Posted by psgels on 19 December 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews

After more than ten year since the original Trigun series ended, the Badlands Rumble movie was released. In the end, it turned out to be a glorified episode, taking place somewhere around the middle of the series, perhaps a tad later (it’s been too long since I watched the series to say exactly when it takes place). Vash, Nicholas Wolfwood, Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson all are in the movie, but it doesn’t really add anything to their characters. Instead, it’s all about an original story about Vash’s encounter with another notorious criminal.

This really was a movie that was made for the fans. If you were to watch it without having seen the TV-series, you’d probably leave with a decent impression, but no idea why the series is praised by so many people. The fans of the movie however will probably enjoy the large amount of the movie that’s devoted to the simple Trigun-esque banter. I especially applaud the creators for coming up with tons of different designs for the hordes of different bounty hunters that pass the screen, the one quirkier than the other and this movie is at its best when it’s just having fun with them; both during the quiet moments and during the action scenes (helped by some wonderfully detailed animation, by the way). It has quite a number of funny moments, though at the same time it also doesn’t really get close to the best jokes of the TV-series.

The story of this movie is fairly simple, pretty much like the episodes of the first half of Trigun. It’s neither the best nor the worst of the stories that the series came with, and it brings some pretty nice twists. The best part was how the prologue takes place twenty years in the past, which which it’s able to do some neat things. Like the TV-series, there is also a huge contrast between the silly parts and the parts at which it takes itself completely serious, and like what happened with the TV-series, they also don’t blend in too well with each other.

Overall though, this movie doesn’t aim to be anything big or fancy, it just has two goals: entertainment and nostalgia. It’s good simple fun without much real flaws (save for one very cheesy twist around Vash that the creators pull near the end), but it also doesn’t have the caliber to be remembered as a great movie. It’s pretty much what you get when you watch a really long episode of the first half of Trigun: standalone they were decent, though the best thing about the series was the big picture they paint.

Storytelling: 8/10 – Simple, but solid and well directed.
Characters: 8/10 – The characters play off each other neatly. It doesn’t have the depth of the TV-series, though.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Great designs, fluent, lively and expressive animation.
Setting: 7/10 – Doesn’t really add anything to the Trigun franchise.

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5 Responses

  1. Avatar kuromitsu says:

    I’m just happy that it has the original voice cast and Imahori Tsuneo’s music. It just wouldn’t be Trigun without either. The nice animation doesn’t hurt either, I mean it’s Trigun with actual animation! Yay!

    (I don’t agree that the silly and serious parts of the series didn’t blend well, though…)

  2. Avatar Roldan says:

    Yeah, and this also means when when the next Hajime No Ippo series comes out, we’ll finally get back Nishimura as Director and Imahori Tsuneo as Composer. New Challenger was great but the music really felt like a step down when Tsuneo wasn’t around.

  3. I got quite disappointed when I’ve heard that there’s not really anything new to its story…. but I’m relieved that it’s successful in providing entertainment and nostalgia. I missed this series so much ^^

  4. Avatar Lightning says:

    “I’m just happy that it has the original voice cast and Imahori Tsuneo’s music. It just wouldn’t be Trigun without either. ”

    Agreed bringing back the staff/cast brings back all the great “character” that Trigun so effortlessly had, now they need to do the same service to the dub fans who became huge fans of Trigun thanks to the English cast too :)

    Sounds good I was hoping for a fun time return to Trigun and it’ll be great to see Trigun’s “old west” with spiffy new animation :)

  5. Avatar gandalf8 says:

    Just finished watching the movie, and it certainly was a wave of nostalgia for me.
    The characters are as lovable as ever, and while the jokes certainly weren’t as good as in the original series, but I’m still happy to see the gang again with all their antics. The twist about the girl could be seen from a mile away though..

    If there’s one thing that bugs me is that the story wasn’t as good as any the original series episodes. The villain is too simplistic, with a rather shallow ideal that he holds on to justify what he does. And I might be the only one on this, but I kind of miss the original animation. Trigun with such polished animation just looks very weird to me hehe..

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