Mania Grade: NA
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- Audio Rating: N/A
- Video Rating: N/A
- Packaging Rating: N/A
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- Extras Rating: N/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 Roman Martel
February 18, 2002
Release Date: September 26, 2000
Overall Rating: 4.7
(on a scale of 1-5)
English Acting: 4
Well, Vash the Stampede is back, and this disc gets cooking with some interesting plot developments, and some delving into the character of Vash. This disc also contains the infamous flashback/rehash episode. Is it cheating to actually start a series in the middle of its run? Well, it all depends on how good the series is.
Pioneer delivers another well-done disc. Trigun's main problem in the technical arena has been the rainbow effects. I've seen these little guys off and on through the whole series. In the last disc in particular, they were all over the place. In this disc they seemed to have taken some time off. I didn't see too many of them. Other than that the picture was nice and sharp. The sound worked wonderfully as well, sounding great on my little 3 speaker set up. The keepcase cover has the great foil card that really catches your attention. The back contains all the usual information that you need. The menus keep up the great mix of functionality and great style. The extras include a behind the scenes look at the making of the Vash action figure in a series of conceptual stills and slide show. You also get the concept art for the villains of the show. This disc keeps up the technical scores. Let's see how the content rates.
So far Trigun has kept going on a kind of wild ride around a desert planet. We'd follow Vash and friends on a variety of adventures. The mix of comedy and action was pretty well done, and most the episodes had you entertained. They seemed to follow a set plan of sorts, and weren't as random as Cowboy Bebop. In that aspect we were able to see little hints into Vash's character. His reactions to some of the adventures gave you an idea that behind all the spazzy, childlike behavior... there was something going on.
This disc opens Vash up a lot more. We are still not quite clear about many of the aspects of his past but we do see that he is not a child, he is not a spaz, he is very much in control of who he is.
In the first episode we have a caravan in trouble. Of course Vash, Wolfwood, Meryl and Millie are all on board and that makes for trouble. In a twist on Romeo and Juliet, two young lovers try to escape from their fate, but when Millie and Wolfwood attempt to help them, they find out that Vash has sworn to stop the pair from running. Suddenly Vash is a cold-blooded machine, with one objective, stopping the two lovers, by any means. It's a bit unsettling to see Vash do this 180 degree switch. Aside from that we see Millie and Wolfwood and a bit of chemistry between them. They are so cute. We also learn the very important phrase, "Never stand between a woman and her pudding!"
The second episode brings an old "friend" into Vash's life; the man in the white jacket, with cold eyes that seems to throw Vash off his stride. Vash is warned that his life is close to ending. Suddenly, Vash is thrown in jail for a murder he didn't commit. We see now that Vash is hiding something very dangerous inside him. The fun-loving guy is gone and is replaced with a grim looking young man who is waiting to die. Death comes in the form a huge man armed to the teeth. Vash tries to escape this assassin, and keep the towns people from harms way. It doesn't work. Innocent people are killed. Vash doesn't hold back any more. That cold killer we saw in the last episode is back, but this time it's even more frightening. The climax of the episode goes further into Vash's past and we catch a glimpse of that mysterious "dream girl" again.
The third episode on the disc is a recap episode. We've seen these before in anime and live action shows. This one occurs at the halfway point and is done from Meryl's point of view, with Millie helping. It's fun and well done, and I must admit I found it helpful to see some of the key points in previous episodes again. Especially now that the plot has finally kicked in. For a recap episode it's well done, but it's the least interesting of the three episodes.
The animation on Trigun has been a bit of a mixed bag. Parts of it look very good and parts look average. For me, the most interesting part of the animation has been the production design. There have been a great variety of weapons and vehicles highlighted in this film as well as character designs that are unique. This disc has kept up the interesting work up, and I enjoyed watching the assortment of weird heads in the recap episode (I think you can identify a villain in this show by his strange shaped head. It's great). The sound has been up to par with the design. Each weapon has had an individual sound to it, and it adds to the show. You've also go the great atmospheric sounds like the dusty wind blowing threw the town and the steam geysers that erupt from the dunes in the first episode.
The plot has been a bit tough to judge with this series. I was unclear on whether this was a comedy, and action or a drama with funny parts. It's really a mixed bag, and it's done pretty well. This type of mix of spazzy comedy, action and drama is hard to pull off well, and Trigun does it most of the time. But when if messes up, it falls a bit flat. These episodes tone down a bit on the comedy and now fully focus on the character of Vash and his conflicting personality. The result is one of the best discs of this show yet.
While the Insurance girls remain pretty much stock characters, they are still entertaining. I hope that Meryl gets a bit more character thrown into her, especially since we learned lots about Millie in the first episode of this disc. My biggest gripe has been that it's taken this long to really get somewhere with the plot. It's been a fun ride up to this point, but I can see why some people would have trouble sticking it out. You could almost start watching Trigun with this disc and skip the previous ones and be O.K. That's not good writing from the development point of view.
The English acting has remained consistent with most of the actors doing a good job. Vash and Millie are the best in my opinion. They really have a handle on their characters and that isn't an easy thing to do, especially with Vash. The actor portraying Wolfwood seems to be a bit unsure of how to play him and the result makes Wolfwood seem a bit flaky at times. Meryl is real hit and miss. Sometimes she's got the part nailed down, and sometimes she seems to be a bit confused on how to react to Vash (a problem most of the characters in the show seem to have).
I love the score to this series. It's been fun to see how they incorporate some of the music I've heard on my CDs into the show. This score is well done and has enough variety to keep you on your toes.
Trigun kicks into high gear with this disc. The show seems to be going somewhere now and that's great. But will it be too little too late? I hope not. We still have enough episodes to make this series a cut above Bebop. I hope it can pull it off. I'm looking forward to the next disc to see just where Vash takes us next.
Roman J. Martel
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