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Trigun - volume five:
Angel Arms
voice cast: Masaya Onosaka, Hiromi Tsuru

creator: Yasuhiro Nightow

75 minutes (12) 2004
MVM DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 7/10
reviewed by J.C. Hartley
Another bizarro blend of the serious and the silly in this anime offering that mixes western iconography with science fiction, and super-powered heroes and villains straight from the sword-wielding, high-kicking Japanese mythos. Vash the Stampede (crazy name, crazy guy) is an outlaw with a $60 billion price on his head for the total destruction of various townships on the distant futuristic planet of Gunsmoke. Accompanied by insurance assessors Milly and Meryl he has adventures, which range from the comedic to the epic.

In the first episode Vash takes a back seat as his female sidekicks protect some homesteaders from a land-grabbing gang. In the second and third linked episodes Vash comes up against the Gung Ho Guns, a gang of super powered individuals he has faced before. In the course of a battle with Rai-Dei The Blade, Vash is manipulated to unleash a power that can level cities and punch holes in the moon. There is obviously more to Vash than he is aware of.

The drawing in some of the sequences is of the Jack Kirby school of technological detail and there is much use of iconic western imagery, from duster coats and tumbleweed to incongruously huge handguns. A disconcerting effect is achieved by contrasting moody serious animation sequences with the sudden descent into distorted expressions and squeaky voice effects familiar from Pokemon and the like.

This seems a pretty good series and has a strong following. With the strength and variety of current animation can the day be far away when, having exhausted the comic book and graphic novel to shore up their imaginations, filmmakers turn to this medium as a source for live-action remakes?
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