I was never quite sure of what Trigun was going to be like until I saw it, on the surface it seemed like a serious action series, but I had read that it was a comedy. After watching volume 1 it seems like a lot of the latter, but with some strong hints towards the former.
The first volume of Trigun introduces us to Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, insurance investigators for the Bernadelli Insurance company who have been sent to locate Vash The Stampede - a gunman so dangerous he has a bounty of 60 billion on his head - and try to limit the damage he causes. There's one big problem though: no-one really knows what Vash looks like, so everyone is acting on hearsay. However, their search causes them to repeatedly cross paths with a peace loving but idiotic gunman who desperately tries to help people, could he possibly be the legendary Vash?
Trigun is an unusual series. The animation, music and voice acting (in English and Japanese) is excellent and this first volume contains tonnes of gunplay, serious drama and action, yet still manages to be funny and highly entertaining. The humour in this first volume really stands out, with some great slapstick and some truly funny situations which mainly revolve around the seemingly cowardly Vash as he tries to stop himself, or anyone else, getting killed. The first few episodes don't really tell you anything about the characters, but it doesn't really matter as the characterisation is so good you feel like you know what they are all about within an episode of them appearing. What is extremely unusual and clever as well is that it is one of the few action anime series where the main character is a pacifist. It's a clever twist that his fearsome reputation appears to come from damage attributed to him but caused by those trying to capture him, and it is interesting to note that he doesn't actually fire a single shot in any of the episodes on this DVD!
But the comedy isn't all that's on show here, there are many unanswered questions about Vash's past and also several hints to an intriguing underlying story. The futuristic wild west setting is also superb and the stand alone stories in each of the episodes on the disc are good too, however, there are only a few extras on the disc (Image Gallery, Production Art Gallery and Trailers) and a strange absence of a Scene Select menu. You can overlook this though, and the fact that the water magnate in one episode looks a bit too much like a character from Astro Boy, and that it occasionally gets a little cheesy or silly, simply because Trigun rocks. It manages to be entertaining, interesting and incredibly cool, and puts a great spin on the traditional wild west lone gunman cliché in the process. Trigun is pure class and well worth any self respecting anime fan picking up.