Trigun: Badlands Rumble

By AaronRighter on December 17, 2011

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Few projects ever make it to the popularity that Trigun has seen in both the east and the west. Nightow's wonderful mix of sci fi and the wild west, deep philosophy and intense action has blended together into both a manga and anime series that stands at the top of just about everyone's top 10 list. After the anime ended in 1998 Trigun Maximum picked up and continued the adventures of Vash the Stampede, but while a good manga many fans wondered if they'd ever see Trigun on TV ever again. Then around 2005 rumors started to circulate about a Trigun movie. In 2010 at Sakura Con in Seattle, Washington the dreamsof many fans came true as they watched an original, unsubbed or dubbed version of Trigun: Badlands Rumble. The timeline of Badlands Rumble in set before the events of the end of the original series, and all the major characters made it to the party in addition to quite a few new ones.

 trigun vash

After watching the movie for the first time I was struck by quite a few things, the first and most important to me is that Trigun: Badlands Rumble is absolutely beautiful. The tools for animators have progressed so much since the mid 90s and applying newer digital techniques to the film and freeing the animators from the limitations a television series restricts them to makes the world of Trigun come alive. Backgrounds are complex and vivid, Nightow's crazy background characters flood the screen, the sci fi steampunk technology is everywhere, this is Trigun brand new, unrestricted, and at its very best. The story is great, too. In an interview the director Satoshi Nishimura stated that the point of the story was to have a Trigun movie even people unfamiliar with the series could jump right into. A lot of times playing to the masses can backfire as hardcore fans feel left out, but in Badlands this isn't the case at all. The story revolves around two characters new to the series: Gasback and Amelia. Vash, Wolfwood, and the insurance girls Milly and Meryl get wrapped up the story of course, but this movie isn't about them. Some people of course may be a little taken aback at that, but I think it's a great move. We know what happens to our favorite foursome, with Badlands Rumble there's an entirely new story to be had. And what a story it is, if Vash and Wolfwood's philosophical discussions was of interest to you during the series you'll love the play between Vash and Gasback. Just like the series too the philosophy isn't heavy handed and there's plenty of donut eating, lovable Vash shenanigans. As stupid as this sounds that may be my one (and only) complaint about the movie. Vash was always an interesting character because of his duality, how he could be a fun pacifist one minute, and a bad ass the next. The movie Vash seems a little too happy-go-lucky, and even in the big bad ass moment at the end he still feels a little too lighthearted. This was most likely done as something to help people sort of get into the show, but when Vash shows his serious side he adds weight and complexity to a character that could easily be just a single dimension goofball type. That has to be my only complaint however, because in the end Badlands Rumble is amazing. I thought thaI wouldn't like that most of the American voice actors are different than in the original series, except for Johnny Yong Bosch of course, but honestly I could barely tell. The Japanese actors are mostly the same and sound great as well, Trigun for me has always worked great either subbed or dubbed.


Trigun: Badlands Rumble is available on DVD or Blu-Ray from Amazon for about $20 and personally I think that's a steal. Not only are you getting a movie that no one ever thought would be made, but you're getting probably one of the best films I've seen in a long time. That's not all either, the second discs of extras is fantastic. There's a lot of stuff I review that doesn't have much but a few theatrical trailers and some other boring stuff, but Badlands has a second disc chock full of interviews, Q and A sessions, movie events, funny stories from some of the staff, it really is pretty cool. Badlands Rumble is a fantastic addition to any otaku's collection and shouldn't be missed out on.


Finally it should be noted that one of the main reasons that this movie even got made was epic amounts of fan support. Remember the voice of the fans can be a powerful one, and if you enjoy Trigun: Badlands Rumble and maybe want to see a second movie, drop Funimation a line maybe it will help...hey, it couldn't hurt.

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