The Gold Standard For Anime Reboots

Trigun Stampede made waves with its radically different designs for classic characters, and though fans were hesitant, the result is stellar.

When Trigun Stampede was announced, many fans weren’t sure how to feel about it. Despite the series being among 2023’s most anticipated anime, the new artstyle and shift to CG animation marked it as controversial. Now that the first episode is here, many are wondering whether the reboot comes close to the heights of the original manga and anime.

Premiering in 1997, Yasuhiro Nightow’s original Trigun manga instantly set itself apart from other shonen manga published at the time. While the series was full of the action that defines most shonen manga, its protagonist Vash was a devout pacifist who managed to make a philosophy of nonviolence look cool. The anime adaptation went on to become a staple of anime’s early Western fandom when it aired on Adult Swim alongside similar classics such as Cowboy Bebop, Fullmetal Alchemist, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Given the series’ popularity, a reboot seemed inevitable, and when Stampede was announced alongside a new 3D design for Vash, many fans were skeptical. ​​​​​​​After watching the first episode though, even the reboot’s harshest critics should rest easy.


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Available now on Crunchyroll, the first episode of Studio Orange’s Trigun Stampede does an excellent job roping in new and old fans alike. The artstyle and details might be different, but Stampede is thoroughly Trigun. The new series follows Meryl Stryfe (here a reporter instead of insurance agent) and her senior partner Roberto De Niro as they travel alongside the humanoid typhoon himself, Vash the Stampede. Though the new series is a little more forthcoming about Vash’s backstory than its source material, Vash is still the lovable goofball Trigun fans have come to adore. Meryl is mostly the same too, though the presence of Roberto here as opposed to Milly certainly offers a different dynamic. Roberto is certainly no Milly, and while the latter’s presence is missed, her replacement brings a different personality to the core group that is welcome. More than any changes to story or characters though, what most fans will notice is the change in art. Five minutes of watching it though should make it clear that the new artstyle is something to be celebrated.

Trigun Stampede is The Greatest Argument For CG’s Use in Anime Yet


Despite the harsh setting, Trigun Stampede is gorgeous looking show. Studio Orange is no stranger to CG with past hits like Beastars under their belt, and that experience results in fluid animation that is equal parts funny, expressive, and beautiful. While some fans may have balked at the change in designs for Vash and Meryl, the designs suit the new style quite well. Vash’s enlarged shades in particular are put to great use. The only minor problem with additions like Vash’s puffy coat is that they don’t necessarily make sense in the series’ wasteland setting. This is such a small detail though, that only the most ardent of nitpickers should have a real problem with it.

It’s rare that reboots as good as Trigun Stampede come along. Though the series only has one episode out currently, it’s a textbook example of how to reboot a beloved property. Stampede retains the original series’ spirit while adding enough new material that longtime fans have more than enough reason to give it a watch. 2023 might just be starting, but Trigun Stampede is coming out of the gate as a stronger contender for anime of the year.

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Episode on of Trigun Stampede is available now on Crunchyroll!

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