– The SF Western trappings invite comparisons with Cowboy Bebop, but they’re really quite different. Bebop is a pomo mashup/homage of American pop culture, while Trigun is pretty much a straightforward western, albeit with some rather comic book-y elements. This is much more appealing to me, since it helps keep the story and characters from being forgotten in the midst of all the genre-play.
– I’m about halfway through now, and things are shaping up in an interesting fashion. While the earlier episodes seemed to suggest Vash as a sort of Holy Fool character – a man too innocent and naive to be corrupted by the world – he’s clearly got some baggage. He’s actually a lot more like Severian from Gene Wolfe’s Urth cycle (a favourite of mine): both are men coming from violent backgrounds who are trying to come to grips with human suffering and achieve some degree of redemption.
– And this is where the drama of the series works the best. There’s a great C.S. Lewis quote that says something to the effect that only good people know and understand the power of evil because they find themselves constantly having to resist it. I think stories about people who are trying to be good are inherently more interesting than those about crooks, since the characters are always balanced on a knife-edge. Whereas with the latter it’s more a matter of whether the character will find the means appropriate to achieving their ends. Another comparison: Vash is interesting in the way Batman is interesting. A lot of the drama comes from whether they will be capable of sticking to their rigid moral code, and from what the consequences of following it through will be.
– I mean, it’s still a pretty crude series with a lot of goofy humor, though.
– On that note, I’m not sure what to think of the itinerant Preacher with a life-sized cross loaded with firearms. It’s just too weird. Plus those grotesquely large humans(?) who pop up every now and then.
– Although it’s not as polished as Yoko Kanno’s work in Bebop, I’m really digging the hard rock/roots music soundtrack.