Mania Grade: A
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Menus Rating: B+
- Extras Rating: A-
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Geneon Entertainment (USA), Inc.
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 75
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Trigun
Trigun Vol. #4
By Cameron Mitchell
February 18, 2002
Release Date: September 26, 2000
Set on a planet that reminds you a lot of the old west, it definitely has that western feel to it. The hero is a wanderer who carries with him secrets as mysterious as his largely forgotten past. Not to mention a ragtag band of individuals, from insurance adjusters to a renegade priest.
Trigun is one of those animes that you either love or hate. What would appear to be, and certainly starts out as, a heavily comedic series has always had a strong dramatic current. For some the comedic elements take away from the drama or vice versa, resulting in either confusion or total repulsion. Yet still others can take both and be happy. With this series that rightfully stands besides Cowboy Beebop as inheritor to the more adult, but not lecherous, genre in anime.
Volume 4 of Trigun "Gung-Ho Guns" is certainly the most revealing of the series to date in regard to the character of Vash the Stampede. All three episodes delve deep in the the psyche of our hero. Bringing to light every aspect of his character and revealing new ones. Volume 4 heads more into the dramatic elements of the series but never loses the comedic relief that lets you laugh after holding your breath for so long.
In Episode 11: "Escape from Pain," we see what kind of a person Vash is when
he is presented with a contract on the life of an important young man. He approaches the situation with a chilling determination, but never waivers in his desire to not kill. Much of the episode though involves the growing relationship of Wolfwood and Milly.
Episode 12: "Diablo" Is one of the best I have seen since Episode 6: "Lost July." We are introduced to a man who could very well be Vash's most important villain, Legato Bluesummers. Bluesummers is a man as mysterious as Vash and seems to have a strong special connection to him. This episode more than any other alludes to much, and reveals little, of Vash's mysterious past. Also revealing a new aspect to his complex character. The center of the episode however is one man's mission to kill Vash The Stampede. This struggle involves perhaps the most intense fight sequence yet to be seen in the series. Vash lives up to his reputation as an expert gunslinger and marksman, while maintaining his level head in battle, and displaying great compassion for the innocent. The price of the disk itself is worth it for this single episode. "Those eyes... its like looking into the eyes of the Diablo!"
Episode 13: "Vash the Stampede" wraps up the events at the end of "Diablo" and leads into what is a standard anime recap episode. We are treated to Meryl's task of reporting the events of the previous episodes to Bernardelli Insurance Society, and attempts to understand the man known as The Humanoid Typhoon. From the first meeting to the events of the last episode. Vash is portrayed as both a seemingly silly carefree man focused on his goals of love and peace, as well as a mysterious figure whose actions cannot be reasonably explained.
The video and audio on the disk are just what we have come to expect from Pioneer, crisp and clean. Any of the distortions that have popped up in the past are always being worked on and seem to have been further worked out on this the fourth Volume, by the end of the series I am sure the video with be flawless. Although anyone would love to hear the series presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround, the truth is it wasn't recorded to be presented that way. The standard stereo presentation is still wonderfully done.
The Packaging could also be described as standard, for both the series, and what we have come to expect from Pioneer. A plastic snap-shut case with the glossy cover insert. The cover art itself has returned to the dark gritty style of the first two disks. While the previous volumes have had more relevant titles, "Gung-Ho Guns" just doesn't seem to fit. Inside we have the typical insert with episode titles and chapter listings. I really wish the chapters had better titles than "Part A" and "Part B." I understand that this easily divides the episode for scene selection later but, it leaves you blank as exactly what to expect from each chapter. Also I will always be biased in my belief that the DVD should have more episodes than the VHS due to the huge storage capacity allowed, and the length of most anime series.
The Menus are the same as the previous volumes with the ability to set up the languages, subtitles, access to scene selections, extra features, and Pioneer product information. I really wish Pioneer would start using actually animated menus instead of what to me seems to be little more than an animated ".gif," especially for the scene selections. Other than that however the menus are fun, with wonderful backgrounds (despite my earlier statement about the animation of them) and awesome music from the series.
The extras on, and with, the disk are spiffy. The glossy insert cards are great, either for showing off in the front cover of a binder, or as an interesting wall decoration, I've even considered having them framed, and if I had a desk at work I'd consider it more. I enjoyed the villain designs a great deal, but the section on the Vash The Stampede action figure seemed more like an advertisement than an extra. While its nice to know who all helped bring this disk into the world, I would exactly consider "DVD Credits" as an extra. I suppose I am spoiled watching even the worst MGM DVD release receive extras such as director and designer commentary, behind the scenes specials, and production materials. Perhaps in time we will see the design sections either annotated or voiced over by the designers themselves, and then again I might see the series run subtitled and uncut on a major
television network, otaku dream too ya know.
Overall this is one of the best disks to come out for the series. While I will always expect more from the extras, and hold firm my belief that a series' DVD should have a 4 episode minimum, it delivers everything else I could want and expect. If you are fan of the series you simply have to buy this disk. If your patience have been worn thin by the last three volumes while waiting for something to happen, this disk delivers more than you could have expected. If you haven't started the series yet, this is as good a place to start as any.
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