Review: Trigun

I took vacation and re-watched Trigun for the bazillionth time.  It’s less than 10 hrs once you skip intros and credits on the episodes (26 episodes which run ~20m each). But this time, as with many things in my life I’ve been seeing things through a lens colored by the current world.  Even trying to avoid the news while off work (staying out of touch!), it filtered in from a hundred small sources. So I watched Vash the Stampede struggle in his world and grieved.

If you’ve never seen this late-90’s anime, you should.  This is one of the series I’ve recommended as a good introduction to anime.  It is funny and dark and fun all intermixed. It is long enough to help someone figure out if they can stand a longer-than-2-hour story arc but not the 10,000 episodes of something like Inyuasha.   It seems like just a light-hearted twist and then it interweaves these little hints of something “bigger” going on.  Then another hint.  And then a much bigger hint.  And if you aren’t sucked in by the time the second bigger-hint hits, you will be from then on!

There have been viewings where I found Vash beyond idealistic and annoying.  When I watched this in the last few months of my last job – when I was frustrated and hated my management… Vash drove me crazy.  But this time as I watch him… I adore him for the exact same reasons.  It’s easy to love idealism when life is easy, it can be frustrating when someone else is idealistic and you aren’t.  I’m now in a place where my lens is so dark with bad news – hanging onto idealism and hope is all the more important.  Vash’s pain and sadness leak through occasionally, but overall he fights for the light and love answers to life. I want to hang onto that.

Because this is a tv show, I can only review the over-arching plot. Individual espisodes are better or worse.  There is one episode that makes me bawl like a baby every damn time. I love that episode.  Love it so hard. I always just want to cuddle Milly.  God, I love Milly.  She is such a flat character so often, but she occasionally dips into a deeper bit and when she does – DAMN the feels.

The over-arching plot is what makes me want to go back and watch it.  I know at least once where I tried to pick out the “five important episodes” and ended up essentially watching the entire series twice because I kept going, “oh, I should have watched that one.” So when I decide to watch it, I just start with Episode 1 and I don’t remember ever regretting that choice.

I know I should “critique” Trigun and it isn’t perfect.  It’s cheesy and the animation isn’t flashy and the characters are kind of flat.  But honestly, even each of those things I’m as likely to defend as turn negative.  It’s fun. It tells a great story in a clear way and if you like sci-fi/western (*cough* Firefly *cough*) you should watch this.