March 25, 2023

It’s been talked about a lot Trigun stampede. Studio Orange’s new CG anime (Land of the shine, Beasts) based on Yasuhiro Nightow’s beloved outer space western manga, premiered early this month and has spawned both positive and…not so much. Wherever your feelings fall regarding this new iteration of Trigun, one thing is undeniable: Trigun stampede has one of the most beautiful credits sequences of all anime this season.

Many impressive anime credits have aired this season, from Vinland Saga season 2 moving ode to the liberating power of love to the colorful wheat pasta mural-inspired aesthetic by The Firefighterthe credit sequence. For my money I would argue that though Trigun stampede‘s ED (“EnDing song”) ending animation easily ranks as the most mysterious, poignant, and memorable ending sequences of this anime season.

Image: Orange/Toho Company/Crunchyroll

First appears at the end of Trigun stampedeIn the series’ second installment, the series’ credits sequence takes on a stellar aesthetic, with chalk-drawn constellations marching and flickering across a black-and-blue watercolor background. The sequence begins with a portrayal of a younger version of protagonist Vash the Stampede, smiling towards his twin brother Nai, before their likeness merges into a tableau of shooting stars and swirling trails of light.

Set to an original song composed by Haruka Nakamura and sung by Japanese singer-songwriter Salyu, the scene gradually changes as the stars become grainy sandlines, ebbing and flowing like the symmetrical patterns of a Chladni plate experiment before disappearing and reforming into constellation. For a moment, the stars form a pattern of dots and dashes that resembles Japanese Morse code (some of which are eagle eyes Redditors managed to roughly translate as “Welcome Home”) before spreading again.

Image: Orange/Toho Company/Crunchyroll

A Cluster Of Stars Arranged To Resemble Red Geranium Flower Against A Black And Blue Watercolor Background.

Image: Orange/Toho Company/Crunchyroll

The credits close with an arrangement of stars resembling a red geranium (a flower with deep symbolic meaning in the universe of Trigun), which then changes into a pattern similar to one of the biomechanical “plants” seen in the series, before changing back into an image of Vash the Stampede as a child. For those familiar with Yasuhiro Nightow’s original 1995 manga or Madhouse’s 1998 anime adaptation, the animation is both understatedly beautiful and deeply moving. For anyone new to the series, it’s still a brilliant and creative series.

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While the director and storyboard artists behind the sequence have not yet been revealed, the sequence bears a striking resemblance to Miyo Sato’s paint-on-glass animation (Mob Psycho 100) and the suggestive animation of Yoko Kunowho previously worked as lead animator on both Land of the shine And Beasts.

Trigun stampede is available to stream on Crunchyroll and Hulu.