「ワンス・アポン・ア・タイム・イン・ホープランド」 (Wansu Apon a Taimu in Houpurando)
“Once Upon a Time in Hopeland”

Trigun Stampede’s sixth episode takes a break from Vash’s background by shedding further light on what Wolfwood’s childhood looked like. But while some adversity is expected for Wolfwood to have as much combat prowess as he does, he’s gone through far more torture and heartbreak than it seemed.


I don’t recall them diving into Wolfwood’s childhood in the old anime, so it was neat to see how they interpreted his past as one that was fraught with despair as he was separated from his closest confidant Livio. I really appreciated how they pulled off the animation this week as it combined the dynamic, swift fight scenes that we know Trigun Stampede for and poignant 2D animation during Livio’s flashback scenes. Likewise, the trippy visuals from the experimentation scene were quite vivid and unique.

I definitely appreciated seeing more of Wolfwood’s perspective because it throws in a different flavor of adversity than Vash’s dilemma of saving as many people as he can. Meanwhile with Wolfwood, he now has to accept contending with the fact that his closest friend was weaponized by the group that also ruined his life by experimenting on him. There are equal parts anguish and tenacity as Vash and Wolfwood keep pushing each other apart in a bid to spare Livio from meeting his end before Wolfwood could reconnect with him.

They also draw a closer connection between Wolfwood and Legato in this installment. Whereas they were only semi-intersected in the older anime, Trigun Stampede has Legato be complicit in Wolfwood’s experimentation, going so far as to dangling Livio over his head as he also agreed to be experimented on. It should prove to be spicy once Legato starts showing up more as a prominent adversary.

On top of having a funny name, I’m also curious about who the Bad Lads Gang are. Seeing these weird supersoldiers decked out in neon suits is so fun and surreal in the rusted crapsack landscape that Vash traverses around. They seemed to have shown up in an earlier Trigun episode, but it can be tricky to remember some of the older villains who cropped up to be dunked on without any direct line to Knives. Nonetheless, it was a fresh change of pace to see how this episode and the next one will be more focused on fleshing out Wolfwood more through his connection with Livio.


  1. They did dive into his childhood. It was a brief scene but it told more about Wolfwood than this entire episode of stampede. Seriously, I just do not see the appeal of another soulless remake

    Zemo x2
    1. I don’t know. This remake does not feel soulless to me. Although Milly is gone, and I have questions about Vash’s new characterization, this adaptation feels more true to the original ‘Trigun’ than the original ‘Trigun’ did, in some ways.

      Now that Wolfwood is actually superhuman and his cross weapon includes a laser instead of just pistol holsters and a semi-useless rocket launcher, I’d say he’s more deserving of the title of one of the ‘Gung-Ho Guns’.

      Now that Knives actually has a million frickin’ knives, I’d say he’s more deserving of the title of Millions Knives.

      The animation is also a lot smoother. I watched the original series recently, and all of the ‘action’ scenes are just a series of single still frames. You’re romanticizing it.

      1. Dude. Do not fucking condescend to me!!! If you like thus CHI BS that’s fine but do not dare talk down to me for preferring the original. So what if it wasn’t 100% faithful to the manga. 2003 FMA wasn’t completely faithful to the msnga, but people still liked it. Only reason BH exist is because manga fans whine and complained, so Bones decided to cash in and make a remake. Stampede is no fucking different. Also I do not fucking remember Meryl being a timid reporter so it is not like stampede is entirely faithful to the source material either so don’t give me that “romanc” shit!!!! It is my opinion and if you don’t like it tough!

        Zemo x2
  2. “Once Upon A Time In Hopeland”, huh?

    Funnily enough, I remember watching a really old fan vid by Matt Page splicing the old Trigun anime to the trailer of Once Upon A Time In Mexico.

    (*Cue Juno Reactor’s “Pistolero (Radio Edit)”*) “I hate robbing banks…”

    Anyway, my thoughts on the ep:
    – Damn, Livio be breaking out that John Wick-style (or was it Equilibrium-style?) gun-fu!
    – I could’ve sworn I heard saxophone music in the background (a tell-tale sign of Midvalley the Hornfreak) as Wolfwood was being restrained telekinetically in that research lab. But it was only later when I saw that familiar white trenchcoat, spiked pauldron and blue hair did I realize, “Oh shit, it’s Legato Bluesummers!” (Previously voiced by Toshihiko Seki, now voiced by Kouki Uchiyama.) And yes, Legato does have telekinetic abilities.
    – The Bad Lads Gang… Makes me wonder if a personal appearance by Brilliant Dynamites Neon is on the horizon.

    Now to see whether Wolfwood and Livio’s reunion ends in tragedy (for either one), or if Vash manages to find another option. As for the manga readers, was Vash more angsty in the manga?

    1. Vash was pretty angsty in the manga at times, but usually snapped out of it fast. This new Vash is very passive for some reason.

      On a side note, Legato in the manga did not have telekinetic abilities, he used electrically charged wires to control people’s muscles via their brain. I find it funny that in Stampede they specifically made him say it was not electrical impulses (and it would have been impossible to trash Wolfwood around like that). I suppose they wanted manga readers to know they shouldn’t expect things to go as they remembered… though the last five episodes already made that pretty clear.

      1. Thanks. I’m hoping that Vash being passive here is because he’s much younger and more naive (when compared to his version in the old anime and the manga), and not because Stampede‘s writers decided to “deconstruct” and put Vash through the wringer without any intention of building him back up again.

        Though Matsuoka-san playing an angsty Vash immediately brings me back to Kirito angsting over Sachi’s death.


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