Trigun Stampede’s ending animation is a secret hiding in plain sight

There’s been a lot of talk about Trigun Stampede.Orange Studios has just released the new CG animated series.Land of the Lustrous, Beastars) based on Yasuhiro Nightow’s beloved space western manga premiered early this month, and has spawned takes both positive and … not so much. It doesn’t matter what your sentiments are about the new Trigun version, but one thing is certain: Trigun StampedeOne of the best ending credits sequences in anime history.

There’s been a lot of impressive anime credits airing this season, from Vinland Saga season 2’s moving ode to the liberating power of love to the colorful wheat paste mural-inspired aesthetic of The Fire Hunter’s credit sequence. However, for me money I think that Trigun Stampede’s ED (“EnDing song”) end animation easily ranks as this anime season’s most mysterious, affecting, and memorable ending sequences.

An animated scene of stars arranged to resemble two smiling, short-haired anime boys staring opposite of one another.

Image: Orange/Toho Company/Crunchyroll

It first appeared at the conclusion of Trigun Stampede’s second episode, the series’ end credits sequence takes on the aesthetic of a stellarium, with chalk-drawn constellations marching and flickering across a black and blue watercolor background. A younger Vash the Stampede is shown opening, with him smiling beside his twin brother Nai. After that, the sequence transforms into a scene of them both shooting stars and leaving light trails.

The scene is set to Haruka Nagura’s original song and sing by Salyu (Japanese singer). As the stars transform into granular lines made of sand and flow like the patterns in a Chladni Plate experiment, they dissipate and become constellations. For a moment, the stars briefly form a pattern of dots and dashes resembling Japanese Morse Code (Which some eagle-eyed Redditors have managed to roughly translate as “Welcome home”) before dispersing again.

A morse code sequence hovering against a blue and black watercolor background

Image: Orange/Toho Company/Crunchyroll

An cluster of stars arranged to resemble red geranium flower against a black and blue watercolor background.

Image: Orange/Toho Company/Crunchyroll

Final credits are capped off by an arrangement of stars looking like a red ginger (a flower that has deep symbolic meaning in the universe). Trigun), which then morphs into a pattern resembling one of the biomechanical “Plants” seen throughout the series before transforming again into an image of Vash the Stampede as a child. For those familiar with either Yasuhiro Nightow’s original 1995 manga or Madhouse’s 1998 anime adaptation, the animation is as understatedly beautiful as it is profoundly moving. For anyone else new to the series, it’s still a brilliant and creative sequence.

Although the identity of the storyboard artist and director behind this sequence has not been disclosed, it does share a striking resemblance with the Miyo Sato paint-on-glass animation (Mob Psycho 100) and the evocative animation of Yoko Kuno, who previously work as a key animator on both Land of the Lustrous Beastars.

Trigun StampedeIt is also available for streaming on Crunchyroll or Hulu.

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