From FUNimation Entertainment, the publisher behind anime such as Yu Yu Hakusho, Dragon Ball Z and Soul Eater comes the Trigun feature film from Madhouse, Trigun: Badlands Rumble.
For those of you unfamiliar with Trigun, the series follows the adventures of the Humanoid Typhoon, a man named Vash the Stampede as he travels an old west-like desert land attempting to help the citizens, though he usually finds himself caught up in some sort of trouble and does his best to avoid killing. The film opens with Vash encountering a towering bank robber named Gasback who Vash saves after he is betrayed by his accomplices. Unsure why Vash would save him Gasback leaves Vash with a warning that by saving his life it could result in unforeseen consequences down the line.
Fast forward twenty years later and Vash is traveling to Macca City, where it just so happens his friends Milly and Meryl are heading as well since the town’s mayor, Cain Kelper, has hired a slew of bounty hunters to protect a large statue of himself from being stolen by Gasback. Cain is actually one of the men that betrayed Gasback in the past and is the only one left that Gasback hasn’t already taken his revenge on, though it is rumored that he is headed there next.
As Vash and the rest of the bounty hunters wait for Gasback in the city Vash also takes some time to pursue a young woman named Amelia, who is also a bounty hunter and has a real grudge against Gasback, hoping to kill him when she finds him. Vash does his best to get to know her, but she proves to be a difficult chase, as most of the women he goes after are.
With Vash on the hunt for his new interest and Milly and Meryl waiting to see if their insurance company will be losing everything when Gasback arrives Wolfwood is also making his way to the town, serving as Gasback’s personal bodyguard. Everything comes to a head when Gasback and his new gang finally arrive and everyone squares off against one another, which makes things worse for Vash when Amelia learns that it was him who spared Gasback twenty years ago, leading to the heartbreak that she hates him for.
While not really important to the series itself, Badlands Rumble has a good story that Trigun fans should be pleased with and they will be able to see all their favorite characters once again after a long absence. This film is another one of those moments where Vash is forced to truly think about the choices he makes when he tries not to kill the dangerous outlaws he comes face to face with.
Visually Madhouse does a great job with the animation and everything from the battle scenes to the character designs look great, both Amelia and Gasback have interesting character designs and it was nice to see Vash’s red trench coat once again. The film also comes with the options for both the Japanese and English voice over options which should make fans happy. For those anime fans that have watched the series during its Cartoon Network run, you are likely familiar with the English voice cast and know whether you would prefer them or not, if not, both options are good and if you would rather avoid reading the English cast is a good option, though the cast is a bit different than the TV series.
The series is available in either Blu-ray or DVD and comes housed in a case with Vash on the cover and images of the supporting cast in the background. The on-disc features for the film will also make fans happy as it comes with plenty, from staff and cast interviews and event footage to trailers and promos. These features should keep Trigun fans busy for a bit longer after watching the film.
All-in-all Trigun: Badlands Rumble is a fun film that lets anime fans once again see some of their favorite characters from the widely popular series. The adventure has a great blend of action and comedy and is just what viewers would expect from Trigun, even after all this time.
Anime fans that enjoyed the TV series as well as those who enjoy other action/comedy anime or series like Rurouni Kenshin won’t want to miss seeing this film.
4.5 Out of 5
Trigun: Badlands Rumble
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
Runtime: 120 minutes
Number of Discs: 2 DVDs (also available on Blu-ray)
Languages: English, Japanese with English subtitles
Age Rating: TV14
Release Date: September 27th, 2011
(A review copy of Trigun: Badlands Rumble on DVD was provided by FUNimation Entertainment.)