Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Manga4life's "Trigun" review.
Hello readers, it's M4L back at it again with a review of an anime series loved and respected by almost everyone who has taken the time to watch it, today I am going to review the infamous "Trigun".
Trigun is often credited alongside Cowboy Bebop as being one of the few anime series that helped the medium find a mature audience in Japan as well as the United States, anime fans were hitting retail outlets pretty hard to get their hands on DVD releases of the series which eventually led Trigun to be aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim in 2003. A big reason as to why fans were seeking out Trigun so forcefully was because of it's mature plot and style of storytelling which was a lot different from the Saturday morning "toyetic" anime shows that were being aired at the time, people knew Trigun was different and mature anime fans wanted to experience a show that they could dive into for a change. The plot itself is centered around a slick gunman by the name of Vash the Stampede, who inadvertently causes damage almost everywhere he goes thanks to being hunted because of a huge bounty on his head, and two insurance agency employees (Meryl & Millie) who follow him around in an attempt to minimize the damage he causes. Throughout Vash's travels he tries his hardest to save lives through non-lethal force, but people usually end up dying or getting seriously hurt in the process, eventually Vash meets up with a smooth talking Priest named Nicholas Wolfwood who joins up with him on his travels for a majority of the series. One running gag throughout the series is that most of the damage caused by Vash isn't really by his own hands, often times throughout the series he will be confronted by bounty hunters who want to kill Vash in order to receive the "Sixty-Billion double dollars" prize on his head, then soon after the fight is finished and the town is damaged, Meryl and Millie will usually give him an ear full about how their insurance company cannot keep paying for damages that he has caused and that Vash needs to be more careful. A lot of people, myself included, found hilarity in the way the insurance girls would nag Vash throughout the series, it definitely helped to add a fun element that threaded itself throughout a mostly serious plot.
Overall I felt the story of Trigun was pretty strong, there were some times both early in the series and later on toward the end that I felt the story dragged a little bit, most of the good stuff was somewhere between episodes 10-18, but overall the series had a decent flow to it and a solid plot. The characters in the series were interesting and fun to follow, especially the supporting cast of Meryl, Millie and Wolfwood, by the end of the series I felt that Wolfwood had become my favorite character in the series. I think a big part of why the Priest became my favorite character was the mysterious feel that surrounded him and the way he viewed the act of murder versus Vash's take on the subject, it dragged me in and made him shine in my eyes. As a whole I felt that Meryl and Millie were just around for comic relief, they don't really do a whole lot besides complain and get in Vash's way, but they added a 3rd dimension to the series that was much needed because I didn't feel Vash's character was strong enough to lead the series all by himself without a little help from an interesting supporting cast, both the girls and Nicholas Wolfwood helped to fit that bill nicely. Vash himself suffers from a strange case of trying to come across as badass and hilarious at the same time, he has a cool character but sometimes the shift in his personality was just a bit much to take and I felt it took away from what was going on in the situations he would find himself in, but in hindsight I feel that the characters in this series were written pretty well and were definitely fun to keep up with, I know others will share a different opinion on them (especially Vash) but I just wanted to note what I felt as I progressed through the show.
The music in this series does not really have the heavy recognition of something like a Cowboy Bebop or anything like that, but I found the themes used for the opening and ending credits were done really well and helped to give the show a nice little identity, music used throughout the series for storytelling purposes were pretty good and made for nice atmospheric moments, though I wouldn't put the background music on par with the best of the best. I wouldn't even put Trigun at the top of the anime ladder for it's music or anything, but I definitely think that the series could boast it's original soundtrack as one of it's strong points if it wanted to, the OST has a nice flow to it and realy is worth listening to despite being somewhat flat at times. I really felt that one of Trigun's strongest assets is it's sound effects and voice overs, I felt like the dubbing cast was very strong and the voice actors that were used helped to make the characters stand out and really made them enjoyable in my opinion. Also, the sound effects throughout Trigun with stuff such as guns shooting, explosions, animals, liquid being poured, people walking and doors closing sounded fantastic and the SFX crew should be rewarded for doing such a fine job with creating a nice atmosphere for the series, this is something that a lot of animated programs lacked back in the late 90's but Trigun handled them well. And last but not least I wanted to mention the art and animation in Trigun, I thought the series was animated pretty well, the characters looked great and the art was fairly smooth, but there were some moments that I felt the animation was handled poorly and was a little weak, especially when there was a lot going on at one time, but as a whole the series boasts some pretty good animation and was definitely above the curve for the time of it's release (1997/1998). That's it for now folks, I will go ahead and rate the key catagories using the same rating table I have used with all my other reviews in the past. Peace & Love and as always, do enjoy...
Art & Animation - 8.75/10
Music & Sound Effects - 8.5/10
Story & Writing - 7.0/10
Fun - 7.75/10
Overall - 7.75/10
As always I want to thank those who took the time to read my blog, it's much appreciated and you can always check me out at www.twitter.com/manga4life as well as TZ and FUNI.