Trigun Stampede anime just recently released the premiere episode, and it certainly brought a good surprise to anime fans, as well as to first-time watchers of the Trigun franchise, including me. The anime show’s premiere episode, produced by CGI-specialized studio Orange, is in my opinion one of the few examples of great use of CGI in any anime in recent years. The others, of course, were also produced by Orange (Land of the Lustrous, Beastars).
The anime, a modern retelling of Yasuhiro Nightow’s classic 1995 shonen manga, first previewed the past of Vash and his brother Millions Knives and how the two of them were saved by Rem, a Project SEEDS crew member. And while the introduction to the twin’s past was a short one for sure, it paved way accordingly to the outlawing of Vash–dubbed “The Humanoid Typhoon”, and the mystery of his brother.
Later on, we get to meet the series’ re-imagined sidekick characters: new graduate-turned-journalist Meryl Stryfe and the alcoholic journalist Robert de Niro. As they venture into No Man’s Land in search of an exclusive story, they go face-to-face with Vash, but get interrupted shortly afterward with the July Military Police, who are hunting for Vash. This is when the journalists learn of the $6,000,000 bounty on Vash’s head. The expressions of the characters were particularly interesting, especially those of Meryl.
Despite the journalist duo taking an interest in Vash’s bounty, they are taken aback by Vash’s classic pacifist mode and are then invited to Jeneora Rock, where Vash is widely known. The July Military police soon catch up with them, but Robert suggests that Vash and the police settle it with a duel. The leader, Chuck Lee, agrees and both settle for a gun duel.
And here’s where Trigun Stampede’s premiere goes from a decent one to what I think is one of the best premieres of Winter 2023. As Vash’s goofiness exudes in every move, you then see his gun-dashing moves against Chuck, and with a strike, defeats the high-ranking military officer. Moreover, we see Vash’s outstanding gun-slinging skills in using just one bullet and a rock to deflect the cluster rocket Chuck launched beforehand to defeat Vash.
In my opinion, this premiere is like a declaration of what a CGI-animated series is capable of doing. While we are certainly horrified with the amount of lackluster CG shows like the 2016 version of Berserk and the recent installment of Seven Deadly Sins, I highly believe Trigun Stampede can keep up with the momentum. Of course, it will never replace the beauty of the original 1998 anime, but the new series is a surprising–if not a fitting modern tribute–to a beloved sci-fi classic.
Images via Crunchyroll
©2023 Yasuhiro Nightow, SHONEN GAHOSHA / TRIGUN STAMPEDE Project