Despite its title, Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood” is not entirely about Nicholas D. Wolfwood. Our brave and titular hero Vash the Stampede also gets a lot of screen time in this episode. Not only that, but the end of the episode also gives us a massive revelation about Vash’s identity that viewers of the original 1998 anime will have already known about for quite some time.
Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood”: Details
Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood” is the latest episode (you can read reviews of Ep. 1, Ep. 2, Ep. 3, Ep. 4, Ep. 5, and Ep. 6 here) of this post-apocalyptic space Western CGI anime, which is a reboot of the 1998 anime Trigun. Trigun itself is the anime adaptation of the 1995 manga of the same name by Yasuhiro Nightow.
Orange (Land of the Lustrous, Beastars, Godzilla Singular Point) remains the animation studio behind Trigun Stampede. Unfortunately, we still don’t know who is responsible for each episode, including this one. However, we still know the production staff for this reboot anime. Kenji Mutō is still the director, with Katsuhiro Takei still producing. Tatsurō Inamoto, Shin Okashima, and Yoshihisa Ueda are still writing; with Tatsuya Kato still composing the music. “Tombi” by Kvi Baba is still the opening theme music, and “Hoshi no Kuzu α” (星のクズ α) by singer Salyu and composer Haruka Nakamura is still the ending theme music.
Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood” premiered on February 18, 2023. You can watch this episode and all previous episodes of this anime only on Crunchyroll. You can also watch the original 1998 anime Trigun on Crunchyroll for comparison. Unfortunately, you need a Crunchyroll premium account to watch them in both cases. My advice for if you want to watch either anime series is to wait until Trigun Stampede has finished airing, and then pay for a single month of premium to binge-watch it all in one go. You get the most bang for your buck that way.
Warning: spoilers for Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood” below. If you want to see this team-up between Nicholas D. Wolfwood and Vash the Stampede, stop here and come back once the Bad Lads Gang have headed for the hills…well, dunes.
Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood”: Plot Summary
Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood” is where we left off in the last episode. The sand steamer is out of control and on a collision course with Hopeland (right where Nicholas’s orphanage is), while the Bad Lads Gang is busy boarding the steamer in search of “shinies” to loot. Vash runs off to stop the gang members, while Nicholas stays to fight off Livio. Vash manages to singlehandedly take down a whole bunch of the gang in hand-to-hand combat, reuniting with Meryl and Roberto in the process. As it turns out, the Bad Lads Gang kidnapped the reporter duo to make them take cool photos of the gang, so saving them is a big morale boost for Vash.
Meanwhile, Nicholas partially disables Livio’s mask after a bit of gun-fu. Combined with a bit of talking, that causes Livio to snap out of his brainwashing momentarily. Unfortunately, Livio uses that moment to shoot himself in the head with his own cross-gun, intent on ending his own anguish while inflicting as much trauma on Nicholas as possible at the same time. While Nicholas is anguishing over his loss though, Legato decides that he’s not inflicting enough chaos. So he decides to use his telekinesis to activate the sand steamer’s…ion cannon?! Why does a land passenger liner have an ion cannon? Something about it originally being used to shoot obstacles, according to Vash, but now they have to stop it because Legato is apparently angry enough to use that ion cannon on Hopeland.
Ion Cannon Firing?
A bit of clever crane usage by Vash and a bit of servomotor shooting by Nicholas help delay the ion cannon’s deployment. However, their combined efforts are still insufficient to keep the ion cannon from pointing at its target. It takes Nicolas’s drug-assisted strength combined with Vash running off to the Plant compartment to appeal to the plant itself to finally throw the cannon off-target. That’s when Meryl hits the fire button in the cannon’s control room, causing said cannon to fire uselessly into the air. The prolonged firing melts the cannon’s barrel, effectively spiking the cannon and rendering it useless for additional firings. That only leaves the sand steamer itself charging at Hopeland, but Nicholas solves that by heading to the engine room and manually stopping the engine, causing the sand steamer to the ground to a halt just shy of the outskirts of Hopeland.
Nicholas, Meryl, and even Roberto head to the Plant compartment to celebrate their victory with Vash. The only thing stopping them is sea of revelations that awaits them there. First revelation: the Plants are people, as evidenced by the one Vash was talking to. Second revelation: Vash himself is a Plant, as evidenced by the same glowing lines found on the Plants appearing on Vash’s body. The only revelation they aren’t rocked by is that Livio is still alive despite his self-inflicted headshot and that Legato and Zazie had taken him away because he’s still useful. How will all these revelations play out? Well, that’s what we’ll hopefully discover in the next Trigun Stampede episode.
Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood”: The Good
Despite a big glaring hole in characterization, the story of Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood” is actually the best part about it. Orange is moving forward with the plotline here with all these revelations in the late stages of the 1998 anime. That part about Vash being a Plant? That’s something that was only revealed in some of the last episodes of Trigun. It’s definitely evidence that Trigun Stampede will be a short anime compared to Trigun. Despite this fast pacing, the plot doesn’t feel like it. It feels weirdly natural, with the writers doing a good job adjusting the story’s pacing to match the compressed plotline. It’s one of the things they got right, unlike with Meryl.
Vash himself, though, ends up stealing the show in Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood” along with the titular Nicholas D. Wolfwood. The writers actually manage to expand on Vash’s character, portraying him as a master of unarmed combat and pistol-whipping. It actually makes perfect sense for his pacifistic lifestyle. He won’t kill anyone, but he has no problems knocking people unconscious with mad martial arts skills when he absolutely has to. Vash in Trigun Stampede manages to not only be true to his original canon depiction but might actually be better in some ways. Now if only certain other characters could be the same.
Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood”: The Bad
Again, ever since Ep. 1, my main beef with Trigun Stampede has been with Meryl Stryfe’s depiction. Admittedly, she’s slightly better in Trigun Stampede Ep. 7 “Wolfwood” due to her actually standing up for herself rather than being carried along with the plot like before. However, I still consider the Trigun Stampede version of her character to be far inferior to her 1998 version. Again, the Trigun Stampede version of Meryl Stryfe is an OC with Meryl’s face and name but a completely different core personality. It’s utterly baffling why the writers chose to so fundamentally alter her character when they’re faithful to literally every other character. I just don’t know. It’s why I haven’t been able to give any episode of Trigun Stampede a 100% so far. That, and the mysterious erasure of Milly Thompson from the plot altogether.
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