Trigun: Badlands Rumble (2011):
Gasback: “So, you’re the one who keeps getting in my way, one little bit at a time.”
Vash The Stampede: “One little bit at a time? I thought I tried harder than that.”
Also, Meryl and Millie are back (To save their floundering agency!) and the whole gang meets up in Macca City via steamship. Vash claims to be only sightseeing, despite Gasback being worth 300 million double dollars and in town! (With Wolfwood by his side!) While on the steamship he encounters Amelia, a gunslinger who he immediately falls for. Vash defends her when some goons try to attack her, but she can hold her own it turns out!
Vash books himself in the same hotel as her and discovers both her name, and that she’s after Gasback, who he helped escape 20 years ago. My least favorite thing about this animated movie is that it sort of resets the growth of the characters throughout the original series. Milly and Meryl are protecting property again, and meet Vash The Stampede in the hotel bar. Wolfwood and Vash have a quick gun battle, but then he decides his duties to Gasback ended when Gasback got to town.
Gasback is a big beefy outlaw with a robotic gun-arm. He kinda reminds me of Barrett from Final Fantasy VII. He tosses a die to decide people’s fate, which is how Vash lived through their first encounter. He makes a lot of jokes about rolling the die. He’s kind of like Two-Face. He’s never that intimidating, except for maybe the robot gun-arm, and one scene where he looks like he’s defeated Vash in a very cool dune buggy chase. Wolfwood then turns on Gasback.
Amelia meanwhile reveals that she doesn’t trust Vash, and they go back and forth for a while, with one twist development. I don’t know, one of the main avantages of the original anime I thought was how it developed relationships and had really good gunfights with varied villains. Since this is a movie, and introduces new backstories and new characters in just under two hours, it doesn’t have the luxuries in storytelling and character development that the other series did. So, the twists feel kinda gimmicky and sudden.
That said, I love this movie! The animation is BEAUTIFUL, and vastly improved from the original, incorporating more depth and 3D effects! Just the die alone has immense detail! Also, it’s just really good to see Vash The Stampede, even if he is back to his normal, childish, free-spirited persona! In the final scene, Vash has a quick draw with Gasback! Gasback rolls the die, and tells him when it drops they shoot. Amelia plays a role, but no spoilers! One more remark though about Amelia, without spoilers…she’s kind of annoying.
I think they tried to make her like Vash, and she does this thing where she acts all mysterious and distrusting of him, but she acts like a little girl and breaks out in hives when boys touch her. Vash at least had time to develop those two personas…AND HIS MATURITY was a direct result of him uncovering his dark history and accepting it over the course of the series. This movie just sort of lays out Amelia’s dark history, despite her attempts to cover it. That and she starts out tough…so her sudden fits of tough-girl/girly-girl…get really annoying. And it was hard for me to take her development seriously.
But, I promised I wouldn’t give spoilers! I highly recommend this movie if you liked the series. Sure, it resets Vash’s character a bit, but maybe he’s more natural as a free-spirit. I like how the old characters are brought back, the animation is wonderful (No joke. Vast improvement…real eye candy!) You can really tell the differences in technology between the two. This one is simply better to look at! And of course, some wonderful gunfights!
Trigun: Badlands Rumble is definitely worth a watch! But, it’s a bit like Vash himself. It has more comedy and pizzazz than actual story development; although it does okay trying to tell a new story. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5...for a weak love interest, and a villain who…tries too hard to talk tough. But, man! It’s got Vash, it’s got Wolfwood, and it’s just a beauty to look at! Check it out! Again, yes, it’s a 2010 film, but the USA release was 2011!