Volume 4

Starring (voice): Masaya Onosaka, Hiromi Tsuru and Satsuki Yukino
RRP: 17.99
MVD 2060
Certificate: 12
Available 18 July 2005

On a barren distant planet, colonists scratch out a living in a Wild West cyberpunk environment. Through this inhospitable and lawless land Vash the Stampede, the Humanoid Typhoon, strides bringing destruction in his wake. With a price of $60 billion double dollars on his head for the destruction of July City Vash, with his two female companions - Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson - agents from an insurance company must fight to survive...

Whilst Trigun (1998) certainly has its dark moments, it has just as many comedic moments and a generally feel good mood running through the series. Keep an eye out for the weird black cat that appears in every episode. Its difficult to know who the audience for the series might be, it is at turns violent, dark and thoughtful and downright silly. Somehow, the mix seems to work to produce some very entertaining anime.

Volume four contains episodes eleven to thirteen. Escape from Pain is a stand alone episode. Very much a Romeo and Juliet type story, with Vash trying to help a couple of young lovers escape from a local hood. In Diablo, Vash is framed for a murder by a mysterious stranger. Whilst in prison Vash is attacked by what he describes as "The Enemy". Vash The Stampede continues the story from Diablo and is narrated by the two insurance company agents. It's a kind of retrospective of Vash's initial meeting with Meryl and Milly.

The disc has a running time of one hour fourteen minutes and comes with a number of extras. The Trigun trailer seems a little redundant but I guess it gives you a flavour of the show. MacFarlane Toys provides a silent slideshow of the creation of the Vash action figure - there's no real explanation of the process, but you get images from the initial concept drawing to the final finished product, and very nice it looks too. Under "Villain Design" there are another twenty-five pages of concept design, and lastly there is a selection of trailers of other shows available. So, it's not overwhelming but better than nothing.

The sound is crisp and clear, but only comes in English or Japanese stereo plus subtitles. Still it does a good job with the heavy metal guitar, rock your socks, intro. unfortunately it does little to improve the truly awful closing credits song. The picture is nice and sharp with no noticeable artefacts or colour bleed.

If you're a Trigun fan, or a fan of anime generally, then the stories are well worth watching, it's just a shame that the disc only contains three episodes, making collecting them all an expensive endeavour.

Charles Packer

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