A retelling of the greatest anime, ‘Trigun Stampede’

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Crunchyroll

Original Crunchyroll North American poster of “Trigun Stampede” produced in 2023.

Spencer Woodbury, Editor-in-Chief

“Trigun Stampede,” by studio Orange, is a reboot of studio Madhouse’s beloved sci-fi anime, “Trigun.” Watching the original “Trigun” series is advised but not required to follow or enjoy “Trigun Stampede” considering it is more of a retelling than a continuation. 

“Trigun Stampede” follows Vash, a goofy gunslinger with a six-billion-double dollar bounty on his head. Compared to other notable anime characters, like Guts from “Berserk,” what makes Vash unique is not his use of violence but his avoidance of it.

Compared to the original “Trigun,” where the first handful of episodes meander a bit with a slow-burn introduction of Vash, “Trigun Stampede’s” introductory episode wastes no time establishing Vash’s story as well as the direction of the series. It introduces Vash’s backstory as well as his purpose of fighting peacefully over depleted resources.

“Trigun Stampede” reintroduces the beloved character of Meryl Stryfe. In “Trigun,” Meryl is an insurance agent tasked to limit Vash’s impact on society, but in “Trigun Stampede,” Meryl is an investigative reporter. The change in Meryl’s profession fits the anime reboot well. Watching Meryl follow Vash around in the original series was illogical due to the daily duties of insurance agents, but it makes sense for her to be a journalist due to their nature of following stories and leads.

My main issue with “Trigun Stampede” is studio Orange’s executive decision to recast Milly Thompson, who has been replaced with Roberto De Niro, a bitter, alcoholic know-it-all. In the original “Trigun,” it was interesting to see the contrast between Meryl and Milly because although they were both bubbly characters they still had vastly different views on the environments they found themselves in. Roberto still serves the same purpose of contrasting Meryl, but “Trigun Stampede” does not feel the same due to his overall negative demeanor and outlook on life. 

Although many “Trigun” and anime fans have concerns with “Trigun Stampede’s” switch to computer graphics (CG) animation, they can rest assured that the animation is beautiful. Character actions are fluid and expressive without looking cheap. “Trigun Stampede’s” action sequences, shootouts and character movement have an impressive cinematic feel which was greatly needed due to the original series fights feeling corny and Looney Toon like.

Another major issue fans have with “Trigun Stampede” is Vash’s character redesign, such as his change in glasses and hair. In actuality, the redesign is pleasing and well deserved. In the original series, Vash’s glasses are dark tinted. With the glasses light tinted redesign, it is now possible to see Vash’s emotions during action scenes, resulting in unique facial expressions and a better understanding of him as a character. In the original series, Vash’s hair is stiff and spiky. With the floppy hair redesign, animators are now able to make Vash’s movement more fluid and vibrant, resulting in a more dynamic and realistic feeling character.

With “Trigun Stampede,” studio Orange delivers a stellar experience despite many fans’ concerns over the changes in the rebooted series. Through the necessary redesign, the world of “Trigun” has never looked better. ★★★★☆

This article will be updated with a full review after the eventual conclusion of “Trigun Stampede.”

From greatest anime to frustrating cash grab, ‘Trigun’