Trigun (Toraigan) (1998)
Fourth in this short series of posts about Trigun – time for the Gung-Ho Guns Arc.
Here the series takes a bit of a turn again – a gradual darkening begins and then quickens, kicking off in dramatic fashion with ‘Diablo’. The appearance of Monev is fantastically menacing with those blues and reds, and his attack on the city definitely pushes Vash to the edge because once again, he’s not able to save everyone.
Earlier, Legato Bluesummers had already begun to torment Vash – kicking off a recurring theme from this point forward. Upon second viewing too, you definitely notice something re: his character design, but again, I’m trying to mostly avoid spoilers 😀
But what probably stands out most for me is that first glimpse of rage from Vash when imprisoned, and we sort of switch out of his POV for a moment, to experience that moment with the insurance girls and in theory, feel the same shock they do.
This block of episodes are also important because a vital character, Knives, is given a proper introduction with some flashbacks (in episode 17 ‘Rem Saverem’ especially). There, the way both Vash and Knives approach life is quickly established, as those formative experiences on SEEDS end up ricocheting through the rest of Trigun.
The theme or central conflict of pacifism coming up against more ‘survival of the fittest’ style beliefs are echoed all across Gunsmoke; in the characters and the ‘wild west’ setting itself too, and it’s obviously exemplified in one relationship by Vash and Knives.
Rem’s importance comes into focus in this arc too, as she urges Vash to “take care of Knives” – and based on how important she is to Vash, we know he’ll do everything he can to live up to her request – which leads to what I see as an inevitable ending… but more on that later!
At this point, the series still squeezes in a episodic storylines, a bit of a recap ep and more run-ins with the Gung-Ho Guns. Obviously ‘Fifth Moon’ is a huge moment but I think of Dominique’s episode as just as impactful due to maybe another big shift in tone (with that corpse pile) but also, it’s another point where Vash once again makes it clear to the viewer that he’s far more than he seems, far more than a “Broomhead” 😀
Vash also does his best to scare the girls away in this arc, kinda snapping at them, and of course he’s doing it in that hope of protecting them – and to some extent this works, as we don’t see the Meryl or Milly for a while.
Okay, some more fav moments gleaned from these episodes:
- The mix between action and montage at the fountain, mixed in with the unsettling change in sound design, where the reverb drops over everything (In Diablo)
- The string-bending little guitar phrasing here too
- I always get a real ‘Judge Dredd’ vibe from Monev’s design, which I liked
- And it should be this arc that features what feels like the very first use of green in the scenery, with the ‘Little Arcadia’ episode
- Here is also a return for the Nebraska family
- ‘Vash Pack Horse’
- Somehow, the cat survives that gunshot 😀
- Feels like Meryl might be beginning to realise her feelings in #16, or at least more than before
- Wolfwood’s motives are called into question in this arc, adding another layer of mystery on your first watch
And that’s about it for this time, next up I’m allocating the episodes 18 – 23 as the ‘Doubts’ arc, where ‘sins’ of the past and present start to come together.
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