The "love-and-peace'n", irritating, moronic gunslinger is back, and nothing's going stand in his way for doing what he does best...expect for donuts and babes. (YAY!)
Trigun Maximum isn't so much a new series, as it is a continuation of an already popular manga in the US. Yep, America loves it, and Japan wants to forget it(hey, facts are facts). From this point on, the things you knew from the anime series is completely different with this one; it parallels itself from that counterpart. I mean, come on, look at the black sides from Vash's hair in the book cover; IT'S DIFFERENT! With its new physique, expect some additions and differences onto this new adventure: new companions, new enemies, and from this manga ongoing, Nicholas D. Wolfwood doesn't die...hopefully.
The parallel thing doesn't start, yet. The first volume pretty much covers episodes 18-20 of the anime series, which is Vash leading a new life with a new identity as he lives with a young girl named Lina and her granny, but after being forced to bark like a dog in the nude by those sasafrassin' baddies and later got into a bullet blitz with Nick Wolf on his side, he realized he can't avoid what he is, so Vash the Stampede was reborn and left the caring ones behind to avoid harm. Enter the two stoogettes, Meryl and Millie, plus the conflict on the kidnapping and family vengence, and it's the whole celebro hoo-ha. There's only some key differences between this and the anime, i.e. Vash getting his new outfit during the feud chapter instead of the flying ship episode from the anime and this manga actually took place two years after the Fifth Moon instead of the five years in the anime, but other than those, I can only assume the true parallel act can happen in the second volume.
This is actually my first Trigun manga ever bought. I would like to buy the first two 300-page volumes, but I've seen the whole anime as it is, so why read the chapters originated for the ones I've already seen? That, and plus I don't want to pay five extra dollars more than the average TOKYOPOP manga for each volume(yea, I'm a cheapskate). Thankfully, Dark Horse made the TM series more accesible by making it cheaper, while keeping the same format and quality as the last two. In other words, the sound effects remains untranslated, and strangely, the honorifics are there as well. Not to be biased with the honorifics, if its there, it means that Digital Manga is doing great with the translations, but I don't recall ever seeing or reading a western medium where someone called the superior "sempai." It's just weird, that's all.
Some guy isn't kidding when he warn me about the art style of the manga, and I should've heed his words, cause that's the manga's biggest flaw. Trigun Maximum is VERY SKETCHY. I've read manga with sketchy designs before, but this is the creme de la crop. Characters are angled and not that detailed and polished, even some of their clothes are just scribbled in. And the panels within are so messy, even if they're big, I can't determined what's happening; like in one panel for example, and I was thinking, "What the-? Is someone playing paintball or are those gunshot wounds? WH-WHAT'S GOING ON?!!" That's the reaction I have with this design, and it made me lose track from fluently guiding through the whole story. Although the design does provide a positive message to future comic book artists: "Kids, you can draw as crappy as this, and you can still make a lot of money on your work."
Trigun Maximum is a great way to continue what's already a funny and stylized action series, and make it a little different by its looks. The messy art style alone prevents me from giving it a perfect grade, but it doesn't destroy what's good about this series, either. If you bought the other Trigun books, you probably have one in your hands right now, but if you haven't read the first two volumes, and have seen the entire anime series, Trigun Maximum is a perfect start to continue along this seemingly fun westerner. I Reckon'men'd this here book.