Volume 6 of Trigun sees us nearing the end for Vash, but first, we are treated to an emotional flashback from his beginnings. Vash and his twin brother Knives are like two sides of the same person; Vash represents optimism and life, while Knives pessimism and ultimately, death. It is their clash of philosophies that underpins everything that is intelligent about Trigun- can Vash's pacifism save mankind or are we doomed by our own destructive tendencies, destined to destroy everything we touch?
This theme is conveyed brilliantly by one particular scene on this volume; Vash tries to pull a butterfly out of a spider web, but Knives pushes in front and kills the spider instead. Had Vash got his way, both the butterfly and the spider would have survived- but then (and this is Knives' point) what happens tomorrow when the spider catches another butterfly and Vash isn't there to save it. This is the inherent flaw with pacifism, it relies on having a good sense of morals and nothing else- Vash loves life, but by saving it today, he could very well be condemning it tomorrow.
Unfortunately for the human race, Knives has decided that we too are a threat to the balance of life in the universe; having raped Earth of all its resources, the remnants of mankind are heading into space, looking for a new planet to settle and rather than let us take advantage of another planet, Knives wants to destroy everyone.
Aside from this, it was nice to see Meryl and Milly reunited with Vash and Wolfwood. They share a pleasant, bouncy rapport that really helps add extra levels of human drama on top of Vash's superhuman gunplay. There is a lot of romantic subtext to go along with Meryl and Vash, Milly and Wolfwood but the fact they often keep all their feelings so pent up only makes the moments of frustrated glances and longing pauses all the more heart warming.
Trigun still looks a bit dated compared with the higher budget anime from the late 90s (Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion) but it's gritty, low-fi drawing style surprisingly adds some extra authenticity to the neo-Western theme.
These three episodes mark a real turning point for Trigun; upon meeting Vash's twin brother (and arch enemy) Knives, we also get to see Vash's "love & peace" philosophy colliding head on with others' less than sympathetic views on life. Intelligent, thought provoking and exciting.
||8 out of 10
||Mon, 29 May 2006