The 2nd Dimension

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Reading Journal: Trigun / Trigun Maximum (complete)

Manga Overview
Book Info

Overall= D
Story = C-
Art = D


Vash the Stampede is a gunman on the run with a 60 billion double dollar bounty on his head which has made it difficult for him to go anywhere without being chased and shot at. Because of the bounty, every town he ever visit ends up being destroyed because of his pursuers, and miracliously, no one ever gets killed. Meryl and Milly are two insurance agents that have been sent to find Vash the Stampede and keep him under surveillance so no more damage is caused. Meryl, who leads the pair, can't believe that the man they have met can possibly be the legendary gunman. This spikey haired, gangly, and blonde young man is extremely friendly, a pacifist, hates blood and suicide, absolutely loves donuts, and is a dork and a crybaby...there is no way he could he be Vash the Stampede, a notorious outlaw. However, there's more to Vash than just smiles and dounuts. (Source: ANN)

I -- like a lot of anime fans out there -- loved the Trigun anime. So I started reading the original manga because I heard that it went more in depth into the story and characters. And it does. It gives more detail about the origin of Vash and Knives and gives more information about Wolfwood and the people from his group the "Eye of Michael." Plus it gives more background behind the planet that the story takes place on. But unfortunately 90% of the time I couldn't glean much information at all from the manga because the artwork was so confusing.

That's not to say that the art isn't cool, it is just messy and difficult to interpret. The character designs are incredibly cool, and individual panels during fight scenes are frantic and energetic. But there is a disconnect between the art and the story -- most notably during any kind of action (which took up a good majority of the manga). Something might happen like an explosion, but there there may be no reference in the art to show where that explosion is taking place. Or there may be a group of panels showing a fight scene or one of Vash or Knives' many odd transformation scenes, but it's hard to tell what is happening because there's no way to know how the different panels are related. You can't tell how the fight goes from point A in panel 1 to point B in panel 2. It would have been just as effective to have a page with a big scribble for all I could glean from those action scenes. And the dialogue is no help because after all this incomprehensible action takes place a character would say something like "Oh my gosh, I can't believe that happened." But I would have no idea what they were reacting to, so I was constantly thinking that I was missing vital pieces of the story. It really got frustrating and annoying at times.

In truth, if it wasn't for this manga's connection to the anime I probably would have stopped following it a long time ago. I'm positive that all kinds of cool stuff was happening during the 16 volumes (2 volumes of Trigun and 14 volumes of Trigun Maximum). But since so much of it was lost one me, my whole reason for reading the manga -- that is to get more information about the story that I'd loved so much in the anime -- was lost too.

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