Trigun Volume 5

Touching down on the weird and wonderful Planet Gunsmoke for the fifth time, we rejoin Trigun at the all-important half way mark. Whilst this disc may include another helping of woeful filler, it finally looks as if Trigun is getting down to business, as at long last, the Gung-Ho Guns enter the fold. A colourful band of super-powered outlaws, who would like nothing more than to claim the $$60,000,000 bounty riding on Vash’s spiky, blonde head.

This volume kicks off with another wedge of filler, nothing new there you might think, but this particular instalment takes the spotlight away from Vash, focussing instead on the Bernadelli girls as they defend a leafy homestead from a gang of ruthless ne’er do wells. At first I liked the idea of making Meryl and Milly the focal point of a whole episode, if anything it was a chance for some long overdue character development.

However it soon dawned on me that the pair weren’t really that interesting to begin with, and before long I was bemoaning Vash’s lack of involvement. Of course everyone’s favourite gunman puts in one or two fumbling appearances, but these sporadic cameos just reminded me how much I’d rather be watching the red-coated buffoon’s quirky exploits.

The next two episodes however, are much, much more like it. With simpering villain Legato making a welcome return, and proving once again what a truly nasty piece of work he is. His icily cool exterior making his indiscriminate acts of cruelty all the more unnerving as we witness him lay waste to a room full of unlucky bar crawlers. Talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Legato plans to use the Gung Ho Guns to crush Vash once and for all; suddenly things are looking a lot bleaker for our affable leading man.

It’s been a long time coming, but Trigun is finally beginning to live up to its illustrious name. By throwing some truly despicable characters into mix, the series’ usual mix of offbeat action and gentle drama has taken on a new level of urgency. There’s a dark edge to these episodes. For the first time it seems the unshakeable Vash may be in over his head, and the usual irreverence is replaced by an altogether edgier feel. It comes as a timely reminder of just how enthralling Trigun, can be when it isn’t squandering precious episodes on pointless filler.

Also, those of you out there looking for more clues to Vash’s past are in for a treat, as this volume doesn’t just hint at Vash’s history, but blows it wide open, literally! Dropping an explosive bombshell that will leave viewers more eager than ever find out just what kind of creature Vash is. I’ve always said there’s more to Vash than meets the eye, but by the denouement of the last episode on this disc you will be rubbing those eyes in disbelief.

In Summary

The early, episodic chapters of Trigun may have been fun, but they don’t compare to the barbed action and gritty gunfights this volume offers up. It’s a joy to rediscover just how entertaining this series can be when it isn’t wasting episodes on pointless filler. Instead concentrating its energies on delivering the kind of exciting stories and intelligent action the series’ reputation is built on. It’s taken a while to get here, but I’m glad to report Volume 5 of Trigun is a return to form for the series.

7 / 10