I've expressed a few times that Trigun is my favorite anime series and, normally, I would have a hard time choosing a favorite for anything. I have a lot of history attached to it, so it's been holding a special place in my heart like Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service. I mentioned in my review for Monster that the stories for both of these series are similar in structure and character relation and that I was open to comparing the two if anyone was interested
Since I haven't reviewed Trigun on Muddy Cult, I'll give you a brief summary of what it's about. The series is set in the distant future on a desert planet and Vash the Stampede is the character we follow. He seems like a goofy, but nice guy to the viewers, but the citizens of the various towns we visit know him as an infamous criminal with a $$60,000,000,000 bounty on his head. Meryl and Milly, two insurance workers, step in to stop Vash from causing damage to the towns he visits, but end up learning the truth behind the chaos that follows the blonde gunman.
I won't retell the story of Monster, since the link is in the introduction to preview it. I also mentioned in that review that people have compared it to Death Note, but I've already put my two cents in about what I think about that in its own review. In this comparison, I will be mentioning some borderline spoilers, so if you haven't seen either series and you're interested in viewing them, I would wait until you're done before proceeding forward with this post. I will try my best to avoid them, but it is not guaranteed.
So, let's begin with our main characters: Vash the Stampede (Trigun) and Dr. Kenzo Tenma (Monster). Both characters are quite loveable and fairly easy to sympathize with throughout the series. They both go through a series of tests that challenges their morals of giving second chances to wrong doers and saving lives. They share a kind heart and stray from their main mission to help others they cross paths with along the away as well. Unfortunately, they are also both fugitives, but wrongfully so. Throughout the series, they are constantly stuggling to defend their innocence, but soon disregard it and let others defend their true status.
Coincidentally, the person that defends our main characters are strong female supports Meryl Strife and Anna Liebert. At first, they are hesitant around our leading males, but soon see the true nature of their character. As they follow our heroes, they develop an emotional attachment to them and want to risk their lives for them so they can reach their ultimate goal. Of course Anna has more to risk than Meryl does. Our female support also has support themselves through Milly Thompson and Dieter (somewhat). Viewers develop attachments to them also even if they have a somewhat smaller impact on our main characters. They still matter and if they were taken away, it would affect the story.
Another similarity is our other loveable male that apppears later in the series. I'm not sure what to properly call them but they come in the form of Nicholas D. Wolfwood and Wolfgang Grimmer.
Lastly, for the characters, we have our villians, Legato Bluesummers and Johan Liebert. Although, Legato isn't the main villian of Trigun, he carries out majority of the damage on Vash. Both main characters track their progress through these two villians and their morals are tested by them as well. They're ultimate goal in the story is to make our main characters suffer emotionally. Legato and Johan also question life and share the polar opposite beliefs of our main characters by making people around them physically suffer most times. They have high intelligence and know exactly how to make a mark in our minds.
As for the story structure is concerned, we are introduced to our main characters through a light-hearted manner for the audience to love and sympathize with which is very effective in both series. When trouble arises, we continue to root for them and feel every emotion they feel. At times it seems like our main characters have more against them than for them, a good example are some of the other support characters that cause trouble for them like the Gung-Ho Guns, Eva Heinemann, and Heinrich Lunge. Some of them experience a soft spot for our main characters for a moment, but then turn back to their vicious ways. The theme of both series are similar as well as it challenges what's good and evil and whether to offer second chances or forgiveness. It hits a reality that makes the audience think once the series is over and offers a high replay value to notice new things and acquire new perspectives on life.
In the end, I didn't want to do this comparison to choose which series is the best as it honestly frightened me that Monster nearly booted my favorite anime series from its top position. This post was made simply to prove a point that they are similar, but these similar qualities make them both interesting and worthy of watching and re-watching. They have their differences as well, so I encourage you all to check out both series and leave your opinions in the comment box below.