The buzz around the Trigun: Stampede announcement last week might have caught many people off guard, so a bit of context is in order.
Back in the late ’90s and early ’00s, anime fans had rather slim pickings to choose from when it came to their viewing options. The number of shows that got localised for Western audiences was limited compared to the veritable feast we have today, so the shows that did get picked up for official release to the English-speaking world — like Trigun — became formative titles for fans at the time.
That’s why the recent announcement of the upcoming anime has caused such a stir among fans of a certain age. Though so far it has been limited to vague tweets from the series creator and a few still images, we know enough to get a glimpse of what Trigun: Stampede will end up being.
What is Trigun: Stampede?
Trigun: Stampede is an upcoming anime adaptation of Yasuhiro Nightow’s manga, which was published under two different titles, Trigun and Trigun Maximum. Why the two titles? Originally the manga was published by a magazine that sadly went out of business midway through the series’ run. When it moved to its new publisher in 1997, Nightow couldn’t use the original title. Instead, it had to tag on the Maximum suffix to continue its run until 2007.
The first anime adaptation of Trigun was broadcast in 1998, just three years into the manga’s run and nearly a decade before it finally finished. With so much of the story still to unfold as Nightow originally intended, the anime took several creative liberties with the plot and characters that Trigun had to offer. One can assume that Trigun: Stampede, coming out 14 years after the manga’s conclusion, will offer a story closer to the manga than we currently have.
What we know so far
The few snippets of information that we’ve had about Trigun: Stampede so far have given us a handful of important details while simultaneously telling us very little at all. We know that the studio in charge of the new adaptation will be Orange, best known for their work on Beastars, so the new series will likely be made with their signature CG style. This is likely to be a jarring transition for many fans, who will have gotten used to seeing heroes like Vash and Wolfwood in their classic animation style, but Orange’s previous work has been good enough that fans should be ready to give it a chance.
We don’t currently know what Nightow’s involvement in this new series will be. All we know for sure is that he will be at an upcoming panel at Anime Expo in Los Angeles. Though this doesn’t confirm anything regarding how much say he’ll have over the direction of Trigun: Stampede, it would make more sense for him to be heavily involved in production if they’re going to include him in the initial announcement. Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time that anime panels have roped the original creators to give the series an air of legitimacy, only to sideline their influence later in production.
Fans won’t have to wait much longer to find out more. The Anime Expo panel, which includes Nightow alongside producers and the art director from the upcoming series, will likely clarify many of these details while creating new questions in the process. An example of Vash the Stampede in Orange’s signature CG art style will likely be the centrepiece of the panel. Trigun: Stampede has said that it will feature a new cast as well as a creative team, so that cast may be announced at the time as well, though I would expect that to come out closer to the 2023 release date.
Crunchyroll has announced that they’ll be distributing Trigun: Stampede, which isn’t surprising since they have the rights to stream the original show in most territories. Chances are that they’ll also handle the localisation efforts. Whether Trigun is getting the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood treatment or if it will be a new story set in the same world remains to be seen, but it is already set to be one of the most exciting anime announcements of the summer convention season.
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