On the planet, Gunsmoke, a pair of insurance agents are tasked with a singular task: Babysit a grown man known as Vash the Stampede as he moves from city to city. Problem is, trouble follows Vash wherever he goes, in the form of a legion of bounty hunters determined to claim his head and the sixty billion dollar bounty placed on it.
Welcome to the wild, wild world of Trigun, originally a manga before being adapted into a classic anime.
Here are 10 facts every fan should know about the anime!
10 What On Earth Is A Trigun?
Trigun is not a character, but a reference to the fact that Vash carries three guns. We have the .45 long colt nickel-plated revolver capable of firing seven shots with a full load. Then there is his cybernetic left arm which hides a deadly secret in the form of a powerful semiautomatic pistol, later upgraded to a submachine gun.
And then finally, we come to Vash's ultimate weapon, his angel arm. Upon activation, Vash's right arm transforms into cannons, capable of destroying entire cities with a single blast.
9 Whoa, Is This Vash Guy Really That Powerful?
Ridiculously so. We start the series with a sixty billion dollar bounty placed on Vash, who goes by the nickname The Humanoid Typhoon, with every bounty hunter in the area gunning for his head. Why is he attracting so much attention? Well, Vash single-handedly destroyed an entire city before we're even introduced to him.
Throughout the series, we discover that Vash is not human, but a 131-year-old interdimensional plant being that acts as a natural source of power and energy. It is this naturally produced bioenergy that Vash uses to create organic weapons of incredible power. Basically, Vash is stronger, faster, smarter and more skilled than almost every other being on planet Gunsmoke.
8 So Cool! But How Do You Make Such An Unstoppable Character Interesting?
Despite his massive power levels, life isn't easy for Vash. He's a hardcore pacifist whose only desire is to help humanity. He shows a light-hearted and often goofy side to his friends and family, flirting with women and playing games with children to counter his fearsome reputation and make new friends.
It is only in the aftermath of combat that the happy mask falls off, and we see the actual pain and sadness Vash feels due to his tormented existence and all that he has lost since having the bounty placed on his head. His body is a patchwork of gruesome scars from past battles that Vash refuses to let heal as a reminder of the cost of his 'no-killing-enemies' rule.
7 That's Some Heavy Stuff. So What's The Anime Actually About?
The anime focuses on Vash and his self-appointed role as the protector of the innocent. This frequently brings him into direct conflict with a number of dangerous individuals. There are the masses of bounty hunters eager to claim Vash as the ultimate prize. There is an assortment of unpleasant individuals, bullies, conmen, and thugs waiting for Vash in each of town.
Finally, there is Knives, Vash's twin brother. The two are very nearly equal in strength. While Knives loves Vash, he carries a relentless hatred for humanity that frequently puts him on the opposing side to his brother. Almost always with such meetings, absolute destruction ensues.
6 What Makes This Anime Different From Others?
Fantastic writing and well-rounded characters. A lot of anime suffer from an excess of style over substance, giving more weight to stylized action scenes and one-liners than an actual plot. But Trigun has been consistently praised for its deep themes and frequent social commentary.
There is an intellectual heft behind the action that unfolds across the series. Villains are not one-note, but carry complex motivations and relatable goals. Vash himself is a fascinating patchwork of ideas and motifs relating to real-world eastern and western philosophies in connection with pacifism in the face of war and the desire for redemption for past sins.
5 We Know About The Characters, But What About The Worldbuilding?
Gunsmoke has binary suns and five moons which constantly change colors. The people of Gunsmoke are not aliens, however, but human beings who were trying to escape from a ruined Earth.
It was these early human settlers who created the plant species that Vash belongs to, and the original reason for doing so was to use the plants as a source of unlimited energy.
4 What Kind Of Action Can We Expect?
Expect a lot of sweet gun action. Like, a lot. The show is essentially a riff on old-school cowboy movies but with futuristic weaponry. So you get to see a lot of showdowns, standoffs, and other kinds of activities involving shooting things and men with guns pointing those guns at each other while talking about vengeance.
You get to see a lot of really cool gun designs, especially with the angel arms and cross punishers. There's a hundred-foot-long sniper rifle. And all other kinds of awesome (if impractical in real life) weaponry.
3 Do We Need To See The Whole Series From The Start To Get It?
The first ten episodes in the series contain mostly self-contained storylines that don't add much to the overall plot. It is from the eleventh episode onwards that Vash's past begins to catch up with him, and we get an inkling of the larger forces at play. Once Legato and Knives enter the picture, the real story begins.
It is with these later episodes that the true mythology of the series begins to take shape and you realize there is much more to Vash than dazzling gunplay and quippy jokes.
2 What's The Story Behind The Angel Arms?
The angel arms are Vash's weapons of choice when he needs to go for the nuclear option and just obliterate everything in his path. Despite using them all the time, the arms were not Vash's invention.
After wrecking a fleet of colony ships, Vash's stepbrother Knives used the ship's remains to make a pair of pistols. These pistols, when used by members of their race, become weapons of mass destruction known as Angel Arms. Vash uses the weapon many times, but we only got to see its twin in the finale.
1 What Does The Creator Of The Manga Think Of The Anime?
Oftentimes, we hear of authors who wrote an original series being dissatisfied with the onscreen adaptations of their work. This did not happen with Trigun manga creator Yasuhiro Nightow. He loves the anime for being able to distill the ideas he was exploring in the original manga into something that a viewing audience can appreciate.
In fact, Nightow loves the anime so much that he has frequently incorporated filler characters from the show into later manga chapters of the series. So Trigun the anime carries the seal of approval from the original creator of the series.