Friday, May 02, 2003

Note

This whole Thursday-blogging thing isn't working out as well as I'd hoped. I've got a lot to say, but oddly enough just feel the urge to chew it over, and not spit it out (I produce lovely images, don't I?).

I will say, however, that I recently bought the Trigun Complete DVD Box Set - Limited Edition, and I currently regard it as one of the coolest things I've ever gotten. Why? I'm glad you asked

Trigun is a Japanese anime (cartoon) based off the manga (comic book) of the same name. It's set in a Wild West environment of another planet, though the population is made of humans. I would tell you how this happened, but that would be revealing things, and I won't do that. On this planet is an outlaw known as Vash the Stampede, accused of destroying a town and currently having a bounty of sixty billion double-dollars on his head. Wherever he goes, disasters tend to follow. In light of this, the Bernardelli Insurance Society has dispatched Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson to keep an eye on Vash and, if possible, prevent him from causing too much trouble.

The series is very well-done. I first saw it in Japanese with subtitles, and the voices were perfect for the characters. I'm now watching it in English with subtitles, and the dubbing is also excellent (it doesn't always agree with the subtitles, and the subtitles occasionally have typographical errors, such as calling Vash "dash"). It goes on for twenty-six episodes, including several two-parters. The idea of guns being able to help prevent crime is prevalent, and Christianity is held in high esteem by the "good guys," though the writers seem to have either a very limited or a very differently-oriented view of it. Environmentalism is also brought in, but not preachily. Furthermore, while Vash keeps saying that all he wants is "Love and Peace," he knows that that can't happen unless he does something about it, and he wrestles with this throughout the series. There is swearing and adult situations (no real nudity, though it sometimes gets fairly close), but Trigun would likely be diminished by their absence, as they're essential to the atmosphere and the plot.

The dozen episodes or so are almost slapstick, and include a lot of funny and random parts, such as Vash running away from a crowd, crying for his "Maman," and then wondering why he's crying in French (if I remember, the Japanese version actually has him speaking French). However, mid-way through, it changes. There are still some funny parts, but it gets sadder as Vash's choices get harder and harder. In the last few episodes, I very nearly cried at some points. If you want a well-done story of virtue, sacrifice, and idealism vs. reality, this is a good bet. There's apparently a rumor that the next part of the manga will be made into anime; if so, I can't wait to get it.

Now, why do I consider this so great? Well, I'd wanted the whole series, but had seen that they only came with three episodes per $20-DVD. Obviously, impossible. I went looking on Amazon, but found that even a boxed set would run me $170. Then, I glanced at the "New & Used" section, and saw that some started at about $35. Even more surprising, these were for new DVDs. I figured that I wouldn't lose much by trying, especially since the seller had a five-star rating. Lo and Behold, it's now in my hands. The DVDs came in envelopes outside the box, but that was no problem. If I understand it correctly, what I have is the imported Japanese version (you can tell that Trigun was made by the Japanese for Americans as you watch it). It comes in one of those folding paper DVD boxes (with the proper cover art, though) instead of the plastic cases like most American DVDs, but is otherwise the same. It's coded for all regions, and works well on both my computer and on my regular DVD player. If you've got $35 you're willing to spend, you could do a lot worse than to invest in this.

I'm very pleased.

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