The next item for “Apocalypse Week” is the Trigun Pilot. “The The $$60,000,000,000 Man.” Trigun the tv series is based off the manga written and illustrated by Yasuhiro Nightow. Which was produced by Madhouse and directed by Sathoshi Nishimuru. The anime ran for one season and was created in 1998, while the manga was created in 1996 and ran to 1997.
i chose Trigun because the story takes place on an alien world that is wasteland ruled by human survivors. It kicks off with stories of Vash the Stampede who destroyed a town in which no one survived. We later see a mysetrious man in red attacked by mercenaries who destroy a town which leads into the main plot of the episode. I also enjoyed the series in High School, so figured it would be a fun one to go back too, even if it is only just for a single episode in this instance.
The pilot is a case of mistaken identity in that everyone is looking for Vash (a bunch of mercenaries) and two insurance agents Meryl and Milly who are trying to find him in order to get him to stop destroying towns so their insurance company won’t have to keep paying for damages. They run into the mysterious stranger as well and mistake a bounty hunter for Vash who in turn mistakes another bounty hunter for Vash. They eventually figure how the man in red with the two guns is Vash and target him only for them to be tricked and defeated by their own weapons. This is how it ends with Milly and Meryl not quite sure if he is Vash or not, though the episode implies as much…as they continue their search.
Here is the assessment of the episode:
The Pros: The World – The world is really cool. It has a Space Western Feel (will probably include it in another one of the week’s for this reason) and has a threatening feel to it too, as it opens with news of the slaughter of a town. This is a world where there is no law and the largest fish rules. This is the traditional aftermath of most apocalypses.
Milly and Meryl – These two are awesome. They are two women just trying to do their jobs in a rough situation, but having the stubbornness to get through it all and find the person they think is responsible for all the damages. They are the everyday folk, but with a twist, since Milly has a giant gun for protection.
Vash – Vash is a bit of a clown, but still interesting. I hated when his face went all anime cat after doing some antics against one of the mercenaries, but I like his philosophy. He never kills…which makes all the damage happen in turn be more tied to him. Because he refuses to kill, the bullies of this world run rampant until he can outsmart them and beat them by their own devices. Descartes, the giant gangster who fights with a mechanical Boomerang and the sniper Loose Ruth…both of who are taken out by the boomerang and without Vash firing a shot. He is a coyote, Lokish figure, which makes him intriguing…if at times annoying.
The art style – I like the art style when it isn’t exaggerating expressions. The character designs are drawn large and look very cool for the most part. It has that western meets sci. fi. feel and also a sense of desolation. There are no trees and most of the color in in peoples’ hair or what they wear.
Cons: The Gangsters – Descartes and Loose Ruth have no exploration and pretty much function as baddies of the week. That was disappointing.
The Cat Face – At one point when he trolls and beats Descartes, he makes a cat face, that and the exaggerated expressions in the episode were kind of grating since it started out so serious. It kind of clashed with the tone.
Vash Reveal – Milly and Meryl still don’t know who he is? There should have been the team up or conflict starting at that point, beyond just Vash stealing their food.
So how does the pilot hold up? From what I remember the series gets better. The episode does okay with introductions to the characters, and great for introductions to the world…but that’s about all I can say. It’s worth watching for what comes later, but is not a great story in it’s own right.
Final score is 6.5 / 10 A slightly above average anime pilot.