Volume 7 - Puppet Master

Starring (voice): Masaya Onosaka, Hiromi Tsuru and Satsuki Yukino
RRP: £17.99
MVD 2063
Certificate: 12
Available 19 June 2006

Vash the Stampede, a gunman with a sixty billion double double bounty on his head travels through the wastelands of a new planet with every bounty hunter trying their best to kill him. As he is considered a human disaster area because of the damage cause to each of the towns he visits, Milly and Meryl, two insurance agents are assigned to follow him. Now Vash has a mission to stop his brother, Knives, from his intent to kill everyone on the planet...

Things have turned a little darker now that Vash has to contend with his brothers homicidal desires. The show continues its stylish mix of sci-fi and western, throwing in a smorgasbord of different animation styles into its eclectic mix of drama and comedy. Given its quality it's hard to come to terms that the show is around ten years old, gotta say its aged well.

Episode twenty, Flying Ship, and we find that Vash has given the girls the slip in order to journey to a mysterious floating city, which turns out to be the only surviving seed ship. Arriving with Wolfman they discover that the ship is inhabited; inhabited by people that Vash remembers from his life aboard, before Knives crashed them. The story at this point gets a little distracted with a bit of an emotional ménage between Vash, Jessica and Brad before the episode ends with the arrival of Leonof, killer puppets and three gung-ho guns. The episode continues the trend set by the previous disc of mixing the action in the present moment with flashbacks to what happened to Vash after the crash of the ship.

Episode twenty one, Out of Time, and the sh*t has really hit the fan for the seed ship dwellers. With the ship under full attack from Leonof and his three gung-ho guns, Vash and Wolfman battle hoards of puppets that are killing anyone they can find, but are Vash and Wolfman enough to stop the slaughter? Out of Time is a full-on action episode full of action shots with a nice sting in its tail. Essentially, the show is one long fight scene, but well paced so that it never gets boring or repetitive.

The last episode on the DVD is Twenty-two, Alternative, and Vash and Wolfman are back to earth with a bang. Having once more teamed up with Milly and Meryl, the Laurel and Hardy of insurance detectives, the group come across a decidedly odd town. Something odd has been happening to people and towns in the area, they have been disappearing and it would seem that a demon is to blame. Another good episode somewhat reminiscent of The Magnificent Seven, ok there is only four of them, but you get the idea, town under threat, orphanage needing to be protected.

Not wishing to stand out from the rest of the previous releases the extras remain a little thin on the ground. You get a Trigun trailer, Japanese VHS Covers, a Villains Gallery and a bunch of trailers for other shows. Audio is the usual English or Japanese stereo.

So only four more show to go before this excellent series comes to an end, let's hope the last disc contains all of the remaining shows.

Charles Packer

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