Trigun Omnibus: the Return of the Sixty Billion Double-Dollar Man!

 by Avery Mathews 

(Posted on Whatcha Reading website on 9/17/13)


I love when a book gets so completely and utterly ridiculous that you can’t help but enjoy it because it’s just fun. That’s one of the arguments I have about why I like the Transformer movies; I don’t think the plot is good in the slightest, but it’s fun, and I enjoy that deeply. For the most part, a lot of older manga follows that; even if the plot is bad, the journey that the characters go on and even the characters themselves are often fun and amusing to watch on their exploits.

I found myself reading the Trigun Omnibus by Yasuhiro Nightow the other day, and I found that it followed that basic idea in the beginning. It put plot to the side for a few chapters, and focused on the characters and making sure that it was fun. However, it grew more and more involved that, by the end of the omnibus, which collects all the original Trigun manga, it was almost an entirely different book.

The series focuses around a man named Vash the Stampede, who, as the series starts out, is wanted for sixty billion double dollars (or 60,000,000,000$$) for the destruction of an entire city. He doesn’t remember what caused the city to be destroyed, nor does he remember how he ended up in the rubble. What’s even worse, no one knows where the bodies of the people are; the entire town appeared to have gone missing.

The first chapter is the one that won me over; throughout the chapter, Vash is being chased around by all these people who are trying to get him dead or alive in order to get the bounty that’s on his head. However, Vash is an avowed pacifist; he refuses to take another human life, but he will fight back if they try to kill him. However, that is resolved in the first chapter when the government reclassifies Vash as no longer a human, but a “localized disaster”, much like a typhoon or a hurricane, and takes away the bounty on his head.

While Vash is a pacifist, and doesn’t like to use his gun, he is quite amazing with it; many times throughout the series, he doesn’t fail to miss his mark, despite the fact that he was preaching about peace, love, and understanding two pages before. And, throughout the omnibus, you can’t help but wonder who Vash the Stampede really is. With various mysteries that keeps popping up, it was a bit of a letdown when most of the questions weren’t answered; after I continued looking up things about the series, I discovered that there was actually a second series called Trigun Maximum which continues the story and finishes off a lot of the loose plot threads. While this was a fantastic jump into the Trigun series, it was a bit of a let down to find out that, if I wanted to continue to read Vash’s tale, I would have to go and buy even more books that span from 1998 to 2008. As it turned out, the magazine that Trigun was originally published in got cancelled, and, a year later, got picked up by a second magazine, and the publishers changed the name slightly. Nightow has said that he considers it not a sequel, but a continuation of the story, but there’s still something about receiving an omnibus that contains “both Trigun volumes” before finding out that there is another ten years worth manga to be read after that.

But it’s an adventure that I’m completely and utterly willing to undertake. The characters are so much fun to read, and the stories that Nightow spins are amazing to read, somehow managing to be completely serious, yet have such ridiculous characters and situations that you can’t help but crack a smile.

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trigunv1p4 trigunv1p5 trigunv1p6

trigunv1p7 trigunv1p8

I’d rate this a 4 out of 5 silver revolvers.

Trigun Omnibus
Writer: Yasuhiro Nightow
Artist: Yasuhiro Nightow
Genre: Manga
Publication Date: September 16, 2013
Format: b&w, 696 pages; TP, 5″ x 7″
Price: $19.99
Age range: 12
ISBN-10: 1-61655-246-8
ISBN-13: 978-1-61655-246-6

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Anime review:Trigun

By Cass Pineda

The genre of “space westerns” is still relatively young, but it is exactly what it sounds like: the transposing of Wild-West themes onto the wide-open frontier of outer space. While the wild west environment and lifestyle was a uniquely American experience, it is still captured perfectly in Yasuhiro Nightow’s Trigun.

Trigun, however, is not the only “space western” known to Western audiences. The more notable anime Cowboy Bebop, which Trigun predates by two years, showcases similar themes of lawlessness and moral ambiguity. The short-lived, cult favorite Firefly matches Trigun’s dirty, gritty aesthetics, but differs in that the show takes place on several planets instead of one.

The story of Trigun centers around a young man named Vash the Stampede, who somehow manages to cause enormous amounts of damage wherever he goes, so much so that he has been nickaned the Humanoid Typhoon. He has become such a problem that the Bernardelli Insurance Society sends two agents, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, to keep an eye on him and settle the claims left in his wake. Anyone who is familiar with Western films knows that often the driving force behind characters’ actions is something like revenge or greed, making the resulting relationships and stories of Vash, Meryl, and Milly unexpected and interesting. Meryl and Milly don’t even believe who Vash is when they meet him, since his goofy and lighthearted attitude is the opposite of the destructive and menacing man they had come to expect.

Vash is the archetypal tragic hero. Over the course of the series, audiences learn, though the eyes of Meryl and Milly, about Vash’s dark past. It becomes clearer that his behavior and actions, including his strict refusal to take the lives of others, is caused by his sense of guilt brought on by events long before. Unlike most protagonists, Vash’s core beliefs do not change through the show; but through him, characters like Nicholas D. Wolfwood, reach new understandings. Vash has the power to change those around him through his position as the “too-human non-human,” a caste he shares with such familiar faces as Astro Boy and Goku of the Dragonball series. While Vash is more powerful than a normal human, he empathizes with them, and instead uses his strengths and abilities to protect them, a path not chosen by his brother, Knives.

Serving as the main antagonist, Knives possesses powers similar to Vash, but very different viewpoints and attitudes. This is easily seen in a flashback in which the young pair are watching a butterfly trapped in a spider’s web. To Vash’s horror, Knives kills the spider in order to free the butterfly, believing that if one must live, the other must die. Vash, being kindhearted and opposed to killing, thought there was a way to save them both; these battle of ideologies is repeated throughout the show’s run, up until the final battle.

The brother-against-brother theme is nothing new, and recalls the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. It also harkens to something much older, the story of Romulus and Remus, the legendary brothers who founded Rome. Like them, Vash and Knives brought civilization to Gunsmoke, the desolate desert planet discovered by humans aboard gigantic space ships. These space ships housed people in cryogenic sleep, sent to populate the stars in a program called Project Seeds. The humans piloting these ships–including Vash’s friend and mentor, Rem–are akin to the shepherds that raised Romulus and Remus in the ancient story. And, like those brothers, Vash and Knives reunite to hash it out, once and for all.



November 2nd, MILWAUKIE, OR – Manga has arrived! The Dark Horse Digital store now offers a full and ongoing Manga selection featuring TrigunCrying FreemanHellsingLady SnowbloodOld Boy and Path of the Assassin. Not only are these titles available digitally, but also the latest version of the Dark Horse Digital app lets you read them in the way Manga was meant to be read…right to left!

Don’t have the App? You can download it for free! As Always, make sure to visit weekly for more great sales and offers. Until next week, may your battery be fully charged!

Release Date: 11/02/2011

Trigun vol. 1 & 2 BPRD: 1947 #1-5 BPRD Hell on Earth: Russia #2 Crying Freeman vol. 1 & 2 Hellsing vol. 1-3 Lady Snowblood vol. 1

Lone Wolf and Cub vol. 10 Old Boy vol. 1 &  oath of the Assassin vol. 1 Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword #3

Star Wars Legacy #13 – 15 Chimichanga The Goon #26 Star Wars: Crimson Empire III: Lost Empire #1

 Release Date: 11/09/2011 House of Night #1 Baltimore: The Curse Bells #3 Conan the Cimmerian #13 – 16

Gear School #2 Lady Snowblood vol. 2 Orchid #2 Paradox Entertainment Presents: Kult #4

Serenity: Downtime and Other Half Star Wars: Empire #1 – 4 Star Wars: Boba Fett: Overkill

The End League #1 – 4 The Goon #27 Release Date: 11/16/2011 Mass Effect: Invasion #2 Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest #2

Gigantic #1 – 5 Hellboy: Weird Tales #1-4 Kull: The Cat and the Skull #2 Dark Horse Presents # 5 Samurai Executioner vol. 6

Star Wars: Purge #2 Star Wars: Dark Times #1-5 The Goon #28 The Occultist #1 Fallout: New Vegas

Trigun Maximum vol. 4