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Trigun Stampede - What We Know So Far

The late '90s and early aughts thrived with so many unique anime series that are now considered classics by today's fans. But between the outer space jazz session vibes of "Cowboy Bebop" and the war through mecha tale of "Gundam Wing," there's one series that managed to stand out as much as a bright red duster jacket in the desert. Yasuhiro Nightow's manga "Trigun" got an anime adaptation in 1998 that was mainly introduced to Western audiences through Cartoon Network's popular Toonami block. The series focuses on skilled gunman Vash the Stampede, who struggles to maintain his pacifist ways while dodging the immense bounty on his head. "Trigun" is known for presenting a story full of comedy, action, and sci-fi, all within a slick Western world.

The last time Vash's adventures were in anime form was the 2010 film "Trigun: Badlands Rumble." Since then, we thought the hero would continue to live on only through reruns and the pages of Nightow's acclaimed manga. However, in a surprise announcement from the Anime Expo (via Crunchyroll), Vash appears to be returning to a brand new anime series. So get ready to dine on some donuts as we delve into what we know so far about "Trigun Stampede."

When is the release date for Trigun Stampede?

"Trigun Stampede" may not have a specific day for its premiere, but it does have a year set. Fortunately for fans, the wait won't be too long. Per Crunchyroll, a special key visual of Vash shooting his gun from an awkward position reveals that the blond gunslinger is coming back sometime in 2023. Western audiences can breathe a little easy, too, as "Trigun Stampede" already has a steaming home with Crunchyroll. The company also announced that the upcoming series would stream as it airs in Japan. So unlike the previous two anime adaptations, the entire world is starting simultaneously on "Trigun Stampede."

Honestly, that's probably the best move, as everything revealed so far about the new anime screams that this isn't quite like Studio Madhouse's iconic take on the manga. "Trigun Stampede" has new creative blood to the series in the form of its director, Kenji Muto. According to Anime News Network, "Trigun Stampede" is the directorial debut of Muto, who has only done episode work for "Beastars" and "Land of the Lustrous." It might be his first time entirely in charge of a project. However, Muto is confident that while not perfect, "Trigun Stampede" will still have the manga's stylish action, captivating world, and intriguing central story between Vash and his brother Knives (via Comic Book).

Is there a trailer for Trigun Stampede?

The release date is a little while away, but we've still got our first proper look at "Trigun Stampede," thanks to an official trailer. And for a video preview that clocks in barely over a minute, there sure is so much to unpack. In the trailer, a young Vash and Knives are seen with Rem, who places them in an escape pod. The trailer then flashes between Vash as a child and Vash as the gun-toting protagonist we've come to know, yet everything is different. He still sports the blond hair, oversized orange sunglasses, and the red jacket, but it's all upgraded and changed in Studio Orange's 3D CG animation. Per an interview with Crunchyroll, "Trigun Stampede" producer Kiyotaka Waki noted that 3D CG isn't a frontier that "Trigun" has crossed before and that Yasuhiro Nightow gave his blessing for the team to do whatever they felt, as past anime adaptations of his manga were already considered fantastic.

The use of CG in anime is still a hot-button issue among many anime fans. Still, critics from outlets such as Polygon have often praised Studio Orange for their mastery of CG animation on "Beastars." And the trailer definitely shows the studio is giving their best for "Trigun Stampede," as the level of detail on facial expressions is astounding. Yet the trailer does raise concerns or questions about the tone of "Trigun Stampede." The story in original adaptations could get serious, but "Trigun" had an uncanny ability to deliver plenty of humor, too. The trailer depicts a dramatic tone and even some action but lacks any laughs. As more gets revealed, we'll have to see if this new project also has a funny bone.

Is Trigun Stampede a continuation?

Don't call it a comeback — at least that's what Yasuhiro Nightow says. Per Anime News Network, the "Trigun" creator noted that "Trigun Stampede" isn't a continuation. That might give some clues regarding the story of the new anime, as its trailer doesn't indicate the series' plot is meant to serve as a sequel to the older anime series. If anything, "Trigun Stampede" is a retelling. After all, the trailer shows the origins of Vash and Knives on No Man's Land. That's a plot point presented much later in the manga and previous anime. According to Comic Book, Muto further elaborated that "Trigun Stampede" is a reboot, albeit with the core of what made the original so memorable.

Currently, this also means we don't know how the story of Vash is going to be depicted this time around. We also don't know what this means for the series' other fan-favorite characters like Meryl Stryfe, Milly Thompson, or Wolfwood. It's clear that the project has its sights on setting itself apart from its predecessors. And "Trigun Stampede" as a rebooted project opens the door for countless surprises. Fortunately, Nightow has been close to the project and its script since the beginning, offering some valid input when needed (via Anime News Network). So some things about our Humanoid Typhoon have changed, but others might remain the same.