For Trigun to be rebooted in 2023, its predecessor, the original Trigun anime, had to be something really special. Here’s what made it a success.
Trigun was one of the biggest anime to come out of the late 1990s. The fact that it’s getting a reboot in 2023 should be a testament to its success. That and the Rumble of the Badlands film released in 2010. This series is a true classic.
As to what led to Trigun so popular in the first place, there are many answers to this. Obviously, there are the standard things like endearing characters, a good mix of drama and humor, well-choreographed action scenes, and a catchy soundtrack. However, in order to be truly worthy of a reboot, Trigun needs a memorable story that stands the test of time. The initial popularity of the first anime also helped. With that in mind, here’s what won Trigun such a special place in people’s hearts.
Before going too far, it is important to know exactly what Trigun is about. The series is a sci-fi western set on a desert planet. The story follows Vash the Stampede, an outlaw who, despite his strict code of pacifism, is apparently responsible for leveling an entire town. His notoriety makes him the target of outlaws, bounty hunters, and even a few lovable insurance agents. Although everyone assumes that this harsh environment is all about kill or be killed, Vash is determined to spread his message of love and peace. It’s a great premise, but what was really important was by Trigun ability to tie all those interesting plot points together into a cohesive narrative.
For Americans, at least, by Trigun popularity dates back to its original run on the Adult swimming action block on Cartoon network. This block was responsible for bringing many classics from the late 90s and early 2000s to Western audiences. Such anime includes Cowboy Bebop, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Big O; the latter is notable for being revived due to its popularity in the West. Whether by Trigun the popularity overseas contributed to the decision to see him again remains to be said, but it wouldn’t be surprising.
Another thing this series does well is testing its protagonist. Vash is constantly put in situations where he might have to break his overriding rule of no killing. On top of that, sticking to it often comes at a cost to itself or the people it’s meant to protect. It’s not like most anime where the protagonist is strong enough to beat the antagonist while respecting their morals. Vash can do it, but he’s often punished by the narrative for his optimism. So his conflict is about what really needs to be done and whether he has to compromise his good character to accomplish it.
Despite all the difficulties, Trigun still manages to remain quite optimistic. Even though this story likes to punish Vash for wanting to be a good person, the fact is that he Is manages to get the best possible ending most of the time. He’s even able to have a little fun doing it. If the characters find satisfying solutions to their personal problems, that’s an added bonus. The end result is a good time for the characters and the public, which is the most important.
If the Trigun reboot looks like its predecessor, it should work fine. It already has the story, the characters, and the loyal fan base. All he needs to do is make sure he presents his material in a way that emphasizes its positive attributes while giving older audience members something new. If so, it should be a positive experience for everyone involved.