Mania Grade: A+
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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 Max Hagedorn
February 18, 2002
Release Date: March 28, 2000
I picked up Trigun on a whim. The artwork I'd seen from the series was appealing but I had no idea what the story was about. From the art I saw, I assumed it was going to be another semi-gothic/futuristic Japanese series about the usual badass gunman hero character. After hearing a lot of hype about it from friends who had watched the fansubs, I figured I'd give it a chance. I got the DVD in the mail the day before it's release date, surprisingly, and the packaging immediately
impressed me. I could see people picking this one up just for the attractive cover art. The first issues of the DVD even use a really cool looking chroma-card for the front cover. I opened the package, dropped the disc in my player, and started watching the series for the first time. It was nothing like what I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised with this highly comedic action series.
As the legend goes, there is a man named Vash the Stampede. People call him "The Human Typhoon" because he leaves a path of destruction wherever he goes. Vash destroys towns for fun, murders innocent people, womanizes, and drinks like mad. The last town he was spotted in was
totally demolished but, amazingly, no one was killed. "I guess you don't need God for miracles to happen" the survivors said. This heinous outlaw has a $$60 Billion price on his head and every bounty hunter wants the reward. Unfortunately, Vash isn't what the legends make him out to be. He's a very polite oaf with a gun who says he "faints at the sight of blood" and can't stand pain. He carelessly stumbles into trouble and manages to get away by luck. The destruction he's assumed to have caused is often the result of the bounty hunters, gunslingers, or bank robbers that Vash stumbles
into. Meanwhile, two female agents from the Bernardelli Insurance Company are on Vash's trail. They hope to find Vash in order to keep him under 24-hour surveillance and keep him from doing more damage, since a man as destructive as Vash is supposed to be is a serious insurance risk. Little do these two ladies know that the goofball in the red coat that they keep constantly bumping into is none other than the real Vash the Stampede.
After watching the first DVD, I was very impressed. The stories are well written and the episodes were very easy to watch. The characters are immediately likeable and everything is easy to follow. The animation quality is fairly constant and pretty good considering that it's TV animation. There's nothing ground-breaking or innovative, just basic TV animation, but it looks very good anyway.
Now for the technical aspect of the DVD. The menus are some of the nicest I've seen Pioneer put together to date. There are some really good animated background and transitions, the layout on the menus is clear and easy to use and they just look really impressive overall. I could almost dare to say that the menus on Trigun outdo the menus on any ADV title so far. They're very nice and a definite asset to the disc. In this case, it's almost a shame that, like most Pioneer DVDs, when you
start up the title it jumps straight into the English-dubbed version of the show instead of the menu.
The sound on the DVD is very clean. I didn't hear any problems with the straight stereo mix on the Japanese or English track, although, admittedly, I didn't watch the entire DVD through in English, only parts of it to get an idea of how they cast the voices. Speaking of the dubbed voices, the English cast is pretty good. I personally prefer the Japanese track and some of the English actors don't quite get the personality that the Japanese actors had but, if you prefer dubs, the English voice overs were quite well done.
Now, on to the video, which I saved for last for a reason. The video quality on this title is kind of mixed since It appears that the episodes came from different sources. The first two episodes on the
disc look very clean with no visible artifacting, shimmering, or aliasing. They appear to be from a film, or similar, source. When you get to the third episode, there is a slightly noticeable change in
quality. It appears that the third and fourth episodes were transferred off of videotape and some of the related shimmering and aliasing appears in places due to it. Still a very good transfer, but I found it strange that the sources would vary like this so early in the series. Also, on the video side of things, the subtitles are the newer ones with the decent, more-than-just-one-damn-pixel border that appeared on the third and fourth DVDs for the Lain series. After seeing the cheap single-pixel-border subtitles re-appear on the first Nazca disc, I was worried that Trigun would get them as well.
In closing, if you are looking for something deeply moving, philosophical, or thoughtful, you won't find that in this series but if you are looking for some good entertainment and a lot of good laughs, you won't be disappointed.
AMD-K6 400 computer with ATI Rage 128 graphics card, Hollywood Plus DVD decoder, and Soundblaster Live! MP3+ soundcard. DVD tested in Hollywood Plus DVD station and ATI DVD Player.