Manga Review- Trigun Maximum Vol. 1: Hero Returns

As I have mentioned, I was covering Anime Boston last weekend and while I was there I picked up some goodies. 

Including this manga right here! I loved the Trigun anime series, which wasn’t nearly as popular in Japan as it was on Cartoon Network. We have a flashy gunslinging hero with a 60 billion double dollars bounty on his head who goes on adventures on desert planet Gunsmoke with a motorcycle riding priest. I was pretty much raised on Westerns and Space Westerns were kind of a natural progression for my overactive imagination. He’s a Humanoid Typhoon!

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The series was verbatim to the original manga. Trigun Maximum is a continuation from where the series stopped (the crater being put on the moon), it picks up 2 years late, with Vash living under and fake name and Meryl and Milly have returned to their jobs in a more mundane capacity. The art is a little messy but I might only be saying that because full color comic books have spoiled me immensely. But I do love Vash the Stampede (not as much as I loved that showy dude with a kooky name from my other favorite Space western- Gene Starwind), Vash- despite being a gunman and a NATURAL DISASTER- doesn’t want to kill anyone, so he takes many blows himself, this leaves him scarred up and somewhat bionic.In Vol. 1 he faces a gang that’s using his name for purposes of extortion and a town driven to the brink by constant threats of murder. Vash finds non-violent solutions for both of these scenarios, but the priest, Wolfwood, bears bad news. Knives is back. Knives Millions is Vash’s brother who was willing to wipe out a whole planet because he saw humans as inferior.  

In Vol. 1 we also see that the priest, Nicholas D. Wolfwood, doesn’t take the “thou shalt not kill” thing as seriously as Vash. They butt heads immediately about how much force is excessive.

“You think a guy who can’t kill a man.. can save a man?”

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Vash’s sensei who outfits him with the weapons he needs to fight knives agrees with Vash’s actions, but his sensei’s new protege, Brad, sees it as a waste of time.

There are interesting debates about morality. But through this volume he chooses the Justice League code of ethics.

Meryl and Milly, two women who work for an insurance company tasked with minimizing the damage caused by the Humanoid Typhoon briefly appear and save Vash’s butt. They’re fun characters. Meryl is smitten with Vash but doesn’t blindly follow him. She has to “minimize damage” as part of her occupation but she, along with Milly, also are Vash’s protectors. 

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I want more! I’m not sure why it never occurred to me to seek out more source material from a series with characters I enjoyed so much! worthwhile purchase, indeed. 4.5/5

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