Trigun – episodes one to five

July 4, 2004 on 3:40 pm | In Trigun | Comments Off on Trigun – episodes one to five

Now this is like something! These first episodes of Trigun show great promise: a series with a comedic start that will grow to gradually reveal plot elements and dark pasts and unleash its dramatic core! At least, that’s the impression that one gets. Then episode five comes along and they’re proven right.

Vash the Stampede, The Humanoid Typhoon, the man with the $$60,000,000,000 (that’s pronounced “double dollars”) bounty on his head. He’s being chased across a desert planet, not only by bounty hunters, but also by insurance agents. The first four episodes show Vash being hunted by a variety of miscreants and the insurance agents, Meryl and Milly, not believing that he is who they say he is. The fifth decides that maybe it’s time to bring in the big plot.

Vash is the series’ drawcard. He’s one of those great heroes with a repertoire of hilarious faces but also can be serious. Whenever there’s a big pinch, he expertly handles it while looking like he’s bumbling through it. At some memorable times, he can look like he’s contemplating serious things, and is about to voice them … and then he throws up. There are some hints in his dialogue as to what his intentions are, but presently they’re few and far between. He’s also a lech, constantly trying to get into fan service situations, but nothing ever comes of them except perhaps a kick to the head. If Vash isn’t getting his peeks in, neither is the audience. Quite an admirable approach to the issue.
Vash is really made by the performance of Onosaka Masaya. I started watching Trigun based on his work as big Kero-chan in Cardcaptor Sakura, and his Vash is even more impressive. As with the character himself, Onosaka’s voice runs the gamut of emotions. At first, Vash has a very effeminate voice. He soon starts to speak normally, but he also has these blistering moments of pure drama. Vash is most often compared to Rurouni Kenshin‘s titular character, and Onosaka’s range is somewhat similar to Suzukaze Mayo. They may share some themes and character elements, but they’re still independent.

Thusfar, Milly and Meryl are not too heavily involved beyond turning up at every incident that Vash is at. It appears that their mission, as agents of Bernardelli Insurance Company, is to politely ask Vash to stop causing so much damage as his legendary tendency to destroy towns has caused a spike in claims. Failing to believe Vash is who he really is, despite his always turning up at just the right time and doing just the right thing, is something that hinders them.

The character designs vary. Vash has his hilarious faces, but he also has a disturbing tendency to come over all bishounen from time to time. Meryl is compact and cute, and her temper is fiery without coming close to shrewishness, a disease that beset anime women in the late nineties. One of the big turn offs in looking into Trigun, however, is Milly. To look at her, she’s very tall and masculine. Watching the series itself, you quickly grow used to it when it becomes apparent that that’s the kind of character that they were aiming for, and it’s not an accident of design.
The colour pallette is fairly dull, as one might expect of a Western anime set on a desert planet. The building designs are closer to Westerns set in Mexican places, and as a result almost all of them are white. It’s not enough to make the series boring, however. The rest of the setting remains a mystery – what’s the giant lightbulb? What is a plant? – these are questions that will hopefully be answered, as the story of this world is just interesting enough to be explored.

It should be noted that the OP is fairly generic, and the ED is … not very nice to listen to.

Trigun has a lot of potential and has been quite enjoyable in these first five episodes. When it reveals more of itself, it’s sure to become even more entertaining. The setting in particular looks to be very promising.

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