Review: Trigun: Badlands Rumble Anime | My Reviews 06 OCT 2011

12 years on since the original anime run, and Yasuhiro Nightow’s popular creation Trigun finally makes its triumphant return to the spotlight, with Trigun: Badlands Rumble, a 2010 movie directed by Satoshi Nishimura and produced by Madhouse.

20 years ago, Vash the Stampede, the Humanoid Typhoon with a $$60 billion bounty on his head, interfered with one Gasback’s perfect bank robberies, leading to the escape of Gasback’s three mutinous henchmen, as well as the deranged giant of a man sporting a complex gun in place of one of his hands.

Fast forward to today and Gasback is back, wreaking havoc across the dusty planet and making some very wealthy people pretty scared, scared enough to put out the call for all bounty hunters to assemble in an attempt to take down Gasback before he strikes again, luring the lot of them in with the promise of a huge bounty that has now been placed on the thief’s head.

And Vash? Of course he just happens to be heading that way as well, happens to bump into a beautiful young female bounty hunter that seems to be taking this Gasback business for more personal that what she should be, and just happens to have a LITTLE bit more interest in this whole affair than what he lets on!

If you enjoyed the anime series then you will undoubtedly love this movie as Satoshi has gone to great lengths to produce something that feels that it has been plucked straight out of the original run, featuring exactly the same style of art, tone and storytelling we all know and love, and of course bringing in all of the fan favourites in terms of characters, to produce what in the end is a polished, enjoyable film that has a decent enough twist at the end in order to make sure it isn’t all a ho hum, we knew what was coming, affair.

Of course, that said, older viewers who didn’t enjoy the original series will certainly not enjoy it thanks to its remarkable similarity to the original run, and younger viewers with no exposure might find that the art style feels a little dated for a movie release. However, Trigun was a big hit in the West when it was eventually released there, and there is simply no reason that this polished film can’t incite a new generation of Trigun fanboys!

After all, where else can you expect to find a proper futuristic, gun-toting action slapstick comedy set in the classic Wild West (but out in Space) gunslinger period piece to enjoy?

Visually, Trigun is polished with great 90’s style action sequences that take up large quantities of the screen time, interspersed with some great usage of deformed animation when the need arises. The visual style matches the action slapstick-comedy tone well, and there is very little to complain about in terms of the art department. Similarly, the voice actors are well cast and match up with their various (and varied) characters well, complemented by a fantastic background music score.

Overall, this is an enjoyable film in a genre that really isn’t catered all that much for any more, a bit of a relic from the 90’s one could almost say. But that is also what makes it so refreshing, for a change not having to sit through a harem of scantily clad, overly cute characters who have to rely on fanservice in order to make it entertaining. It is a polished story that is humorous, action-packed and very entertaining, making it a definite must see for fans of the original series, and certainly worth picking up for any other anime fan who enjoys some dusty western action comedy time!

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.