Thankfully, they didn’t try to make it live-action.

The year was 1998: A small startup by the name of Google was founded and Weird Al Yankovic shocked the world by shaving his mustache. It was also the year that the anime version of the Yasuhiro Nightow manga Trigun first aired on TV in Japan.

▼ The opening to the original Trigun anime

Although it was largely overshadowed by the more commercially successful Cowboy Bebop, which had similar sci-fi Western themes and came out at the same time, Trigun received widespread critical acclaim and can be found on more than a few “greatest anime of all time” lists.

And on 17 January 2023, a reboot of the series titled Trigun Stampede will have its first episode aired on TV Tokyo. This new series is being made by Orange, known for its unique use of CG, and will have considerably different visuals, as seen in the first trailer for the first episode which came out on 27 December.

▼ Episode #1 trailer

▼ The trailers for the entire series that came out earlier this year are more elaborate

The character designs have clearly gotten updates from ’90s anime aesthetics, with Vash’s spiky hair noticeably relaxed and his prosthetic arm prominently revealed right off the bat. The plot too seems to be a mix of old and new elements, according to the synopsis of the first episode.

#01 Noman’s Land

A scorching planet, Noman’s Land…

Humans live on a barren, sandstorm-blown landscape, relying only on bio-powered furnaces called “Plants” to produce water, food, and other resources.

In this harsh world, there is a troublemaker with a 60 billion double-dollar bounty on his head whom people call the “Humanoid Typhoon” because anyone he gets involved with is always hit with disaster. His name is Vash The Stampede.

Bernardelli News Agency’s veteran reporter Robert DeNiro and rookie reporter Meryl Stryfe are assigned to uncover the truth about a series of Plant robberies and encounter a man calling himself Vash, but…?!

Granted, changing Bernardelli from an insurance agency to a news agency does make more sense, and changing the character of Milly Thompson to someone named “Robert DeNiro” is certainly…interesting. Otherwise, it’s hard to tell whether the general plot will mirror the original or go off in a totally different direction, but the glimpses that can be seen in the trailer seem to suggest the latter.

▼ The plot seems to focus a lot more on the Plants than before

All the voice actors appear to be different as well, with Yoshitsugu Matsuoka taking over from Masaya Onosaka as Vash and Sakura Ando taking over the role of Meryl from Hiromi Tsuru who passed away in 2017. The show also announced the addition of seasoned voice actor Tomokazu Sugita (Gintoki Sakata in Gintama) to the cast playing the part of Chuck Lee, the head of a paramilitary group who wants to face off with Vash.

▼ A look at Chuck Lee

Despite the alterations, fans of the series online seem to have no shortage of anticipation for the debut in a couple of weeks.

“The voices and hairstyles are different…but I’m happy just to have something new from it.”
”They changed the insurance agency to a news agency, lol.”
“Will love and peace save the world?”
“Trigun!!! It’s Triguuuuuuuuuun!”
“They mentioned July. Is that ‘Lost July?’”
“It’s certainly different.”

Even the soundtrack of the Trigun Stampede is a departure from the original, replacing Tsueno Imahori’s guitar-driven soundtrack with rapper-singer-songwriter Kvi Baba handling the opening theme and Salyu singing over the end credits.

In the end it would probably be good to make Trigun Stampede an orange to Trigun’s apple. There’s no point in emulating the original since we can always just watch that, and as long as the core concepts that made it great are intact it could turn out to be really good and interesting in its own right. We’ll just have to wait and see when it arrives on 17 January.

Source: Trigun Stampede, Twitter/@trigun_anime,
Top image: YouTube/TOHO animation チャンネル
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