Trigun: Badlands Rumble ReviewHaley Nicks
Trigun: Badlands Rumble returns to us the ever comical, doughnut munching hero of the Trigun series, Vash the Stampede. Taking place at some point within the original show's timeline, Vash and familiar characters like Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson find themselves wrapped up within a feud between the legendary robber Gasback and his henchmen. 20 years before the main story takes place, Vash saves the life of the robber Gasback when during a bank robbery, his henchmen turn on him. Confused as to why Vash would save him, but nevertheless willing to take the opportunity to escape, Gasback warns Vash that he has tossed a die of fate and will have to live with the consequences.
Furious at having his robbery disgraced, Gasback is now taking his revenge on his ex-henchmen who have been living comfortably on all the money they escaped with on that fateful night. Finding two out of the three, Gasback destroys their towns and businesses that they have created leaving them with nothing. The two flee to the last henchman, Cain Kelper, seeking help. Cain has become mayor of the city of Macca after using some of his robbery money to fix the town's plant. Terrified at the thought of Gasback coming to ruin him, he insures a large statue that was made of himself for $$5 billion-double dollars. He also calls out to every bounty hunter who is looking to take the $$300 million-double bounty on Gasback to come to Macca since he will surely be striking there next.
We see Vash making his way toward Macca on a sand steamer along with a whole crew of rowdy thugs. He becomes smitten with another traveler, a beautiful woman named Amelia, after helping her in a fight with some men who had begun to hassle her. Unfortunately for Vash, Amelia makes it clear that she doesn't want romance and is focused on her goal of catching Gasback. Vash doesn't seem to mind the cold shoulder and still follows her all about town. They meet up in a bar with Meryl and Milly, who have come to Macca under orders by their insurance agency to protect the statue. After a few too many drinks and a good old brawl at the bar, Vash carries the drunken Amelia back to her hotel. During the walk back, we learn that Amelia is very angry with Gasback and the person who let him escape 20 years ago.
Gasback makes his appearance in the morning and arrives with Nicholas D. Wolfwood, the charismatic priest, from the original series, who has become indebted to Gasback after the robber saved him from dying of thirst in the desert. He has taken up the role of body guard but only until Gasback gets within Macca. Gasback ploughs his way through the city and finds Cain. He relishes the look of horror and desperation as Cain witnesses his statue and city fall. He steals the town's plant, the source of life that keeps them going, and decides to end Cain's life as a final touch. Vash arrives just in time and ends up not only saving Cain (who takes time to flee during the stand off), but saving Gasback again when Amelia comes bursting in to finish him off. Amelia enraged at her missed chance to take out Gasback, punches Vash and takes off after him. Vash and Wolfwood follow.
After a tense car chase, with Vash pleading for everyone to stop because they might damage the plant, he is struck down by one of Gasback's new henchman. Amelia and Wolfwood make a frantic attempt to save him, but it appears the "needle noggin" hero has met his end. Amelia and Wolfwood continue on to pursue Gasback and soon a heated gunfight takes place. Among all the gun smoke and crumbling rock, Gasback appears to have gotten the upper hand. Vash of course comes in to save the day again. The hero can't die half through his series can he? Gasback, however, does not want to admit defeat and pulls out one last shot. His large gun attached to his arm is able to shoot out a white hot energy blast, which he fires at Vash. Amelia steps in and absorbs the blast with her arm. Underneath her glove, we see some sort of mechanical device that fits like a glove sleeve all up her hand and arm.
Trigun is another one of my favorite anime series and to see all the characters back for a new movie was such a great experience. The movie comes with another disc that includes loads of extras. To name a few, there are interviews with the Japanese cast, commercials that promoted the movie over in Japan, and some clips from the Anime Expo in 2009 where fans and the show's creators are interacting and signing autographs.
Trigun: Badlands Rumble defiantly wins my approval and is worth the watch of any anime fan looking for great action and comedy. Fans of the original series certainly wouldn't want to miss out either since the movie feels like a coming home to our favorite characters.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.