Animation Events

Trigun Stampede First Impression @ Anime NYC 2022


On the first day of Anime NYC 2022, Studio Orange debut the first episode of their most ambitious project, Trigun Stampede. Stampede is a reimagining of the original Trigun story through the eyes of Studio Orange. The studio is best known for its eccentric CG animation style, shown in anime including Beastars. I had a chance to attend the panel admittingly out of sheer curiosity for the source material itself. 

In my college years, I discovered Trigun through the film/OVA Badlands Rumble. While I’ve heard of it by name, it was my first time being exposed to Vash the Stampede and his motley crew of bounty hunters. It was a fun little film that served as a great introduction to Trigun while giving fanservice in the form of feel-good content for veterans of the series. It was my gateway into the anime and in a month I finished the anime while also reading up to Trigun Maximum.

Image Credit: Studio Orange

Although it has been almost a decade since then, I have enough of a vivid memory to have initial skepticism when it came to reviving Trigun. For many, this is one of their “top 5” anime as it offers a balance of comedy, action, and charming lovable characters. The modernization of Vash’s design, opting for a relaxed look as opposed to his spiked hairstyle, was the subject of several criticisms, especially on social media.

This was something that Studio Orange was aware of as they mentioned during the panel that, as fans of the series, they wanted to create the perfect homage to the original creator themselves. Orange was confident in their abilities that they showed images of the original draft of the script, with hundreds of pages. Concept art including the world of Stampede, the ruined aftermath of the City of July, and facial expressions were revealed to the audience.

Image Credit: Studio Orange

When creating Trigun Stampede a comparison between the original Marvel and DC comics to the big screen was made. Characters in the comics are vastly different from their movie counterparts and they thought of Stampede as the “MCU” for the original Trigun manga and anime. 

Finally, the first episode was shown and while I will not say anything about the plot, I will at least discuss the important bits. The animation, as expected from Orange, is incredible as ever, with their 3D CGI designs meshing well in Trigun Stampede. Meryl is exceptionally well animated here as her short temper and wanting to be taken seriously are shown through her body language. Her partner, Roberto De Niro (that is his name) also has his personality shown as well, being an old-timing guy able to talk his way out of anything.

Image Credit: Studio Orange

Stampede’s Vash is on the mark for how the original Vash the Stampede was. Despite having several millions of dollars of a bounty on his head, Vash doesn’t hesitate to help those in need who have it worse than him. What I was surprised about was a plot point that was revealed midway through the original was brought up by the end of the first episode. There are events that take place which is a call-back to the original, but with a modern twist. 

An example is a predicament that Vash is placed in that endangers the fate of the town. With the help of Meryl, Vash solves this in a “Vash-like” manner by doing something that is “cool,” yet “highly impractical.” The scope of the animation during this scene makes future high-dynamic scenes in Trigun Stampede a possibility. Everything was great, the comedic timing, the animation, the personalities, and the seeds of the plot that has been planted.

After the premiere, Studio Orange dropped what I can say as one of the most awesome lines I’ve ever heard as a boast — “We hope we betrayed your expectations in a good way.” They knew that messing with a winning formula was something that would either make or break their reputation with Trigun fans. They already received blessings from the creator themselves. The way that this was worded, they knew they were prepared for the worst but from the crowd's reaction, they had faith in their product as a team. That, alone, is enough of a recommendation for Trigun Stampede when it releases during the Winter 2023 lineup.

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