Trigun Vol. #01 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: B

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  • Art Rating: C
  • Packaging Rating: A
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A
  • Age Rating: 17 & Up
  • Released By: Dark Horse
  • MSRP: 14.95
  • Pages: 360
  • ISBN: 1-59182172X
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Trigun Vol. #01

By Eduardo M. Chavez     June 06, 2005
Release Date: October 01, 2003

Trigun Vol.#01
© Dark Horse

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

What They Say
Action, comedy, science fiction, and western gunslinger action congregate within these pages. Created by Yasuhiro Nightow, this compound of genre-bending ingredients has turned the Trigun animation into a wildly popular series, and finally, the long-awaited manga comes to America.

Somehow the past has placed a sixty billion double dollar bounty on Vash's head, and the gunslinging pacifist can't seem to get away from money grubbing, itchy-trigger finger citizenry. Find out why Vash is worth so much money dead! Feel the clumsy worry of the unfortunate citizens of the pulverous planet! Follow the follies of an unlikely hero in a forbidding world! Join Vash the Stampede - with his troubled past and uncanny ability to dodge a gazillion bullets - and a cavalcade of unlucky characters on a dusty, desert planet in the distant future.

The Review
Dark Horse and Digital Manga did a very good job with the presentation. While I cannot commend them for not translating the SFX (at least a glossary, please) everything else is top rate. The cover art is wonderful. Its practically the same art that Shonen Gahosha uses for their version but in English. But wait there is some kanji as well. You will see that the spine also has English and kanji along with the logos for Digital Manga and Dark Horse. The back has a piece with the Millie and Meryl on a black background with a large blurb for the manga.

Inside there is some inside cover art on both sides and there is also an ato-gaki (after drawing) from Nightow explaining how Trigun is collected into two large volumes with Trigun Maximum continuing after that. The translation appears to be pretty solid (what would you expect from Dark Horse - SP or DM).

Easily one of the best looking manga out there aesthetically.

The art is sloppy. Sorry people but I call it like I see them. Nightow’s character designs are great but one must remember that some of the art we see on covers and such have been re-done when Nightow took his title from Tokuma Shoten to Shonen Gahosha. So now we see a fancy sleek looking Vash on the front cover; a stylish ink-work of Vash on the inside cover art; and a cool looking Vash on the volume header. You will rarely see that type of design within the pages of this volume. The designs are rounder and just as long creating a look that is not very defined. Faces have very little detail so expressions are sometimes vague other times silly looking. When Nightow does go all out (ie: Brilliant Dynamites Neon) then everything is thrown out the door and things look tighter but albeit strange (one cannot forget the sci-fi and western influences).

For some reason I can rarely make out the women from the men, either. Sure that should not be an issue but two of the supporting characters are female and if I did not watch the anime before hand I would have sworn they were guys (a tall guy with medium length hair and a young guy with piercings.)

Nightow does do a good job with the backgrounds and has a variety of unique perspective in regards to layout. I cannot say I am a fan of his style but it really is unique and while I find it confusing at times its impressive for its variation and technique. The use of POV and the placement he presents might be busy but at the same time really tends to show off a lot of information (visual, audio, statistical and emotional). I guess if the characters looked better I would not be having an issue with some of the close ups and the off-panel character placements but I was almost feeling as if that technique was being overused after a while.

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)
Somewhere in the future (?) lives a human disaster. A being that brings destruction and mayhem where ever he goes. A person whose appetite alone could cause famines in some regions. Yet he is not well known for his actions than for the reactions of those around him.
They call him the “Humanoid Typhoon” for good reason. He is a person who leaves a trail of destruction behind him.

What people do not know is that this unnatural disaster does not do most of the damage himself. It;s typically those who are hungry, desperate or stupid enough to want that $$60,000,000,000 bounty on his blonde head that are really to blame.

After a brief (very brief) intro to the world that Trigun is in we get to see something that will be quite common in this series - a wanted poster. Sixty billion double dollars have been put up for a single man that has been known to take out whole cities on his own - Vash the Stampede. Posters do not really do justice to this freak. Long and lanky and with a flair for red coats, buttons and buckles, Vash is not the villain people make him out to be but one cannot deny the fact that trouble surrounds him where ever he goes.

For most of this first volume we get to experience the chaos that surrounds this disaster. Whether its whole towns collectively ganging up on him for the bounty or it’s a duel with another wanted man its never really a dull moment for Vash. And when you think that he can lay low for a while, his compassion usually either gets him into trouble or causes trouble for someone else. But what would you expect from a human typhoon, right?
Set in a world some time in the future, Trigun is a unique comedy with a lot of heart and a lot of flair. (I guess that’s the best way to describe a sci-fi western!) Things are really much worse than they seem. While there is technology, some of it rather fantastic, the basic necessities for life are pretty hard to come by for some. This world is mostly desert and from the sounds of things relies heavily on “machines” called “plants” for maintaining a sense of an ecosystem. They really are not explained too well but they look like pretty interesting things, as they appear to be living to some degree.

You can easily imagine then that life is pretty rough and tough. Like many westerns most people dare not leave town without protection of some sort. Things can get pretty wild in the city as well. These factors really make up what Trigun is about right now. They also support the chaos that Vash lives in.

Some people are so desperate they would do almost anything for that bounty. If its prestige and power you want why not kill Vash and make a name for yourself. He really is the answer to almost everyone’s problems.
Vash himself is pretty unique. You get glimpses here and there that he may know quite a bit more than he shows. At first glance you would think he would be dumb and cowardly but he often shows a great deal of compassion (even if more often than not it will bring him potential harm or his feelings are for naught as some people take advantage of his kindness.) Vash may seem naive but he almost always seems to dispel that thought by doing the right thing, and not always the correct thing to do.

The same can be said about the two women that follow him (well not because they want to, mind you). Mild mannered insurance ladies that try hard to prevent damages related to the living natural disaster, also have hearts that sometimes put them at risk to be not covered by their own policies.

Overall the story telling in Trigun is good but not very deep. Itis relying heavily on the potential for mayhem and chaos in this unique planet. Some of the villains are good but some are so extreme they really through off the feel for some of the characterization that most of the manga is trying to build. Its really is weird at times. You can almost wonder what the mangaka was thinking at those moments but I can see how imaginations can run wild in a setting like Trigun's.

Well, for some people this has been a long wait and for the most part Dark Horse and Digital Manga do not disappoint. Overall a wonderful job in the presentation and if you are familiar with the series this is possibly something you want to pick up soon.

I am pretty happy with it but I am not impressed so much by the manga as much as I am by what Digital Manga did with it. For their first manga title this is great. In my opinion better than anything I have seen Proteus make for Dark Horse. From the looks of things I would expect good things from Berserk as well.

Fun but not fully recommended


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