Trigun is perhaps one of the most popular anime series among Western audiences. Set on the hostile planet of Gunsmoke, this sci-fi western focuses on the exploits of Vash the Stampede: a gunfighter who has embraced a life of nonviolent heroism after a case of amnesia has left him with few memories of his past life. Vash has a 60 Billion Double-Dollar bounty on his head due to his apparent involvement in the destruction of an entire city. He is being chased by Milly and Meryl, two insurance agents who have been tasked with claim verification for the damages caused by Vash, also known as “the Human Typhoon.” Hilarity and massive property damage ensue as Vash contends with the bounty hunters after the price on his head, the vengeful survivors of the disasters he’s accidentally caused, and all manner of other complications that seem to spring up around him.
Trigun: Multiple Bullets is an anthology aimed at fans of the original Trigun and Trigun: Maximum manga series. Those who are only familiar with the anime should be advised that there are some slight differences between the two—not enough to make this volume unreadable, but enough to raise some questions for casual fans. Among these differences is the idea of Plants, alien creatures responsible for creating much of the life on the barren world of Gunsmoke.
A number of writers/artists contributed to this anthology and the stories vary in content and quality as a result. There are a number of humorous contributions; for example, Millie and Meryl create a number of reality TV shows centered on their exploits, while another entry describes an incident in which Meryl tries to style Vash’s infamously spikey hair. There are also serious stories, including the opening tale by Trigun creator Yasuhiro Nightow, a reprint of the hard-to-find Badlands Rumble manga that was only available with the DVD release of the Trigun movie. In another feature, Vash is asked to break his oath that he will never take a life in order to stop a Plant creature that could destroy the whole universe. There’s even a story that has nothing to do with the main cast, instead centering upon a Plant, a Worm, and a Human traveling together to answer the question of whether their three species can ever live in harmony. Fans of the original manga should enjoy the variety immensely.
One of the stories does feature a fully-nude female Plant figure, but there is nothing sexual about the scene and the nudity is handled in a tasteful manner. The same cannot be said of the human female character in the same tale, who is the subject of some rather detailed up-skirt shots. The story focused on Rai of the Gung-Ho Guns features some very explicit and graphic imagery involving organ harvesting, and it also includes a discussion that describes how the rape of a female victim left her uterus completely unusable. This is far more graphic than any of the episodes of the Trigun anime I have seen and it was a little off-putting, to say the least. Though Dark Horse rated this volume as a 14+ book, I would personally rate it at 16+ or higher.
Trigun: Multiple Bullets
by Yasuhiro Nightow, et al
Art by Yasuhiro Nightow
Dark Horse Comics, 2013
Publisher Age Rating: 14+