In the early days of Saturday Night Showcase I posted the first episode of Trigun, a Japanese space western inspired by the so-called “spaghetti westerns” of Italy. It’s only fair that tonight I look at the re-imagining of that story, Trigun Stampede. When the initial trailers dropped I have to be honest that I didn’t really like what I saw. It lacked the energy of the original in the first fight I saw. A later clip showed more focus on the gunplay and I actually didn’t think it looked as bad.

And so I went into Stampede with an open mind. Would it make for a good remake or was it as unimpressive as it first looked. If you want to see the original first episode to compare with tonight’s (I rewatched it for this review) here is that Showcase. With that let’s see what the newbie has to offer.

I don’t hate it. The show does have some merits but there are also things the first series did better. Half the mystery surrounding Vash’s origin and his connection to Knives is dropped in the first episode. The original preferred to keep the mystery going of who Vash The Stampede really is and whether or not he’s a goofball, a confident gunslinger, or both. The planet;s name in the original was called Gunsmoke, but in Stampede it’s called No Man’s Land, the name from the manga. “No Man’s Land” usually refers to an area that you can’t survive in without preparation but Gunsmoke is an actual reference to a Western that began on radio but is more known for the TV series and sequel TV movies starring James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon. I’m neutral on that but the original had a lot more energy in its fights while the new show is lacking the character Millie, instead turning Merrill into a reporter rookie alongside veteran Roberto DeNiro. Actor Robert DeNiro isn’t even know for making westerns. It’s like a JoJo series, which likes to use famous musician names, having a character called Bugs Bunny. The tone of the first episode feels more like a gritty space western while the new show’s first episode feels like a Western but not with as much energy.

Where it does shine however is the gunplay. We don’t see Vash jumping around and being silly but when the guns come out the cinematography is quite good. Vash still comes off as more competent than he appears with a gun but he’s a bit more somber, which will definitely work for some people if they were put off by Vash’s antics in the original. The CG does work for what it’s trying to do and the character models are quite nice, though it lacks the energy and crazy designs of the original. It’s also nice that they brought back Johnny Yong Bosch. While this Vash isn’t quite the same as the original Bosch is Vash for dub fans and having him back makes it easier to accept this incarnation as Vash. The Japanese doesn’t do this, using a new VA, but it’s certainly one of the positive bits of news for fans, and Bosch still delivers even with this less silly tone of the “Humanoid Typhoon”.

If I had to choose I rather enjoy the original more but the remake isn’t terrible and I kind of want to watch it to see where it’s going versus the original. Both have their strengths and weaknesses but while the remake isn’t as bad as I first thought and there is quality and effort in the show, the energy of the original and the mystery surrounding Vash’s origin intrigues me more in the classic show.


About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

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