When You Love an Anime Too Much to See It Again

I have a special bond with the anime/manga series Trigun. It all started at the very beginning of my anime journey years ago. If you’ve read my About the Otaku page, you already know that the very first anime I watched was Spirited Away while I was attending my very first anime convention. Well, what is only minorly mentioned on the ATO page is that right after I stepped out of the mini theater that was showing Spirited Away, I scurried directly to the dealer’s room! With my brand new (literally minutes old) overflowing passion for anime, I wanted more. In the dealer’s room there were so many booths, with so many manga and so many DVD’s. There were so many things to buy! Even after all these years (nearly 20!) to this day I still remember what I picked out. I got a first volume of the manga Inuyasha because I liked the cover art. I bought the first five chapters of Card Captor Sakura in the super slim American comic book format, again the cover art lured me in. I got a con T shirt, of course I had to commemorate the event! And I bought the first volume of the Trigun DVD. Though it was Inuyasha what started my love of manga, and I’m still an avid fan of Card Captor Sakura to this day, it was definitely Trigun that changed my life the most.

With a cover like this, I had to buy it!

The day after I visited the con was a Sunday, and I spent the whole afternoon enjoying my wonderful loot. The manga was pretty good, but the anime Trigun was amazing! I loved all the jokes, they were hilarious. The fight scenes were so good. And best of all was the main character Vash, he wasn’t a muscle bound pillar of male perfection like the American super heroes that I was used to seeing on the covers of my older brother’s comic books. Vash was skinny and a bit wimpy looking, and silly and kind of a klutz. It was his faults that made him so much more relatable. And best of all, unlike so many Western movie cowboys, he wasn’t roving the barren wasteland to get revenge or to lay down the law, he was carrying a message of Love and Peace! If he could, Vash wanted to avoid violence and he never tried to kill people. Over my childhood I had been inflicted with many Many Western movies. My parents loooooved any film with a cowboy in it, and I had the exact opposite opinion. But they wanted me to spend time with them, so that meant me watching cowboy shoot out, after cowboy shoot out, after yet another cowboy shoot out. Uhg! So when I saw Trigun, it was familiar yet wonderfully different!

Love and Peace! The best message for a hero!

After bingeing the whole DVD, I decided that spending the usually boring Sunday afternoon watching anime was the best thing ever and I needed to do that every Sunday! There was just one little problem, I only had the one DVD. . . . Well, I did really like Trigun. So, I ended up watching the same few episodes of Trigun every week for a whole year. I never missed it, not even once! So, yeah, I’ve seen the first episodes of Trigun over 50 times. And I still love them. By the end of the year I knew every line of every character of every episode. The DVD I bought only had English or Chinese subtitles, there was no dubbing, so all the voice acting was in rapid fire Japanese. At the time the only foreign languages I knew were Spanish and a little bit of French, German, and Latin, but after hearing the same words spoken in the same scenes by the same characters so many times I could recite the dialog regardless of my lack of knowledge of Japanese grammar of even understanding what each word actually meant.

Oo, do you remember the intro with Vash looking epic, his coat flapping in the wind and the guitar riffs intro song?

Seeing Trigun really did start my journey in studying the Japanese language. Even before entering the anime world, I had always loved learning languages. When I was little I had a very romantic view of traveling the world and experiencing exotic cultures (when I was in kindergarten I wanted to grow up to be a gypsy!) and for me learning languages of far off places took me one step closer to those exotic locations. But I always thought of Asian languages as being too hard, I would never be able to learn them. So I focused mostly on European languages. But after watching so much Trigun and memorizing all those lines in Japanese, I thought (maybe a bit naively) that surely I could learn the whole Japanese language. After all, what is language learning but memorizing the key building blocks of a language and combining them together. Easy! Well, after years of studying, the one thing I’ve learned is that it’s not that easy, but I’m still glad that Trigun gave me that naive confidence to start on my Japanese language journey.

Remember when Vash got attacked by an overly affectionate drunk guy? Whenever I think of the Japanese word Tasukute! I think if Vash’s plea for help.

Though I dearly loved the first episodes of Trigun, and in later anime con visits I quickly snatched up the middle episodes of the series, when it finally came to the end of the anime, the final episodes gave me pause. Knives, the villain of the series, was not a nice person. Vash was an honestly nice person that never wanted to hurt people. Knives would never stop harming others to get to Vash, and Vash would never kill his brother Knives. There’s no way this story could end well. A person as soft hearted as Vash could never win in this situation, and yet I would never want him to change. There would be no Hallmark ending where everyone just got along. There would be no cowboys riding into the sunset. The ending would never be filled with Love and Peace. With an anime that had given me so much joy, I just couldn’t bare to watch it end like I knew it surely must. So I didn’t . . . for seven years. For seven years I was content to enjoy my happy memories and be blissfully unaware of the ending of one of my favorite anime series. It wasn’t until a couple years ago that I decided to finally adult up and just watch the silly thing. So I equipped myself with a box of tissues and a pint of Death By Chocolate ice cream, and sat down to watch what I was sure was going to be the painful and sad final episodes of Trigun.

There’s no way this could end well

And it was nothing like I expected. It was the Hallmark ending! It was everyone getting along, and two brothers walking into the sunset arm in arm! It was an ending filled with Love and Peace! It was everything I never thought it could be! Over the years I’ve watched hundreds of anime series, and even now Trigun has the best ending I’ve ever seen. In my mind it is perfection! It’s the ending that every anime should strive for! I don’t mean having characters walking into the sunset, but an ending that inspires the viewer to cheer, an ending that isn’t just as good as every fan hoped for, but one that is even better than what the fans thought was possible. An ending that maybe isn’t completely without some sorrow, but one that caps off the series with a flourish so brilliant that it’s unforgettable!

an ending I never thought could happen

About now, or maybe six paragraphs ago, you’re probably wondering what’s the point? Why did I write such a rambling post about an anime that was released decades ago? Was the title just click bait? Well, all this is an answer to a question a coworker asked me, “Are you going to watch the Trigun remake?” When I told them I’d be skipping it, they assumed that I didn’t like the original series. When I was talking to them, I didn’t have time or interest in explaining that I’m not going to see the Trigun remake, not because I didn’t like the original one, but rather that I liked it way too much. To me Trigun is happy memories and a perfect ending. Nothing could ever be the same, nor would I want it to be.

To me, Trigun is a master piece!