Trigun Maximum Vol. #04 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: A+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: All
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-59307-314-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Trigun Maximum Vol. #04

By Eduardo M. Chavez     April 27, 2005
Release Date: February 02, 2005



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

What They Say
THIS TIME WITH FEELING!

So, you thought since Vash and Wolfwood survived the battle with Hoppered the Gauntlet and Leonoff the Puppet Master, maybe they'd get some peace, have a little rest? You thought wrong. There are more Gung Ho Guns where those other oddballs came from, and you can bet those coming are just as strange as those who came before. Meet Midvalley the Hornfreak, a man who carries a saxophone and plays some really "killer" tunes. And then there's Zazie the Beast, a cute little fellow, but he's got something up his sleeve, or tucked into his eyelid (and it's probably got wings and multiple legs.) Sound interesting? It is. Trigun Maximum marches into more crazy battles, full of gunfire and humanity and frantic energy, a freaky mixture of pain, comedy, and mystery. Never a moment of rest for Vash the Stampede, a man whose body contains a planet-destroying gun, and whose credo is "Peace and Love!"

The Review
Packaging:
Trigun Maximum maintains most of the wonderful packaging concepts originally used by Shonen Gahosha for the Japanese production. Printed right to left in a wide B6 book, Dark Horse and Digital Manga use the original cover art and logo and even keep the kanji reading of Yasuhiro Nightow on the cover and spine. This cover features Vash the Stampede in front of a profile of his brother and enemy Knives. Upon turning the book over, the opposite cover features a crazy collage of the Gung-ho Guns and Vash's gang underneath a small blurb for this volume.

Inside, there is art that was under the dust jackets inside both covers, the original volume and chapter headers (with kana), and an ato-gaki from Nightow (where he describes his shock at the commercialization of Trigun). The printing is very good and with this graphic novel being a little wider than normal B6 size there are no alignment issues. Wonderful presentation.

Artwork:
While I am not a real being 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. 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). Nevertheless, I love his costumes. They range from laid back casual to straight out of KoF - leather, buckles and cool hair. As crazy as those designs can be, he usually makes those costumes work aesthetically and violently. After saying all that, I do think there is some improvement from the two volumes of Trigun that preceded this series, as it is now coming into its own.

Nightow’s layout is still his biggest weakness. 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 and perspective is often more confusing than pleasing to the eye.

Text/SFX:
SFX are not translated. What is 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 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 "senpai" (which was nicely translated in the gutter for those who are not familiar with those phrases).

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ah, time for a breather. Vash is back home, amongst old friends and colleagues in his fight for love and peace. Here the history of this planet is collected through the science that is here. It is passed to the children that grow up here. It waits in the "plants" that power this place. Love and peace calls out to where everyone came from... Earth. Vash knows he does not have too much time to spend here, but while he is here, he should give his new friends a taste of his own history and what he fights for. It will be an enlightened experience for a man of the cross like Nicolas Wolfwood, one that will challenge his own reason to fight. Moreover, for a pair of insurance women, this was not something they thought their plan would cover. But there really is no time to spare Knives is waiting and he is impatient.

Talking about Knives, who is this person? Where did he get his power? How did he get to where he is now?

It is a long story, but after he separated from Vash, Knives started to collect knives of his own. He used his "knives" to kill and silence those who stood before him. Killing a few innocent people along the way was of no consequence. It only sped up the process. If he has more killers at his side that is sped up more. Whatever is acceptable to get closer to his endgame: the destruction of all of humanity. But as I said Knives, does not care about the means if it justifies his goals. So, if he loses a few knives along the way, the death of an underling is worth it. So far, he has lost a handful of guns, but to him it is all according to plan.

We know that Vash knows what game Knives is playing. I guess it is safe to say that Wolfwood gets it now as well. The rest of the world is oblivious to the war that is happening around them, even though everyone on this planet is involved in this battle.

Millie and Meryl have been following the Stampede for a while now. They have seen the devastation from a few perspectives now. They are just starting to understand it. They may have even begun to fear it. Nevertheless, they should have known that a human typhoon is anything but human.

Comments
This series is getting old. Sorry, Trigun fans but I am about over this. What made the original series so much fun was that it did not fall into patterns. There was Vash and he was fighting for "love and peace" as he was fighting for his own survival. The irony was so thick, as he struggled to save humanity and humanity would destroy itself trying to destroy him. How cool is that?

While there are still moments in the same vein of what made Trigun so great, Nightow has fallen into a pattern of simply finding a new enemy to exploit. This is plain lazy and it does very little in plot development. I almost feel as if Nightow is just extending this series as much as possible until he can no longer think of anything better than awkward action scenes. The Gung Ho Guns are interesting and Nightow always attempts to present their motivations before their demise, but I just do not care. Consider how little has happened since the second volume of this series. A few battles, change scenery, a few more battles, change scenery and development of the antagonist and back to a few more battle scenes. When will this end? Even the blurb for this volume does little, but describes the new "interesting" characters Nightow introduces. I want to see Vash continue to mature and these extensive fight scenes are hindering that. I am at the point where I am counting the Gun Ho Guns hoping more will not be written into the story (but another was introduced at the end of this GN). Ultimately, I have been left feeling disillusioned by this franchise. As if a title with so much potential was extended beyond its limit and is freefalling to obscurity.

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