Manga Monday: Trigun

Published on April 20th, 2009

Since I made you read through my suggestion of a Shojo manga last week, I’ve decided to bring you one of my favorite Shōnen mangas this week to balance it out. This manga Started in 1995 and was wrapped up only recently in 2007, with a anime airing in 1997, an animated feature film expected some time this year and was the top selling graphic novel of 2004. This particular manga has a strong steam punk theme as its an outer space meets wild wester shoot meets comedy meets hard core action meets heart aching moments. Yeah I am aware thats an awful lot to jam into amanga, but it works!

It follows the story of Vash the Stamped, a lone gunman with tremendous skill but a kind heart who endeavours to end all conflict without blood shed. Yet someone how this gunman is feared throughout all of planet

trigunGunsmoke and is accused being the man who wiped out an entire city. Oddly enough Vash has zero recollection of this due to amnesia but has earned him self a 60,000,000,000$$” (sixty billion “double” dollars) bounty. Before long he is joined by a priest with a mysterious past who also possess some pretty ‘made skillz’ when it comes to guns and a unlikely companionship is formed.So bring on deep space planet future gun action known as….Trigun!

Trigun was originally published in two different magazines in Japan, there for its in two different parts. Part one was published as three books (or two larger ones in American and Europe) and was simply called Trigun. The second story takes places two years later, spans 14 books and is known Trigun Maximum
As expected the story and art progress well through the mangas time span. The story begins almost light and comical with Vash often playing the fool as opposed to the supposed ‘grim reaper’ that he is. The artwork by Yasuhiro Nightow towards the start of the manga reflects the books more light hearted and carefree nature. As the books progress its obvious to see Yasuhiro’s development as a writer and as an artist. Throughout the books more and more of Vash’s past is uncovered and the plot thickens and growers darker. Towards the end the fights are so fantastically illustrated and the opening chapter pictures are so beautiful, that you will easily find yourself starting at a single page for far to long. It is fully action packed with some memorable characters, battles and deaths. Yes, despite this being a action manga I still got VERY chocked up in Book10 (maybe even a few tears were shed).

Trigun is a hugely popular manga that while easily accessible still feels entirely different from the rest of the more mainstream action mangas out there, such as Bleach. Vash The Stampede is one of the most amazing characters I have ever followed, its almost entirely impossible to not empathize with Vash and the idea of ‘good concurs all’ is certainly tested on plant Gunsmoke.

Hollie ‘Pheonix’ Bennett
hollie@comicimpact.com