Manga in Minutes: Trigun, Vol. 1

Trigun, Vol. 1Created by Yasuhiro NightowDark Horse, 360 ppRating: 14 +

One of the stand out anime hits from the 90s, thanks to frequent airings on Adult Swim, Yasuhiro Nightow's Trigun is a mash up of sci-fis, westerns, action, comedy and more!

With Dark Horse in the process of re-releasing Trigun Maximum in omnibus style collections, I thought it would be a good time take a look Trigun. The story follows Vash as he wanders a futuristic desert world, roaming from city to city seemingly aimlessly as he gets into one misadventure after another. The first volume doesn't really have much of a central plot, it's all set up, establishing the reputation of Vash and introducing us to the duo who form the core of his supporting cast, Millie and Meryl, a pair of insurance agents assigned to follow and help mitigate any damage Vash causes. Along the way we're given bits of backstory, hinting at the world's origins and the reasons for Vash's odd status as a living, walking, disaster area. Vash's pacifistic streak and murky past seems to cast him into a similar role to that of Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin, and both characters do seem to have quite a bit in common.

Visually the book's a bit of a mess at times. It's detailed, dynamic and stylish, but the panels can feel incredibly cluttered and the action scenes are laid out strangely at times, with odd choices in the transitions, angles, specific shots and such. The gun fights are often hectic at times, and it seems like the panels are barely able to contain the action Nightow wants to jam into them. His character designs are always unique and there's a variety of body types and faces used, something that's often underrated or overlooked in modern manga. His character designs here are pretty solid, with Vash being the obvious stand out. Even in black and white the long coat, spiky hair and sunglasses make him for an eye catching and memorable design.

I was a little hesitant about reading Trigun after my first taste of Nightow in the form of Blood Blockade Battlefront. Sure, I enjoyed the anime, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the manga will be readable and, frankly, Blood Blockade Battlefront really didn't do much for me. Trigun was definitely fun, though the artwork could get a bet impenetrable at times. Despite that the characters and story have all the charm, humor and action that made the anime such a hit.

Trigun, Vol. 1 is available from Dark Horse Comics.

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