Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trigun: Badlands Rumble

Trigun is one of my favorite anime series ever. Comprised of only 26 episodes, it is as amazing as it is brief. The story follows the character of Vash the Stampede (also known as "the Humanoid Typhoon") as he often finds his way into trouble even when he's not looking for it. Vash is a sharpshooting enigma with a few problems. One of the problems that he has is a $$60,000,000,000 (sixty billion double dollar) bounty on his head. Of course, it's all a very big misunderstanding. Vash just wants two things out of life: love and peace. Vash hates violence and refuses to kill anyone.

Whoever heard of a gunman that doesn't kill people? Well, that's what makes Vash who he is.

Following Vash around are two insurance agents, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, who are assigned with the unfortunate duty of evaluating claims regarding the Humanoid Typhoon. Naturally, they do not believe that Vash is actually the one they are following when they first meet him. He just doesn't fit the bill of a bloodthirsty human disaster. Well, he isn't. They believe him to be a goofball.  Well, he's not quite the goofball he seems to be, but bad things do tend to happen him and he is often blamed for other peoples' wrongdoings.

Eventually another character finds Vash. His name is Nicholas D. Wolfwood and he is a traveling man of the cloth who just happen to carry some serious firepower. Wolfwood's reasons for being around Vash are as mysterious as Vash's reasons for being... Vash.

It is these four characters that feature in the movie Trigun: Badlands Rumble and the movie is that much better for it. Coming twelve years after the end of the series (although taking place somewhere in the middle of the series), this film is a welcome revisit with my favorite characters. All of them look like how I remember them with one exception: the animation is so much sharper.

The movie begins 20 years before the start of the series. A robber named Gasback is about to be betrayed and killed by his gang until Vash the Stampede steps in to save him (and Vash is considered to be an accomplice of Gasback for doing so even though he had nothing to do with the robbery).

20 years later Vash is still being Vash and Gasback is planning revenge on those that tried to kill him. Coincidence would have it that Vash and Gasback end up going to the same town. Gasback has somehow enlisted the help of Wolfwood while Vash has befriended a woman named Amelia who bears a grudge against the robber and wants to kill him. If only she knew that it was Vash that saved Gasback 20 years ago...

The two tag-teams face off and it is anybody's guess who will win. But it's tough to take sides against Vash.

This movie is great for fans of the series or for newcomers. There are no spoilers or any newly discovered facts that will go over the heads of any newbies or shock any Trigun veterans. That doesn't mean the movie is redundant, either. It's an extra chapter to the series that may not be necessary for inclusion in the Trigun series, but it is welcomed and appreciated. It feels both new and old to me. I feel like I'm watching the series again except this just happens to be an episode I've never seen before. That's what it feels like.

I highly recommend it.

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