OP Sequence

OP: 「TOMBI」 by Kvi Baba


Who would’ve thunk Trigun would return to TV!? As 2023 rolls in, so does The Human Typhoon himself, the $$60 billion man, Pierre Andres Charton-Haymoss Ivanovicci Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III (otherwise known as Vash the Stampede). While Trigun Stampede promises to be more of an origin story of how Vash handled his reputation as the Human Typhoon, Studio Orange spares no Double Dollars in recapturing the gung-ho spirit of the original series.


As with every darn throwback anime out nowadays, I have my origin story with Trigun. It was one of the few retro shows I caught two episodes of in Adult Swim’s heyday. It was a fun, quirky Western pastiche that knew when to have a blast and when to look introspectively at its characters. I know it can be taboo to mention some aspects of anime culture in the West back before streaming, but Trigun is the first full TV anime I managed to snag a fully-functioning bootleg in the mid-aughts alongside a newly released Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone. By the time I started watching it, I couldn’t peel myself away from the screen and marathoned it to its fullest.

It was carried predominantly by its lovable protagonist Vash, who often played the fool to hide his dangerous, lethal capabilities. His pacifism wound up not only being a key trait of his character as the most deadly man who despises violence but has a strong degree of disgust with himself if he ever stoops to the level of violence he frowns upon. For the most part, it was also great to watch the dub because of how much energy and heart that Johnny Yong Bosch gave to Vash, but it was also refreshing to hear the peppy enthusiasm Onosaka Masaya gives to the role as well. Funny enough, an extremely young Kamiya Hiroshi shows up as Zazie the Beast if it ever appears as a question in an anime trivia night.


If I’m gonna be honest, I was a bit skeptical of Trigun Stampede. Many people loved Trigun: Badlands Rumble but it kinda felt like a weird fanservice movie that existed more to make people happy to see Vash again than to give old viewers anything meaty to cling onto. Stampede’s big draw is that it is also a CG-animated prequel, so if you are allergic to 3D, it’ll likely make your nose a bit itchy. If it wasn’t for my obsession with Guilty Gear Strive, I’d likely be pickier about the aesthetic losing its old-fashioned cowboy feel to it.

At the same time, I could tell that it was a labor of love to be able to recapture the same wildcat vibe as the old Trigun in CG. Studio Orange is also a force not to underestimate since their work on Land of the Lustrous and Beastars is lauded as the gold standard for how CG should be. Likewise, Trigun Stampede is no slouch visual

The origin scene is a bit baffling since they add this sci-fi wonderment music to the origin scene where Rem sacrifices her life to save her foster children, Vash and Knives. Compared to how gut-wrenching the scene was in the original, it felt a bit weird to make it look and sound like a grand, sweeping, sci-fi epic.

But as the episode continued, much of my worries went away. The CG starts to feel a lot more natural as time goes on, and they do very well to mirror the expressive, zany artwork of the old anime with how Vash and Meryl emote. At first, I was worried that the animation seemed to emphasize the grand scale of the set pieces over the fast-paced action or quick sharpshooting that Trigun was known for.

But with the duel scene, the animators went all-out to recapture the chaos, swiftness, and expressiveness of the old anime’s action scenes. It’s the most impressed I’ve been with CG in animation as someone who’d heard about the good CG shows in passing. I’d be tempted to give Orange’s other shows a spin if many of them share the same level of gravitas and flair to them, and give a better chance to CG shows that make a greater effort to polish up some of the jankiness that can come from CG anime.


It helps that, even at a younger age, Vash is still the loveable goofball who made Trigun more than a worthwhile experience. The facework done to give personality to these characters is especially kind to Vash as he nervously lucks his way through almost certain danger. It’s awesome to see that they still kept the essence of what makes Vash himself intact, whether he looks as he does in the future or has a youthful spry appearance.

This is gonna be sacrilege, but I don’t mind Milly not appearing since I had always preferred Meryl. With this in mind, it’s neat to see how they pulled off Meryl by retaining her overall confusion and anger towards the hesitance people have with making proper judgment calls.

At the same time, she’s given a hard time because she’s still getting used to how the world operates, making her less privy to social norms that her boss Roberto has a cozier time navigating around, as long as he’s got some liquor in him. But man, to see her going from an aspiring journalist to having to do insurance work is a rough transition. It feels like playing a GTA prequel where you see people you remember having to murder just galavanting around as if they’re not going to be in for a rude awakening.

Part of me is wondering how much of this is a prequel and how much of it is a re-imagining, considering how odd it is that Meryl just forgets who Vash is by the time the events of Trigun unfold. I could imagine there being an amnesia situation that could happen if it wasn’t an all-around reimagining, but it is a smaller detail that has me curious.

Needless to say that Trigun Stampede managed to become a must-see anime by the end of the episode. It’s really a marvel that they created such a beautiful love letter to the Trigun series through CG animation that amps up the tension through its fluidity and high-stakes action sequences. Now I’m really looking forward to seeing what this has to offer.


  1. The original Trigun is one of my all time favorite anime. I hope this one lives up to the original. I’m excited to see Knives will be present for more of the story here. I always wished we got more interaction between Knives and Vash in the original.

  2. *prequel*

    That thus we now have our best guess as to why Milly isn’t in this series. Meryl likely hasn’t met her yet. For some reason I never knew until now that it was a prequel, and that I just assumed it was a reboot or remake.

  3. It’s best/safe to consider Trigun Stampede as both ‘prequel’ (the $$6 million bounty instead of $$60 billion, the absence of Milly, and July City still exist ) and re-imagining of the original Trigun.
    Honestly, if anime enthusiasts can watch and enjoy Beaststars (and to some extent, Knights of Sidonia), I think there shouldn’t be any problem with this anime being a CG or not. The question is, how will the story progress further down the line, and I sincerely hope that Trigun Stampede will be a blast to watch.

    1. Producer Takei Katsuhiro basically confirmed this new Trigun adaptation is inspired by how Marvel and DC reboot their superheroes for modern viewers. So for now I’m guessing this’ll be a reimagining of the original Trigun, similar to how Marvel reinvents its source comics for its MCU movies.

  4. As some of the other people commenting, Trigun was one of the first anime’s I watched as a young teen when it first came out and 1 of the first DVD collections I got. I’ll give this show a shot for sure but the first episode really disappointed me in that they already revealed some of the biggest plot points the original kept hidden for 17 episodes in the original such as Rem as a mother figure and heavily hinted at how humanity crashed landed on their current planet. I hope I’m wrong as this is a cherished franchise to me but so far there are quite a few things that are bugging me alot from the get go.

  5. Honestly didn’t expect Trigun Stampede to front-load the backstory of Vash, Knives and Rem (not the Re:Zero one) into the opening. Same goes for the origin story of Planet Gunsmoke in the last part of the episode.

    Much-appreciated little details:
    – The world map of Planet Gunsmoke. (Really helpful with the worldbuilding.)
    – So the July City Military Police are apparently armed with AR-like carbines with rail interface systems. Can’t help but be reminded of the scene from the original Trigun anime where Descarte’s goons (with an assortment of futuristic firearms based on real-world models like Micro-Uzis, PPShs and shortened AKMs) unload on a bar where Vash was hiding, reducing it to rubble. Back when that anime aired (though I remember watching it on local TV at the turn of the century), RI systems were rare or limited to military/law enforcement use.

    Lingering questions:
    – Vash’s iconic underbarrel revolver is a .22-caliber? Last I read (on IMFDB, at least), Vash’s revolver is chambered in .45 Long Colt. Perhaps there will be an arc where Vash meets the gunsmith Frank Marlon and upgrades it to .45 Long Colt like in the old anime? (And Knives coerces Frank to upgrade his revolver as well? I dunno.)
    – So this is also an origin story for Meryl Stryfe? Wonder how she’ll meet Milly Thompson in this series?

    Trigun Stampede was, for all intents and purposes, a hard sell for the older anime fans (including this one) who’ve seen the original Trigun anime (and the hardcore ones who read the crap out of the manga). That being said, seeing the first episode removed a lot of my doubts, and assured that, “Yes, this is Trigun.” Fortunately, the use of CG animation didn’t bother me as much, allowing the showrunners to do things that would be otherwise painstaking for 2D animation (though I do miss the occasional 2D animation goofiness of the old anime), and I can enjoy Trigun Stampede as a much-needed expansion to (or hell, retelling of) Vash’s (and Knives’) origin story (which explains Vash’s younger look).

    Anyway, looking forward to seeing new viewers get hooked by the series, and an appearance by Kuroneko-sama (not this one, this one).

    P.S.: “I know it can be taboo to mention some aspects of anime culture in the West back before streaming, but Trigun is the first full TV anime I managed to snag a fully-functioning bootleg in the mid-aughts alongside a newly released Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone. By the time I started watching it, I couldn’t peel myself away from the screen and marathoned it to its fullest.”

    Eff the taboo. Like it or not, methods of watching anime before the advent of streaming is pretty much part of the anime fandom’s history. Western anime fandom started with sharing (and sometimes selling) fansubbed copies on VHS (Betamax?), and later evolving to VCDs and DVDs (including actual legal releases). And remember when Crunchyroll started out as a not-so-legal anime streaming site? Pepperidge Farm remembers.


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