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Trigun (トライガン Toraigan?) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhiro Nightow, published from 1995 to 2007 and spanning 17 (3+14) collected volumes.

The manga was serialized in Tokuma Shoten's Shōnen Captain from the series debut in 1995 until the magazine's demise in 1997. The series continued in Shōnen Gahosha's Young King Ours magazine, under the title Trigun Maximum (トライガンマキシマム Toraigan Makishimamu?), where it remained until finishing in 2007.

Trigun was adapted into an animated television series in 1998. The Madhouse Studios production aired on TV Tokyo from April 4, 1998 to September 30, 1998, totaling 26 episodes. An animated feature film was released in April 2010.[1]


File:Trigun wanted.jpg

Screen capture of the sixty-billion double-dollar bounty poster for Vash the Stampede (from the opening credits)

Known for its Space Western theme, Trigun is about a man named "Vash the Stampede" and the two Bernardelli Insurance Society employees who follow him around in order to minimize the damages inevitably caused by his appearance. Most of the damage attributed to Vash is actually caused by bounty hunters in pursuit of the "60,000,000,000$$" (sixty billion "double dollars") bounty on Vash's head for the destruction of the city of July. However, he cannot remember the incident clearly due to his amnesia. Throughout his travels, Vash tries to save lives using non-lethal force. He is occasionally joined by a priest, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, who, like Vash, is a superb gunfighter with a mysterious past.

As the series progresses, more is gradually learned about Vash's mysterious history and the history of human civilization on the planet Gunsmoke. The series often employs comic relief and is mostly light-hearted in tone, although the tone shifts toward darker and more dramatic situations as it draws to a conclusion. It also involves moral conflict pertaining to the morality of killing other living things, even when arguably justified (i.e. self-defense/defending others).


Vash the Stampede is a very lighthearted, expert marksman that tries to promote love and peace as he personally said in several episodes. He appears to be a very merry person that dislikes seriousness, but is actually very deep and serious as can be seen in the situations he finds himself in. He usually presents a smiling facade, which Wolfwood is prone to call a "false smile." Beneath this smile lies a lot of pain and the burdens that Vash has chosen to carry. Also known as The Humanoid Typhoon, he is a wandering gunman with a 60 billion double dollar bounty on his head. Every town he passes through either labels him "an act of God" or "a human disaster."

Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson are two Bernardelli Insurance agents sent to evaluate claims regarding the Humanoid Typhoon. Initially, they dismiss the idea that the real Vash is the legendary Humanoid Typhoon (partially due to the lack of an introduction), but the two eventually learn (much to the contradiction to what Meryl wants to think) that this is the person they are assigned to track.

Nicholas D. Wolfwood A superb gunman, almost equal to Vash himself, and arguably the most skilled human being with a pistol in the series, Wolfwood is a priest who wields an enormous cross "to carry his sins". Wolfwood and Vash get into many conflicts over the morality of murder. According to Wolfwood's mentor "... we are sometimes driven to become the devil himself." Wolfwood is a tragic figure in that his redemption comes at a terrible cost.

Million Knives The main antagonist, and Vash's brother. Like Vash, he is a sentient plant created by humans but unlike him, he is a cruel mass murderer that intends to wipe out the entire human race, considering them unfit for this world. Most of the situations Vash ends up in are, in one way or another, connected to Knives.

Rem Saverem Vash's mentor and childhood friend, who taught him the value of life. It is mostly because of Rem that Vash is the hero he is. Vash constantly finds himself asking what Rem would do in his situation. When this happens, Vash enters a peaceful "dream world" when he asks Rem for help

Gung-Ho Guns A group of superhuman assassins with extraordinary abilities and equipment. Their leader is Legato Bluesummers, a fanatical henchman of Knives who shares his nihilistic philosopy and possesses telepathic powers gained from Vash's left arm that Knives gave him, who sends them out to attack Vash and cause him as much suffering as possible. The group's lineup differs slightly between the anime and manga versions of Trigun, with some characters appearing in one but not the other.



After leaving college, Yasuhiro Nightow had gone to work selling apartments for the housing corporation Sekisui House, but struggled to keep up with his manga drawing hobby. Reassured by some successes, including a one-shot manga based on the popular video game franchise Samurai Spirits, he quit his job to draw full time. With the help of a publisher friend, he submitted a Trigun story for the February 1995 issue of the Tokuma Shoten magazine Shōnen Captain, and began regular serialization two months later in April.

However, Shōnen Captain was canceled early in 1997, and when Nightow was approached by the magazine Young King Ours, published by Shōnen Gahōsha, they were interested in him beginning a new work. He was however troubled[2] by the idea of leaving Trigun incomplete, and requested to be allowed to finish the series. The publishers were sympathetic, and the manga resumed in 1998 as Trigun Maximum (トライガンマキシマム Toraigan Makishimamu?). The story jumps forward two years with the start of Maximum, and takes on a slightly more serious tone, perhaps due to the switch from a shōnen to a seinen magazine. Despite this, Nightow has stated[3] that the new title was purely down to the change of publishers, and rather than being a sequel it should be seen as a continuation of the same series. The 14th tankōbon was published on February 27, 2008.

Shōnen Gahōsha later bought the rights to the original three volume manga series and reissued it as two enlarged volumes. In October 2003 the US publisher Dark Horse Comics released the expanded first volume translated into English, keeping the original right-to-left format rather than mirroring the pages. Trigun Maximum followed quickly, and the entire 14-volume run was released over a five-year period from May 2004 to April 2009. Translations into French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish have also been released.


Trigun was animated by Madhouse, broadcasted on TV Tokyo, produced by Victor Company of Japan (JVC) in 1998 and directed by Satoshi Nishimura with scripts by Yosuke Kuroda, character designs by Takahiro Yoshimatsu, mechanical designs by Noriyuki Jinguji and music by Tsuneo Imahori. It is licensed in the United States by Pioneer USA (now Geneon). However, the anime is no longer licensed after Geneon USA had closed its doors in late 2007. The DVDs are now out of print. At Katsucon 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced that they have rescued Trigun and will be re-releasing the series on DVD and Blu-ray in the fall of 2010. [4]

After its original showing in 1998, Trigun failed to become well known among an audience in Japan. On the other hand, after its premier in America in the early 2003, it gained a substantial fan base. Trigun first appeared on Cartoon Network's late show block (along with the anime, Cowboy Bebop) and is currently broadcast by Cartoon Network in Latin America.[5]

Nightow has stated that due to the finality of the anime ending, it is unlikely any continuation will be made.[6] However, that doesn't rule out the possibility of a reboot based on Trigun Maximum.


The October 2005 issue of NEO includes an interview with Masao Maruyama, Madhouse's founder and series planner. In the article he revealed that the studio has been working on a Trigun Movie that would be released in "a couple of years". The November 2005 issue of Anime Insider also confirmed this news.

In May 2007, Nightow confirmed at the Anime Central Convention that the Trigun movie was in the early stages of pre-production with a near-final script, although he did not divulge any plot information.

In February 2008, more details about the Trigun movie emerged on the cover of volume 14 of the Trigun Maximum manga, announcing that the movie was scheduled for 2009.[7] In October 2009, however, the movie's official website announced a new Japanese premiere set for Spring 2010.[1] The story of the movie, as depicted from the cover, was going to be about "Vash vs. Wolfwood", the two main characters of the manga.[7]

In July 2009, at The Anime Expo convention in Los Angeles, California, Yasuhiro Nightow and Satoshi Nishimura held a panel for the movie. Shigeru Kitayama and Noriyuki Jinguji also appeared to promote the movie. During the convention a trailer was shown depicting characters of the movie.[8]

The film was animated by the same company that animated the television show, Madhouse.[7]

The film is titled Trigun: Badlands Rumble and opened in theaters in Japan on April 24, 2010. A teaser trailer has been released for streaming. The film was shown to an American audience first at the Sakura-Con 2010 in Seattle, Washington on Friday, April 2nd, 2010 at 5:00 PM, and the director held a 15-minute Q&A session before the movie, explaining the reasons it was not dubbed, subbed, and why it was premiered first at the convention, also explaining the new characters. The movie was shown again on Saturday and Sunday according to the schedule. [9] At Anime Expo 2010, Funimation announced that they have licensed the film as they have with the TV series and will plan to release it into thearters. Funimation later had a showing of a subbed version of the movie later during the same Anime Expo. [10]

Video game[]

A video game, called Trigun: The Planet Gunsmoke, based on the Trigun manga, was in development for the PlayStation 2 system. It was unveiled in 2002 in Sega's 2002 GameJam video. The unveiling consisted of a 20 second clip from the game. The clip showed multiple characters from the Trigun series. Since its unveiling, no word on development had come out by its developer Red Entertainment or publisher Sega. Sega has issued a "no comment" on the current status of the game's development.


The first manga volume run of 30,000 sold out[11] shortly after release. The second volume concluded the original series early the next year, and went on to be the top earning[12] graphic novel of 2004.


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Trigun Movie Finally Dated, For Spring 2010". Animekon. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  2. "When Young King Ours invited me to do some work for them, they were hoping for a new piece, but I was troubled by leaving Trigun unfinished. I told them I wouldn't feel like I had done my work unless I finished it, plus I was attached to it, and I asked them if they'd let me finish it." interview with Nightow in the September 2000 Manga no Mori newsletter, translated by sumire.
  3. "Nightow stated that there is no difference in the story between the two titles, and the only reason for the change is because of the switch of publishing house." summary of discussion panel with Nightow at Anime Expo 2000, in Anaheim, California.
  4. "Funimation Gets Trigun TV Anime". Anime News Network. 2010-02-14. 
  5. "Anime Expo 2009: interview with Yasuhiro Nightow and Satoshi Nishimura". Asia Pacific Arts. Retrieved 2009-09-14. 
  6. "When asked as to whether or not Trigun could spawn a sequel, he said that it would be unlikely given the story brings itself to a natural close." from discussion panel at Anime Expo, as above.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "Trigun Movie Coming In 2009". Animekon. Retrieved 2008-02-27.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "movie in 2009" defined multiple times with different content
  8. "Trigun Panel at The Anime Expo". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  9. "Trigun Movie premiered at Sakura-Con 2010". Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  10. "Funi Adds Live Action Moyashimon Live Action, More". Anime News Network. 2010-07-02. Retrieved 2010-07-03. 
  11. "The first volume of the English language version of Yasuhiro Nightow's Trigun manga sold out an edition of 35,000 copies at wholesale within days of its release... Dark Horse is going back to press for 15,000 additional copies" from ICV2 article posted on October 29, 2003.
  12. "The top earning manga release of 2004 was Dark Horse's Trigun #2, which sold less copies that Fruits Basket or Rurouni Kenshin, but sold at a higher, $14.95 price point." from ANN news article posted 2005-01-04.

External links[]

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