Trigun Stampede has not changed the pacifism of its protagonist Vash, who is still shonen’s most unlikely hero for his refusal to engage in violence.
Warning: SPOILERS for Episode #2 of Trigun Stampede.
Trigun Stampede, the reboot of the original Trigun series, has not changed the nature of its protagonist, Vash, who is still shonen’s most unlikely hero. Vash is a pacifist who stubbornly refuses not just to kill his opponents, but also to engage in violence, which makes his life particularly hard in the unforgiving Western-inspired sci-fi world of Noman’s Land.
A modern retelling of a classic anime, Trigun Stampede tells the story of Vash, a man known as the Human Typhoon who wanders the desertic planet of Noman’s Land, running away from bounty hunters who want to collect the huge reward on his head. A unique mix of Wild West and sci-fi tones and imagery, Trigun Stampede portrays a world of hardened survivors and ruthless outlaws, where a person’s skills with a gun are often the only difference between life and death. Despite carrying around a very big gun himself, however, Vash’s attitude toward violence makes him a unique hero.
In episode #2 of Trigun Stampede, Vash has the people of Jeneora Rock, the town he saved in the previous episode, turn against him. They are after the six million bounty on Vash’s head, which they need to repair the malfunctioning Plant that gives energy and food to the town. Vash runs away and refuses to fight his pursuers, which is not surprising because they are actually good people driven to desperation, and they treated him kindly in episode #1 of Trigun Stampede. However, Vash displays the same attitude when he meets the first group of bounty hunters who are after his head, the Nebraska family, who are much more vicious and dangerous. Still, Vash manages to stop the Nebraskas without ever lifting a finger against them, confirming that Trigun Stampede has not changed its protagonist’s most unusual trait.
Trigun Stampede‘s Success Will Depend On How Well It Portrays Vash’s Pacifism
One of the reasons why Trigun stood out originally is Vash’s pacifism. Heroes of shonen manga and anime usually do not eschew violence, which is a key part of their stories. Even in series such as Naruto, where even the most vicious villains can be redeemed, the main character fights, hurts, and often even kills his opponents. In Trigun, Vash has superhuman powers but he stubbornly refuses to fight his opponents unless he has no other option, preferring to look for creative and non-violent solutions to his conundrums. This is particularly difficult in a world such as Noman’s Land, where everyone and everything is actively trying to kill Vash.
The first two episodes have confirmed that Trigun Stampede, despite the differences with the original, has fortunately not changed this trait of its protagonist. It will be interesting to see how modern audiences (who have not watched the original series) will react to this, in a context where manga and anime are even more desensitized to violence compared to the late 1990s when Trigun came out. Vash‘s pacifism is a fundamental trait of the character, and the success of Trigun Stampede will also be determined by how well this will be portrayed.
More: Trigun Returns & More in Crunchyroll’s Winter 2023 Anime Lineup
Trigun Stampede is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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