"Nothing is gained through death."
Trigun: Badlands Rumble (2010) is a film based on the Trigun (1998) anime series and Trigun/Trigun Maximum manga by Yasuhiro Nightow though this is an independent story that takes place somewhere in the middle of the series so it doesn't mess with any of the main plots from the anime or manga much like the Cowboy Bebop film, Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door (2001).
Vash "The Humanoid Typhoon" crosses paths with the vicious and deadly thief Gasback mid robbery and ends up saving his life. Twenty years later, the next time their paths cross he may regret that decision.
They were smart to create this film at the studio Madhouse who originally adapted the anime in 1998. The film looks just like the anime: the animation and characters look great, the story has the same feel as an anime episode and they kept a lot of the original things that made the anime feel really original and fresh. It's also really nice to see Trigun with a higher budget, the animation is very smooth and there's more room for explosions and better battle scenes!
The movie adds two new characters that really fit the look (even if the character Amelia seems to look slightly more like the style of some of Madhouse's more recent anime) and act and have a motivation/story that really fits into the Trigun world.
But that being said, I'm actually really glad that this movie is a stand alone story that doesn't rely on the anime's plot. Also because the movie came out 12 years after the anime finished! I watched them probably that far apart also, so I was relieved that not too much called directly back to the anime. And they give Vash a good enough entrance/introduction that you could be introduced to Trigun through this film. When I was first getting into anime, it was much harder to find and see than it is today, so I'd hear names of popular series and not have access to them, but then maybe I'd find just a film or OVA and that would be my introduction to a series, and I'd go back and watch the stuff that came before it, if I liked it. So I really like how you could do that with this movie.
Something that is probably just a result of trying to adapt a 20-something minute an episode show into a 90 minute movie the movie is the movie really slow for the first half and they take a lot of time with things they would have normally just skipped or done faster. Also the plot twist is pretty unspectacular.
I'm not sure if this is true, but apparently this film was marketed as "Vash vs. Wolfwood!" originally. I'm sorry to anyone who walked in expecting that because though the film does deliver that. It's done in a really crappy way. So much so that it's pretty much just humorous in retrospect. The action lasts less than a minute, so seriously don't look forward to the film just for that. I actually think though they could have put a full fight in there (or maybe even just half?) and I would have bumped this film up at least half a star or so!)
If you know anything about Trigun, you know that they couldn't kill Vash in a movie that takes place in the middle of the series, so when they "kill off" Vash in this movie it's no surprise that he comes back. But what I really liked about his "death" is that it allows the other characters to really contemplate and give a deeper look into Vash's 'no killing' rhetoric and the vows he tries to live by, this in my opinion was the best part of the film and made the whole movie worth it.
Trigun: Badlands Rumble (2010) is a good stand alone movie to one of my top anime series of all time. I actually think this could be something they could keep doing and making more movies that are stand alone and take place in the middle of the series somewhere (and hopefully they'd get better), but unfortunately this anime wasn't actually that big of a hit inside Japan so this may be the only movie this series will get. But for what it's worth it's a decent story and a cool watch whether you've seen the anime or not. 3.5/5 Stars.
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