Trigun Stampede (2023)

The origin of the scarlet duster

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: April 25, 2023

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

More than 20 years since the original sensation that was Trigun, a new series emerges to tell the origin story of Vash the Stampede aka the Humanoid Typhoon!

Hooboy, this is actually a really tough review to write. The original Trigun Stampede is considered an absolute staple of the Anime world, with Vash running around in his iconic scarlet duster shooting his way out of difficulties in the zaniest anime-like way possible, and a fresh neo-noir animation style not seen before then in 1998 when it was introduced. Original Trigun was groundbreaking in terms of story, animation, style and scope, and this new show is absolutely no different, so let’s dive into this and hang onto the Humanoid Typhoon for dear life!

Back some time ago to absolutely no-ones surprise, Earth was rendered uninhabitable and humanity had to leave to try and find another planet to live on, tons and tons of them in massive colony ships fled our planet of origin. Also on these ships are these creatures called plants, artificial organic life forms created by humans for the express purpose of creating clean, renewable energy on whatever planet they end up colonizing. (Are we colonizing or conquering? Is there much difference? Because an army of foreign species with the means to revamp the entire planets ecosystem sounds like a take-over to me!) And on one particular ship is a pair of siblings, Vash and Nai, who are unique amongst everyone else due to the very special connection to the plants they both possess.

Both young Vash (Tomoyo Kurosawa) and Nai are raised lovingly by a woman named Rem Saverem (Maaya Sakamoto), she tries to instill in them care and compassion for all living things, and while Vash thrives under her attention, young Nai (Yumiri Hanamori) is already displaying violent tendencies and chastising humanity as a whole for how they treat the plants. But then one day all the colony fleet’s computer systems malfunction, causing the entire fleet to crash onto the arid planet they call Noman’s Land!

Cut to now, present day here on the desert planet they named Noman’s Land, Vash the Stampede aka the Humanoid Typhoon (Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) is a wanted man with a hefty price on his head. Despite Vash’s very real good intentions, every time he goes to do a good deed, save a person or a town, everything gets tangled and turned around and usually ends up with Vash having to shoot his way out of the situation and hope he doesn’t hit any bystanders!

Noman’s Land has more or less been colonized by the survivors of the crashed fleet, and each and every one of them is dependent on the plants they transferred from the ships to the planets surface for power purposes, small towns or big cities or not, for the planet is drier than an Englishmans wit and without exploiting the plants humanity would not have survived.

Sadly but inevitably, not only did Nai survive the massive destruction of the colony fleet, he took his violently vengeful little self and turned himself into the villain known as Millions Knives (Junya Ikeda), and you can probably guess why. Vash the Stampede walks the dry land of Noman’s Land trying to right wrongs, while Millions Knives creates horrific monsters to send after Vash and anyone who gets in his way, continuing his ultimate plan for the annihilation of humanity as a whole, because hey, they deserve it!

Joining Vash is a pair of investigative reporters, seasoned veteran Roberto De Niro (Kenji Matsuda) and star-eyed rookie Meryl Stryfe (Sakura Ando), who initially wanted to do a story on Vash that would get him both caught and them the reward money, only to find themselves embroiled up to their dry eyeballs in Vash and Nai’s war! Also joining our scarlet-dustered hero is Nicholas D. Wolfwood (Yoshimasa Hosoya), an actual priest who wields a taller-than-him gun that often appears as a giant wrapped-up cross that he calls “Punisher”, another Trigun mainstay with a history of bitchin gun battles in impossible circumstances.

The choice to use the newfangled animation style called 3DCG animation for the new Trigun Stampede was a brave one, given the lackluster reviews of Ghost in the Shell SAC_2045 who tried the same thing, but Toho producer Katsuhiro Takei was adamant that the strong core of Trigun storytelling could survive any style changes thrown at it, and he was right. The new opening theme for the show, ‘TOMBI’ was created by JPop star Kvi Baba, and perfectly conveys the melancholy nature of Vashs’ existence. And hey, this new telling of Vash and pals story even includes the origin of his beloved and recognizable scarlet duster!

Get mowed over by the Humanoid Typhoon and his desperate pals on Crunchyroll now!