Mania Grade: B+
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: A+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Trigun
Trigun Vol. #1
By Chris Beveridge
March 28, 2000
Release Date: March 28, 2000
Trigun Vol. #1
What They Say
© Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
In the distant future...on a desert planet...there is a legendary gunman. His name is Vash the Stampede.
A gunslinger so dangerous, a $60,000,000,000 reward has been placed on his head! Vash, also known as the Humanoid Typhoon, 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 Review!
Trigun is probably one of the most eagerly anticipated releases to hit the US shores this year. It's also part of a crop of SF/Western style anime that came out in the 1998 timeframe in Japan, most of which is also making it's way here.
Audio quality on this disc is solid. There isn't a huge amount of directionality, but it's there. We listened to both language tracks completely and dialogue is clean and undistorted. Sound effects are well placed and come across great and the music, especially in the opening and closing, is wonderful. One thing that many people will be saying is how great the English dub is for this series, and I must agree. Some of the secondary characters are pretty poor but the main characters are all pretty solid, though sometimes I'm not too keen on what Vash's voice actor does, but he's got the character down pretty well early on.
Video quality is gorgeous, for the most part. Some of the episodes are pretty dull in colors but make up for it with stark backgrounds of gray and white. The brighter and more vibrant colors that are throughout these episodes look great (the green mohawk, Vash's outfit, most of the opening) while the darker colors don't suffer any breakup on this single layered disc. The only thing I really noticed in this disc more so than other recent releases is in the faces, there is a lot of rainbows. Depending on the character animation at the time, there are more "lines" across cheeks and noses which tends to have more trouble with NTSC encoding, which can cause them to look like little rainbows. When these lines aren't on the character faces, they look gorgeous. Each episode contains the opening/closing and both eye-catches.
Pioneer really outdid themselves with the packaging for this release. The front cover has a great dark image of Vash holding his gun, and while you can't tell it by the pictures, it's a slightly embossed cover. A closer inspection and you realize that it's actually the limited edition chromium card that you can slip out. This is a great extra and a great cover. The back cover is less dark and more western. A couple bits of character artwork, a good amount of information about the series and the episode listings make up the majority of it with the creative talent listed below. Of course, you even get a little SD Vash in the bottom corner. The insert inside the case is another reproduction of the cover that lists each episode, it's title and the 5 chapter marks for each episode.
Not content to just shine in the packaging department, they also put in a great show in the menus. The main menu has a variant of the front cover with Vash, plays part of the opening song throughout it, and has bits of animation floating around. With it being a western style show, the text is all done in that style, and moving from the menus has more animation. Only the main menu and the extras submenu has more music and animated bits. The scene access menu is well designed, in that you select which episode and there are five "bullet holes" to the left that show each chapter. Selections are accessed very quickly.
There's also a decent amount of extras on the disc. There are over 20 character design sketches and close to 30 images in the image gallery, all accessible from a standalone player. I was hoping for a creditless opening and ending, but there are more discs to come so hopefully it'll be on one of those.
As mentioned at the beginning of this review, this series is definitely something a lot of people have been looking forward to since Pioneer announced its acquisition of it last year. The series is 26 episodes long, and this first volume (out of eight) contains the first four episodes. As with the beginning of any series, these episodes are designed to introduce the characters, flesh them out a bit and to show off their environment. Trigun does this well, especially for the lead character of Vash, the Humanoid Typhoon.
The other two characters who make up the title of Trigun, Meryl and Milly, the Insurance girls, don't get anywhere near as fleshed out as Vash does, but that's not too bad just yet. Vash's character runs the gamut of emotions and attitudes (and shows off his way cool dancing moves) as well as a bit of what makes him the most feared person and worth of the $$60,000,000,000 price on his head.
There's little real continuity between these four episodes, other than the "coincidence" of the Insurance girls meeting up with Vash in the various towns he travels to. But these do show off the various towns and the kinds of people who inhabit them, helping to flesh out this so-far nameless desert planet.
The animation was done by Mad House, one of the slicker animation studios out there these days. Character designs look good, but only a few really stand out (such as Vash). There's some good fluidity to several sequences and the overall coloring of the series is well done and consistent.
There's a lot to enjoy in these episodes. Plenty of wacky antics that had us laughing a lot, some somber moments and some just plain fun gunfights and massive damage to a lot of towns. What more could you ask for?
* Bonus - How many times can you find the cat in the episodes that shows up during the openings and closings?
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles,Image Gallery,Character Sketches,Limited Chromium Foil Card
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.