Animé VS Manga

Trigun & Trigun Maximum FAQ & Comparisons


Last Updated 01/31/2011



        So - you want to know more about Trigun do you? Watched the anime obessively - bought the manga too? Maybe you've got all of the manga released in English - but do you find yourself having questions about what's going on? Maybe you've only seen the anime and aren't sure if the manga is right for you? Maybe your friends are talking about characters in the manga that weren't in the anime - there are two Trigun books and 14 Trigun Maximums after all, and even a manga extra and movie that came out in 2010... I'm sure you have tons of questions (in fact, I KNOW a lot of you have questions because I receive them every day!) and I'm more than willing to answer them! ^_^ However... I know there are still even more of you who'd rather stay anonymous... But never fear, you are in luck my friend! I've got the information for you! I'm also hoping to bring you over to the manga as well!! It's just SO good! ^_^
        The following page is a grouping of my "frequently asked questions" plus some personal observations and pet peeves too. Everything on this page is as accurate as possible - when facts change because of translation differences I try to come back to this page and update it - so if you run across a rumor or fact that you're unsure about - and it isn't here - let me know about it and I can help solve the mystery!
        If you really want to hear about the manga without my personal observations go out and find the books! You really shouldn't download them online because many of the copies out there are from the original YKO sources and have since been updated, but plenty of bookstores still carry the manga and some libraries as well! I dare say the translations are a bit lacking in Dark Horse early on... Yes yes, come on, Dark Horse spelled Rem's last name "Seibrem" - what more proof do you need? - so fan translations are sometimes more dead on, but other times they're a bit more sketchy. A few early translations can be found on my website too, but for that stuff check the YKO "updates" out to at least get a fair idea what's being said if you go out and find the original Japanese versions. ^_^
        Now that you've got the scoup on translations - I'm going to do a quick rundown of some major differences, just to help you keep the facts straight! There are so many differences in the animé and the manga that you're going to have to forgive me if I don't cover absolutely everything. Facts are from Trigun #1 & #2, and Trigun Maximum #1 through #14, info from the Trigun: Badlands Rumble manga extra and the 2010 movie.

1. Does Wolfwood die in the manga?
        YES. Although the most important difference between the anime and the manga is the fact that it takes a lot longer for him to die. Wolfwood has a much more important part in the manga and he stays around a LOT longer. He has more lives than a cat! We see a scene in the manga where he has been trained as a child to be a gunman, and is eventually enhanced in some way that he can drink these small vials that contain some kind of healing agent. In #9, we find out that by his enhancements he has aged considerably faster than the children he used to live with in the orphanage. He isn't the only one either... hint hint. Check out Maximum #7, #8, #9. Wolfwood dies in book #10. You do see him again if you catch the movie or extra manga that was produced in 2011 for Trigun: Bandlands Rumble, however, these sections seem to take place early on in the manga or more closely the anime.

2. Does Brad die?
        Brad doesn't die in the manga - in fact, he outlives Wolfwood and actually helps Vash in his fight with Knives. Maybe he'll have a happy ending with Jessica after all... (Although after #3 you never see the "crazy sexy cat" again!) He's still around in order to pick up Wolfwood and Vash once they escape from Knives in Maximum #8, and later ends up helping Livio out when confronted with Milly when she asks the question of "What happened to Mr. Priest?" And lastly gives Vash a smoke screen to block the army from attacking as he faces Knives the last time. We even see him with Luida-San in the final chapter, still going strong!

3. Who is Chapel the Evergreen? Is Wolfwood the Chapel in the manga?
        Chapel the Evergreen is an "anime-only" character. (Although there is a guy who looks suspiciously like him - but is never given a name.) Wolfwood is called "Chapel" in the anime a few times, but the characters who call him that get cut off before they finish saying his title. But in the manga there is no Evergreen the Chapel. The Chapel name belongs to Wolfwood (Wolfwood the Chapel). Wolfwood is a Gung-Ho Gun, (he doesn't inherit the name, he already has it) but if you read further into the manga you find out he's actually part of yet another group called "The Eye of Micheal." That group is where he got his special enhancements. "The Eye of Micheal" holds 3 slots in the Gung-Ho Guns including Nicholas "The Punisher" (his name changes in TM#9), Livio the Doublefang, and Tri-P of Death. (Apparently though, only the best of the E of M were eventually allowed into the GHGs.) They are all "plant worshippers" - a religious group that worships Knives - one of the more devoted followers started the group. Apparently the GHG titles are interchangeable within this group. (T.M. #7, #8 & #9)

4. Who are the other Gung-Ho Guns in the manga?
        In the anime, Chapel the Evergreen and Caine the Longshot are added into the episode "Paradise". These two Gung-Ho Guns don't exist in the manga. Instead, there are three new Guns, surprises dealing with the old ones, and a matter of an interesting set of coins given to them by Legato that they carry which Vash can collect into a case when they are defeated. (He has all 12 by TM#11)
Monev the Gale is the #1 Gung-Ho Gun, although it isn't explained clearly in the anime.
E.G. Mine the Mine #2, doesn't get killed.
Dominique the Cyclops #3, commits suicide.
Rai Dei the Blade is #9 and he wears rollerskates!
Leonof the Puppetmaster #4, was originally called "Emilio the Player" and grew up around Vash.
Grey the Ninelives doesn't destroy a Plant, but nearly kills Wolfwood. (More about him below in the anime/manga section.)
Midvalley the Hornfreak was recruited by Knives personally after he killed everyone in a playhouse with his band to get to one target.
Zazie the Beast #12, is actually a sentinent species of worms who possess bodies - the first happens to be a boy, but when his body is destroyed, they go into that of a girl and later a crazy afro-guy.
Hopperd the Gauntlet #6, blames Vash for killing his love when he destroyed July City.
Elendira the Crimson Nail is the Lost #13, he's a cross-dresser who really seems to be rooting for Vash - or whoever's on the winning streak, and the only one who doesn't seem to be afraid of Legato.
The last are from the "Eye of Michael", a group of Plant-worshippers, and this is where it gets really confusing. I've checked the manga and some Japanese BBS and this is the info I have...
Livio the Double Fang grew up with Wolfwood in the orphanage.
Razlo the Tri-P (punisher) of Death is Livio's alter-ego... confused?
Trip of Death/Master Chapel is an old man who trained Livio and Wolfwood.
Wolfwood the Punisher used to be Wolfwood the Chapel, but was renamed when Trip of Death handed off his name to Razlo and took Chapel as his own.

5. Where's the Romance?
        Whether you're a girl or a guy you've probably been interested in whether or not Meryl and Vash, Wolfwood and Milly get together... In the anime it's quite clear that Wolfwood and Milly have relations, and Meryl shows that she has feelings for Vash - whether or not she tells him about it is left up in the air. Most of us would like to think she did. At least most people I know... But in the manga, sad to say, besides a very little bit of hinting, there isn't much there in the romantic aspect at all. Milly and Wolfwood never have a relationship of any kind (that's a given, Wolfwood dies before he ever sees the girls again... I know that as a fact). Although when Milly finds out about his death she really cries over it, and one part of #6 Wolfwood calls her "cute". But as for Vash and Meryl... Well, word is Nightow doesn't plan on them getting together (this isn't a shojo manga for goodness sake...) but that doesn't stop me from hoping that they'll at least be friends in the end. Especially after a wonderful little scene between Vash and Meryl as he leaves to battle Legato and Knives: a hug and a nice little "kissing knuckles" scene (kinda like blowing kisses). Unfortunately the series ends where the girls are STILL chasing him, only this time as investigative reporters for the satellite TV channel No Man's Land Broadcasting. (TM #14)

6. Who is Livio the Double Fang / Razlo the Tri-Punisher?
        Here's the dish on Livio. He stumbled into the small town where Wolfwood's orphanage was. Nicholas befriends him and takes him to the orphanage where Livio washes dishes and learns to play with the other children. Eventually he even saves the life of this little girl named Jasmine as she fell off a ledge trying to save her puppy. But there's a dark side to Livio, an alter-ego named Razlo - who takes the puppy out in the middle of the night and slaughters it. Disturbed by the knowledge that he did it, Livio runs away from the orphanage and later is taken by the "Eye of Michael" who experiment on him. Nicholas ends up joining the same group eventually (all of the children in that orphanage have that possiblity) and they take up three slots in the GHGs - one slot for each of Livio's personalities.
        Flashforward - after saving Vash from Knives, Nicholas returns to the orphanage and fights Livio/Razlo, in a bloody duel that lasts two books - eventually Vash shows up to find the two have nearly killed one another... Razlo has wounded Nick, but Livio, managing to take control of his own body once in for all, keeps him from killing Wolfwood right then and there - but Chapel gets in a final shot that is the mortal-blow for Nick. The children in the orphanage are taken to safety as the three men stay behind. Vash sits next to Wolfwood and they share a drink - and Nick dies. Livio wakes up the next day and realizes that Vash hadn't killed him for killing Wolfwood. He feels some amount of gratitude towards Vash and joins him.
        Really, Livio is one of the coolest of the GHGs for the one fact - unlike all of the others, when Vash gave him a second chance to change his life, he does. He joins the 'good guys' and risks his life to help Vash. In the final chapters he has takes charge of fighting Elendira while Vash faces Legato. He also seems to be very adept at learning the weaknesses of his enemy - he throws himself time and time again at Crimson Nail, until he learns all of her tricks! Finally he succeeds and after the war is over returns to the orphanage (or at least goes back to the kids - see the picture in the last chapter of TM#14.)

7. Where does Knives stay?
        Although no one is sure what happened to Knives after he left Vash in the desert to die after cutting off his arm, we do know that he tracked down Bill Conrad, aka Count Revenant Vasqueze (TM6) and made Conrad his personal scientist, helping him learn how to control his abilities. During that time we're not sure if he spent all of it in July City, or whether he went somewhere else. The only fact we do know is that he took Conrad away for a short time while Vash went to look for him, and then returned with Knives so that they could operate on Vash. That was the beginning of the July City incident. How Conrad survived the destruction of the city or the initial SEEDS crash we don't know, but he managed to save Knives (probably forced, although that's unsure) and Knives spent a long time recouperating (6 years).
       After the Fifth Moon incident, Knives spends a short time recouperating, this time outside of Jeonora Rock (TM6). From there, he holes up in a fortress of sorts, a ship - three towers rising above the horizon, across a canyon, it looks like a castle. Outside a group of humans who went through transformations (think the GHGs) all waiting for their turn to serve him - but Knives doesn't really pay them any mind. Only the best of the best are allowed to be his soldiers, and only those Legato deems good enough.
       After Vash visits his brother's fortress (TM7) Knives takes to the skies in his "Ark" - what looks to be an exploration ship that breaks away from the main SEEDS ships - and starts collecting plants!

Manga VS Anime
1.The anime and manga start at different places.
        I guess the first thing you'd really notice when going through the manga after watching the animé is that they start off completely different. The first chapter of the manga begins with Vash in a restaurant eating a steak - and a group of gunmen come and blow the place apart trying to get the reward money. This particular scene doesn't come in until Episode 5 - "Hard Puncher". The first episode of the show starts out with Vash at a bar and has to deal with a tall, green haired, huge earlobe gunman who doesn't even show up until Trigun Maximum #2, and doesn't even meet Vash! (Although Nightow has said he considers the anime and manga part of the same story so you could technically say that he met up with him and that's the reason he's been captured by the Marshall.) Actually, the first episode that has anything to do with the manga is #4 "Peacemaker" which is Yasuhiro Nightow's "Pilot Episode" which shows up in Trigun #2 manga.

2.Milly and Meryl get to go on the SEEDs ship.
       Here's one for Milly and Meryl. In the animé, they're stuck in a typhoon while Vash and Wolfwood are off trying to save everyone on the SEEDS ship. In the manga, they get to go too. Truth is, little Jessica is sent by Brad to go get help when Leonof the Puppetmaster and Ninelives take over the ship. Her ship crashes and the insurance girls find her and take her back to the ship. In fact, they help to destroy Grey the Ninelives. One of my favorite scenes is where Vash shows them the "Cold Sleep Cylinders" where the SEEDS people still sleep, even 100 years after the ships crashed. (T.M. #3) They also return to the ship when Vash has been captured by Knives and Legato in #7.

3. Brad and the Doc visit Vash instead of the other way around.
        While we're on the subject of SEEDS, in the animé, Vash goes to the ship to talk to the Doc, Brad, and Jessica. It is here that he receives a new arm and new duds. In the manga, Doc and Brad come to Vash in order to give him his new equipment (the coat looks different than the old one, in fact he's had five coats between the anime and manga so far, another in the stand-alone Trigun: Badlands Rumble manga, another in the movie, and it turns black at one point as he fought Legato). Then Vash and Wolfwood go to the ship, Doc and Brad follow behind. The SEEDS ship is actually more of a floating city in the manga, buildings, geodomes, you name it.

4. Ninelives isn't a robot.
        More from TM#2&3... Grey the Ninelives, while Wolfwood does battle him while Vash takes care of Leonof, Ninelives isn't a robot, he's more of a puppet, controlled by 9 little people and Wolfwood has to stop them before managing to take out Ninelives. Wolfwood kills 7 however, it is Milly and Meryl who stop the last two for good because Wolfwood gets seriously hurt. Two of the little people were captured but then escape - and they go after Vash while he's showing the girls the Cold Sleep Chamber. Vash loses his second coat here, as well as gets his arm ripped off, but they manage to stop the last two remaining "drivers" of Ninelives. One of them give Meryl the coin Legato gave them - she holds it until TM#11. (T.M. #3)

5.The REAL reason that Knives wants to destroy the humans.
        TESSLA. She was born before Vash and Knives... So did you get confused watching the Animé when Knives said they were both Plants? They meant Plants as in those strange creatures in the lightbulbs... Ah, they were born from Plants - Tessla was first, a little girl, but since the humans had created the Plants, they thought that they could experiment on her as much as they wanted to. For a year they did - but then she died. They still had her pieces in a labratory. Well, Vash and Knives are born and raised by Rem. You can kind of get that from the animé. Well, what you don't get unless you read the manga is that Vash and Knives find out about Tessla, and they realize that it's been exactly a year since they were born and they were afraid that Rem would pick up where she left off (although she was against it all along) and do tests on them. Vash nearly kills himself in the ordeal - then nearly kills Rem (yes, Vash, weird huh?), all while Knives is passed out. Then he wakes up and didn't remember any of it... But what do they do? They TELL HIM!! Talk about a bad idea!! So after that Knives is out for the humans who could do that to one of their kind.... And it was horrible, I'd scan a picture and put it here but... Well, yucky. But THAT is the real reason that Knives wants to destroy all the humans, not because he was trying to save the butterflies instead of the spiders... That little bit wasn't even in the manga at all!!
       I also have a pet peeve - Dark Horse doesn't spell Tessla's name right - he spells it "TESLA" although in TM7 it's written IN ENGLISH - T-E-S-S-L-A!(T.M. #7)

6. Vash uses his "third gun" in a different city.
        Here's a big one: When you first see the destructive capabilities of Vash's "Angel Arm" in the animé it's in a city called Augusta. In the manga it's at Jeonora Rock, remember where he fights Dominique in the animé? In the manga he meets up with Knives who makes him fire off his A-Arm, where Vash takes off the top half of the hill and blows a hole in the moon, but the city doesn't get destroyed. He also hurts Knives... This is in Trigun #2.

7. More info on Knives...
        Speaking of Knives, have you ever wondered why he doesn't show up right away in the animé, and when he does he's hanging upside down in a lightbulb? Well, remember what I said about them being Plants? With all the destructive power they have, they also have healing power. Vash never uses this to repair his scars, but he survives all those wounds this way. Well, in both manga and animé, Knives gets pretty damaged during the July City incident. It takes something like 30 years to heal in the anime, (six in the manga) and in this time he gets Legato (still don't know how) and has him collect the Gung-ho Guns to make Vash suffer. Knives recruits Wolfwood to make sure that Legato doesn't kill Vash however. In the manga, Knives shows up, reborn, and tries to get Vash to destroy the humans with his "A-Arm." (Trigun #2) He doesn't get as hurt this time, but it does take 2 years for him to recoup while Vash plays "Eriks". In the animé, it takes nearly the whole series for Knives to finally be ready to do some of the dirty work himself.

8. The Black Haired Vash.
        If you've seen the Trigun Maximum manga, I'm sure you're wondering why Vash's hair is partially (to almost all in TM#13) black. After Jeonora Rock his hair starts to turn black. In fact, Knives gets a stripe in his hair later on in the manga - this is caused by using their energy. The more they use, the closer to death they become and the blacker their hair gets. Vash destroys a city, a hill, and puts a hole in the fifth moon - that's a lot of energy! It's a good thing he hasn't used it to heal his scars otherwise his hair would be a whole lot darker. Why they don't put this in the animé, I'm not sure. I'm thinking it's probably because they didn't have time to explain the whole Plant thing, and I think the animé was actually done before Nightow explained it in full detail in the manga. In fact, by TM#13, Vash has only a streak of blond left - and if he uses his A-Arm even one more time it will kill him. Knives has overcome this little "problem" by fusing with the female plants and using their power instead.

9. Vash and Knives' Hair Darkening...cont.
        One question that arose after the series was completed, was how did Vash survive with his hair almost completely black, and yet when Knives is almost at the same boat, he was able to use his powers and then disappeared? Did Knives survive after using his power to create the tree? Or did he just vanish when his energy was all used up? Vash is still going strong after he's nearly black, so does this mean if the plants didn't go through the Final Run that they'd have long lives as well? These are just a few questions that are never answered in the manga or anime.

10. Vash doesn't learn to control his Angel Arm immediately.
        In the anime, when Vash has his show down with Knives, it looks like he has pretty good control over his angel arm - even though he's only been forced to use it up until this point! If you can imagine, Knives has probably had practice. In the manga it's especially true. Vash doesn't even use his a-arm until the time that the July City incident occurs. Knives used his powers long before. He forces William Conrad to "wake up" Vash's "seed" - the power cores within their arms - and Knives forces Vash to use it, but Vash looses control, and Knives takes control of Vash's power only to find himself nearly killed when July City is destroyed. After that Vash forgets that he even has the a-arm. When Knives returns in Trigun #2, Vash starts to remember - but it really isn't until Trigun Maximum #4 & #5 that Vash remembers not only about his powers, but also about what really happened in July City. His power is hard to control at this point - but he manages somehow, eventually enough that by #8 he is able to help him escape Knives' ship with Wolfwood. And knows enough to create bullets with his power! Unfortunately, even though Conrad believes Vash is actually more powerful than Knives - by book #10 Knives has so many "plant angels" at his disposal that he's powerful enough to wipe out the planet if he chose! Only by taking away that power is Knives forced to use his own power again - and finally he uses it up completely and disappears.

Other Facts & Pet-Peeves
1. Fun Fact about Doujinshi vs. Manga
        I really didn't know for sure where I should put this little tidbit on my site, so I thought I'd throw it here. See, now that people are getting into Trigun and learning Japanese, and all that, you might start finding doujinshi out on the market. Okay, so what's a doujinshi and what's it got to do with Trigun? Well, a doujinshi is a Japanese self-published comic. Usually they're fan-comics, but sometimes they're original stuff, other times they'll use the word for online comics as well. Basically it comes down to this - an artist likes the characters of a manga, use them for his/her own comics - but since it can't be published by a big company, they do it themselves. What this means for Trigun is that if you're looking for the Japanese manga, you might run into these fan comics. Some of them (very few) are straight or parody stories about our favorite characters, usually Vash and Wolfwood, occasionally Rem and the others. But a vast majority of them are yaoi/shonen-ai stuff (means same gender sex-relationships) - so you gotta watch out for a lot of WolfwoodxVash stuff. So don't get confused. Sometimes you might find references to certain things that happened - and they aren't in the Nightow's manga at all - but someone saw a scan of a doujinshi and just assumed it was the real thing. So ya gotta watch out okay? ^_^ If all else fails ask me, I like to set the record straight!! Ugg...

2. Truth about Thomases (Toma)
        Okay - so you've seen those creepy bird-lizard type things that Meryl and Milly ride around everywhere. There are actually about five or six different species of creatures that were already living on Gunsmoke when the SEEDS ships crashed there (including six-legged lizards (TM6), giant sand worms, strange buzzards with lizard tails, and various insects). The 'thomases' as most books and the anime refer to them as, are one of these creatures - they don't have long snouts, if you look closely their heads are actually on long necks - they have tiny little beaks and small wings. I'd imagine if you believed in evolution they're somewhere in the stage between dinosaurs and birds. In Japanese they are called "Toma" and should probably be the word for both singular and plural. I have a theory: When the translators got a hold of the name, they would have had to make it plural: tomas. Over time the pronunciation became changed into "thomas" versus "to-mas". Then to further confuse things, fanfiction writers got a hold of it and pluralized that word making it "thomases". Crazy huh? Dark Horse translated it properly the first time, but ended up falling into the same trap by book #3!! I personally have a pet peeve over it... But I think it's just me.
      Addendum: Maybe it's not just me! Here's an extended history of the toma from Blue: "As I'm sure you know, Nightow had a side project in the form of Gungrave. Well if you've seen the anime adaptation you may have noticed that in episode 5, while Brandon Heat is put on debt collecting duties, a television shows the races people are betting on. The animals being raced aren't horses though. They're Tomas. Not only that, put the two leading races are named "Micheal Stampede" and "Black Chapel". References to the Eye of Micheal, Vash and Wolfwood respectedly? Hmm.
      "This infomation could actually be expanded into a Trigun/Gungrave sub-section for in the next episode, Brandon's boss tells the story of how the boss of Millennion 'Big Daddy' started the Millennion Organization. This is a word for word transcript: "When Big Daddy first immigrated here, this was just a small town surrounded by rocks and desert. Back in those days things were a lot more chaotic than they are now. There was fighting in the streets on a daily basis. Right and wrong didn't matter. All that mattered was survival..." The story goes on, but it's the beginning which is most intriguing. This setting could be any of the smaller towns found in Trigun. And before you read too much into the, "when Big Daddy first immigrated here" line, it's not a reference to the Big Fall. Big Daddy was in his seventies at the time Gungrave takes place, and it's 100 years after the event that Trigun starts at so Big Daddy would have had to have been at least under '-30' for this to be true. However, the description of small town surrounded by desert, with lawlessness ('No Mans Land' never was the most peaceful place) IN CONJUCTION WITH racing fur balls with wings, tiny heads on a long neck and bird feet (e.g. the Tomas), it's given lots of Nightow fans reason to believe that GUNGRAVE is TRIGUN's FUTURE!!" As a side note - I've always believed this to be possible too...very awesome idea!! And I guess someone has agreed with me because I've seen this particular topic quoted by other people on the web! ^_^ ~Ricki
        Another more recent bit of information about the toma is that they're also used as foodstuffs! According to Trigun: Badlands Rumble (the 2010 movie), there are a few instances when people order "toma-kun" which look vaguely like a sweetpotato until cut open and are hard as heck - I'm assuming they're chunks of meat that are dried much like jerky. One piece saves Vash's life when it takes a bullet for him - that stuff is HARD! No wonder it even breaks the tip off of a knife! This is the first instance where 'toma-kun' is mentioned throughout the manga or anime, so there's no proof past the name that it's actually from the animals. But...then again we don't really see any other native animals being raised as meat producers.

If you have any questions about the manga and/or anime - feel free to drop me a line and I'll post the answers here on this page!! I'm trying to help people get a good feel for the manga since it's taking so long to come out in English!

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