Do I need to watch ‘Trigun’ before ‘Trigun Stampede?’

A still from Trigun Stampede
Image via Toho Animation

Trigun Stampede was one of the most anticipated Winter animes of the year, and now that it’s finally out, anime fans remain hyped for the new adaptation of Trigun. A classic ‘90s shonen manga series by Yasuhiro Nightow set in the post-apocalyptic Western setting of No Man’s Land, what really established Trigun as a common name was its original anime adaptation.

Animated at Madhouse under the direction of Staoshi Nishimura, the 26-episode 1998 series was a formative anime to many English-speaking anime fans when the series aired on Adult Swim in 2003. Not only did Trigun introduce many to anime, but it was our first look at Nightow’s unique sci-fi setting and his pacifist gunman with a bounty so big they gave it two dollar signs, Vash the Stampede. 

Despite its popularity, Madhouse’s anime adaptation was an incomplete picture of its source material. It entered production while the Nightow’s manga series was early in its run, and the series eventually diverged. The team at Madhouse also created a prequel film in 2009, Trigun Badlands Rumble, set 20 years before the events of the anime or manga. Flash forward 20 years later, there’s a new Trigun series streaming on Crunchyroll, and Vash even has a new epithet—the Humanoid Typhoon.

With new artists, writers, designers, and a new composer, Trigun Stampede stands as its own adaptation of Nightow’s Trigun manga. Produced by Beastar’s studio Orange, and the series directorial debut of Orange veteran Kenji Muto, the 3D animation prowess on display makes the show worth watching all on its own. But should you watch Madhouse’s Trigun first?

Do I need to watch Trigun first?

Image via Crunchyroll

You won’t miss anything by starting with Trigun Stampede. The series stands on its own as an adaptation of the same source material. That said, Trigun is a classic, and worth keeping on your radar alongside the likes of Cowboy Bebop and Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. Ultimately, this specific manga, and every anime adaptation out there, all have something to offer, which just gives fans more exciting anime to watch.

You can stream Trigun and new episodes of Trigun Stampede now on Crunchyroll.