest, carrying the series home on quite the whirlwind conclusion filled with lots of gun battles and action, just as one would expect.

The animation for the most part is pretty decent over these last few episodes. There are a few more noticeable shortcuts with static screens and lots of close up perspectives, but it is animated well went it counts. The music also continues to really impress me. A bit repetitive at times, but it captures the sequences and mood very well.


In Summary:
Looking back on these two sets is very interesting for me. I ended up giving both the same grade, but I almost see them as two different styles of anime that got their equal grades in different ways. While it is easy to get tripped up over hindsight at what could have been, the conclusion to Trigun is quite solid and really had me on the edge of my seat the whole time--and this is not my first time through the show. In the end, it is the personal drama and introspective journey of Vash and Wolfwood that draw me to this title, and those are the reasons why I think Trigun is one of those must see titles in anime.

Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, Japanese 5.1 Language,English 5.1 Language,English Subtitles,Conceptual Art


Review Equipment
Toshiba 34HF85 34" 16:9 TheaterWide FST Pure Flat HDTV

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