The Trigun anime ended it's run in Japan years ago where it had moderate success and it debuted here in the states some time after with huge success. Time has passed, it's been reevaluated and proven popular enough that a movie get made.
The anime show about an alien/human creature named Vash who has adventures on another planet where the displaced humans patterned the culture after the old west with bounty hunters and adventures mixed madcap action, weird character designs and weapons with sci fi and humor......it's an odd show and one that if you could survive at least a dozen episodes in to get to the meat of the story was a good one, one that held it's cards close to not reveal too much and only show what was necessary as to it's characters and they're motives and the show history.
The movie kicks things off roughly 20 years or so before the show with the feared gangleader Gasback, who with his cronies has just robbed a huge and heavily guareded bank. The cronies backstab Gasback and with Vash's interferance, the goons get away and as the cops get involved, Gasback creates a disturbance that allows him to escape and Vash is blamed for the escape.
Cut to present day the head goon who escaped with Gasback's money has built a town in the middle of nowhere and is living the good life, but knows Gasback is on his tail. Gasback wants revenge for his great crime now ruined and plans on taking anything he can get out of his former underling. News has spread about Gasback being in the area and every bounty hunter and hitman has invaded the city hoping to grab a big bounty. Meryl and Milly arrive to keep the town safe, less the insurance agency cough up $$5 billion over the town's prized statue which might be Gasback's prize, Wolfwood gets involved as Gasback's bodyguard as payment for saving Wolfwood's life, Vash is in town, par for the course of being in the wrong place at the wrong time again and an aloof young woman named Amelia is in town also as part of the bounty hunters.
Plenty from the show that gave it charm made it into the movie. Vash's philosophy and why you cannot kill. The interesting looking characters and the way the technology works. Getting us to care about even minor characters and background people. The humor that gets sprinkled in to keep things light.
I've only heard the dub version and it's as good as the show, but only Vash's english speaking voice, Johnny Yong Bosch came back. Lia Sargent, Dorothy Melendrez, Jeff Nimoy and others sadly didn't. At least they got the most important character back. The rest of the voices do they're job.
I'm giving this a 2. It does have an epic movie feel to it even though it's really a big three part episode that I'm sure Cartoon Network can run that way in the future. It is enjoyable and you will have fun watching it, but this is a case of a lot that adds up that you can't stand. Meryl and Milly don't do much at all but they are here cause it would annoy the fans if they weren't in the movie and the exact same goes for another character who shows up for the same reason and which PROVES this takes place during the show's run and they don't say when or give a clue as to what episodes come yet, though I'm going to guess it takes place before the episode "Fifth Moon."
Oh, on the same token the movie doesn't answer any questions from the show that might have gone unanswered but only to strengthen some of the themes. Vash we all know won't take a life, not even a criminals since we know from the show that no one has the right to take the life of another, but Amelia's argument is how the evil will only kill the good, and when Gasback comes calling and the whole town starts to suffer, Vash stops to ponder this. Who is right?
The movie looks just like the show when it was on it's best budgeted days and with the way the movie is colored and drawn, it looks great and it's easy to have this blend in with the show. The music REALLY misses the sand steamer by not having too many memorable pieces of music, but NOT even giving us a rocking rendition of the classic opening guitar track, or even a new one for that matter!
The new characters are a mixed bag. Gasback isn't even the flashiest of Vash's TV foes but hes intimidating as hell and while he just looks like a mean ole hombre. Amelia on the other hand I couldn't stand. How many times.....go ahead and count have we seen the sexy, aloof ass kicking lonely girl with a chip on her shoulder? She doesn't want to attract attention but lets her red hair and midriff be showed off where ever she goes making sure she attracts all kinds of attention. I hate to sound like one of those lawyers who gets a rape victim on the stand and asks why you dressed the way you dressed if you didn't want attention....but Amelia should know better, especially since it's revealed she has alergic reactions to contact with others, so...cover up girl, for your own safety and health, you are only in a town full of killers and lowlifes afterall. Vash sadly is at his pervy worst at times with Amelia and you really don't mind it when she slaps him for acting like a jackass.
The biggest worry I had about this was it was going to be a total fanboy wank. All action and cool visuals with little to really invest in. The movie isn't COMPLETELY that but the fact that it doesn't do much to add to the Trigun series, tell us anymore about Vash or expand anything is the biggest heartache. Wouldn't it have been much more interesting to see where the plants come from, or see Vash try and rehabilitate his brother Knives, or have Vash try and fit in with society that still sees him as a criminal? No? We get this...Trigun Badlands Rumble is like a donut. Tasty-but it's not filling.
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