Review of Trigun: Badlands Rumble


It’s great to see Full Metal Panic return to our screens after a lengthy hiatus. The gap between FMP content reminds me of the time when Badlands Rumble first hit the scene. This ninety minute animated film was released in the year 2010… over a decade after the Trigun series aired in Japan! You certainly cannot accuse studio Madhouse of rushing out a product to capitalize on the popularity of a show. This story takes place sometime during the events of the Trigun series (so it isn’t a sequel) and sees Vash tangle with a robber named Gasback, whose life he spared twenty years prior.


Badlands Rumble takes place in Macca City, a settlement where Gasback’s former lackey Cain is the incumbent mayor. Years ago, the pair had a falling out after Cain betrayed Gasback during a heist. You cannot trust anyone named Cain it seems… just ask Abel! Gasback has decided to pay back his ex-henchman by riding into Macca and stealing a pricey bronze statue that is situated there. As luck would have it, Vash the Stampede arrives in town just before Gasback’s raid is due to go down. Talk about bad timing. Vash has a sixty billion double dollar price on his head. That could well attract the attention of the multitude of bounty hunters, who are presently in Macca hoping to nab Gasback.

Vash isn’t the only one suffering from ill fortune. Insurance girls Milly and Meryl are back and this time round their employer has tasked them with protecting the abovementioned statue. If said sculpture is damaged their company will be out of pocket. Guarding the statue will be no easy task, as wherever Vash goes destruction usually follows. Upping the ante is the appearance of wandering priest Nicholas D. Wolfwood. This man of the cloth, who carries a rocket launcher fashioned after a cross, has been hired to be Gasback’s bodyguard. Wolfwood’s church services will be required, as a redhead named Amelia is currently pursuing Gasback with the aims of avenging her late mother.


My rating for Trigun: Badlands Rumble is a three out of five. Fans of the Trigun series are sure to enjoy this new Vash adventure. It’s an enjoyable space western that delivers in terms of cool gunfights and humorous slapstick, courtesy of its needle noggin protagonist. Viewers of the old show are sure to appreciate the movie’s upgraded visuals. Thanks to the higher production values, both the animation and artwork have received a substantial facelift. It’s especially noticeable, as Trigun never pushed the envelope when it came to spectacle. Compared to something like Cowboy Bebop, which came out at around the same time, the series lacked polish and has therefore aged less well.

I remember loving Badlands Rumble, back when I first bought the DVD, but have to say that I liked it less on a recent viewing. This second screening helped me identify how the script rehashes ideas from the series. A criminal who desires revenge on his old gang is reminiscent of the episode titled Love & Peace for example. Amelia also reminded me of Elizabeth, who appeared in episode six, as they are both beauties who seek vengeance against an outlaw. Given the movie’s place in the Trigun timeline there isn’t much tension, as we all know Vash will escape from this trial unscathed. I did however dig the moments that question Vash’s no-kill philosophy. Not murdering may sound noble, but as Batman has learnt, is it ethical to pardon those who will just go off to do more harm?

One thing I can say about watching Badlands Rumble is that it rekindled my dream of seeing a Trigun remake that sticks more faithfully to the manga. Full Metal Alchemist and Hellsing have proven that such a project could work. Given the time it took for this movie to get made though, I suspect that the wait for a new Trigun show would be longer than Vash’s full name. For those of you who don’t know, his complete moniker is – Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gumbigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andry Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser the Third.

16 thoughts on “Review of Trigun: Badlands Rumble

    • Trigun is a prime candidate for a remake. I remember the series being really popular, but so much time has past since that there is a new audience of younger anime fans out there who have never seen it. Sad to hear that Meryl’s voice actress passed away. A lot of anime talent seems to have died in recent times.

  1. Honestly? I did not even know about this one! Thanks for sharing it, three out of five stars doesn’t sound too bad, and as I absolutely love TriGun I’m pretty sure I will get a kick out of it 😊I would love to see a’s one of those shows that totally deserves it πŸ˜€

    • Glad to hear that this review has brought the movie to your attention. Back when I watched the movie, for the first time, I would have given it four stars. Maybe my taste has changed since or I was just carried away at the time, because we were getting a new Trigun story after such a long break.

      • It does happen. Both positively and negatively. I have seen movies that I hated and when I rewatched them, I really enjoyed them. And the other way around of course too. Still…looking forward to seeing this, as I really enjoyed the original Trigun back in the day 😊😊

  2. I always find it interesting whenever an anime overtakes the manga it’s based off of and seeing how the creators deal with it. Some introduce filler arcs while others pad out the length of their episodes. I personally would prefer when it goes off in a wildly different direction, though that could backfire spectacularly.

    • I wish more studios would adapt completed manga. That way they can tell a full story and stay faithful to the source material. I have very little patience for filler, which is why I have avoided Bleach and Naruto. Going off in your own direction can be a risky strategy. Full Metal Alchemist and Hellsing did that. Years later new anime that sticks to the manga came out, for those shows, and they were on average better received.

  3. Wolfwood’s rocket launcher cross is so cool πŸ˜€ Wolfwood, himself is really cool, but the rocket launcher just brings him to a whole other level πŸ™‚
    Glad you enjoyed this film πŸ™‚ It’s a nice wee watch if you like unlikely hero type movies/shows. I never seen the Trigun series, so went into this film blind and fell in love with Vash’s silly but rather smart character. He’s very entertaining πŸ™‚
    Great review. It was great reading about what you thought of this film πŸ˜€

    • Wolfwood’s cross (called the Punisher) is one of the coolest anime weapons ever. I like how it comes bundled with rockets, pistols and a machine gun. I would recommend checking out Trigun some day, although with so much cool stuff coming out every season I can understand why it would be tough to find time for older anime.

  4. I want to believe that you made up the name of the main character on the spot but something tells me that with some research, I’d find that feature film length moniker is really his name. That being said, I do want to watch this, I’ve seen the name thrown about every so often and it looks good.

    • I sort of had to research the name. Although I remember Vash mentioning that long name in an episode I had to copy/paste it. Whether it’s his real name or a fake alias he made up for a laugh is up in the air.

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