There are many types of tropes in stories. One that is particularly popular is that of an eternal optimist. There is just something about a character who holds onto an ideal that helps propel them through everything. It also makes other tropes such as “the power of friendship” more acceptable and interesting. This can help to drive other characters around them and to give their arcs more depth. Anime is one medium where this trope is not only used often but used very well.
One anime that did a fantastic job of having an eternally optimistic protagonist is Trigun. It is one more anime that I would rush home to watch after school. Before becoming an anime, Trigun started off like many of these stories do: as a manga. The manga was first published in 1996 and was written by Yasuhiro Nightow. While it was originally just three volumes, Trigun was popular enough to have sequels in manga form. It is no surprise that in 1998 it aired as an anime.
Vash the Stampede is not the hero that most people would be expecting for this anime. Set in a modern sort of wild west, Vash isn’t a typical good guy. He is, in fact, the most wanted outlaw. Vash is not a typical bad guy either, though. He is clumsy, funny, good natured, and a bit oblivious at times.
Vash also has a very strict code for himself. He does not kill. Yes: a gunslinger outlaw who does not kill. Instead he comes up with creative ways to fight his way out of situations. To be honest, most of the things he is wanted for aren’t entirely his fault. His code makes it interesting for those he works with, though. It also goes directly against what other characters feel needs to be done, which leads to friction within the group.
The other characters are also interesting. There is even a surprising gun for hire who also has something pure to fight for. The differences in ideals are part of what makes Trigun special. It is also stands out because it is among the first anime I saw where such an optimistic protagonist really struggled with the consequences of his ideals. It was rare to see the protagonist not only opposing his enemies, but also fighting with himself about his code. It was refreshing and made me really think about both writing and what I wanted to see in heroes.
Trigun is an earlier anime so some might say it looks a bit dated, but sequences like that were so new at the time of it airing. I know some anime viewers struggle with older animation styles, so if you are going to give it a try, please remember the time it was created in. The music is good –the opening theme is fantastic. It is an interesting anime that has a good overall story arc.
I highly recommend it!
ALWAYS KEEP SPARKLING!!!